The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1

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    Such as this, with a C tonic:

    What would you call a major triad with an added #5?-23434-jpg

    It looks enharmonic to an AbMaj7#5 (spelled with a G# instead of an Ab), but would it be written with that symbol if I'm hearing/intending it in C rather than Ab?
    Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by ll00l0l
    Such as this, with a C tonic:

    What would you call a major triad with an added #5?-23434-jpg

    It looks enharmonic to an AbMaj7#5 (spelled with a G# instead of an Ab), but would it be written with that symbol if I'm hearing/intending it in C rather than Ab?
    Thanks!
    It’s not possible to name a chord without knowing the harmonic context. Any of those notes could be the root, or this could be a rootless voicing and none of them is the root.

    So you tell us first what the root of the chord is, what comes before and after, and give us some melodic information. Then we can name the chord.

  4. #3

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    The only time I’ve seen a chord like that, it was an Abma7(#5) or a C/Ab. In both those examples the G# would need to be written as an Ab.
    For any more analysis, I would refer to the previous post. Where is the chord coming from, where is it going to, what key are we in?

  5. #4

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    edit: see hopefully corrected version below...
    Last edited by pauln; 08-11-2022 at 02:42 AM.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Think this is right; a little condensed so ask if something is unclear

    C major triad with an added #5 would be C E G G# and would be called C5add#5
    C major triad with the fifth raised to G# would be C E G# which is Caug and Eaug/C and G#aug/C

    Slash "/" is used to show a chord name by its root when the bottom note is not the root

    What you have scored taking C as the root (chords have roots, scales have tonics)
    has Ab on the bottom (flat 5), root, no 3rd, natural 5th, and the root repeated on top as Ab C G C

    To write Ab C G C from the perspective of root C would be C5/Ab as flat 5, root, natural 5, root

    To write Ab C G C from the perspective of root Ab would be Abmaj7 as root, maj3, b7, maj3
    The #5 of Ab would be E, which is not in the chord (this chord has no fifth)
    Look again. His chord voicing has an E on top, not a C.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by setemupjoe
    Look again. His chord voicing has an E on top, not a C.
    OK, now I think this is right

    C major triad with an added #5 would be C E G G# and would be called Caugadd#5 or Abaugmaj7/C
    C major triad with the fifth raised to G# would be C E G# which is Caug and Eaug/C and G#aug/C

    Slash "/" is used to show a chord name by its root when the bottom note is not the root

    What you have scored taking C as the root (chords have roots, scales have tonics)
    has Ab on the bottom (flat 5), root, no 3rd, natural 5th, and the maj3 on top as Ab C G E

    To write Ab C G E from the perspective of root C would be C/Ab as flat 5, root, natural 5, maj3

    To write Ab C G E from the perspective of root Ab would be Abmaj7#5 as root, maj3, maj7 (corrected), sharp5

    Hey 1100101,
    If you want to hear the Abmaj7#5 in the context of a nice song, it is the last chord of the form, first happens @1:05, played as 16 x 17 17 17 x



  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ll00l0l
    Such as this, with a C tonic:

    What would you call a major triad with an added #5?-23434-jpg

    It looks enharmonic to an AbMaj7#5 (spelled with a G# instead of an Ab), but would it be written with that symbol if I'm hearing/intending it in C rather than Ab?
    Thanks!
    Well theoretically it would then be C/Ab (which is an inversion of Caddb6

    From what you’ve given i don’t see a compelling reason to break the alphabet rule. Write C/G# if you like, but there’d have to be a good reason. Ab is a common alteration in C.

    tbh if it’s me I would just write Abmaj7#5 or C/Ab. The latter if I really wanted the reader to think of it in C (for performance it might not matter.) Either of these are reasonable to read.

    The first is easier for a soloing chart, the second perhaps more readable for an arrangement and more specific about the voicing.

  9. #8

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    It's just a good old AbM7#5, aka C/Ab.

    But for some reason it has a G# bass. Why? So we'd have to go back to what John said about context. It may be part of a line, perhaps a passing tone between chords with bass notes G and A. We'd need to see what was happening before and after.

    Context is usually the answer to most things.

  10. #9

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    Since natural G is in the C triad then you need to lower A note resulting Ab. Otherwise you have both G natural and G sharp situation which is confusing.

  11. #10

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    If conceptualized from a C perspective (as in your chord as presented played over a C bass note), you would have to consider whether you hear the C major or the C augmented triad as most prominent. The remaining tone then is documented as an "add" note.

    Chords on the surface can have a most obvious name, in this case
    (as presented) it would be a misspelled Abma7+.
    Who you are communicating to and what you are trying to communicate to them is something to also consider when making notational decisions.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    OK, now I think this is right

    C major triad with an added #5 would be C E G G# and would be called Caugadd#5 or Abaugmaj7/C
    C major triad with the fifth raised to G# would be C E G# which is Caug and Eaug/C and G#aug/C

    Slash "/" is used to show a chord name by its root when the bottom note is not the root

    What you have scored taking C as the root (chords have roots, scales have tonics)
    has Ab on the bottom (flat 5), root, no 3rd, natural 5th, and the maj3 on top as Ab C G E

    To write Ab C G E from the perspective of root C would be C/Ab as flat 5, root, natural 5, maj3

    To write Ab C G E from the perspective of root Ab would be Abmaj7#5 as root, maj3, maj7 (corrected), sharp5
    I think you’ve gotten a little lost in the letters, specifically:

    • Caug add #5 is redundant- Caug is CEG#.
    • “Ab on the bottom” of a C major triad is not a flat five - it’s a sharp five.

  13. #12

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    If the next chord was Abmaj7, then I'd call it Abmaj7#5. Now and then, you see that movement. The naming can make the #5 to nat 5 obvious.

    But, if the previous chord was C6 and the next chord was Cmaj7/G (which I don't think I've ever seen and doesn't look like it would sound good) then I'd call it C/Ab.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    • “Ab on the bottom” of a C major triad is not a flat five - it’s a sharp five.
    No, it’s a flat six — a borrowed diminished note from the C Major 6 Diminished scale.

  15. #14

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    Without a context one can't even rule out Ealt. Especially if the next chord is A (realized by a half step movement of the leading note, G#).

  16. #15

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    The naming of chords is a difficult matter
    It isn't just one of your holiday games;
    You might think at first that I'm mad as a hatter
    When I tell you a chord has at least four different names...

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    No, it’s a flat six — a borrowed diminished note from the C Major 6 Diminished scale.
    Unless it’s going to the Am of course….

  18. #17

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    In any case don’t ask jazz musicians about enharmony.

    Exhibit A: the ‘altered scale’

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian Miller
    Unless it’s going to the Am of course….
    Unless the Am is an Am7 … … in which case it’s going nowhere.

  20. #19

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    Yea... LOL... I would either just read the voicing when playing, which does sound like simple Abma7 or Lydian Aug. or bIII from FMM... (notation issue)

    Could also be voicing from G# or Ab Harmonic Maj. ( Notation issues). In any event.... If it's notated out, you just read as is.... it's not like it's flying by. Jazz notation or chord symbols are generally based on "Standardized Chord Symbol Notation", A uniform system for the music profession. Put together by Carl Brandt and Clinton Roemer, an arranger and copyist back in the 70's in LA. It still had issues with #5 and b6... but is still the standard today. the little red book...LOL

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcjazz
    No, it’s a flat six — a borrowed diminished note from the C Major 6 Diminished scale.
    #5 or b6, it’s definitely not a flat 5 as stated by pauln. That was the reason I posted it.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by nevershouldhavesoldit
    #5 or b6, it’s definitely not a flat 5 as stated by pauln. That was the reason I posted it.
    Yeah, right on both the redundant #5 of aug and the misnamed bottom scale degree... thanks.

    For those who heard the McLaughlin example, the next chord is some kind of Am7 with #9 and sus2...

  23. #22

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    I would call it the 3rd degree 7th chord of F melodic minor. But that's just me. Calling it. Not naming it.

  24. #23

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    If I was forced to name it rather than just put the four notes on a staff ...
    b
    C E G G#

    might be best notated as C(addb6).

    When I've actually seen those notes in a chart, the G# is usually in the bass and it's C/G# or C/Ab (more commonly) and the usage is Abmaj7#5.