#1
I have a music test coming up and I don't 100% understand how to identify chords just by looking at them. I don't know many chords, but I need to be able to tell which is which looking at them. So how can you look at a chord and say alright with these notes it would make it this..
If someone can explain it or point me to someplace that has good lessons or so I would really appreciate it.
Thanks
#3
musictheory.net, click on exercises, Chord Identification, set the settings how you want them, and click start exercise at the bottom.

This doesn't actually teach you how to do it, it's more of testing you after you already know how to do it, but they do have lessons on it under lessons, I don't know how good those are though.
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#4
Are we talking written music or off a fretboard (or even by ear)?

I will assume you mean written notes (not tablature). Your best bet is to identify the lowest note in the chord, as this is more often than not the root of the chord. I'd say at the level you seem to be at, this will probably always be the case.

Once you have the root, you can identify the other notes in terms of there numbers in the scale. If you bottom note is a C (I), and you have a E (III) and a G (V), then you've got yourself a major chord. If the third (the III or E in this case) is flattened, then it becomes a minor chord.

How complex are the chords you're supposed to be able to identify?
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#5
It would be setup on a guitar. Something like that.
eBGDAE
| | | | | |
2320 x x

And the chords would be something like F7, G7 root 6, Bb7, Dm, C#5, ect. I understand the 5 chords, because they are simply just power chords but the other ones are more confusing.
Last edited by Splagl at Jun 20, 2010,
#6
Quote by Splagl
It would be setup on a guitar. Something like that.
eBGDAE
| | | | | |
2320 x x


Well if it's set up like that, don't use musictheory.net... Do you know all the notes on the fretboard yet?
Quote by leg end

"Roses are red,
Violets are bitchin'
Goddammit woman,
get back in the kitchen"
#7
Yeah I do, it just takes a while to get it. I know where all the natural notes are so from there I normally just go find the others.
#8
Do you know what different intervals look like on the guitar?
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#9
Quote by Splagl
It would be setup on a guitar. Something like that.
eBGDAE
| | | | | |
2320 x x

And the chords would be something like F7, G7 root 6, Bb7, Dm, C#5, ect. I understand the 5 chords, because they are simply just power chords but the other ones are more confusing.


You just have to get used to seeing patterns, recognising intervals etc. Which comes through practice.

First thing is to learn both chord construction theory and where all the notes on the neck are.
#10
Learn to recognize intervals.

| |
32 is major 3rd,
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31 is minor 3rd,
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35 is 5th, etc...

And remember that the intervals look different between G and B strings.
But you should really learn the theory as well. That is what will make this the easiest.
Last edited by rhcpfan93 at Jun 20, 2010,
#11
Quote by Splagl
It would be setup on a guitar. Something like that.
eBGDAE
| | | | | |
2320 x x
Well what you do here is dissect it.

First you determine that it contains D A D F# (from low to high). D is the root, so first check to see if it makes a chord in root position.

From D, A is a perfect fifth and F# is a major third. This leaves us with 1 3 5 (on D), which is a D major chord.
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