View Full Version : odd chords

04-16-2005, 05:09 PM
Im basically pretty damn good at figuring out powerchords, major chords, and minor chords. Now I think its time I start figuring out songs by bands that use irregular chords.

Im thinking right now John Mayer, Dave Matthews, Maroon 5 (im sure all you shredders out there are big fans of maroon 5 :D)

But anyways any tips before I jump into this to really work on figuring out odd chords such as those that i just mentioned use? Should I just figure out one note of the chords at a time until i have the entire chord figured out or is there some other method you guys suggest?

04-16-2005, 11:28 PM
to be honest i don't see really much methods. It all boils down to personal approach.

One tip i may suggest is to avoid a experimentation approach, althought nothing is wrong with that. In the sense, give a couple of serious listens to the actual chord before actually trying it out on guitar. Rather than trying randomly till its right.

Just a thought though really.

04-17-2005, 05:17 PM
A good ear with basic intervals is a good reccomendation for hearing different chord types.

I could also reccomend a good eartraing program like Ear Master.

04-17-2005, 05:56 PM
IŽm not exactly a "big fan" of Maroon 5, but I do like them ( even had to play "This Love" during some live performance last year ) =)

Anyway, all I can say is that even though there might be an instructional method about this, I recommend to simply learn a lot of songs... you mentioned John Mayer. Get a TAB of some of his songs ( I saw some good ones over at the Powertab-Archive, I believe ), and play them... along to the record and on your own.
Learn a lot of songs, both with basic chords ( triads ) and some more sophisticated ones ( i.e. slash chords etc )
Then get to work: try to figure out the chords of songs by artists like Mayer, KingŽs X, Rush etc. You know what I mean... after a while, youŽll see that your hearing and chord knowledge will improve. YouŽll be able to tell easily whether the chord you hear is a maj or a sus 2 or an add 9 or whatever. It is something that you develop by doing it a lot.
I hear a lot of "cliches" going on, and after teaching a whole lot of popular songs ( where students bring in songs and I figure out the chords during that lesson ) for years, I find it rather easy most of the time to figure out the chords.
So my recommendation is to transcribe a lot of songs and focus on the chords ( i.e. songs where you have acoustic guitars etc... )
Hope this helps

04-18-2005, 04:02 AM
The approaches the guys mentioned before work. Also don't forget to just sit down with a book like (Ted Greene's) Chord Chemistry or (William Leavit's) Modern Method for guitar and simply play on a few chords, don't try to play all of them at once. William Leavit's book is less tempting on this since he presents a few, closely related chords and gives you an example sequence to work on, instead of giving you pages and pages of chords like Ted Greene's does (I still think both books are great). By playing the chord isolatedly you can hear the chord's "identity" . You can tell a Maj7#11 or a dominant#9 easily. Sure, some chords will be trickier than others, but nothing that some repetition won't fix. I'm still working at chord recognition (among countless other aspects of my playing) so don't expect it to be an overnight thing. Be patient and enjoy the different colors that those chords provide. A LOT of times I come up with a grove that gives me an idea for a song (Finishing it it's another story though :p )

I hope this helps some.