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How To Spell Out Different Chords

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Defualt User ImageSnowRose
12:26 am Saturday
January 7, 2006
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I am new to guitar and wanted to learn how you spell out a chord.

Say for example, you want A(Augmented), which is 1-3-#5. However, do you translate it from an A(major), which is 1-3-5? Which means, is it from A-C#-E (Amajor) to A-C#-F (Aaugmented)?

I read the lesson, but I am still quite confused. Thanks, much help is appreciated.
User ImageBillyJack
9:55 am Saturday
January 7, 2006
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Re: How To Spell Out Different Chords

Quote From SnowRose:
I am new to guitar and wanted to learn how you spell out a chord.

Say for example, you want A(Augmented), which is 1-3-#5. However, do you translate it from an A(major), which is 1-3-5?
Yes
[quote:6b3e93a300]Which means, is it from A-C#-E (Amajor) to A-C#-F (Aaugmented)?Yes

[quote:6b3e93a300]I read the lesson, but I am still quite confused. Thanks, much help is appreciated.You're probly thinking too much and that's why you're confusing yourself.

Stating with the "A" note, write out all the notes that follow "A" until you get back to "A" an octive higher.
Like this: A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A
Now take a look at what you wrote. That's all the notes in modern music theory that make up an octive. There are 13 notes if you count both the ROOT and OCTIVE "A". Now if you start in "C", you use the exact same notes in the exact same order you just begin and end in "C".
Like this: C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C
This is called the CHROMATIC SCALE. It is our whole world. Everything we do is based from here. PERIOD. There is a space in between the notes in our little world of 13 notes and that space is consistant. The space between each of our notes is called a SEMITONE (or halftone). Now to create a WHOLETONE, you need two SEMITONEs.
For example: From the "A" note, a SEMITONE higher would be an "A#". A WHOLETONE higher would be a "B" because you measured two SEMITONES "A" ~ "A#" ~ "B". Now an "F#" ~ "G#", is also a WHOLETONE because "F#"~S~"G"~S~"G#".

Review (you might want to write this down) :
CHROMATIC SCALE = All 13 notes in modern music in alphbetical order.
SEMITONE = The space between each note of the CHROMATC SCALE.
WHOLETONE = Two SEMITONES.

Now to save space and time, from here on out, I'll represent SEMITONES with a "s" and WHOLETONES with a "w".

SCALES: Now that we understand the measurements in the CHROMATIC SCALE as "s" & "w", we can now map out our little world. Where ever we start from on our travels is called the ROOT. When spelling a SCALE or CHORD, the ROOT is always represented by the #1. (like in you 1,3,5 example, "A" is 1 as it was when I typed out the CHROMATIC SCALE in "A".) Now when playing music, we don't want to travel to each notes in the CHROMATIC SCALE. The spaces are too tight together. The most common traveled route in our world is called the MAJOR SCALE. This scale is made up of a combination of "w" & "s" following the ROOT (1).
To create a MAJOR SCALE, we use this formula:
1-"w"-"w"-"s"-"w"-"w"-"w"-"s" (this brings us back to 1)
Let me demonstrait. A "w" B "w" C# "s" D "w" E "w" F# "w" G# "s" A
Same applies for C. C "w" D "w" E "s" F "w" G "w" A "w" B "s" C
(you might want to try the formula using other notes as your ROOT)

Now count how many notes are played in the MAJOR SCALE. There are 8, if we count the OCTIVE of the ROOT, doesn't matter what the ROOT is. If there are always 8 notes and the spaces are always the same, we can just number them 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1 (the 8th note in the scale is the same note as 1 just and octive higher)

Review (you might want to write this down) :
MAJOR SCALE = Most common scale in western music theory.
The formula for the MAJOR SCALE = ("w"-"w"-"s"-"w"-"w"-"w"-"s")
The notes of the MAJOR SCALE are numbered as 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,1

SPELLING CHORDS: The numbers in the MAJOR SCALE is where we get our spelling from. In your example, A, C#, E are the 1,3,5 of "A". To AUGMENT a chord you use a #5. The spelling would be 1,3,#5. This means you move the 5 a "s" sharp from where it is in the Major chord. If "E" is the 5th of "A" then, "F" would be a #5. An augmented "A" would then be A, C#, F (1,3,#5).
Now apply that to "C". "C" Major is C, E, G (that's the 1,3,5 of "C") If you augment the 5 it would be C, E, G# (again 1,3,#5).

Review (you might want to write this down) :
When Spelling a chord, you base the numbers on the intervals in the MAJOR SCALE.
When you see a SHARP or FLAT in the spelling, it means to move that interval a SEMITONE # or Flat of the major interval.

Hope this helped. Feel free to ask questions if any of this is unclear. I hope you can take what I've written here and apply it to the Lesson Zone to help it make sense. Mike has done an outstanding job of explaining everything I've tried to clear up for you. Now maybe you can understand it better. GOOD LUCK!
Defualt User ImageSnowRose
2:18 pm Saturday
January 7, 2006
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Wow thanks a lot! This has been the most useful forum I've visited in years. Thanks for your time and patience! =)

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