I’m in the process of writing a song and have been trying to learn some theory along the way. I’ve been looking at the chords I’m using, giving them names and then trying to gauge what sort of scales/modes would sound good over the chord progressions. One chord progression I’ve used is Am, Cmaj, D?, G6, Fmaj and Em. My problem is naming the D? chord. I play it like this: x54030 so the notes are D F# G D E. I’ve read the article at
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/chords/guide_to_chord_formation.html and have looked at a few other lessons, columns and forum posts and I am still a little confused.

I am assuming that the root note is D as it is the lowest note and I don’t think it would be an X/Y chord because the shape is the Cmaj open chord moved up two semi tones but with out making a barre at the 2nd fret (which would make it a Dmaj). From the article I believe that a chord begins as a triad and then is altered according to the notes added or removed/ flattened or sharpened. So this D chord would be based on the D major scale:

D E F# G A B C# D

The notes for Dmaj would be I, III, and V i.e D, F# and A. The chord I’m playing has I and III but not the V. It then has the notes E and G added which could be II and IV; but I would assume that they are more likely IX and XI because (I think) they are over an octave higher than the root in the chord I’m playing.

I did think initially that it could be some sort of sus2 or sus4 chord but as the III note is still used I guess it cannot be. The article states that in on of the many types of 9th, 11th and 13th chords you can omit the 5th if you want or the fingering won’t allow it, but the 7th is necessary. This chord does not have the 7th, so it can’t be one of the 9th or 11th chords. It also says that using both 9th and 11th notes are unusual on the guitar.

Then the article talks about added chords but advises that that would just be notes added to the original triad so with the 5th omitted can that work? Then it talks about altered chords which alter notes by a semitone either flatter or sharper. The closest I think I have come to is Dadd4add11 or Dadd9add11 but they don’t use a 5th so this is technically incorrect.

Has anybody got a clue what chord this is and can they tell me what I’m overlooking as I can’t imagine it can be this hard to name a chord! Then I’m looking for scales to play over the top of the chord progression I detailed at the beginning of this post. I’m thought initially A minor (Aeolian Mode???) but that doesn’t contain the F# note that occurs in that troublesome chord so should I maybe move to E minor over that? Anyway I’m aware that there will be a number of different scales/modes to play over and am just looking for suggestions so I can begin to understand what I’m playing a little bit more.
It doesn't have an E in it and the chord i'm using doesn't have the flat 7th, which I believe would be C?
Em9 works with what the guide advises as the 5th isn't needed and I think it would fit into the chord progression better than the f#7(#5b9) because i'm already using an Fmaj 7 and G6. I would have thought though that you would then take the Em9 and turn it into an X/Y chord because it uses the flat 7th as the bass note. So would it be Em9/D?
^ Yeah, you could call it Em9/D. I'd call it Dadd9add11. Sure it's longer.. but it explains more of what it's functioning as.. which is a D chord. More specifically a V/V (read 'five of five') chord, meaning it's the V chord of the V chord (G), as if it's a new key, in the original key (C). Basically it's a short key change to the key of the fifth chord (G major). Since D major is not diatonic to C (nor is Em9.. Em7b9 is), and since V/Vs are fairly common, and the easiest solution is usually the correct one, I'd go with that.

If none of that made sense, I'm sorry.. I can explain it further if necessary.
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.

I suppose you could since people would know there's no 7th.. but usually writing just _11 assumes there's a 7. And even though I assumed the same thing in my analysis, writing just _11 assumes it's dominant.. where without the 7th it could be a major 7, too. Clearly this isn't a chord to attempt to write out for a lead sheet without prior explanation, though... so I guess anything goes .
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.

Thursdae... yeah I think i get it. Basically G is the 5th of the C scale and D is the 5th of the G scale so that is the key change. C to G basically allowing the F# note in the Dadd9add11 chord. Damn it's an arsehole to explain. Cheers, thanks for your help.
it's D11(no7). And yes D11 has an E in it. When you say D7, that implies that it has all the preceding chord degrees (1d 3f# 5a), when you say D9 that implies it has the 1d 3f# 5a 7c. So therefore when you say D11 it implies there is the 1d 3f# 5a 7c 9E
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5th's 7's and roots are omitted frequently, from what I've seen.

Sevenths are chord tones, and are very rarely omitted. A "D11" without a seventh is a Dmajadd11. D11 is a dominant chord, and one of the defining features of a dominant chord is the b7.
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