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Old 10-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
Caaarrl94
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'The Hendrix chord'

I think the proper name is the E7#9
but it goes
e-------------
B----8-------
G----7-------
D----6-------
A----7-------
E-------------

i'm curious as to how it fits into songwriting.
i'm quite theory noob, so i'm just learning my basic keys now.
Is there any way this chord can be used where a standard E would normally be used etc? (or slide it down 2 frets and were a standard D would be used, for arguments sake)

What key does this chord fit into?
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Old 10-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #2
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Have you ever played a Hendrix song? Where does he use it?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:09 PM   #3
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I didn't know that was a "Hendrix chord". But I do believe that it plays a central role in the song Outside Woman Blues by Cream, so maybe look into that
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:11 PM   #4
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That's a blues chord, is it not?
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #5
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It's a blues chord. A #9 down an octave is a raised 2. This means that (enharmonically) you have a minor 3rd and a major 3rd in the same chord.
It spells out like this:
1 3 5 b7 #9
E G# B D Fx(or G natural, enharmonically.. but for the sake of spelling the chord, a 9th above E would be an F of some sort)

Put in order it looks
1 #9 3 5 b7
E Fx G# B D

Now play the first 3 notes of the thing above by sliding into the G# from the Fx then back down the E. See how it has that "blusey" sound? Thats where that chord comes from. It's basically just telling you you can use a minor or major 3rd in the melody as you wish.

Because of this, you can use a minor pentatonic scale or the blues scale over the chord, even though both have a minor triad and the chord you're playing over is a major chord.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Check out Purple Haze.You'll see how he uses this chord with low E (open)
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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Incubus 'you'll be a hot dancer' off their first EP uses it as well at the end of a chromatic riff. Great chord to use but it can be a bit iffy to fit in there.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caaarrl94
What key does this chord fit into?

A Minor.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:09 PM   #9
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7#9...such a beautiful chord.

Try it as the I in a blues tune...
Or as the V in a minor key.

V nice.

It's really functional in blues since the min/maj3 are always 'in play', so to speak. The #9 is enharmonically the m3 as previously mentioned...so it 'works' in that regard.

Functioning as a V chord...it's just an alteration of the 9th, which adds color and tension to the chord. Usually would see a 7#9 resolving to tonic in a minor key.
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Last edited by chronowarp : 10-10-2012 at 06:11 PM.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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E7#9 is based off of the altered scale, a.k.a the seventh mode of melodic minor (in this case F melodic minor).

Melodic minor is simply natural minor (6th mode of major) with a #6 and #7.

This chord doesn't exist naturally in any key, since melodic minor isn't a key.

It's usually used as a cadential chord V-i in a minor progression.

Not always though. Check out "Hottentot" by John Scofield as an example of it being used a "tonic" chord.



Also it's pure coincedence that's it's also my username...

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Old 10-10-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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i'm not too good with theory so all this 3rds ,5ths, 7ths, 9ths stuff makes no sense to me yet.

How would any 7#9 chord fit into any key?
would it be interchangeable with for example the I chord? or IV chord?
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:15 PM   #12
Caaarrl94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
7#9...such a beautiful chord.

Try it as the I in a blues tune...
Or as the V in a minor key.

V nice.

It's really functional in blues since the min/maj3 are always 'in play', so to speak. The #9 is enharmonically the m3 as previously mentioned...so it 'works' in that regard.

Functioning as a V chord...it's just an alteration of the 9th, which adds color and tension to the chord. Usually would see a 7#9 resolving to tonic in a minor key.


So, if i was playing in C, would i simply use this chord instead of the C? (obviously i would play it rooted at the 3rd fret)
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E7#9
E7#9 is based off of the altered scale, a.k.a the seventh mode of melodic minor (in this case F melodic minor).
A long time ago, my guitar teacher told me you can, "play two chords together".

For example: G major
e-1 3 P (G4)
B-2 3 R (D4)
G-3 0 (G3)
D-4 0 (D3)
A-5 2 M (A3)
E- 6 3 I (G2)

Move the middle & index fingers up one string each, leave the other 2. The chord becomes Cadd9

Play E major open

e-1 0
B-2 0
G-3 1
D-4 2
A-5 2
E-6 0

Then, add the notes from G major on the e-1 & B-2 strings, you get

e-1 3
B-2 3
G-3 1
D-4 2
A-5 2 < (this note (B3) is in G major also)
E-6 either X or 0

And you get the Hendrix chord.

I know the idea that the "#9 is not intentional will never fly. But you can sum E Major open and G major open, and come up with the very same "Hendrix chord".

Jus' some food for thought, not tryin' to pick a fight...

Last edited by Captaincranky : 10-10-2012 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:52 AM   #14
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Basically just end any blues song with a big ending on the I7#9 (I is symbol for the root).
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ledradiofloyd
I is symbol for the root).

tonic
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caaarrl94
So, if i was playing in C, would i simply use this chord instead of the C? (obviously i would play it rooted at the 3rd fret)

If it were a C blues...perhaps it would be an option.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:48 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ledradiofloyd
Basically just end any blues song with a big ending on the I7#9 (I is symbol for the root).
Or, you could end on a Imaj7! That would turn everybody's head around, and rather quickly....

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
Have you ever played a Hendrix song? Where does he use it?
Foxy Lady, maybe? Purple Haze? Sadly, I wasn't an actual fan.

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Old 10-11-2012, 03:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E7#9
E7#9 is based off of the altered scale, a.k.a the seventh mode of melodic minor (in this case F melodic minor).


I hate to be picky, but I think this statement is really overthinking it. It may be correct, that this chord contains the notes of some random scale (there are only 12 notes after all), but once you identify this, it does not help you at all. However it can cause confusion as to what this means you're supposed to do with it, or any effect that this statement has on the harmonic context.

A basic understanding of keys will reveal that you can play any note you want, any chord you want, and it will largely have zero effect on the harmonic context of the song. This is just another example of this.

Without attempting to delve into the usefulness of the statement, simply by looking at the chord, and at Hendrix's songs, we can safely assume that Hendrix used this as a chord as an alternative to a major chord, and that's about all you need to know.

No melodic minor, no modes or mumbo jumbo.

But in the end it's the "why" did Hendrix use it in places where he did? It's because he thought it sounded cool.
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #19
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ya...but what if the OP wants to know how to approach the chord as an altered dominant?
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Old 10-11-2012, 04:29 AM   #20
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^^^ then he can employ accidentals to accommodate for clashes
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