Basic Chord Theory III

author: CPDmusic date: 08/10/2010 category: chords
rating: 9.2 / votes: 20 
Intro: Hello, and welcome to part 3 of Basic Chord Theory. Today's lesson is a very special one, as we will be constructing chords that venture outside one octave! That's right, today we're learning about chords that have compound intervals in them, namely ninth and eleventh chords. We will also be looking at the difference between chords like C9 and Cadd9. Enjoy! The Add 9 Chord: First, we will learn the add 9 chord (not to be mixed up with the ninth chord). The thing about add 9's, or add 11's, or add anything's, is that it is one of those things that is justadded to a chord. In all these examples, I will be constructing major add-whatever's, but feel free to do the same with minor chords as well. So, to start, the major add 9 chord goes like this: 1 3 5 9 So, lets use that knowledge to construct a Cadd9 chord, starting with C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Next, we would add the third note of the C major scale, being E:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Than we would add the fifth note of the C major scale, G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--0----||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
And then finally, we would add the ninth note of the C major scale. WHAT! The C major scale only has eight notes! Yes, but then it repeats, just an octave higher. So, the ninth note of the C major scale would be D, just one octave higher than the D that is the second note of the C major scale:
E||-------||
B||--3----||
G||--0----||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
And there you have it, a Cadd9 chord! You may notice that this chord is just a major chord with a ninth added on, thus the name Cadd9. The added ninth adds dissonance to the chord. So, if your just adding a ninth, than a minor add 9 would work the same way just with a minor chord: 1 b3 5 9 Which in the end would be played like this:
E||-------||
B||--3----||
G||--0----||
D||--1----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
I'd also like to remind you that you can change the order of the notes, as well as add more notes. For example, I like to play my Cadd9 with an added high G, making it C E G D G, or:
E||--3----||
B||--3----||
G||--0----||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Try experimenting with different notes. The ninth chord: Next, we are going to learn the ninth chord, which is very similar to the add 9 chord. It is played like this: 1 3 5 b7 9 So, lets now construct a C9 chord, starting with C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||-------||
E||--8----||
Than E:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Than G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Next, we'd add the flattened seventh note of the C major scale, be Bb:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
And than finally, we would add the ninth note of the C major scale, which we already know is the second octave D:
E||-------||
B||--3----||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
So, there is a C9 chord. But wait! It's the dreaded 3 to 8 fret stretch from part 2! Remember, rearrange the notes until it works. One way to play a C9 chord is C D Bb E G. You will notice that this no longer makes the D a second octave, which doesn't matter either! This C9 chord is played like this:
E||--3----||
B||--5----||
G||--3----||
D||--0----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
One thing you may notice here is that while the Cadd9 was just a major chord with an added ninth, the C9 is a seventh chord with an added ninth. But there is more of a trend behind it, a trend you can't see without looking at the add11 and 11 chords first. So, lets check them out! The Add 11 Chord: The third chord we will learn today is the add 11 chord. It is also very similar to the major chord, and goes like this: 1 3 5 11 So, lets now construct a Cadd11 chord, starting with C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Than E:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Then G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--0----||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
And then finally, the eleventh note of the C major scale, F:
E||-------||
B||--6----||
G||--0----||
D||--2----||
A||--3----||
E||-------||
Now, this is one way to play a Cadd11 chord, although the standard way (or at least the way I usual play it) is like this:
E||--3----||
B||--3----||
G||--5----||
D||--5----||
A||--3----||
E||--3----||
In the above chord, the note order is C F C E G, meaning it has all of and only the notes in the Cadd11 chord (C E G and F). We will examine this chord more closely after learning about the eleventh chord. The Eleventh Chord: The eleventh chord is very similar to the ninth chord, and only has one extra note. It goes like this: 1 3 5 b7 9 11 So, lets use this information to construct a C11 chord, starting with C:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||-------||
E||--8----||
Than E:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||-------||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Than G:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||-------||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Next, we would add the flat seventh, Bb:
E||-------||
B||-------||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Now we would add the ninth note of the C major, D:
E||-------||
B||--3----||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
And then finally the eleventh note, F:
E||--1----||
B||--3----||
G||--3----||
D||--5----||
A||--7----||
E||--8----||
Now, this is probably not the easiest way to play a C11 chord. The easiest way would be to play it C F Bb E G D, making it this:
E||--10----||
B||---8----||
G||---9----||
D||---8----||
A||---8----||
E||---8----||
And there you go, four more chords you can add to your arsenal! But, before I wrap this lesson up, there is one more important thing to look at. Add Chords vs. Compound Chords: One more important thing to know is the difference between add chords, like Cadd9, and standard compound chords, like C9. Well, to easily determine that difference, we need to encompass all the knowledge we just learned. So, lets review the four chords we learned today: Add9 = 1 3 5 9 9 = 1 3 5 b7 9 Add11 = 1 3 5 11 11 = 1 3 5 b7 9 11 Now that we have compiled all that data into one table, you may be able to see the pattern. If not, lets break it down. Let's start by looking at JUST the add chords: Add9 = 1 3 5 9 Add11 = 1 3 5 11 The main thing you should notice here is that it is just a major chord with the named interval just added one, thus the name. Both the add9 and add11 chords have three things in common: the 1, the 3, and the 5. That 1 3 and 5 are the major chord, as we already know. Now, the add9 chord also has a 9, while the add11 chord doesn't have a 9, but an 11 instead. So, the name becomes pretty obvious now; for an add chord, you just add the named interval. So, in that sense, an add13 chord would go: 1 3 5 13 That's the most important thing to remember, in add chords, you simply add the named note to a standard chord, whether it be major or minor. (a minor add9 would just be 1 b3 5 9). Now, lets look at JUST the compound chords: 9 = 1 3 5 b7 9 11 = 1 3 5 b7 9 11 What you should notice is that these don't just add the interval to the major or minor chord; these chords follow a pattern, and add on to that pattern. This pattern can almost be looked at as counting by two's, and can even be extended to the seventh chord. We start with a major chord: 1 3 5 (counting by two's). Than, the seventh chord: 1 3 5 b7 (the seven is the only one that isn't natural in this pattern). Than, the ninth chord: 1 3 5 b7 9 (still counting by two's). And than finally, the eleventh chord: 1 3 5 b7 9 11. Now, with that information, it's impossible to play a thirteenth chord (or higher!) on a standard six string guitar, as it would have seven notes: 1 3 5 b7 9 11 13. But, it is possible to play an add13 chord, as it just has four notes: 1 3 5 13. Outro: So, that's all for today's lesson. The only thing left to do is to add this chord to our ever-growing chord theory table. M = 1 3 5 m = 1 b3 5 Aug = 1 3 #5 Dim = 1 b3 b5 7 = 1 3 5 b7 7M = 1 3 5 7 m7 = 1 b3 5 b7 m7M = 1 b3 5 7 Add9 = 1 3 5 9 9 = 1 3 5 b7 9 Add11 = 1 3 5 11 11 = 1 3 5 b7 9 11 And remember, all the above chords, including our four newly learned chords, can be made from the major chord in some way, making memorization much easier. So, that's all for part 3 of Basic Chord Theory. I may take a break from writing for a week or so (maybe!), but part four should be out in no time! Did You Like This Lesson? Check Out All My Lessons Here. More Lessons Coming Soon!
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