View Full Version : practising chords, part 3

06-22-2002, 07:07 AM
hi everyone, i am back for more!i seriously love this forum!!!
anyway here we go. i have been studing chord formulas and how to create them on the fretboard instead of always looking them up in a chord book.before i go on i must say that if any other novice player wants to further themselves , learning to create chords is extremely benificial and has helped me HEAPS!! i have attached a diagram with this thread to help with the question and i sure hope that it appears on the thred. fig.1 is a C major barre chord using the A form barre. the position is on the 3rd fret with the root on the A string.(very common).fig.2 is the same thing with the intervals from the root C included instead of the notes. ok, now i picked up my guitar and freted this chord and i thought i will just muck around and create some chords. it didnt matter if they sounded terrible or if the fingerings were difficult,i just thought it would be good practise. now the formula for this chord is R-3-5,but what i noticed was the ACTUAL 3rd interval, on the D string is not used, because it is behind the barre, so the 3rd an octave up is used instead. so i thought its the same note just at a higher pitch and the formula is still correct. OR IS IT? the formula asks for a major third from the ROOT. now i can see that it IS a major 3rd from the octave on the G string, which is also a root but it got me thinking a little. now if we had enough fingers we could fret this chord in the same position on the guitar but instead use the ACTUAL 3rd from the root C on the A string and not the 3rd up an octave. fine, but the chord would sound different to the other and still be called a C major chord. so i came to the conclusion the that formula is correct because it askes for a major third but it does NOT specifiy WHICH root. it can be an octave before or after. excelent i thought, that solves that !!.not quite,because then came the question of why do we have 9ths 11 ths and so forth,i mean they are only 2nd and 4th intervals up an octave and we can use which ever one we want to create the chord. so now my question is why do we have a ninth chord or a add9 or 11 etc,etc when we could just name them 2nd's or add2 etc. so then i thought i better get on the net and ask you guys cause i was getting a MIGRANE!! ha,ha. before i go i had 1 more question. looking at fig 1. (the C barre chord on the 3rd fret) the root is C on the A string. the 5th is a G on the D string, but the G on the E string is a 4th from the root!!now i know that the G is a 5th from the previous octave but going backwards from my root it is a 4th! so my question is can i use it for constructing say a sus chord or some sort of 11th or do i treat it as a 5th? this thread may sound silly but i dont care if anyone laughs because some times you have to ask silly questions to find what your looking for. so thats it. please dont think of this question from a practical point of veiw because some of the chords may not be frettable or sound crap. so just treat it stictly as theory. i am sorry for writing so much but i am turning into a theory JUNKIE!! thanks again and i would greatly appreciate your reply. Sincerly, Peter

06-22-2002, 12:56 PM
What you actually have here is several 'C' Major triads overlapping. Starting on the 'G' string you have a root inversion triad CEG, starting on the 'D' string you have a second inversion triad GCE. Both of these are in 'Close Voice' meaning no chord tones are skipped going up through the octave. The three inversions of 'C' Major in 'Close Voice' are CEG(root) EGC(1st) GCE(2nd).

The 'C' and 'G' on the on the 'A' and 'D' string along with the 'E' on the 'B' string form an 'Open Voice' root position triad CGE. Do you notice how every other chord tone is skipped through the octaves?
'Open Voice' is a bit harder to pin down because the tones are not restricted to any particular octave, but for the simple ones (the span of less than and Octave plus a sixth) the inversions are CGE(root) GEC(1st) ECG(2nd). You could look at these as though they were built on sixths instead of thirds if you start from the fifth.
As for the naming, the way I understand this is intervals of 1 3 5 7 (seventh chords) use the name from the first octave, but intervals above this 9(2nd) 11(4th) 13(6th) are used when they are added to 7th chords. If you have a Major or Minor triad with an added 2nd or 4th or 6th it is Sus2 Sus4 or 6. The reason is based on the idea that the chords are based on tertiary harmony
which is built of stacked 3rds. The series looks like this: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13, since we have used up all 7 scale tones here there is no neeed to continue further.

Explanation of Diagram:
Speckled notes are roots, Black notes are thirds, dotted notes are 5ths.
Across the top are each possible 'Close Voice' Major triad on each group of 3 adjacent strings. The orentation is top of the diagram is toward the nut, bottom is toward the bridge, right is toward the floor and left is toward your head.
Under each 3 string group is the pattern up the neck on that three string group ( how to connect the above patterns). On the left is the pattern shown on the whole fretboard.

06-22-2002, 01:03 PM
Here are the C Major triads inversions in Tab.