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  1. #1

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    We see this so commonly referred to as Csus4... but wouldn't it really be Cadd4 considering there's still a 3rd within the chord?

    Wouldn't a true Csus4 be:

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    Additionally - when I see a chord such as "C" with a number directly next to it, such as: C4 or C9... are those different than Cadd4 or Cadd9, or are they the same?? Or are they used to indicate when the notes of the natural triad are all linearly stacked, i.e. C4 would be 1, 3, 4, 5, or C9 would be 1-3-5-7-9, but Cadd9 would be 1-3-5-9. If so, I can see why a true C9 would be difficult on the guitar if played in an open position..

    Thanks for allowing me to ask such a noob question!

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
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    We see this so commonly referred to as Csus4... but wouldn't it really be Cadd4 considering there's still a 3rd within the chord?

    Wouldn't a true Csus4 be:

    1
    1
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    3
    x

    Additionally - when I see a chord such as "C" with a number directly next to it, such as: C4 or C9... are those different than Cadd4 or Cadd9, or are they the same?? Or are they used to indicate when the notes of the natural triad are all linearly stacked, i.e. C4 would be 1, 3, 4, 5, or C9 would be 1-3-5-7-9, but Cadd9 would be 1-3-5-9. If so, I can see why a true C9 would be difficult on the guitar if played in an open position..

    Thanks for allowing me to ask such a noob question!
    *Correct, a Csus would not have a 3rd
    * C9, C11, C13 would all imply a dominant 7th
    *add 9 etc implies the 7th is not included
    *to have a maj 7 it needs to b e specified, eg Cmaj9.
    *in jazz the 5th is often omitted

  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by corpse View Post
    *Correct, a Csus would not have a 3rd
    * C9, C11, C13 would all imply a dominant 7th
    *add 9 etc implies the 7th is not included
    *to have a maj 7 it needs to b e specified, eg Cmaj9.
    *in jazz the 5th is often omitted
    **EDITED**

    Thanks so much! So in essence, when we see 'maj' listed in a chord name, that is referring to the 7th of the chord.

    Is there a designation of requiring contiguous degrees? i.e. 1-3-*5*-maj7-9-11?

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
    Thanks so much! So in essence, when we see 'maj' listed in a chord name, that is referring to the 7th of the chord.

    How about Cmaj11 - would that be:
    1-3-*5*-maj7-9-11 or can it be 1-3-*5*-maj7-11 (the 9 can be omitted or does it need to be contiguous?)
    Especially on guitar, you may only be playing some of the notes: xxx9.6.7

    Leaving the root and the fifth for the bass player!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  6. #5

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    As I understand it, C13 is every note of the C major scale (except B is lowered to Bb) at least theoretically.

    On guitar, the 11 is usually omitted. The 9th is often omitted.

    On piano, I think the 11 is usually omitted. I'm not sure about the 9.

    On guitar, the most common C13 is 8x89 10 x. No 9, no 11.

    But, you will also encounter x32335. No 11, but has the 9.

    Another is xx8755. No 11, but has the 9.

    If, say, you want an 11, you could play xx8765. But, that will sound like a sus chord.

  7. #6

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    a major #11 chord is often called a "lydian" chord. It's common to have both the 3rd and #11 in this chord since there are a whole step apart.

    FMaj13#11: 130200 (F C D A B E) (R 5 13 3 #11 7)
    Build bridges, not walls.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    As I understand it, C13 is every note of the C major scale (except B is lowered to Bb) at least theoretically.
    In other words it's theoretically every note of the F major scale, since C7 is the V chord in F.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    In other words it's theoretically every note of the F major scale, since C7 is the V chord in F.
    Right. Same notes.

    There might be an advantage to thinking of it from the C root, since it's Cmixo. Or, maybe as a V chord in F.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
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    We see this so commonly referred to as Csus4... but wouldn't it really be Cadd4 considering there's still a 3rd within the chord?

    Wouldn't a true Csus4 be:

    natural triad are all linearly stacked, i.e. C4 would be 1, 3, 4, 5, or C9 would be 1-3-5-7-9, but Cadd9 would be 1-3-5-9. If so, I can see why a true C9 would be difficult on the guitar if played in an open position..

    Thanks for allowing me to ask such a noob question!

    I have not encountered a C4 chord ..C11 or Csus4 and Csus2 yes but not a chord with the third and fourth voiced that way--your ears may like it..Im sure someone like Ted Greene can play it so it sounds good..perhaps bury the 4th in the middle (as in your voicing) and surround it with other voice leading tricks to make it sound good

    C9 is a dominant chord voiced 1 3 5 b7 9 -- the seven is flatted....and yes the Cadd9 is the C triad and the added D note there are quite a few ways to voice the C9 that sound very good..think blues progressions..very common sound there -- the root is often omitted..and the inversions are very cool sounding chords
    play well ...
    wolf

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar View Post
    As I understand it, C13 is every note of the C major scale (except B is lowered to Bb) at least theoretically.

    On guitar, the 11 is usually omitted. The 9th is often omitted.

    On piano, I think the 11 is usually omitted. I'm not sure about the 9.

    On guitar, the most common C13 is 8x89 10 x. No 9, no 11.

    But, you will also encounter x32335. No 11, but has the 9.

    Another is xx8755. No 11, but has the 9.

    If, say, you want an 11, you could play xx8765. But, that will sound like a sus chord.
    8765 on the four lower strings form a BbMaj7 chord also...but could also be an altered dom or altered major ...context rules...

    naming chords can get far reaching..to the point of not needing to name the chord form at all if it is part of a series of moving voices ..very Bach flavored
    play well ...
    wolf

  12. #11

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    Don't be embarrassed to ask!

  13. #12

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    Keep in mind that the seventh degree plays a special role in distinguishing the two octaves... the scale degrees 1-7 are in the lower octave and 9-13 are in the higher octave. The guitar will allow chords that span two octaves. The written names of chords may be confused or played wrong because of this... because a lot of "small" chords that are rootless and comprised of extensions (9-13) may occupy only one octave, and simple chords without extensions may also occupy one octave. Since the 2 and 9 are the same pitch class, as well as 6 and 13, etc., sometimes the designation is misinterpreted and put in the wrong octave.

    A lot of stock standard guitar chords span two octaves where the lower octave is just 1 and 5. How do you know if that octave is supposed to be the lower octave for chord tones (so the octave above is for extensions), or if that lower octave is really just doubling the bass and it is the octave above it that is really the chord tone octave? In other words, how do you know when a particular note is playing the role of a 2 in an upper octave or of a 9 above the lower octave?

    There are exceptions to everything, but generally if you find the 7, that is how you know... if the note that is either the 2 or the 9 is below a 7, then it is a 2, and if above a 7 it is a 9, same with 6 and 13, etc. This works because the 7 is the only degree that does not have an extended mate (there is no 14).

    This makes it look like scales really need to be conceptually thought of as spanning two octaves to include the extensions.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  14. #13

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    Not a two octave scale as much as an extended two octave arpeggio, stacked thirds...1-3-5-7-9-11-13

  15. #14

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    yea, generally 1-7 are with reference to scales and 1-13 are for arpeggios or chords.

    When we play most tunes or music there are musical guidelines... harmonic organization which has general rules, or common practice that is based on Functional Harmony. Short version, everything uses Major, (Ionian), as the basic reference, and labels reflect those guidelines. Part of this general practice is accepted use of 7th chords as being Dominant, having a b7th, and Minor chords as having a b3rd and b7th. The reason is functional harmony is based on... I IV V or Tonic, Subdominant , Dominant... harmonic movement. There is much more, but that's the simple version. Which becomes a General practice for labeling music.

    The general reason for not using extensions or the rest of the notes is just a performance thing, voicings, not being able to imply the type of movement that the chord is supposed to create. A C13 implies all the notes, a C13sus implies that the 3rd is replaced by a 4th.

    If you want to have a general guideline for what has been the standard written guideline for chord symbols for the last 50 years... get a copy of "Standard Chord Symbol Notation", by Carl Brandt and Clinton Roemer, from early 70's. Some of Chuck's fake books have sample in front. (Chuck Sher, new real books)

  16. #15
    Thanks everyone - the lightbulb finally came on.

    Any chord with the number directly next to it such as:

    C7, C9, C11, C13 = (also can be expressed C7th, C9th, C11th, C13th) all contain a min7 (flat7) and technically supposed to include all contiguous notes, i.e. C11 would be 1-3-5-b7-9-11

    Any chord expressed as Cmaj7, Cmaj9, Cmaj11, Cmaj13, all include a maj7 and technically are supposed to include all contiguous notes, i.e. Cmaj11 would be 1-3-5-7-9-11

    Furthermore, because guitar is a hybrid of linear and off-set note layout (unlike the piano which only has a linear row of keys), the "rules" which govern a particular note's function, such as a 2 vs. 9, 4 vs. 11 are a little open to interpretation and cannot be strictly adhered to in the same way a linear instrument would be. It is also worth noting that it is perfectly fine for such things to be a little "open to interpretation" given the uniquenesses the guitar presents.

    Additionally, these uniquenesses of the guitar (as well as only having the ability to play 6 notes at maximum) give players a bit of "leeway" and/or "license" to discriminate what notes to play and what notes not to play, as the player has physical limitations.

    Sound about right?

  17. #16

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    I believe you are correct in rule regarding flat and natural 7ths.

    Unless you are talking about a completely separate language exclusive to guitar then the notes/scales are linear, regardless of instrument. Guitar itself just poses a unique challenge due to nonlinear layout.

  18. #17
    So I guess now I'm questioning why isn't a "C6/9" (1-3-5-6-9), not expressed as C6add9 - because it doesn't include the minor 7. (unless the "/" is another way of expressing "and")

    And if it did include the minor 7, how would that chord be written? C9add6?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
    So I guess now I'm questioning why isn't a "C6/9" (1-3-5-6-9), not expressed as C6add9 - because it doesn't include the minor 7. (unless the "/" is another way of expressing "and")

    And if it did include the minor 7, how would that chord be written? C9add6?
    1. My guess is that C6/9 notation has been around for longer than "add X" notion, so "because history".

    2. If you wanted C E G Bb D and A in a chord, I would write C13, and assume the player (guitar, piano, etc...) will omit the F (11th).
    Build bridges, not walls.

  20. #19

  21. #20

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    Ted Greene would write 7/6 for a 7th chord with an added sixth (like G7/6: 3x345x). Many other guitarists would probably just write G13 for that.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  22. #21

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    The short answer to all of this is "it's what the listener hears." That is, whether the chord sounds and acts like a dominant vs an "add blah" chord is a matter of what the listener hears. Generally, presence of the dom 7 scale degree settles this in 99 percent of cases, but not always. Consider that a functional secondary dominant doesn't have to have a seventh at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
    So I guess now I'm questioning why isn't a "C6/9" (1-3-5-6-9), not expressed as C6add9 - because it doesn't include the minor 7. (unless the "/" is another way of expressing "and")
    6/9 chords are a special animal. Generally, they act like dominants but they can also act like simple major chords that have color tones added. Again it comes down to what the listener hears, which is generally a product of how the chord is used and how it works in context.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
    So I guess now I'm questioning why isn't a "C6/9" (1-3-5-6-9), not expressed as C6add9 - because it doesn't include the minor 7. (unless the "/" is another way of expressing "and")

    And if it did include the minor 7, how would that chord be written? C9add6?
    Again, it's because a 6/9 usually acts as a dominant. If you want to indicate that it is not a dom, you could call it an add 6 add 9 or something like that (although that seems like a slippery slope.) Again it gets back to the "how it sounds to the listener" answer, with a dash of "chordal notation is shorthand" added.

    • If you are writing a chart, you write what you want the person reading it to play. Often, the function of the chord will underly your choice; for example, whether you write C6 or A-7 may depend on what makes the most sense to the person reading the chart. It might be easier for the reader to play or conceptualize a particular chord progression in one way, even though there is an enharmonic way to write it.
    • If you are doing a theoretical analysis, then what the listener hears / how the chord functions would get greater emphasis than what's easiest to read.


    Back to the "chord symbols are shorthand" thing, a simple formula won't always answer every question. If you really want to understand chordal notation, learn everything you can about harmony. Reading a couple books is not the equivalent of years of formal study of harmony with integrated ear training that connects your ear to your mental model of harmony. It'll get you started, though, and I would say that most of your question is now answered in this thread. But, again, the simple formula is not the same as really understanding what you're hearing and why it works.

    Jazz, especially, trades on all sorts of interesting tricks. You can put the 9th in the bass and still have it sound and act like a 9th, for example, or it could act as an add9, or it could be the root (like the familiar guitar grip Gsus chord voiced as F triad/G bass) in which case it's not really the 9th. That's not meant to be confusing, it's meant to be an example of the fact that it is not uncommon for there to be multiple possible analyses of any collection of notes, so you need to consider the musical context in which those notes function (i.e. what the listener hears) in order to disambiguate.

    This brings to mind a quote that one of my favorite harmony teachers used to attribute to Berlioz as "Your ear will always lead you right, but you have to understand why." And one of my favorite math teachers used to say "If you understand why, you'll never forget how."

    So try to learn why and beware of trying to boil down to simple formulas too much.
    Last edited by starjasmine; 10-22-2019 at 02:43 PM.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
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    We see this so commonly referred to as Csus4... but wouldn't it really be Cadd4 considering there's still a 3rd within the chord?

    Wouldn't a true Csus4 be:

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    I've just seen all this. Neither of those chords are a C anything, they're both Bb major chords. Except for that open E string on the first one. In which case it's a Bb/E. As if you'd want to play that.

    However...

    There's the question of whether you want a C major with a 4 or a C7 with a 4. From your post I don't know. But the Bb says you mean C7 - or rather C9 as it has a D in it. So -

    If one is being told to play those shapes in a C context (god knows who by) then maybe the first voicing is a C9 (no root).

    Gm7 - C9 (your first voicing) - FM7 might cut it. The notes of your C9 are 3-b7-2-b7-9. It's very odd and it hasn't got a 4 in it anyway!

    The second one is also odd, especially as I can't play the two bass notes on the first fret with an open D next to them. Well, only with considerable difficulty. So I'd leave out the Bb bass and just play 1x033x. Then Gm7 - (that chord) - FM7 sounds okay, even quite nice. But it's really a Bb chord, not a C one although the ear might hear it as one. Maybe.

    I suppose technically and theoretically the notes work but, to me, it sucks in real life.

    The simplest way to play a C9sus4 is just stick your finger across the 3rd fret: x3333x. Bingo.

    Apparently it's one of the hardest things in studying jazz to keep it simple. I don't blame you, I blame the people who think being confusing and over-complicated equals being smart. They're not, trust me.

    Grmmph!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post

    Apparently it's one of the hardest things in studying jazz to keep it simple. I don't blame you, I blame the people who think being confusing and over-complicated equals being smart. They're not, trust me.

    Grmmph!
    well ..... to put it simply Ragman
    you're reading the chords upside down ...

    Ie.

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    is x33010

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
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    We see this so commonly referred to as Csus4... but wouldn't it really be Cadd4 considering there's still a 3rd within the chord?
    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1 View Post
    I've just seen all this. Neither of those chords are a C anything, they're both Bb major chords. Except for that open E string on the first one. In which case it's a Bb/E. As if you'd want to play that.

    However...
    Ragman1, I think you are reading the chords upside down! The first one, using the forum's standard notation, is x33010.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  26. #25

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    Oh, yeah....

    Well, there you are then, two perfectly good C sus4 chords. Don't know what all the fuss is about :-)


    Thank you, chaps!

    dozes off again zzzzzzzz

  27. #26

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    Keep in mind that there are different symbols and marks that indicate the same thing, but there are also symbols and marks that have different meanings depending on the context.

    For example. the "6/9" chord is basically how Jazz indicates a major 7th chord function that has been toned down so as to not sound so vividly happy by the omission typically of both the 3rd and the 7th. The 6/9 functions as a major 7th, it just has a calmer tone, a popular version of it is like this:

    Compare
    8x998x - Cmaj7 - (1 7 3 5) - fully bright
    with
    8x778x - C6/9 - (1 6 9 5) - more subdued

    The slash mark is just delimiting the 6 and 9 here, not indicating a 6th chord with a ninth on the bottom.

    But sometimes the slash is used to indicate a lowest note that is not the root, and the slash may be followed by the letter name of the note or the ordinal numeral of its scale degree with respect to the scale tonic set to the root of the chord.

    For example, the first two chords of Girl From Ipanema are often indicated as Fmaj7 and G7 but they might be played Fmaj9 and G6/F like this:

    x81098x - Fmaj9

    x8998x - G6/F or possibly G6/7 where here the slash is indicating a non root lowest note

    In classical theory, slashes are used in informal notation to indicate the printing of one number stacked above another like a fraction without the horizontal bar to show figured bass... numbers (figures) showing the harmony voicing inversion meant to go with the written bass notation.

    The numbers indicate intervals to sound above the written bass notes, so they also reveal the inversion, and the numbers are abbreviated (incomplete) because required or obvious intervals to be played are omitted from the number indication. If you understand intervals and inversions, and know that the numbers may be abbreviations of the full specification, you can interpret them:

    - first inversion of a triad is called a 6 chord

    C E G fundamental position, E G C first inversion,
    Complete number mark would be "6/3" meaning from top down
    play 6th above the bass note (C is a 6th above E)
    play 3rd above the bass note (G is a 3rd above E)
    ... abbreviated to just "6" because the G is obvious
    If you play piano it is clear why this is natural and easy

    Have fun with the rest...

    - the second inversion of a triad is called a 6/4 chord
    - the first inversion of a seventh chord is called a 6/5 chord
    - the second inversion of a seventh chord is called a 4/3 chord
    - the third inversion of a seventh chord is called a 2 chord
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  28. #27

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    Interesting ,
    You won't see many figured bass symbols in jazz charts ....

    -------------------------------

    re the C6/9 chord
    eg x3223x or x32233
    'take a walk on the wild side'

    i just write C69

    I keep the / for 'slash chords' (chord over bass note) duties
    C/D = Ctriad over a D note

    All good , carry on .....

  29. #28

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    I've met Herbie Flowers, he ran clubs in Brighton.

    That bass line in WOTWS is actually two bass lines. He overdubbed the stand-up bass with an electric bass line in harmony with it. But it was his idea. Apart from that, he's doing some lovely stuff on that tune. He was a jazzer, after all.



    When I was young, me and some friends hired an isolated cottage in Wales for a week. We only took one album with us - Transformer. It was great :-)

  30. #29

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    herbie flowers.."old jazzer" brilliant bass player...played on so many iconic tunes...

    with his 1960 lake placid jazz bass bought at mannys nyc for 79$!!!

    what a great!




    cheers

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmp View Post
    So I guess now I'm questioning why isn't a "C6/9" (1-3-5-6-9), not expressed as C6add9 - because it doesn't include the minor 7. (unless the "/" is another way of expressing "and")

    And if it did include the minor 7, how would that chord be written? C9add6?
    This chord is usually used in place of a major 7 chord, not a dominant 7 chord. If you add a major or minor 7 to a 6/9 chord it would become a major 13 or a dominant 13.

    Since a 6 chord won't have a 7 in it, the 6/9 doesn't imply the 7. You might encounter a 6add9 and it would mean the same, but it's not as standard nomenclature as 6/9.

    Sometimes a 6/9 will be used in place of I and IV in a major blues, but rarely as a V7 chord.

    I do include the 3rd in most of my 6/9 voicings, because it is a major chord and often that major tonality does need to be implied.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo View Post
    This chord is usually used in place of a major 7 chord, not a dominant 7 chord... (6/9 chord).
    Yep!

    I rarely play a hard major7th chord except for a few tunes, rather like the 6/9 much more for most Jazz, (but like the maj9 chord in Bossa tunes).
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."