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Old 08-11-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
SmilesAndGimps
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Usage of more complex chords

I'm wondering the usage of these more complex chords, like 9ths, 11ths, b13, and so on. To me, they just sound like murkier dominant 7ths. Is there specific theory behind them, I mean like how a dom7 builds tension and resolves a fifth lower? Or are they just passing tones as the melody dictates? I guess I need to study more classical music! Thanks guys
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:15 PM   #2
griffRG7321
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You'll rarely find a true 11th or 13th in baroque/classical music. Those notes are used as harmonic/melodic decoration in the form of suspensions, appoggiaturas, passing notes etc.

Study counterpoint and learn to play some basic Mozart minuets on piano or something.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:35 PM   #3
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Over time, your ear will develop and you'll get better at hearing the specific sound of each given type of chord. Just like a dom7 chord doesn't just sound like a major chord with an extra note, it sort of has it's own thing going, the same goes for these other chords.

I'm pretty comfortable with 9th and m9 chords, but feel the way you do about some others. Don't try to learn them all at once - learn a couple, work with them, and only once you've internalized the sound and they start to feel intuitive add some other ones.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:11 PM   #4
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they make a lot more sense to the ear when they are working with a melody. try treating the extensions like suggestions for the melody.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:36 PM   #5
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yea those are all fun little chords it depends what you like the sound of though and what you want to sound like, and what notes you want to run through to use those chords to support it i mean for me 7th chords and dom7 chords just sound to ****ing good not to use ever they just have that bite to them plain old triads do not have.
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Old 08-11-2013, 10:37 PM   #6
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I think 9th, 11ths, & 13ths are mainly used in Jazz. I can't think of any classical examples of a use of 11th or 13ths.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:27 AM   #7
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9th and 13th chords are used in like All funk style playing
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Old 08-12-2013, 04:46 AM   #8
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If you are looking into more complex chords like that i would suggest looking into jazz and fusion music, there are tons of obscure chords in there which will take you ages to figure out how they work with eachother.

There is theory behind it. I am not good enough to explain it all in one simple message here, nor do i have the time for it, but i recommend a book called "The jazz theory book" by Mark Levine. THE BEST theory book i own, and probably the only one i will need for the rest of my life.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:49 AM   #9
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Yeah look into Jazz as had been said, and you'll get a better understanding. Classical won't help with this.

Also i'm assuming when you play a dominant 9th on the guitar, you'll play 1 3 5 b7 9? Usually a few notes are omitted, so that you'll end up playing 1 3 b7 9, or maybe even just 3 b7 9.
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Old 08-12-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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Thanks y'all, jazz is where it's at, no doubt. It's high time I buy a good theory book anyway and stop trying to figure it out on my own!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim-Blink182
Also i'm assuming when you play a dominant 9th on the guitar, you'll play 1 3 5 b7 9? Usually a few notes are omitted, so that you'll end up playing 1 3 b7 9, or maybe even just 3 b7 9.


I've been delving into keyboard a bit more while learning theory, since as you said a lot of notes end up dropped on guitar for obvious reasons (six string guitar cannot play a seven note 13 chord, haha). On guitar I've always used those extensions as additions usually dropping seventh, but lately I've been trying to break the norm.
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Old 08-12-2013, 05:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim-Blink182
Yeah look into Jazz as had been said, and you'll get a better understanding. Classical won't help with this.

Also i'm assuming when you play a dominant 9th on the guitar, you'll play 1 3 5 b7 9? Usually a few notes are omitted, so that you'll end up playing 1 3 b7 9, or maybe even just 3 b7 9.

If you're playing solo (as opposed to with a band or another guitarist or a bassist or whatever), playing 3 b7 9 doesn't really work. What that ends up as is 1 b5 7, because assuming that the original 3 is in the bass/is the root, then it is actually the 1. Thus, the other notes move down 2 intervals accordingly.

Of course, if you're playing with a band, then the bass player typically would play the 1, and the guitar is free to just play the 3 b7 9.
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Last edited by crazysam23_Atax : 08-12-2013 at 05:25 PM.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:57 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazysam23_Atax
If you're playing solo (as opposed to with a band or another guitarist or a bassist or whatever), playing 3 b7 9 doesn't really work. What that ends up as is 1 b5 7, because assuming that the original 3 is in the bass/is the root, then it is actually the 1. Thus, the other notes move down 2 intervals accordingly.

Of course, if you're playing with a band, then the bass player typically would play the 1, and the guitar is free to just play the 3 b7 9.

I was talking about in a band setting, hope I didn't confuse anyone! Because yeah if you're playing solo then of course you have to incorporate the root note in.
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:11 PM   #13
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Thanks again for the direction, I dug out an old jazz theory book I forgot I had. It's super basic, but just having some progressions with those extended chords in them to play through is already helping me to hear the differences! Well done MT forum, well done.
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