#1
Hi guys and lady guys,

I need some theory gurus help with this one.

Basically, I'm learning sight reading. Now I have no issue with identifying and playing melodies. But chords are my kryptonite.

Now I'm currently using the Ricci Adams' music theory site for my knowledge and using the trainers on their to hone my skills. But when it comes to the chord trainer, the knowledge I have seems to not be applicable.

For example: A triad had no accidentals, and I dont think the key signature applied to any of the notes in the chord. So I pressed the major button, and that was wrong. So that confused me a bit.

So I went on the lesson, and the method on there for working out a chord was to count up in half steps (4 to get to the major third and 7 to get to the perfect fifth). This was all used with a keyboard to demonstrate the intervals. But for some reason, my mind doesn't like that way of working it out and take a while to figure out a simple chord.

What are your ways to identify chords on staffs?

Thanks
Last edited by Liam616 at Nov 7, 2011,
#2
Reading this reminds me of the fact that my musical knowledge is not as good as I want it to be...
#3
Quote by Liam616
For example: A triad had no accidentals, and I dont think the key signature applied to any of the notes in the chord. So I pressed the major button, and that was wrong. So that confused me a bit.

That won't always mean it's major. Am, Dm, Bdim, and so forth have no accidentals. Conversely, some major chords won't be comprised of just natural notes, such as D major, E major, Gb major, etc.
Quote by Liam616
What are your ways to identify chords on staffs?

I think the thirds approach is better than counting semitones. For example, you'd know that a major chord is build with a major third between the bottom two notes and a minor third between the top two. A C major triad is comprised of a major third (C-E) and a minor third above it (E-G). A minor chord simply inverts those relationships; A minor is a minor third (A-C) with a major third on top of it (C-E). An augmented triad is two major thirds (C-E-G# for example), and a diminished triad is two minor thirds (C-Eb-Gb).

Honestly, for me it just comes down to knowing chords. I can look at something and just know what the chord is - it comes with practice, so just keep exposing yourself to chord theory and sheet music and drill it into your brain.
#4
i look at intervals as shapes. a power chord is a root/fifth/root, and a bar chord is a root/fifth/root/third/fifth/octave. once you figure out what shape each interval is, you can make a lot of really cool chords.
#5
I think you forgot not all notes have the same distance between them. Does the distance E-F and B-C remind you of something? The site should have covered it in one the early lessons I think.
If you can't remember try this: Sing the scale of C major. That's the only major scale without accidentals. Notice a difference between the notes I mentioned earlier?
If you still don't hear the difference, play the scale on your guitar on only 1 snare. That should be clear enough.

Suppose that was not what you forgot, I don't really know what could be the problem. It's just exercise I suppose. It took me a long time to fully understand chords. But it really is worth the effort. So don't give up!
lalala
#6
Quote by Liam616
So I went on the lesson, and the method on there for working out a chord was to count up in half steps (4 to get to the major third and 7 to get to the perfect fifth). This was all used with a keyboard to demonstrate the intervals. But for some reason, my mind doesn't like that way of working it out and take a while to figure out a simple chord.

What are your ways to identify chords on staffs?

Thanks

In root position chords, the easiest way to identify them (for me), is to remember that stacked thirds always occupy adjacent spaces (or lines), on the staff.

Inversions may take a bit longer to get used to.

The best way to develop rapid identification is to practice using SATB, aka Four Part Chords. This will really hone not only your chord identification, but also your knowledge of the bass clef. Even if you don't play piano, that's besides the point.
#7
Well, one way you could do it is to recognize the key signature, first.

Say you're in G. Now you know what your seven primary triads are - G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, F#dim.

So whenever you see a basic triad - three notes on adjacent lines or spaces on the staff - you just have to read the root note, and you know what chord it is.

Accidentals then tweak that. So if you're in G, and you see a D chord with a flat on the third, you know that's Dm.
#9
Started taking piano lessons almost a year ago. My method is to look at the intervals on the staff and figure out if I'm playing a regular chord, or if I'm playing an inversion. It's been my experience that piano uses a lot of inversions - more so than guitar.
#10
Quote by :-D

I think the thirds approach is better than counting semitones. For example, you'd know that a major chord is build with a major third between the bottom two notes and a minor third between the top two. A C major triad is comprised of a major third (C-E) and a minor third above it (E-G). A minor chord simply inverts those relationships; A minor is a minor third (A-C) with a major third on top of it (C-E). An augmented triad is two major thirds (C-E-G# for example), and a diminished triad is two minor thirds (C-Eb-Gb).


I'll need to write this down as it seems to make sense.

Quote by HotspurJr
Well, one way you could do it is to recognize the key signature, first.

Say you're in G. Now you know what your seven primary triads are - G, Am, Bm, C, D, Em, F#dim.

So whenever you see a basic triad - three notes on adjacent lines or spaces on the staff - you just have to read the root note, and you know what chord it is.

Accidentals then tweak that. So if you're in G, and you see a D chord with a flat on the third, you know that's Dm.


As does this.


Thanks for the help guys, its time to now put in the practice.
#12
Quote by Ulfe
I don't understand

He's basically attempting to ridicule the previous poster because he doesn't agree with what was said.

Unfortunately, he doesn't go on to state why he disagrees, which says to me that he isn't actually confident in his own knowledge and therefore has no right to judge others.

If he believed the post was wrong, someone with any amount of maturity would have explained the issue and provided the correct information. All he has proven is his own immaturity.
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#13
Oh sorry guys, I thought it would've been obvious! We posted literally at the same time, so by the time I had posted, his one poppd up as well.

Also, we both pretty much said the same thing about the notes on the staff.

That's why I thought it was amusing. Again sorry for any misinterpretation.

Gary, if you care to browse a little deeper in MT, and perhaps even read my post I think you'll find I'm very confident of my knowledge.

I'm one who can apologise very easily, although I doubt others like yourself will be able to swallow their pride to do the same. Must be an ego thing.

Anyhow, an apology would be much appreciated.
Last edited by mdc at Nov 8, 2011,
#14
Quote by mdc
Oh sorry guys, I thought it would've been obvious! We posted literally at the same time, so by the time I had posted, his one poppd up as well.

Also, we both pretty much said the same thing about the notes on the staff.

That's why I thought it was amusing. Again sorry for any misinterpretation.

Gary, if you care to browse a little deeper in MT, I think you'll find I'm very confident of my knowledge.

I'm one who can apologise very easily, although I doubt others like yourself will be able to swallow their pride to do the same. Must be an ego thing.

Anyhow, an apology would be much appreciated.

Maybe - I was only judging that post, I haven't looked at your full history to discover your level of knowledge.

And that's the trouble - nobody else is going to either. They're just going to see your post, see that you're laughing at the previous post and think you're an asshole for laughing at someone without justification. Nobody is going to assume that you're laughing because you posted at the same time as someone else.

I can always swallow my pride & apologise if I post something which is incorrect. In this instance, I'm happy to apologise for the comment about your knowledge (I admit I hadn't noticed you'd posted earlier in the thread), but not the rest of it - all I see is you laughing at a post which seemed fine to me.
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Last edited by GaryBillington at Nov 8, 2011,
#15
Quote by GaryBillington
They're just going to see your post, see that you're laughing at the previous post and think you're an asshole for laughing at someone without justification

Well, it's been justified now that I've explained, and I wasn't laughing at him, I was laughing at the situation.

So are we cool? It's kinda difficult through the mask that be an internet forum.

You don't know me, and I don't know you so... Thanks for apologizing.
#16
Course we're cool - life is too short to worry too much about things like this
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#17
Easy way to do this......


Look at the root, then look at the interval the note above it contains. Ask yourself.....is that note diatonic to the key of the root?

ex.

F
D
B

Heres a B triad. Is D natural in the key of B? No its supposed to be D#! Its been lowed a half step. Is F natural In the key of B? no its supposed to be F#!

So what you really have is

bF
bD
B

Therefore the chord is diminished. Getting good at identifying chords this way is great. Your working on multiple elements of music theory at once....and faster than the bullshit half step method
Last edited by Go0ber at Nov 8, 2011,
#18
Quote by Liam616
Hi guys and lady guys,

I need some theory gurus help with this one.

Basically, I'm learning sight reading. Now I have no issue with identifying and playing melodies. But chords are my kryptonite.



Na, You just need to get more familiar with how they look on the staff.

that takes practice and time.
shred is gaudy music
Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 8, 2011,
#20
Quote by Go0ber


So what you really have is

bF
bD
B

Therefore the chord is diminished. Getting good at identifying chords this way is great. Your working on multiple elements of music theory at once....and faster than the bullshit half step method


Uh....

No it isn't.

B Db Fb is not diminished.

B D F is diminished. Calling a method "BS" is slightly undermined when your own conclusions are wrong.

TS, what the others said about the symmetry of stacked 3rds, is correct for root position triads and extended chords.

One way of recognizing inversions, are the "gaps in chords".

For example a first inversion G, (B D G) will have a wider interval gap. You have a minor 3rd between B and D and a 4th between D and G. Root position triads will always have stacked 3rds.

D B G has a 6th and a minor 6th (second inversion).

Best,

Sean
#21
reading chords in standard notation.

1.neck positions are marked with roman numerals .

they match where you place your index finger.

so a G major barre chord on the 3rd fret would have III above the stave.

2.strings are numbered with a circle around the numbers.

if you was to play "Am9" this way EADGBe:x05500
you may well number the open B string with (2) thats a two inside a circle.
this will tell you to play a open B string.
which then suggest you should find middle C on the G string 5th fret.

3.numbers without circles suggest fretting fingering.

4. font sizes for scores tend to be on the small size. especially for aspiring sight readers.
try to rewrite passages in software such as musescore (its free) then you can create bigger scores of parts to read.also you could invest in some larger stave manuscript paper.
basically if you were learning french you would want to write down phrases , same applies with music !

5.good lighting in the room when you read, prepare , become physically comfortable , not stressed. so you can relax into sight reading.
you would want to read your favorite novel all stressed out ?