If a sheet music tells me to play the chord G7(#5 #9), does this mean to just add the #5 and #9? The reason im asking is because i also see a chord in my music that is telling me to (add 13) so i was wondering why the g7(#5,#9) doesnt have the word add. Also in this chord f7(sus) is the sus a sus2 or sus4?
Sus by default is sus4.

G7#5#9 = G-B-D#-F-A#. I think part of the convention is to write "add" only if you're not adding accidentals to added tones. Another way to write (add 13) would be something like G7(13). Conventions of different people *shrug*
^Yep. Just a different convention. It looks neater and more specific in some cases.

"add" is used to imply a higher extension (6,9,11) WITHOUT the lower extensions.

G11 = G B D F A C

Gadd11 = G B D C

^Except this chord is ACTUALLY G/C. Yet another issue in 11 chords.

Add 13 would just be 6. We'd either say G6 or G add6. G13 is the full blown 13 chord.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
^huh?

As soon as you put the 7 in there it becomes a G11 (the lower extensions being optional). But if you wanted to specify a particular voicing then it would be something like G7(11) or similar.

If I saw Gadd11 I would expect no seventh.

And as you said add13 would just be 6. Because there's no seventh before the six we know that there 6 is not an extension past the seventh so don't need to include the "add" in the label.

G6 = Gadd13 while G13 = the full blown 13 chord.

Maybe it's a jazz thing and everything is a dom7??

EDIT:

Also G7(#5#9) would be an altered dominant wouldn't it?

So the #5 would not be in addition to the 5 of the G7 but is an instruction to sharp the fifth.

The chord would be 1 3 #5 b7 #9 = G B D# F A#

?? ?? Wouldn't it?
Si
^Yes. That's my bad, consider it edited.

Jazz disease = I assume everything is a 7.

The problem with G B D C is that it likely isn't a G chord. That's why regular 11 chords are weird.

The chord GBDFC would be G7 (add 11), but you don't ever see that one either for the same reasons. It isn't harmonically clear.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
What about the #5 in parenthesis - is that an altered dominant as suggested in my edit? or is it an extra added note on top of the fifth? I genuinely don't know because my jazz is weak and I don't encounter enough altered dominants.
Si
It is an altered dominant - but I wouldn't notate it that way.

That chord would ideally look like G7#5 (#9), general convention is to keep the tensions in parentheses, as the altered fifth is a different type of chord.

Now it's possible that chord is G7 (#9, b13) but that's a rare chord. The chord OP has is more than likely an altered dominant.

G7#5 (#9) = G B D# F A#(Bb)
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
I agree. I see the parentheses as indicating the G7 is altered, but the choice of alterations (#5 and/or #9, maybe b5 or b9) is up to the player. Omitting both the #5 and #9 might be OK (root-3rd-7th is always safe), but it would be important not to play a perfect 5th or unaltered 9th.
The context is usually a good guide as to the best alterations to apply (maybe they're in the melody, or maybe they offer good voice-leading between chords either side).
Last edited by jongtr at Jul 20, 2015,
^Sure.

The way I look at it is intent and context. I'm reading through the chart and I see G7 (#5 #9). The composer intended the tensions in parentheses, so I need to play that or an acceptable sub/alteration, so I come to a few conclusions when choosing a chord/voicing/solo and choose appropriately.

So, in a sense, I don't see the #5 and #9 as optional per se, but as a guideline as to what kind of harmony I need to pop in there. Playing plain old G7 would be less than accurate, as would G7#11.

In other words, you don't need to play #5 or #9, but you need to play a dominant from the same color family as the one the writer intended. If G7#5 (#9) is 'green', I can use any shade of 'green' I want, but it better not be a 'pink' G13.

If that makes sense.

Also, not to overly complicate, but:

That chord could very well be an improperly written b13 instead. Different implication/color entirely.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Cleared up a lot of things. ty all
jet...yes..I would consider it an "alt" chord...to me it means its "crunchy" and not a smooth sounding "pink-G13" feel..most times when I see a (chord) its giving the guitarist a choice in the arrangement..lead sheet writers do this a lot for studio/recording sessions..the basic harmony may be a simple G7..but it could be "spiced up" with the "alt" option and not interfere with the arrangement as written and not clash with the melody at that point..perhaps and more than likely its a ii7-V7(alt)cadence or part of a turnaround.
play well

wolf
^Bingo.

Context, Destination, and Intent are everything.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Quote by Jet Penguin
^Yes. That's my bad, consider it edited.

Jazz disease = I assume everything is a 7.

The problem with G B D C is that it likely isn't a G chord. That's why regular 11 chords are weird.

The chord GBDFC would be G7 (add 11), but you don't ever see that one either for the same reasons. It isn't harmonically clear.

In bluegrass banjo, those are both very common, though it tends to be a D or E rather than G since G and A are much more common keys than C in bluegrass.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
^Right, but are both the B and the C 'true' chord tones, or is it more of a melodic "roll" type idea?

That's a legit question I'm not being snippy. My knowledge of bluegrass is only a working one.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
I guess they're not really "true" chord tones but the tonic note is arbitrarily added to every chord, functioning as more of a drone than anything.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
Ok cool. Usually we don't count most pedal-tone type things as chord tones in my field.

I do agree that that 'false' 11 sound is used sometimes though, and is a cool effect. I just see it as a G or G7 with elaborations; that C doesn't make a new harmony in my mind.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp