#1
How do you name a chord that involves only 2 notes, like B seventh fret and and e seventh fret?
#4
Quote by tyler_j
It's an interval. A perfect 5th, I believe.


If E is the root, it's a fifth, if b is the root it's a fourth.
#5
Fourths and Fifths are just reflections of each other!

Also, a "power" chord, which is just a harmonic fifth interval, has an inherent major quality due to how low the Maj3 is in the overtone series. Especially when it's distorted.

at least, that's what they say.
Last edited by chronowarp at Dec 15, 2012,
#9
Quote by ChucklesMginty
How does this work then if you're playing a minor triad?


Whatcha mean?

I think part of why a minor chord is historically "dark" or "dooming" is because of the internal dissonance of the M3 overtone w/ the root and the m3 of the chord. At least that's what Leonard Bernstein told me.
#10
Quote by MaXiMuse
I think you mean B5.

Um no. It's E5. If it were B5, then instead of E you would have F#.
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#12
Quote by chronowarp
Also, a "power" chord, which is just a harmonic fifth interval, has an inherent major quality due to how low the Maj3 is in the overtone series. Especially when it's distorted.

at least, that's what they say.


But...... What?

I dont think omitting the third can imply any major/minor quality. At least not if you're playing just a 1st and 5th.

I could be wrong though, it has been a long ass time since Ive been here, or anywhere near music theory.

(Seriously though, way to ****ing long.)
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#13
Quote by vampirelazarus
But...... What?

I dont think omitting the third can imply any major/minor quality. At least not if you're playing just a 1st and 5th.

I could be wrong though, it has been a long ass time since Ive been here, or anywhere near music theory.

(Seriously though, way to ****ing long.)

OF course it can.
When you play a pitch you aren't just hearing the fundamental, the overtones have a significant role in how you perceive pitch. The maj3 is extremely low in the overtone series, and because of that it's much more prominent.

Overdriving a signal brings out the harmonics even more...so ya, I mean a basic power chord does have a sort of inherent major quality - not anywhere to the same effect as if you were audibly playing the third, however.
#14
What are the other instruments playing at the same time? What is played before and after it? Guitar isn't the only instrument that affects the harmony. And that fifth will become a chord when you add the other instruments. But without the other instruments and any other notes played before or after it, it's a B5.

For example the note before or after this could be D. Then it would be B minor. Or if the other instruments were playing D#, it would be B major.

And guys who are saying it's E5: Look at the first post. It says 7th fret on B string (F#) and 7th fret on E string (B).
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#15
There's a fair bit of crap being spouted in this thread, enough for me not to know where to start with it all!!!
#16
Context is how you name it, like what maggaramarine was talking about in his post. Naming a chord is kind of like trying to define a word that has several different meanings. You can give a rough approximation just by looking at it, but until you see it in context it's just a guess.
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#17
choronowarp is absolutely correct about the M3 overtone but it is very suttle. as for the other questions in this thread, you are mostly correct in your assumptions. If you're playing a minor third along with the 1 + 5, that M3 overtone doesn't dissapear but becomes all but irrelevant, being completely overwhelmed by the harmony implied by the notes that are present. Not to mention the minor 3rd interval has overtones of its own, including the M3 which coincidentally matches the 5th of the chord now.

But wait, if each pitch has a M3 overtone, wouldnt an actual major 3rd interval have a M3 overtone, making that overtone augmnted to the root. Yup, but the major chord still is the most harmonically stable chord, and this should give you an idea of how little of an effect these overtones really have. I think what chrono was getting at was if the 3rd is omitted you the presence of the interval gains a bit of influence. And when you start getting 4+ pitches in a chord then there are so many overtones you can have notes that fall well out of the scale. Therefore, I would never assume any chord is anything else then the pitches purposely being played, anymore then I would think of each individual note as a major chord (because overtones create just that).

As for context that is another thing completly. Of course if you are in a situation where you play a double stop or 4/5 diad, you can simply analyse the key/scale and figure out what chord that could potentially be, but that still doesnt make it that chord, and there's probably a reason that note was omitted
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#18
The 3rd of a chord determines whether it is major or minor. Period. You may be using only 'power chords' in a song and it sound either happy or sad, but that is due to the scale you are using, not the 'chords' themselves. Without the 3rd, they are inherently neutral.
#19
Quote by gunsnroses#1
The 3rd of a chord determines whether it is major or minor. Period. You may be using only 'power chords' in a song and it sound either happy or sad, but that is due to the scale you are using, not the 'chords' themselves. Without the 3rd, they are inherently neutral.

Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.
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#20
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.


But this is due to conditioning, not the inherent quality of the chord. We've been so spoon fed I IV V progressions and diatonic contexts that our ears fill those sounds in even when they aren't present. Take a piece which shifts quickly through contexts but remove the thirds, anyone who isn't conditioned to that music would have no way of knowing major or minor implications.

An interval of a 5th so overwhelmingly reinforces the root that we hear it as "perfect."
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#21
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.


Indeed sir, but (to my understanding at least) we are discussing whether they themselves are chords. I agree that in a song you can tell whether the song is major or minor, but power chords themselves (no other instrument playing, no vocals, etc.) are not chords and are neither major nor minor.
#22
Quote by Artemis Entreri
But this is due to conditioning, not the inherent quality of the chord. We've been so spoon fed I IV V progressions and diatonic contexts that our ears fill those sounds in even when they aren't present. Take a piece which shifts quickly through contexts but remove the thirds, anyone who isn't conditioned to that music would have no way of knowing major or minor implications.

An interval of a 5th so overwhelmingly reinforces the root that we hear it as "perfect."


Agreed
#23
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Unless there are other instruments playing. And still if you played a chord progression with power chords only (without any other instruments), for example C5, A5, F5, G5, you would hear it as C major, A minor, F major, G major. Even if you played them as single notes, you would hear the same. Of course they could all be majors or minors. But at first you will hear the most usual progression. The chords can have a function even if they were power chords. In this case the power chords use notes C, G; A, E; F, C; G, D - that's C major scale without B. So you hear the notes in the chords before the chord and after the chord and that way you can hear the other chord tones. Also you can hear which chord is the tonic (resolution) and the other chord functions. When the power chords have a context, you can pretty much figure whether they are major or minor.

No, you don't hear them as the minor or major without the 3rd, you just here the power chord. You're mind just doesn't create notes to fill in the spaces based on music theory. What happens in the situations where borrowed chords are used? For example n Stairway, the key is A minor but the D chord is major, using a non-diatonic F# as a third because it sounds better in context. This is a common theme in a lot of music, particularly in minor keys, the IV and/or V is often major, borrowed from the parallel major scale.
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#24
^ and what I mean by that is there would be plenty of situations where a power chord is used, and if there were a 3rd to be used, the non-diatonic option may be more suitable, so to claim that our ears would simply create what is diatonic is rather absurd.
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#25
Quote by Wiegenlied
^ and what I mean by that is there would be plenty of situations where a power chord is used, and if there were a 3rd to be used, the non-diatonic option may be more suitable, so to claim that our ears would simply create what is diatonic is rather absurd.

I didn't talk about non diatonic or diatonic chords. For example let's take Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses. The outro progression is E5-G5-A5-C5-D5. The way I hear it is E minor, G major, A major, C major, D major. So A major is a non diatonic chord but there's no third played and I can still hear it as A major (even though I have heard versions that have an A minor chord). The A major just fits it better. And power chords do have a function. Not always though. But if I play E5-G5-A5-C5-D5, they do have a function. You can hear the chord changing, even though they aren't necessarily major or minor. And I would hear the A5 as major (non diatonic chord).
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#27
Quote by MaggaraMarine
I didn't talk about non diatonic or diatonic chords. For example let's take Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N' Roses. The outro progression is E5-G5-A5-C5-D5. The way I hear it is E minor, G major, A major, C major, D major. So A major is a non diatonic chord but there's no third played and I can still hear it as A major (even though I have heard versions that have an A minor chord). The A major just fits it better. And power chords do have a function. Not always though. But if I play E5-G5-A5-C5-D5, they do have a function. You can hear the chord changing, even though they aren't necessarily major or minor. And I would hear the A5 as major (non diatonic chord).


Son, a V/V is hardly a complex function. Your ears are conditioned to hear that. Am would be diatonic and A major would be a secondary dominant function which is a spicier, more "out there" way of doing the same thing. You've done nothing but prove my point that it's conditioned. Power chords hardly have a function on their own but they certainy IMPLY one which is not to be taken for granted. You hear the V to I motion of the D to G and your brain fills in the scale degree movement of 7 to 1 since we're so used to the dominant effect. Everything you listen to is based on tonic to sub dominant to dominant back to tonic movement, it's natural.

I'm studying a masters in composition and I've taken a healthy dosage of 6 years of theory classes. No one can deny what YOU hear but I can tell you it's a result of conditioning and not acoustic science.
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