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So what chord is this?


Steve Nathan

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In the "Etta James" thread, I gave Mojazz a chord that I call a C/Bb7, meaning a Bb & Ab in the left hand and a C/E/G triad in the right. I am perfectly comfortable calling this a C over Bb7, but it got me thinking about what do the "schooled" among us call this chord. Somehow Bb7/9/#11/13 seems like a mouthful.

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I'd call it AbMa7(#5)/Bb.
Now that's funny :thu:

 

I expected to hear Bb(#11) but I did think that that might not necessarily include the G on top (13), which in the case of the Etta James song would be an important part of the voicing.

Thanks to you both for reminding me of what I slept through during my brief time attending music school :D

Don't rush me. I'm playing as slowly as I can!

 

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Originally posted by Steve Nathan:

quote: I'd call it AbMa7(#5)/Bb.
Now that's funny :freak:

 

I mean, if I see Bb7#11, I would assume it's a dominant-type chord, so I would tend to include a D (the third) too.

Maybe something like this (bottom to top):

 

LH: Bb - Ab - D

RH: G - C - E

 

That's a good old tenth, with an upper-structure triad on top.

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Originally posted by Steve Nathan:

In the "Etta James" thread, I gave Mojazz a chord that I call a C/Bb7, meaning a Bb & Ab in the left hand and a C/E/G triad in the right. I am perfectly comfortable calling this a C over Bb7, but it got me thinking about what do the "schooled" among us call this chord. Somehow Bb7/9/#11/13 seems like a mouthful.

It's a mouthful, but that's what I'd call it - Bb7(9,#11,13). However, that could be 'abbreviated' as either Bb9(#11,13), or even Bb13(#11), and most guys, I think, would still interpret it as a Bb7(9,#11,13).
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Originally posted by marino:

Originally posted by Steve Nathan:

quote: I'd call it AbMa7(#5)/Bb.
Now that's funny :freak:

 

I mean, if I see Bb7#11, I would assume it's a dominant-type chord, so I would tend to include a D (the third) too.

Maybe something like this (bottom to top):

 

LH: Bb - Ab - D

RH: G - C - E

 

That's a good old tenth, with an upper-structure triad on top.

True, there's no third in the original voicing, but it still works. I actually use that "thirdless" voicing quite a bit on dominant #11 chords. In fact, I copped it from Chick Corea. Just another voicing possibility amongst many others. But I suppose you're right in that, if we're being technical about it, you have to take the chord at face value when it's out of context.
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Originally posted by Bridog6996:

I'd call it AbMa7(#5)/Bb.

 

 

Just kidding. It's Bb7(#11) like linwood said. Unless you're a particularly picky composer like Thad Jones (specific, written-out extensions galore), extensions like 9ths and 13ths don't really need to be notated.

My vote, funny or not goes to Ab^7+5/Bb. I saw the notes and went to the piano and there it was. I guess I was asleep during my theory lessons as well. It is just easier to read for me. I bow to the higher authorities on it though and promise to work harded on my theory.

 

:D

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Originally posted by Gulliver:

Originally posted by rockincyanblues:

How about C7(b6)/Bb????

 

Why writing Bb if it's C7 anyway?

 

My version would be C7add5+

Steve wanted to make sure that the Bb is the bass note of the chord, (not necessarily the root).

 

So C(add b6)/Bb would do as well, I suppose.

Peace,

 

Paul

 

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Originally posted by rockincyanblues:

Steve wanted to make sure that the Bb is the bass note of the chord, (not necessarily the root).

 

So C(add b6)/Bb would do as well, I suppose.

Oh sorry, my bad... I confused "left" and "right" (hands). lol

 

In this case Abmaj7(#5)/Bb is the way to go, hands down. Or Bb13(#11) indeed. :D

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A chord by another name will smell as sweet....

 

Seriously, I know basic theory as well as most people, but if I play a chord that sounds sweet in context, I don't worry a hell of a lot about what to call it!

 

After all, most of the time the audience comes to hear MUSIC, not to analyze chord progressions...

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Originally posted by Eric Iverson:

A chord by another name will smell as sweet....

 

Seriously, I know basic theory as well as most people, but if I play a chord that sounds sweet in context, I don't worry a hell of a lot about what to call it!

 

After all, most of the time the audience comes to hear MUSIC, not to analyze chord progressions...

Gonna have to agree with this (though I will admit to figuring out what a chord is called if I play it more than once and I think it sounds great).

 

When it gets right down to it, how well you play is the only thing that matters.

Steve (Stevie Ray)

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I'm gonna have to go along with the Bb7#11 camp. I guess it all depends on whether you want the chord symbol to communicate it's function, or if you want to communicate a particular voicing.

 

With regards to the statement:

Seriously, I know basic theory as well as most people, but if I play a chord that sounds sweet in context, I don't worry a hell of a lot about what to call it! After all, most of the time the audience comes to hear MUSIC, not to analyze chord progressions...
Stepay and Eric,

 

This comment doesn't make a lot of sense to me. First, unless you know what to call it you won't be able to properly communicate it to other musicians you are playing with. Second, unless you understand what to call it and why it functions the way it does, then you won't be able to properly solo on it (unless you're just "guessing"). Lastly, if your comment were true, then why bother trying to understand anything? Let's all just bash on the keyboard, and not bother trying to comprehend why it works so as to improve ourselves. Sounds silly to me....

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Originally posted by cnegrad:

I'm gonna have to go along with the Bb7#11 camp. I guess it all depends on whether you want the chord symbol to communicate it's function, or if you want to communicate a particular voicing.

 

With regards to the statement:

Seriously, I know basic theory as well as most people, but if I play a chord that sounds sweet in context, I don't worry a hell of a lot about what to call it! After all, most of the time the audience comes to hear MUSIC, not to analyze chord progressions...
Stepay and Eric,

 

This comment doesn't make a lot of sense to me. First, unless you know what to call it you won't be able to properly communicate it to other musicians you are playing with. Second, unless you understand what to call it and why it functions the way it does, then you won't be able to properly solo on it (unless you're just "guessing"). Lastly, if your comment were true, then why bother trying to understand anything? Let's all just bash on the keyboard, and not bother trying to comprehend why it works so as to improve ourselves. Sounds silly to me....

+1 :thu:

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In most fake books, that would be notated as Bb7#11 or simply Bb7, and they'd expect you to color it in yourself.

 

For example, take a look at the typical chart for Goodbye Pork Pie Hat. You have to do a LOT of coloring outside the lines to make that one work! They expect you to either know how the song works, or extrapolate from the written chords plus the melody to figure out the actual characters of the chords.

 

But if I was trying to convey the voicing, I'd call it Ab+7/Bb, since "+" is a standard symbol for "augmented", meaning a sharped 5, and unlike diminished, the 7 is not implied.

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I guess it all depends on whether you want the chord symbol to communicate it's function, or if you want to communicate a particular voicing.
:thu:

 

Sometimes it's just easier (and certainly faster) to notate the voicing in question using conventional notation - writing it out longhand. That would leave no room for doubt.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Originally posted by learjeff:

But if I was trying to convey the voicing, I'd call it Ab+7/Bb, since "+" is a standard symbol for "augmented", meaning a sharped 5, and unlike diminished, the 7 is not implied.

Actually, i wouldn't use that symbol - you're implying a dominant 7 in the Ab+ chord.
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This is a bit out of my league -- I'm still learning -- but one of the "nuggets o' knowledge" I've picked up from this forum is that the name of the chord usually depends on the bass note. (I guess this is to avoid slash notation?)

 

So this gives Bb13#11 (or variants thereof) some creedence.

 

However, the guitar and keyboard chords encyclopedia certainly backs up marino's assertation that the 3rd (D) should be sounded, even in all the inner voicings listed (no 5th; no root; no root, 5th or 9th).

 

On the same page, substitute chords given are:

E7(#5/#9) no root

E7(b5/#9) no 5th, no 9th

Fm9(M7) no root, no 3rd

AbM7(#5) no root, no 3rd, no 5th

 

The E7s don't work for us because of the 7th (D).

 

In the M7(#5) section , the first voicing for AbM7(#5) is exactly what we're looking for (minus the bass note), so AbM7(#5)/Bb certainly works.

 

 

cnegrad brings up another nugget: chords should be named by function.

 

So what's going on in "At Last"? The meat and potatoes is a common I vi ii V7 progression in the key of F, no?

 

The chord in question precedes two bars of Fmaj7 at the end of the verse. According the choices afforded me by this site , I'm guessing the Fmaj7s are being used as the tonic (in a cadence?).

 

That same reference also talks about the altered 7, and how it wants to resolve to the tonic. It's approaching the 7#11 of a semitone above the tonic; not sure, but I'd guess you'd call it Gb instead of F# in this context. Ok, makes sense, because a Gb7#11 would be Gb, Bb, Db, Fb, Ab, C (ick on the Fb!). Take out the 5th (Db) and the root, and it's one note away from our mystery chord (missing the G).

 

So from a functional standpoint, it's starting to look like a C altered 7. Well, we clearly have root, 3rd, 5th and 7th. The kicker is the G#/Ab (#5/b6 or b13). But if we call it a #5 that would probably preclude the natural 5th. So I guess either C7(b6) or C7(b13) might work, although they certainly look foreign.

 

Call it a voicing based on an inversion starting on the 7th. :freak: If you use slash notation, wouldn't that indicate that you want the 7th sounded above, too? (It's not present.) That is, C7(b13)/Bb would be: Bb, then the inversion Ab C E G Bb.

 

Of course, maybe there's been a substitution here?

 

 

The AbM7(#5)/Bb makes sense if it's a borrowed chord, specifically a bIII from the parallel minor. :freak: Not sure if this is a typical substitution for a V7.

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