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Old 01-03-2018, 09:02 AM   #1
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Default What would you call a 1,3,7 chord?

What would you call a 1,3,7 chord?
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Old 01-03-2018, 09:59 AM   #2
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Depends on the 3 and 7!

M3 M7 = maj7
M3 m7 = 7 (dom7)
m3 m7 = m7
m3 M7 = m(maj7)

IOW, you don't need a 5th in the chord with any of those. The perfect 5th would be assumed.
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Old 01-03-2018, 12:39 PM   #3
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I have an app called "smartchord". It is very handy. You can put in your finger placement and dead or open strings, and it will tell you what chord your playing.

It has lots of other tools too.
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:55 PM   #4
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After I posted I thought that maybe the 5th would just be implied. Thanks.

I was playing around with chords that sounded good together and made it into a verse or chorus or whatever so that the whole thing kind of resolved itself and sounded complete.

I then decided to write down what I had been playing to figure out the key. There are some chords that aren't actually in the key and then there was one part where I went for having a drone thing going on and I was trying to figure out exactly what the chords were so that I could consider what key would be most applicable.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattle View Post
I was trying to figure out exactly what the chords were so that I could consider what key would be most applicable.
Why?

The "key" is whatever chord sounds like the tonal centre, the "home" chord. It's not a single scale. All kinds of chromatic chords might be used without changing the key, or affecting which chord sounds like the home chord.

If you mean you're looking for a scale to fit the chords, that's different. But all you need is the notes in the chords. If a group of chords sound like they belong together, the "scale" is what you get when you add up all the chord tones. But as you go through a sequence, the note choice (for passing notes between chord tones) can change. It's a mistake to assume a scale needs to be fixed.

It may well be that one or more of those 1-3-7 chords could have a b5 (or a #5). Don't rule that out! But that's down to your ear, and experimentation, not to some theoretical assessment of what's going on.

The problem with referring to theoretical concepts while composing is it can set up irrelevant artificial barriers. Your ear knows more theory than you will ever learn from studying books. (It's learned it all from hearing music all your life, supported by the songs you've learned.)

It may sometimes be useful to set boundaries, and deliberately work with a restricted palette. Theory may be useful there, especially if you're trying to write in a specific style you're not too familiar with.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonR View Post
Why?

The "key" is whatever chord sounds like the tonal centre, the "home" chord. It's not a single scale. All kinds of chromatic chords might be used without changing the key, or affecting which chord sounds like the home chord.

If you mean you're looking for a scale to fit the chords, that's different. But all you need is the notes in the chords. If a group of chords sound like they belong together, the "scale" is what you get when you add up all the chord tones. But as you go through a sequence, the note choice (for passing notes between chord tones) can change. It's a mistake to assume a scale needs to be fixed.

It may well be that one or more of those 1-3-7 chords could have a b5 (or a #5). Don't rule that out! But that's down to your ear, and experimentation, not to some theoretical assessment of what's going on.

The problem with referring to theoretical concepts while composing is it can set up irrelevant artificial barriers. Your ear knows more theory than you will ever learn from studying books. (It's learned it all from hearing music all your life, supported by the songs you've learned.)

It may sometimes be useful to set boundaries, and deliberately work with a restricted palette. Theory may be useful there, especially if you're trying to write in a specific style you're not too familiar with.
Why? Because I wanted to know. I didn't write this music after asking these questions. I wrote it first because it sounded good and then I wanted to "deconstruct" it for my own curiosity after the fact.

I know that people frequently "rant" about not letting theory restrict your creativity but I don't think that really happens. Knowledge is usually only an additive process.

The more you know, the more options you have and in the case of music theory the more it can speed up the process.
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:28 AM   #7
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Assuming all the notes are perfect notes, its a Major 7th chord. To quote a keyboardist friend who was a wiz at theory. "If you play the 1st and 3rd, the 5th is understood"
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Old 01-05-2018, 02:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonR View Post
Why?

The "key" is whatever chord sounds like the tonal centre, the "home" chord. It's not a single scale. All kinds of chromatic chords might be used without changing the key, or affecting which chord sounds like the home chord.

If you mean you're looking for a scale to fit the chords, that's different. But all you need is the notes in the chords. If a group of chords sound like they belong together, the "scale" is what you get when you add up all the chord tones. But as you go through a sequence, the note choice (for passing notes between chord tones) can change. It's a mistake to assume a scale needs to be fixed.

It may well be that one or more of those 1-3-7 chords could have a b5 (or a #5). Don't rule that out! But that's down to your ear, and experimentation, not to some theoretical assessment of what's going on.

The problem with referring to theoretical concepts while composing is it can set up irrelevant artificial barriers. Your ear knows more theory than you will ever learn from studying books. (It's learned it all from hearing music all your life, supported by the songs you've learned.)

It may sometimes be useful to set boundaries, and deliberately work with a restricted palette. Theory may be useful there, especially if you're trying to write in a specific style you're not too familiar with.
Great answer! +1
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