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  #1  
Old 06-14-2018, 07:56 AM
SouthpawJeff SouthpawJeff is offline
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Default How many chords do you know?

Ok not a test, just a curiosity. Iíve recently gone from playing what Iíll call for lack of a better term ďeveryday chordsĒ, (basically majors, minors, 7ths etc etc), to more complicated inversions and variations, adds, augmented, etc etc.. I know most of the basics, so called cowboy chords and their barre variations, but these more complicated pieces Iím learning are full of new inversions and Iím starting to choke on them! For example, the piece Iím learning now has 37 individual chords! Including seven different variations of Em!!!! Out of the 37 there are 3 chord shapes I know, the rest are new variations. For the most part learning them on the fretboard is not the problem, many are only one or two fretted notes. Itís the names that are elusive.

So my question for you guys is do you remember the names of every chord variation you play? Or do you focus on music itself and not get so hung up on remembering the names of each variation. Just saying out loud F#m7b5/A or Em(add4)/F# every time I play it slows down my progress🙁

So what say you guitar experts???
Jeff
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2018, 08:21 AM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I know how to read a chord symbol, so I know how to play every chord (well, every chord that's "playable.")

So there's really nothing all that difficult about the chords you mention...F#m7b5/A is simply any F# half diminished voicing on the neck with an A in the bass (might be better to call an Am6?)

Em(add4)/F# sounds complicated, but if you know what a "4" is, that chord is simply any Em with an added A note and an F# in the bass.

So in my opinion, yes, trying to learn a million and one "shapes" for chords is definitely a slow process, but it can be greatly quickened by learning the fretboard and learning what a chord symbol means...it's a group of notes, not a specific "shape."
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:08 AM
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rick-slo rick-slo is offline
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The way I look at it is that chords are just a group of notes. If I can play a variety of note combinations then I am playing a variety of chords. I am rarely thinking (for better or worse) what the chords might be called.

And for example:

5-x-5-6-6-8
5-x-5-6-6-6
5-x-5-6-6-5
5-x-5-6-8-x
x-5-x-5-6-5

Do you label and think of each as a different chord?, say
A7+9+5
A7b9+5
A+7
A7
Dm7

Or for the first four do you think of it as one chord (A7) with a melody line on top?
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:44 AM
RustyAxe RustyAxe is offline
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When looking at jazz charts you can get overwhelmed. Many of those variants and obscure chords are simply made by moving a finger or two a step or two ... and are transient passing chords, but charted by a jazz guy who spent four years in conservatory learning how to name 'em to confuse the unwashed masses.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:57 PM
Brent Hahn Brent Hahn is offline
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Originally Posted by RustyAxe View Post
... but charted by a jazz guy who spent four years in conservatory learning how to name 'em to confuse the unwashed masses.
Sometimes people just take all the notes that are in the bass and horn lines at given moments and write them down in the lead sheet as crazy altered chords. All you really need to do is find a couple or three notes that aren't wrong. If they move in a general direction that's a plus, but not mandatory.
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:45 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthpawJeff View Post
So my question for you guys is do you remember the names of every chord variation you play? Or do you focus on music itself and not get so hung up on remembering the names of each variation. Just saying out loud F#m7b5/A or Em(add4)/F# every time I play it slows down my progress��
As others have said, a chord is a group of notes, not a specific fingering. Getting past chords-as-fingerings will allow you to progress much further much faster. Learning to "spell" chords, understand inversions and understand individual chords in relation to those that came before and after it, can help you immensely. At that point, you know "all" of the chords and can create whatever fingering you want/need for the circumstance.

There are four basic triads (three note chords): major, minor, diminished and augmented. Every other chord is based on those. Every other chord either doubles notes already in the triad or adds notes that are not part of the triad. (Occasionally, notes of the triad are left out.)

Doubling notes of the triad can alter the "feel" or "color" of the triad as can adding notes not part of the triad. They can also add tensions that lead to resolutions of those tensions, the basis of "voice-leading". The choice of which notes to add and what inversions to use is part of what strengthens us wanting to hear one chord follow another - a progression.

It is helpful to understand how a piece of music is put together - its form and harmonic structure - but analysis/arranging of the music is a different activity than actually playing the piece. While playing, it isn't necessary to spell every chord. With sufficient experience, one knows what many of the "more" common chords are anyway, even with slightly altered fingerings or notes.
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:02 AM
SouthpawJeff SouthpawJeff is offline
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Thanks guys, lots of good info! I have a long way to go on my music theory education! I guess what I was wondering was not so much being able to identify the chords overall, but as Iím playing. For example, if Iím strumming a Beatles tune I can call out chords as Iím playing for someone else to follow along. With these more complicated fingerstyle pieces Iíd really have to stop and think about what Iím playing, and because many are only 1,2 or 3 fretted notes Iím not sure without looking it up. I think I really just have to make an effort to spend more time learning my fretboard🙂

Jeff
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:34 AM
quiltingshirley quiltingshirley is offline
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Chords I know? Lots, play? Not so many.
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Old 06-15-2018, 08:18 PM
_zedagive _zedagive is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiltingshirley View Post
Chords I know? Lots, play? Not so many.
This topic reminded me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM4cUFo9TKo
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  #10  
Old Yesterday, 11:17 AM
SouthpawJeff SouthpawJeff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _zedagive View Post
This topic reminded me of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oM4cUFo9TKo
I must be pretty good! I know Am and D and can go bewtween them! Oh and I have a strap too..... somewhere😄
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Old Yesterday, 04:42 PM
endpin endpin is offline
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Most of us guitarists have a rather stunted musical development in implementing theory because we have these six strings and think we have to play ALL of them ALL of the time.
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Old Yesterday, 07:30 PM
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815C 815C is offline
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More than I care to count.
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Old Yesterday, 08:44 PM
Wags Wags is offline
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I guess you mean how many do you know on the guitar?

Not that many.

If you mean in general I'd say all of them, since my main gig is jazz piano and all you're really talking about is naming conventions, which can be all over the place. For example in jazz there is the assumption that if the chart says -7th you'd automatically play something like a -9th, as a starting point. Then you might want to alter that by stacking some 4ths into it, which can also be called a sus. You can alter the crap out of the V chord and that's where you get -9, +9,+5,+13, -11, on and on. Some of these are easier to visualize as poly chords, like G/A, or A/G. Then there's passing chords, known by various names as well.

If you randomly pressed down a cluster of notes on a piano or I guess guitar, there would be a way to name it that others could decipher. I can visualize this on a keyboard, but not on a guitar.

I know guitar players who can do this on a guitar, but many of them are schooled musicians which means they've also studied keyboard.
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