#1
So I have a chord progression and i would like to know the exact chords that I'm playing but I have no idea how to work that out and am looking for help on how to do so. And then from this to work out what key I'm in. I am tuned down half a step if that affects the name of the chord at all.
#2
It's easy, a major triad can for example only ever contain the same three notes even if you're using all six strings so just strum/arppegiate the chord and train your ears to recognize the tones.
#3
the best place to start is to figure out the notes of each chord. if you know C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C, you can figure out the notes by counting up and down the frets from the string

do you know anything about chord construction or intervals? if not, we can prepare a wall of text, but know that your question is a lot larger than you might think it is. it's important to learn it, and most of the people here are more than qualified to teach you the basics of functional harmony, but we need to know where you are or you'd be better off just reading the first 5 or 6 chapters of a music theory textbook

Quote by anthonymarisc
It's easy, a major triad can for example only ever contain the same three notes even if you're using all six strings so just strum/arppegiate the chord and train your ears to recognize the tones.


you're very rarely going to be only playing straight up major and minor chords, and they very very rarely follow the "rules" diatonically, so it's common to have chords that could, by themselves, be multiple different chords, so you have to establish context in order to name them. and naming them really doesn't help by itself, as the function is far more important. in essence, you're just making the whole thing more complicated in the long run by oversimplifying the answer.
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Last edited by Hail at Jan 6, 2017,
#4
Could you post a recording or a tab? We can't really help you without having any information about the chord progression that you are trying to figure out.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Jan 6, 2017,
#6
PSimonR, there was a discussion on chord finder apps here and all of them give possible names for chords in isolation, which may or may not help depending on the context OP's song might have.

OP, asking about chords without any description or link isn't going to help; we can only reliably describe things in context, so if you could give us the context via recording and/or tab (as requested above), that would be nice
#7
Quote by Hail
the best place to start is to figure out the notes of each chord. if you know C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C, you can figure out the notes by counting up and down the frets from the string

do you know anything about chord construction or intervals? if not, we can prepare a wall of text, but know that your question is a lot larger than you might think it is. it's important to learn it, and most of the people here are more than qualified to teach you the basics of functional harmony, but we need to know where you are or you'd be better off just reading the first 5 or 6 chapters of a music theory textbook


you're very rarely going to be only playing straight up major and minor chords, and they very very rarely follow the "rules" diatonically, so it's common to have chords that could, by themselves, be multiple different chords, so you have to establish context in order to name them. and naming them really doesn't help by itself, as the function is far more important. in essence, you're just making the whole thing more complicated in the long run by oversimplifying the answer.



He asked how to work out the chords and name them, he didn't mention anything about cadences, chord progressions, or numeral patterns. The answer is simple, use your ears.
#8
anthonymarisc

There can be many names for one chord; the only things that inform the naming of said chord is the context and relevant theory concepts (ways to describe phenomena in context).

Attached an example. xxx230 has at least 2 names. What informs the naming decision is the context - xxx230 to xxx232 is a prolongation of D major, and xxx230 to xxx220 is a prolongation of A major.

Ear usage is half the battle; the other half is connecting what is heard to how to describe it.
Attachments:
chord ambiguity.gp5
#9
NeoMvsEu

I suppose so, if thats the case at the very least OP should know what key his/her song is in and that will narrow the commonly used chords pretty quickly.
#10
anthonymarisc

Not necessarily; identifying notes and identifying chords are two different skills and they don't necessarily follow from each other. Chords are about intervallic relationships; notes are just frequencies with names.
#11
Quote by NeoMvsEu
anthonymarisc

Not necessarily; identifying notes and identifying chords are two different skills and they don't necessarily follow from each other. Chords are about intervallic relationships; notes are just frequencies with names.


which is why i don't want to just tell the TS what chords he's playing. give a man a fish, etc.
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#12
Quote by Hail
which is why i don't want to just tell the TS what chords he's playing. give a man a fish, etc.
Technically, the guy hasn't even shown anything concrete, so that's neither here nor there

Usually, this forum is good at giving more detailed answers though, which is like showing the guy a fish, giving it to him, and teaching him how at the same time
#13
Well you just take the notes you're playing and put them into thirds. Exception: some sus chords or ones with omitted voices.

If you don't know what notes you're playing, get that fretboard memorized!