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How do extended chords work?

Posted by CaplanLessons 
How do extended chords work?
February 15, 2012 12:44PM
How exactly do extended chords work?

My knowledge extends to seventh chords. I get the concept of stacking thirds on top of one another.
I understand that a 9 is a ninth degree above the root, an 11 is a ninth degree above the third and a 13 is ninth degree above the fifth.

Does an 11 chord have to have a 9 and 11?
does a 13 chord have to have a 9, 11 an 13?

Where do we draw the line when it comes to chords with "added" intervals versus extended chords?

Please advise!
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 15, 2012 01:10PM
Wikipedia covers it pretty well.

11th-chords: [en.wikipedia.org]
13th-chords: [en.wikipedia.org]

- Jim in Austin, TX
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 15, 2012 01:26PM
Yes - they're built from a series of stacked 3rds
Triad = 1 3 & 5
7ths = 1 3 5 & 7
9ths = 1 3 5 7 & 9
11ths = 13 5 7 9 & 11
13ths = 1 3 5 7 9 11 & 13.

All of the above chord notes, apart from 1 (the root), can be chromatically altered to produce specific chord types. For example, dominant 7th chords are major triads (1 3 5) PLUS a flat 7th, whereas "major 7th" chords have the normal unaltered 7th. Diminished 7ths are diminished triads (1 b3 b5) PLUS a doubly flatted 7th.

That's the theory. In practice, we usually omit notes that are considered unessential, unreachable or troublesome. If we want a lighter sound, the 5th can easily be left out without making much difference to the overal quality of extended chords. In 11th and 13th chords we may omit the 9th too, which is unessential to the quality. In 13th chords we often omit the 11th as it clashes with the 3rd. There are more conditions that you can learn how to apply depending on the context.

Sometimes we have no choice but to eliminate notes if the chord has more chord members than can be played on certain instruments. A six string guitar, for example, can't play a seven note 13th chord without omitting notes.

If we just add notes other than the 7th to a triad or if the 7th is omitted from a chord with extensions i.e.,a 9th or 11th or 13th, we call them added (note) chords.

For example:
C add 9 = C E G D (1 3 5 9)
C9 = C E G Bb D (1 3 5 b7 9)
C major 9th = C E G B D (1 3 5 7 9).

The last one is called 'major' 9th because it contains the unaltered 7th, which is a major 7th interval above the root.

You can also see the 'added' label used to show a break in the series of 3rds above the 7th, e.g., C7 add 11 = 1 3 5 b7 11. The 9th must be omitted - but other notes can be optionally omitted too without having to modify the name.

Chord naming isn't an exact science, so it's worth learning the inconsistencies that you'll come across in naming chords.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/15/2012 01:41PM by Fretsource.
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 16, 2012 06:53PM
Maybe to take this from another angle:

9th, 11th, and 13th chords must have the 7th, and the other extension.

9th must include 7th and 9th.
11th must include 7th and 11th, but *may* also include the 9th.
13th must include the 7th and 13th, but may also include the 9th and/or the 11th.

The 5th may be omitted from any of them (7th through 13th). The only time you really must have the 5th is for a b5 or #5 chord (m7b5, 7#5, etc.)

The third may also be omitted from any of them, though obviously it determines if the chord is major or minor, so it usually is only omitted in cases where the context is clear what it would be if was there, or if it forms an "avoid note" (interval of a minor 9th with the 3rd of the chord) with an upper extension (11ths).

The root may be omitted when it's taken in another instrument, or the context is clear.

If the 7th is NOT present, 9ths and 11ths are "added" - add9, add11, etc. Add 11 has the same issues with the "avoid note" though so it's not common, or the 3rd is omitted, giving you a sus or quartal sound. "Add 13" equates to an added 6, or simply a 6 chord, so there is no "add 13".

HTH,
Steve
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 09:01AM
So lets see if I got this:
A G maj11 would have a GBD (D could be omitted) A, and a C (upper register I assume).
G add 11 would have GBD ad C
G11 would have GBDFA (maybe A) and C

How about the Gm11 then?? Do the rules change when it's a minor chord?
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 10:43AM
Gmaj11 is G B D F# A C. The 9th (note A) is optional per SteveL's rules.

Your Gadd11 and G11 are correct.

Gm11 = G Bb D F A C with the A optional.

- Jim in Austin, TX
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 11:15AM
oldguitarman Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So lets see if I got this:
> A G maj11 would have a GBD (D could be omitted) A,
> and a C (upper register I assume).
> G add 11 would have GBD ad C
> G11 would have GBDFA (maybe A) and C
>
> How about the Gm11 then?? Do the rules change when
> it's a minor chord?

Just to echo the above answer in slightly different terms...

"Gmaj11" = G B D F# A C.

The word "maj" refers to the F#, which is a "major 7th" interval above G. It doesn't refer to the triad. "G11" is also based on a major triad.
As well as A (the 9th) being optional, the C would usually be omitted (for the reasons steve says).
IOW, there is rarely any such thing in practice as a "Gmaj11". Either the 11th is omitted - making the above chord "Gmaj9"; or the 11th is raised - making it Gmaj9#11 or Gmaj7#11 (depending on whether you want the A included or not). The symbol "Gmaj#11" would not be used.

Slightly different conditions apply to 11ths on dominant 7th and minor 7th chords.

"G11" = (in theory) G B D F (A) C. IOW, a G7 chord with 11 and optional 9 added.
But - as with the maj7 chord above - the 11 is either omitted or raised; and there is a third option of keeping the 11th and omitting the 3rd, making a "sus4" chord. This is so common - and the full 11th so rare - that the symbol "G11" is often used as shorthand for G9sus4.

So, in practice, we might have the following chords:

"Gmaj9#11" = G B D F# A C#
"G9#11 = G B D F A C#
"G9sus4" = G D F A C (sometimes written as "G11", with the understanding that B would not be included)

On minor chords, the perfect 11th doesn't clash with the 3rd, so a "Gm11" chord can be used in full, as Zapped says:

"Gm11" = G Bb D F (A) C. (A optional)

Notice that the "m" in the chord symbol does refer to the triad. The "maj" in the above chords, as mentioned, refers to the 7th. Just to demonstrate the difference:

"G7" = G B D F. G major triad with minor 7th
"Gm7" = G Bb D F. G minor triad with minor 7th
"Gmaj7" = G B D F#. G major triad with major 7th
"Gm(maj7)" = G Bb D F#. G minor triad with major 7th

Notice the cunning way "m" and "maj" are used to keep the commonest chord names shortest. The major triad and minor 7th are regarded as the standard or commonest types, and are not marked as such in the symbol. "m" and "maj" are then used for the alternatives in each case.
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 03:48PM
Thanks ! Think I got it. Just forgot the f# in my Maj 7th example. Also helped to realize the term Maj refers to the 7th not the chord. Explains my confusion when faced with a minor Maj chord!
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 05:08PM
13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13

11 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11

9 chord: 1 3 5 7 9

7 chord: 1 3 5 7

6 chord: 1 3 5 6

Triad: 1 3 5



If you break the tertiary series at any point, by skipping the 7, 9 or 11, but proceed to "add" the higher extensions beyond the skipped extension, the "added" extension makes the chord some sort of "add" chord. For example (with a drawn line through the "skipped" extension(s)):

add 9 chord: 1 3 5 7 9

7 add 11 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11

9 add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13



add 11 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11

7 add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13



add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 (which as Steve rightly points out is really just 1 3 5 6, so we don't really have an add13)



add 9 add 11 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11

7 add 11 add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13



add 9 add 11 add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13



Rules/terminology gets a little awkward with the 6 chords. First, you won't have the 6 and 7 at the same time, and if you do, the 6 is thought of as the 13! Second, any extensions that accompany the 6 chord are considered "added," giving us the following 6 chords:

6 add 9 chord: 1 3 5 6 9

6 add 9 add 11 chord: 1 3 5 6 9 11 -- which is the same pitches as the "add9 add11 add13 chord" above ^

6 add 11 chord: 1 3 5 6 9 11
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 05:16PM
I thought I'd post this final thought separately...

The business about "omitting" tones from a chord is a performance practice, not part of the theory of chord construction.

Accompanists learn how to intimate a chord quality with fewer notes by knowing which pitches are less essential to the quality of that chord. The reason we accompanists get away with omitting the root and fifth from a chord is because, in most performance situations, the bassist will be playing those pitches. Red Garland pioneered some interesting left hand rootless chord voicings, that influenced other pianists like Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock, that are very ambiguous without a bassist hammering out the occasional root or fifth.

As a Jazz guitarist, I find myself playing voicings with roots and fifths in them when I don't have a bassist, like when I'm accompanying a singer by myself or am playing solo. Without these roots and fifths, it would be very hard for even educated listeners to hear what I'm trying to play. If I'm playing in a trio or bigger, I'll use my "bop" voicings, which are often rootless voicings with lots of upper extensions in them for color.
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 10:08PM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> 7 add 11 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11
>
> 9 add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13

I've never seen these.

As I've always understood it, "add" means to add the upper extension without the 7th present.

1 3 5 7 11 is simply an 11 chord (that omits the 5th and 9th).

Add 11 would very certainly almost always (TMK and IME) imply 1-3-5-(11)

>
>
>
> add 11 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11


Yeah, like this.


>
> 7 add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13

No, this is not "add" because it contains the 7th. It's a 13th chord. An "add 13" is just a 6 chord.


>
>
>
> add 13 chord: 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 (which
> as Steve rightly points out is really just 1 3 5
> 6, so we don't really have an add13)

Yep. So the others above are other things (just 11 or 13, or if voicings are to be specified, things like 13 (no 9, no 11).

Can't read the code anymore so stopping here for now.

Steve
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 10:11PM
Ty Wrote:

>
> 6 add 9 chord: 1 3 5 6 9

Again, never heard these.

This is simply a 6/9 chord. C6/9.

Steve
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 17, 2012 10:50PM
stevel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ty Wrote:
>
> >
> > 6 add 9 chord: 1 3 5 6 9
>
> Again, never heard these.
>
> This is simply a 6/9 chord. C6/9.
>
> Steve

Sounds like a good place to repeat the last line of my post to the OP

"Chord naming isn't an exact science, so it's worth learning the inconsistencies that you'll come across in naming chords"
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 12:01AM
Steve,

I am certainly open to correction, but the way I learned it is that the last number mentioned implies each tone from the tertiary series that precedes it, so that Cm11, for instance, means we have the 9th and the 7th as well. Do you have any sources that reinforce your notion that an 11th chord doesn't have the 9th and 7th? This seems like a very logically consistent approach to naming. Also, every Jazz guitarist in NYC I know calls C6/9 "C 6 add 9."
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 12:53AM
Revisiting some of my Chord Scale Theory texts from Berzerkelee, I am reminded of what I feel is a far superior and cleaner approach to chord symbols. You write the basic 6th 7th chord and then in parentheses write the tensions accompanying it, starting with the highest tension on top -- in the text you see the numbers written vertically, which I can't do here, so I'll write a forward slash after each number. So, for this chord:

C E G B F#

You'd write:

Cmaj7 (#11)

For this one:

C Eb G Bb D F

You'd write:

Cmin7 (11/9)

This:

C E G Bb D Ab

You'd write:

C7 (b13/9)

I really wish this would catch on!
dirk
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 05:53AM
If you omit the third to avoid the clash with the 11th
G (B) D F# A C

Why is the A in a m9 chord less problematic? Is it because a half step clash sounds less dissonant if the lower tone is a semitone larger as opposed to the higher tone? Hope that makes sense.
G Bb D F A

Furthermore, if you take the option of leaving in the third and raising the 11 in a seventh chord, you have now created a tritone between the root and seventh. I can see why you would do this with a 7th chord requiring resolution, because the 11th is the same note as the tonic, and doesn't create a very strong sense of resolution, more of an anticipation. With a major seventh chord however, the regular 11th sounds less dissonant than a sharpened eleventh?
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 02:15PM
dirk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If you omit the third to avoid the clash with the
> 11th
> G (B) D F# A C
>
> Why is the A in a m9 chord less problematic? Is it
> because a half step clash sounds less dissonant if
> the lower tone is a semitone larger as opposed to
> the higher tone? Hope that makes sense.
> G Bb D F A
>
> Furthermore, if you take the option of leaving in
> the third and raising the 11 in a seventh chord,
> you have now created a tritone between the root
> and seventh. I can see why you would do this with
> a 7th chord requiring resolution, because the 11th
> is the same note as the tonic, and doesn't create
> a very strong sense of resolution, more of an
> anticipation. With a major seventh chord however,
> the regular 11th sounds less dissonant than a
> sharpened eleventh?

Hey Dirk. I think you've got some typos here.

The "problem" interval is the m9.

In an 11th chord, the 11th forms a m9 with the 3rd of the chord, so the third is dropped:

G (B) D F# A C

or even

G (B) D F A C

it's B-C, the m9 interval that's the "problem".

This interval is even avoided in stuff like a Maj7 chord in 3rd inversion - B-E-G-C would be a "bad" voicing.

But,

G Bb D F A C

Presents no problems because Bb-C is a M9

Your examples above use the A, not the C as the problem note, but the A is no problem because it all cases it's a M9 above the root.

Interestingly though, a m9 with the Root IS allowed on dominant chords:

G B D F Ab

G7b9 - you see it all the time. Most likely the m9 is not considered a problem here because this chord existed long before Jazz and was already an accepted sound (whereas 11th chords and such were more recent innovations).

Now, if you add the 11 back to this to make an 11b9, you get:

G (B) D F Ab C - you don't want the B in there because it forms the m9 with the 11th (yet, the m9 between the root and the 9th is OK :-)

And yes, in Major 11 chords, it's common to raise the 11th:

G B D F# A C#

It's said that this is "to avoid the m9 with the 3rd" but to be honest I'm not sure that that's the real historical evolutionary reason - since the 5th is often omitted it's very often heard as a b5 instead.

Which brings up a secondary point that these types of "prohibitions" like "avoid notes" are very often presented as "absolutes" when really there's a lot of grey area in their use. Most of the definitions we hear are really oversimplifications because so much of how notes are used in music has to do with the context in which they're used. The key is to learn a style so that the contexts become clear (or at least, clearer :-)

Steve
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 02:46PM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Steve,
>
> I am certainly open to correction, but the way I
> learned it is that the last number mentioned
> implies each tone from the tertiary series that
> precedes it, so that Cm11, for instance, means we
> have the 9th and the 7th as well.

Yes, I think you misinterpreted.

Here:
7th = 1 3 5 7
9th = 1 3 5 7 9
11th = 1 3 5 7 9 11
13th = 1 3 5 7 9 11 13

However, in practice, the NECESSARY notes are the 7th, the extension, and the 3rd (the root is assumed). So when playing a 13th chord, a player MUST play the 7th and 13th (or else it's just a 6 - and this is assuming no other instrument is playing the other notes). They *may* also play the 9th and/or the 11th. But the absence of the 9th and 11th does not turn it into a "7add13" chord. If you wanted to specify that voicing, you'd write "13 (no 9 no 11)" though we all know that that type of specificity will go ignored by the players a lot of times :-)

If the 7th is not present, any extension ABOVE the 7th becomes an "add". Add9, Add#11.

IOW, "add" chords do not contain the 7th.

Now, I've never heard that add 11 implies anything other than the 11 being added:

1 3 5 9 = add9
1 3 5 11 = add11 (admittedly, add 11 chords are rare to begin with, and add 13 doesn't exist because it's the 6)
but
1 3 5 9 11 = add9 add11 - IOW, IME "add" chords add only the numeral mentioned, not the prior one as well.

Obviously 1 3 5 9 11 13 would be written as a slash chord rather than the more cumbersome "add" nomenclature, but again, I've never seen "add13" used to imply that both the 9th and 11th are added as well.

Also, every Jazz guitarist in NYC I know
> calls C6/9 "C 6 add 9."


Really? I've NEVER heard it until you posted it. I'm not in NYC in a hotbed of jazz or anything but there are plenty of books out there that just say C6/9 in the chart.

It's also much easier to SAY "see six nine" than "see six add nine" so I don't know why anyone would go through the trouble.

It could be there's some school, or group where this term has caught on. I did google it and got plenty of hits so it's uncommon I guess.

Of course, I saw a guy on another forum say "D sharp 9". He was playing a D minor chord.

Steve
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 08:38PM
Hey, Steve,

I learned my terminology for chords a long time ago, like probably 16 or so years ago at this point, and I frankly don't remember which private teacher (or book/article?) taught it to me. I have always understood chord naming as tertiary, with everything after a skip an "add," but like I said, I'm open to the "right" way, if there is such a thing. Again, I would love for you to offer your sources for the "only beyond the 7th rule," as I suspect this may come from CPP-based harmony/theory texts. (This is one of those areas that come up for me from time to time that make me laugh, and why I like forums, etc., which is you are given the opportunity to see if the way you understand something is the way others understand it.)

I actually like the way you've organized it better though, to be perfectly honest, and I'll adopt it (would love sources though!).

To recap: "add" only applies to chords w/out the 7th, other voicings are written with the highest tension and a "no x" for any tensions below it in the tertiary series not included (if the composer wants to be that specific).

So, a C13 could have a 9 and an 11, but doesn't have to. If a composer wants it specifically not to, they'd write C13 (no9, no11).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/18/2012 08:39PM by Ty.
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 18, 2012 08:39PM
The C13 above has to have the 7 though, right?
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 19, 2012 01:16AM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I learned my terminology for chords a long time
> ago, like probably 16 or so years ago at this
> point.

16 years is a long time? Oh for the luxury of being able to say that :-)

In case you're interested. I learned the same way that Steve has outlined. "Add" meant no 7th, (sorry, no sources to back it up). There was no such thing as a 7 add 11. It would have been seen as a contradiction in terms.

The first time I heard it, years later, was in an internet discussion about what root position chord the open strings of a guitar in standard tuning sounded. For me it was Em11. For others, it was Em7 add 11. That, and its increasingly common appearance in internet posted songs, led me to believe that it must be a new alternative naming convention that was gaining currency. I couldn't argue against it because a naming convention is just that, a convention. If enough people adopt it, it becomes 'right', right? However, I can't recall ever seeing it in actual print -only online, so I was never totally convinced of its legitimacy.

What's important though is that, whether legitimate or not, it's now common enough, at least online, that it needs to be understood by anyone, such as the OP, learning how to interpret chord names, as it's a label they're going to encounter in actual music.

As for 6/9 - I'm with you on this one Ty. It's always been called 6 add 9 in my experience. Written as 6/9 - prounounced as '6 add 9'. Yes, it may take a few milli-seconds longer to pronounce than 'six-nine', but it rolls off the tongue nicely.
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 19, 2012 05:34AM
I think I figured out why I have persisted in thinking of these conventions the way I have. I come from the school that tensions are negotiable, that C13 on a lead sheet really means C7 for an accompanist who can add the 13 (or 9 or 11) if he wants to or not. Whenever I've written chord symbols to mean anything other than the basic 7, I have sought specificity, which is why I used my method (which I feel almost certain someone taught me, but maybe I made it up myself, lol!).

The conventions you and Steve use seem superior in general to mine, though I think the Barrie Nettles approach when specificity is required is great too.

To be sure I'm on the same page, let me list a couple of chords and see if I'm conceiving them correctly to you guys.

C13 =

C E G Bb A
C E G Bb D A
C E G Bb D F A
and of course, any voicings derivative of the above that omit the root and/or fifth

Dm11 =

D F A C G
D F A C E G
and any voicings derivative of the above w/ omissions

Barrie Nettles might write C E G Bb A as C7 (13) for specificity, or Fmaj7 (13/#11/9) for F A C E G B D.

I'm officially abandoning "add" for anything other than additions to triads.

Thanks for the lesson, guys.
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 20, 2012 02:34AM
Those look fine to me, Ty

By the way, another 'convention' I've come across is to further distinguish between added chords and 'series of 3rds extended chords' by using the simple interval number for added chords and the compound interval number for extended chords. Are you familiar with that system?

For example, unlike in a 9th chord where we call the note a 9th to show its place in the series of stacked 3rds - 1 3 5 b7 9, an added chord is just a note (except the 7th) added to a triad (or maybe to a modified triad such as a sus) so there's no reason to call it add 9 in that case - it's an add 2. Or add 4 instead of add11 and 6 instead of add13 - (which we all use anyway).

The 7th obviously has to be an exception as you can't add a 7th to a triad without extending it by a 3rd - which puts us firmly back into extended chord territory, and anything above that is seen as further extensions of an already extended chord, and so is numbered with compound interval names.

It does have a certain logic to it, doesn't it? And, unlike 7 add 11, I've seen add 2s and add 4s quite often in print and assumed they must be following that convention. As for me, I'll stick with the more familiar, if slightly less less logical, add 9, add 11, 6 and 6 add 9 (or maybe 6-9 if Steve's around :-) .
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 20, 2012 06:06AM
Fretsource Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> As for 6/9 - I'm with you on this one Ty. It's
> always been called 6 add 9 in my experience.
> Written as 6/9 - prounounced as '6 add 9'. Yes, it
> may take a few milli-seconds longer to pronounce
> than 'six-nine', but it rolls off the tongue
> nicely.

While I'm fully with you on everything else, I've always called that "six nine", without the "add". It doesn't say "add" in the symbol, so why say it? You don't say "C add 6" when you see "C6". Nor (obviously) would one say "C add 9" when seeing "C9".
Of course it's no problem to say "C6 add 9", but there seems no good reason to.

I think I have heard someone refer to it as "C sixty nine", but we won't go there... ;-)
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 20, 2012 08:14AM
JonR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> While I'm fully with you on everything else, I've
> always called that "six nine", without the "add".
> It doesn't say "add" in the symbol, so why say it?

I suppose I say it for the same reason that Ty says it, i.e., that's how I learned it, and how everyone around me called it at the time. I do see some logic in the 'add', though, given that it's a 6th chord with an added 9th. Take away the 6th and you've got an add 9 chord. That begs the question - Why doesn't the symbol say it? I've always assumed it's just an accepted shorthand symbol.

> You don't say "C add 6" when you see "C6".

Any idea why? What's special about the 6th that we don't say or write 'add 6',(or even add 13) like we do with 9 & 11? I wonder if it's to do with it coming from the original "chord of the 6th" i.e., first inversions - as in C 6th originally being Am7 in 1st inversion. In other words, never just a triad with a disconnected note added, like the add 9 or add 11, but a chord with a classier history than that, i.e., a full 4 note inverted tertian chord.

As you can probably tell, I'm just thinking aloud here - any clarification welcome.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/20/2012 08:29AM by Fretsource.
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 22, 2012 08:08PM
Fretsource Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> JonR Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
>
> >
> > While I'm fully with you on everything else,
> I've
> > always called that "six nine", without the
> "add".
> > It doesn't say "add" in the symbol, so why say
> it?
>
> I suppose I say it for the same reason that Ty
> says it, i.e., that's how I learned it, and how
> everyone around me called it at the time. I do see
> some logic in the 'add', though, given that it's a
> 6th chord with an added 9th.
> Take away the 6th and you've got an add 9 chord.
> That begs the question - Why doesn't the
> symbol say it? I've always assumed it's just an
> accepted shorthand symbol.
>
> > You don't say "C add 6" when you see "C6".
>
> Any idea why? What's special about the 6th that we
> don't say or write 'add 6',(or even add 13)
> like we do with 9 & 11? I wonder if it's to do
> with it coming from the original "chord of the
> 6th" i.e., first inversions - as in C 6th
> originally being Am7 in 1st inversion. In other
> words, never just a triad with a disconnected note
> added, like the add 9 or add 11, but a chord with
> a classier history than that, i.e., a full 4 note
> inverted tertian chord.
>
> As you can probably tell, I'm just thinking aloud
> here - any clarification welcome.

I think it's about the presence or absence of the 7th - in the main anyway.
When we say (or write) "Cadd9", the difference from "C9", is that the former lacks the 7th.
With "C6", we don't need "add", because if a 7th was present it would be called "C13".
The equivalent to Cadd9, then, would be "Cadd13" (clearly clumsier than C6).
A good question - therefore - might be why don't we call Cadd9 "C2"? That would be consistent with the "C6 / C13" distinction. (Ie, take away the 7 from C9, we're left with C2.)
I suspect it may be because "C2"suggests a voicing where the D would be low in the chord (despite the fact that chord symbols aren't supposed to imply voicing...) - whereas the D is usually voiced high: in a similar position to where a 9th usually would be.
And of course many people would confuse C2 with "Csus2". (In fact, I see "C2" quite often, and never know whether it's supposed to mean Csus2 or Cadd9.)

Anyway - while there is some inconsistency regarding 2 and 9 - we know that "6" in a chord symbol means the chord can't contain a 7th. So we can use "C6/9" without needing the word "add"; the "6" does that job for us.

I think there may also be something in your thought about the "classier history" of C6. In jazz at least, a 6th chord is the alternative to a maj7 when the melody is the root note. IOW, adding a 6th is a conventional alternative to adding a 7th, with a long history. We wouldn't say "add6" any more than we'd say "add7" ;-). The "add" is only necessary when the extension we're adding would normally imply a 7th. "9" does, of course - but not if "6" is there too.

I'm only thinking aloud too! But this is how I make sense of the conventions myself. (I think there are probably still one or two inconsistencies that don't yield to logic - other than that of practical usage.)
Ty
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 22, 2012 10:48PM
I heard people say "C6 add 9" so much that I thought the "/" was just a shorthand way of writing "add." Logic doesn't always apply to the way people say stuff.
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 25, 2012 03:38PM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hey, Steve,
I frankly don't remember which private
> teacher (or book/article?) taught it to me.


Red flag :-)

>
> I actually like the way you've organized it better
> though, to be perfectly honest, and I'll adopt it
> (would love sources though!).

Source: common widespread use :-)

Seriously though, chord charts and books.


> So, a C13 could have a 9 and an 11, but doesn't
> have to.

Correct. But it must have the 7th to be some type of 13th.

If a composer wants it specifically not
> to, they'd write C13 (no9, no11).

Yes.

Steve
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 25, 2012 03:47PM
Ty Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

>
> C13 =
>
> C E G Bb A
> C E G Bb D A
> C E G Bb D F A
> and of course, any voicings derivative of the
> above that omit the root and/or fifth

Yup.


>
> Dm11 =
>
> D F A C G
> D F A C E G
> and any voicings derivative of the above w/
> omissions

Yup.

>
> Barrie Nettles might write C E G Bb A as C7 (13)
> for specificity,

Makes sense. Pretty clear too. Most of the time, I see the "no X" notation.

I usually only see the numerals when they're altered, so CMaj7(#11) for example.





or Fmaj7 (13/#11/9) for F A C E G
> B D.

I've encountered this more frequently as FMaj13 (#11) (and this is the notation that another Berklee grad told me they used when he was in school).

>
> I'm officially abandoning "add" for anything other
> than additions to triads.
>
> Thanks for the lesson, guys.

You're welcome. As was said, it's not an exact science, but I guess we should strive for consistency.

Steve
Re: How do extended chords work?
February 25, 2012 03:50PM
Fretsource Wrote:

>
> As for 6/9 - I'm with you on this one Ty. It's
> always been called 6 add 9 in my experience.
> Written as 6/9 - prounounced as '6 add 9'. Yes, it
> may take a few milli-seconds longer to pronounce
> than 'six-nine', but it rolls off the tongue
> nicely.

Interesting.

Personally, I've never liked this symbol because of it being inconsistent with the system.

Maybe we should call it a "sixty-nine" chord ;-)

Steve
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