#1
Does anyone know of a good online reverse chord finder?

I've tried a few sites, and get a different result from each for the same input. Really frustrating.

I know buggerall about music theory, so trying to explain how I can figure it out myself is a no-go.

Thanks
Frank
#2
There are many, many names for note groups, and some of them are more generally accepted than others, but what dictates the correct name for the chord in context is the theory knowledge, not an automated tool.

This article might be a good primer:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/what_chords_are_in_what_key_and_why.html
(copied from an MT sticky).

You can come back with specific song questions!
#3
As you know, I disagree with the notion that a chord cannot be named in isolation. And if you add in the surrounding context across instruments, that mostly makes it more specific and easier to name. Where more dissension occurs is how chords "foreign" to the key get analysed (Roman numerals), where classical theory mostly judges against the key of a section, whereas jazz theory for example considers several different tonal centres being employed.

I do have something that will do this (emuso TM) ... but it's not on general release quite yet. Very close now.

Most chords can be figured out quite staright-forwardly, and you don't need a load of theory to do this.

Provide the chord shape you're currently stuck with.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
#4
^ never disagreed with that, but there could be multiple names without context, that's all
#5
Quote by jerrykramskoy
As you know, I disagree with the notion that a chord cannot be named in isolation.

Most chords can be figured out quite staright-forwardly, and you don't need a load of theory to do this.

Provide the chord shape you're currently stuck with.

Since I'm self-taught (guitar) and have virtually no Music Theory knowledge, that too is pretty much my view of chords. Hell, most of the time I don't even know what the Key is for the songs I Tab/have Tabbed.

The particular chord that I'm currently stuck with naming is: EADGBE = XX0210

My internet search has netted me 4 different chord names, i.e. D9, Dm9, Am/D and D7sus2

I'd just like to know which one of them (if any) is the most common to go with straight forward Open Chords.

Thanks,
Frank.
#6
^Those are technically all right, because as Neo pointed out, we have no context. We can't narrow it down further. Those 4 notes all work as a voicing for those chords you listed, including the 9th chords, because you can use it as an incomplete voicing.

I wouldn't, because there's no 3rd in there, but that's super irrelevant to this topic.
"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
#7
Since I mostly tab using open chords (with capo placement indicated), I went with Am/D, since it's probably more easily recognizable by amateurs and novices like myself.

However, my original request still stands, re a good online reverse chord finder, since I often seem to have this sort of problem.
Last edited by frankowillo at Oct 2, 2016,
#8
frankowillo

As that voicing stands, the root of the chord is D. The chord is vague as it has no 3rd (no F or F#). It does have a b7 and 9. So, the D9, Dm9 are both making assumptions about the missing 3rd. That depends who or if someone plays the F (so you get Dm9) or F'# (D9)

Of that lot, the D7 sus2 and the Am/D are accurate as it stands.

Add an open A (5th string), the root is A.
Or add a G (6th string), root becomes G
Or add an F (6th string), root becomes F.

Reason being these each form 5ths with notes in the rest of the chord, and lowest 5th wins.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Oct 2, 2016,
#9
Quote by jerrykramskoy
frankowillo

As that voicing stands, the root of the chord is D. The chord is vague as it has no 3rd (no F or F#). It does have a b7 and 9. So, the D9, Dm9 are both making assumptions about the missing 3rd. That depends who or if someone plays the F (so you get Dm9) or F'# (D9)

Of that lot, the D7 sus2 and the Am/D are accurate as it stands.

Add an open A (5th string), the root is A.
Or add a G (6th string), root becomes G
Or add an F (6th string), root becomes F.

Reason being these each form 5ths with notes in the rest of the chord, and lowest 5th wins.
LOL, I honestly appreciate your taking the time to explain in detail, but you completely lost me in all that theory.
I had narrowed my choices down to Am/D or D7sus2, so I went with the one that looked simplest for novices.

If it helps, this is the song I was working on:
https://tabs.ultimate-guitar.com/a/alan_hull/treat_me_kindly_crd.htm
#10
1) it's capo 2
2) your chord doesn't exist in context, it's just Emadd9 with a few elaborations (plus capo, it's F#m)
3) if this is what the conversation has become, just use the "name that chord" thread on top. Or just put yourself in the mindset to learn theory.
#11
Quote by frankowillo
Does anyone know of a good online reverse chord finder?

I've tried a few sites, and get a different result from each for the same input. Really frustrating.

I know buggerall about music theory, so trying to explain how I can figure it out myself is a no-go.

Thanks
Frank


Obviously you did try googling for it right? Did you test this one: http://guitar.to/guitar/
This one I think is the oldest tools online. But frankly I don't know how correct is it.
#12
Quote by zappp
Obviously you did try googling for it right? Did you test this one: http://guitar.to/guitar/
This one I think is the oldest tools online. But frankly I don't know how correct is it.
Thanks zappp. Yes, I tried that one plus a few others. My problem being that sometimes each one gives a different chord name for the same input. I like this site http://www.chorderator.com/designer/ because it's simple, quick and easy, I'm just not sure how accurate it is for lesser known chords.

I was hoping to get a reasonable consensus of opinions as to which online Reverse Chord Finder was best. It's not crucial, since I usually come up with the right chord name, but was hoping there was one site that I could make my "go to", so to speak.

If I'm unsure of a chord name while tabbing a song and can't find the name online, then I just put Chord = XXXXXX at the top of the tab. If the naming is incorrect then a helpful user can "comment" at the bottom or submit a correction.
#13
The majority of the crowd at MT doesn't need to use chord finders because it's well-versed in theory and is reasonably well ear-trained, or are on their way to learning.

As stated above, you can always find multiple names for groups of notes without context. Finding potentially valid names is easy. Any chord finder can do that.

However, you cannot know for sure about the accuracy of the names in context without knowing how to describe the context. This is what music theory will inform you of: how to describe things. And this is a good place to start learning.
#14
Quote by NeoMvsEu

However, you cannot know for sure about the accuracy of the names in context without knowing how to describe the context. This is what music theory will inform you of: how to describe things. And this is a good place to start learning.
Lat me explain once and for all, then you and I walk away from it. OK?

My time on this earth is now severely limited, as is my physicality, the specifics have nothing to do with the public at large. I have probably spent a good 25 years or more, on and off, studying higher education. For me, playing guitar is an amateur pastime for my enjoyment, not a profession. Music Theory can be deep, complex and complicated, and I just don't have enough time left for that.

These days my enjoyment is primarily playing guitar and writing Tabs for UG. If I get stuck with a music problem, then I can come to the Forum and pose a question, since that is what the Forum is here for, amongst other things. I'm sure there are numerous trained/learned musicians who frequent this site, willing to answer my questions.

Remember, there are no stupid questions, but there are often stupid answers.
Last edited by frankowillo at Oct 3, 2016,
#15
As stated before, there are multiple names for the same group of notes. There is no reason to restrict the possible range of names without context.

Again, you're completely welcome to ask questions about what chord [X] is in what context in the thread I mentioned a few posts ago ("Name That Chord III", all caps). A lot of people have these exact questions, and if it's a recurring pattern, even just learning note names (relative to instrument) is really a good start, even as an amateur making chord charts.

However, "good" meaning "fitting my specific context without knowing how to describe it" is an exercise in futility because computers and related programs really aren't that smart and adaptable as music is. The music scripts you're using are doing their job. It's the human part to need to interpret these in context.

Doing chord charts is actually the most challenging thing on the site because so much of it is necessarily informed by theory if people want to do quality jobs. Tabs and GP files require only knowledge of technique names and ear training.

Re: what jerrykramskoy said (mini-glossary at bottom) -

(order of strings low to high: EADGBe)

xx0210: the original proposed chord, D as bass note and root.
x00210: adding an A under the chord, A as bass note. Jerry argues that A is also the root (possibly Amadd4), but I disagree with this; xx02xx is a very strong sound group. They are notes D and A, and the distance between them is 7 notes, or a perfect fifth. Most Western music is built on fifths and thirds (examples of thirds - x32xxx, xxx21x).
3x0210: adding a G under the chord, G as bass note. Jerry says G is root; I'd honestly look for context before making conclusions. It could be called C6/9/G or Am7(add11)/G, depending on which note is strongest.
1x0210: adding an F under the chord, F as bass note. These make the notes D-F-A-C-E, which is a full Dm9 chord with F bass, although there might be a time when you might call it Fmaj7(add13).

-----
Glossary:
root - the main note of the chord. On the left side of slash chords.
>>> C/G: C is root. Dm7b5/Ab: D is root.
bass - the low note of the chord. If a slash chord, on the right side.
>>> G and Ab are the bass notes of the above two chords, respectively.
#16
I listened to the song and I see no point with tabbing it as a separate chord. I mean, it's just a chord tab so there's no need to get too specific about every single chord voicing that he plays. If you want to be more specific, just do a regular tab or a GP tab or whatever.

So it's basically just Dm7.


Some basic theory is not going to take a long time to learn and it will be beneficial if you want to do chord sheets.
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#17
Quote by frankowillo
I was hoping to get a reasonable consensus of opinions as to which online Reverse Chord Finder was best.
Basically none of them are. They're all much the same as each other (IME). They will all give different names for a specific arrangement of notes, because the algorithms don't have the intelligence to state which name is best. They just pick each note in turn as a potential root, then count all the other notes in relation to that.

It's a problem especially with those "lesser-known" chords, because they tend to more ambiguous, and may well have two or more theoretically correct (or at least sensible) names. In general, the best tip - when using any of them - is to go with the shortest name provided. Usually that's the most sensible, and should be the easiest to make sense of too. Where two or three names seem equally likely, go with context. (That's what might make "D7sus2" more appropriate than "Am/D", even though the latter is more accurate and more economical.)

This is just how it is with automatic chord-naming sites. Your question is basically expecting too much of them. They're all essentially dumb. It's a little llike asking "what's the best robot out there for doing all my housework?"

In any case, as mentioned, that chord chart is wrong (although it's not relevant to the topic). The song is in F major, played with capo on 3rd fret (not 2nd or 4th). And the shapes are (essentially) D, Em and A. The chord in question is an Em shape, with a few embellishments. E.g., he adds the open 4th string at times (giving the 7th of the chord), uses a passing 1st fret to get back to the 2nd fret root. and sometimes adds the 9th on 4th fret 4th string. (counting frets from the capo). There are also embellishments on the D shape, such as a sus4 occasionally. It's all pretty standard stuff, and it's hardly worth naming the separate passing embellishments of each chord/ (I.e., it's good to know the shapes and frets played, but no need to name them all.)

If you were playing the original key with capo on 5, then you would need the C shapes in that chart, and x-x-0-2-1-0 is one of the variations you would play on a Dm chord shape.
Last edited by jongtr at Oct 4, 2016,
#19
NeoMvsEu The above video "is not available" (to me anyway). To clarify, my post was referring to this one:
Last edited by jongtr at Oct 5, 2016,
#20
jongtr the one you linked is the first version I found on YT, but his recording is less acoustic and comes from the studio recording on "Statues and Liberties", which is in E major.

Basically, in the one you linked, Hull moved his capo up from the second to the third fret.