Hey guys; i've always wondered how you find certain chords like an add 9 or sus4 or add an /E etc. i basically, though, want to learn how to make every single chord from the original, not just learn the chords (too many to remember). If anyone could link me to another place that shows this or just tell me that wud be great, i couldn't find anything else on this but sorry if there is. This is really screwing me over cuz i wanted to join my highschool band but i don't know enough and this will be one thing i need.

Thanks guys.
dude you just add other notes, by adding notes :s
substitute already existent notes by others you'd like. that's it.

and no, all type chords aren't too many to remember. they are just as many as needed to be learned. for what i want to play anyway.

and don't bump. this is not an instant messaging program, it's a forum. it's normal people won't answer you in a hour.
for band im going to have to learn like the really technical way though, i know what u mean man i only use a certain genre of chords wen i play and im fine with that but im going to have to learn it this way which kinda sucks.

and sorry man, ur right, im pretty impatient
learn some theory, then you will know what a 9 is and you can add it to make and add 9 chord
1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 11 12 13 14 15
C  D  E  F  G  A  B  C  D  E  F  G  A   B  C

Get to know the intervals of the major scale as listed above in the key of C. This is what you need to construct chords.

There are four basic triads you need to know. They are achieved by stacking thirds.
Major Triad = 1 3 5 (note the two thirds present Major third followed by minor third which gives you a perfect fifth from the root note to the fifth)
Minor triad = 1b3 5 (minor third followed by major third = again a perfect fifth)
Diminished triad = 1 b3 b5 (minor third minor third = diminished fifth)
Augmented traid = 1 3 #5 (major third major third = augmented fifth)

From these basic triads you can add another third on top to get different seventh chords. I'll only list a handful here. I'll give you the spelling the name the common notation and tell you what type of third I've added to what kind of triad. I've used C for example of common notation.
1 3 5 7 = Major 7 = CMaj7 = (Major triad + Major third)
1 3 5 b7 = Dominant 7 = C7 = (Major triad + minor third)
1 b3 5 7 = minor major 7 = Cm(maj7) = (Minor triad plus major third)
1 b3 5 b7 = minor 7 = Cm7 = (Minor triad plus minor third)
1 b3 b5 b7 = half diminished 7 = Cø7 = Cm7b5 = (diminished triad plus a major third. - note in this one the distance from the b5 to the b7 is a major third but the distance from the root to the 7 is a minor 7)
1 b3 b5 bb7 = diminished 7 = Cᴼ7 (diminished triad plus a minor third)

Extended chords are further extensions of 7 chords.
A 9 chord adds a 9th to a 7th chord. It is always the major 9th interval that is added unless it is an altered chord.
C9 (dominant 9) for example is a dominant 7 chord with a 9 added (1 3 5 b7 9).
Cmaj9 is a major 7 chord with a 9 added (1 3 5 7 9)
Cm(maj9) would be a minor major 7 with an added 9 (1 b3 5 7 9)

11 chords are 7th chords with an added Perfect 11th. A ninth is optional and not uncommon but also not essential.
a C11 is a 79 with an added 11 (1 3 5 b7 (9) 11)
When a Maj7 is used the 11th is often raised - see altered chords for more on this.

13 chords again are 7th chords with an added Major 13th interval. Again the 9th is optional and often included. The 11th is also optional and not uncommon but perhaps less common than the inclusion of the 9th.
C13 is a dominant 7 chord with an added 13 (1 3 5 b7 (9) (11) 13)

As you get into extensions you obviously have to start leaving notes out to be able to play the chord on six strings. It is okay to leave out parts of an extended chord. In a 13th the first notes to leave out would be the 11 and the 9. The 1 3 5 7 13 are the essentials to keep but the only rule is - if it sounds good it is good. In a band situation where other players are playing the full chord or strongly defining the root you obviously have more flexibility and can start leaving out even more notes.

Altered chords are when a note is altered to create tension or to avoid specific dissonant sounds within a chord.
Cmaj11 is a Cmaj7 chord with an added 11. The combination of the dissonance between the 3rd and 11th within this chord and the tritone between the 7th and 11th makes this chord a handle with care chord. It is common to play an altered chord instead - a Cmaj7#11 is the same chord but with a #11 which can be just that little bit easier to hear.

The most commonly altered chords though are dominant chords.
Some examples of altered chords would be
C7b9 This is a Cdominant7 chord with an added b9 = (1 3 5 b7 b9)
C13#9 This is a C dominatnt 13 chord where the 9 is sharped (1 3 5 b7 #9 (11) 13)

Suspended chords are chords in which the 3rd in a sounding chord has been displaced by a 2nd or 4th. It sounds rather pleasing when the second is a note retained from the preceding chord an then while the new chord is sounding the suspended note resolves to the third.
A suspended 2nd = Csus2 = (1 2 5)
A Suspended 4th = Csus4 or C4 = (1 4 5)

When either of these two intervals (2 or 4) are added to a basic triad while the third is present then the intervals are described as 9 and 11 respectively regardless of where they occur in the voicing.

Add chords are triads with added notes. A Cm(add9) for example is different from a Cm9 in that there is no 7th present. Cm(add9) simply means to add a 9th to a Cm triad.
When a note is added to a triad it is simply noted in this same way. (add9) (add11) etc.

The only exception to this is the 6 and 6/9 chords
A C6 is a C major triad with an added 6 (1 3 5 6)
a C6/9 is a C major triad with an added 6 and added 9 (1 3 5 6 9).

A chord without a fifth would be noted as (no5).

Inverted Chords are when you use a note other than the root for the bass note. It is common these days for inversions to be written as C/E for example. The first letter is the chord the second is the bass note for that chord. This would be a first inversion C chord. There are other ways to write his chord so be aware. There is also polychords where more than one chord are played together at the same time. But on guitar this gets rather hard to do with just six notes.

It can be confusing when you start getting into complex chords, with so many different voicings and inversions things can get crazy. You might be making a chord and start with a C major triad then as you work through finding the right sound you add the sixth. then you invert it so the 6th becomes the bass note. You find the fifth doesn't quite sound right and the chord works much better without it. Finally you have your chord and you note it down C6(no5)/A. For a moment you feel super proud of your ability to name complex chords and that you have such a complex chord in your song before it dawns on you - it's just an Am. It still sounds the same though so name it as simply as possible and you still feel good because you followed the only rule in getting to that chord - if it sounds good it is good.

Hope this helps some - Good Luck
Last edited by 20Tigers at Sep 4, 2008,
Quote by 20Tigers

Thank you very much. This was a very informative post and I'll definitely use it as a reference.
When people are free to do as they please
they usually imitate each other