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View Full Version : Is it me or does this seem like sloppy math?



Icelander53
07-17-2014, 02:52 AM
I really always found music mysterious. The fact that people said it was all mathematical made it more so because I've never been very adept at math. I always thought music must be very precise because hey, it's math. :D

So why are these chord charts all over the place? Here's a small example and it's hardly rare.

0101 = A7b9

or so one would think.

according to a different chord chart it's A7+5

on the third chord chart it's not even listed as a chord but that's another issue altogether. I would like to know why there is no comprehensive chord charts that cover most of the possible chords. They all seem to not have the one that's listed in the new song I just found. :confused:

What gives?

Oh and hey, I'm not bitching, I'm complaining. There's a difference right?

Jim Hanks
07-17-2014, 03:04 AM
Let's see, the notes are G C# E Bb
A7b9 would be A C# E G Bb so I can see that
A7+5 would be A C# F G - I don't see that one at all

Guitar Toolkit calls it a diminished chord so any of Gdim7, C#dim7, Edim7, Bbdim7

Extended Uke chords can be hard to name sometimes as you only have 4 notes out of the total needed for a full voicing.

RichM
07-17-2014, 03:16 AM
Extended Uke chords can be hard to name sometimes as you only have 4 notes out of the total needed for a full voicing.

Exactly-- odds are good that the music you're playing was adapted from guitar (or even piano) where a five-note chord is possible. Since five-note chords are not possible on a uke, whoever created the uke music created the best approximation of that chord they could, but didn't bother renaming it.

TheOnlyUkeThatMatters
07-17-2014, 04:44 AM
Don't forget that music mistakes---especially wrong chord names and strange notation---are just as common as mathematical errors, that is, they happen all the time. Best to worry about what sounds good, rather than trying to make sense of every symbol (they won't all make sense).

Icelander53
07-17-2014, 05:14 AM
Thanks for the info guys. It's just confusion galore for someone new to all this. I assumed more commonality in these uke chord charts and songs. And it's amazing how often I can't find a chord on any of my charts. For instance B+. I'm sure a lot of the confusion is on my part due to ignorance and most of what you have all pointed out is stuff that never even got on my radar. That's why I started this thread. Sneaky huh!:nana:

iamesperambient
07-17-2014, 05:52 AM
I really always found music mysterious. The fact that people said it was all mathematical made it more so because I've never been very adept at math. I always thought music must be very precise because hey, it's math. :D

So why are these chord charts all over the place? Here's a small example and it's hardly rare.

0101 = A7b9

or so one would think.

according to a different chord chart it's A7+5

on the third chord chart it's not even listed as a chord but that's another issue altogether. I would like to know why there is no comprehensive chord charts that cover most of the possible chords. They all seem to not have the one that's listed in the new song I just found. :confused:

What gives?

Oh and hey, I'm not bitching, I'm complaining. There's a difference right?


I'm dyslexic and Dysnumeric. I had some major trouble all through out school even college (which caused me to drop out)
with math. I think if i did not teach myself my own way with out learning to read and write music i probably would not
be here right now playing. I know chord names, i understand who chords/notes work to a point, i understand keys
usually when i jam with other guitarists or uke players i end up being the one who goes 'ok play a cadd9" and they look
at me like i'm talking like a genius aka half of guitarists and uke players don't even know the names of most chords or
read music.

I wish i could answer your question but i'm pretty happy playing my own way ignoring the 'math' i guess i blindly know math if i play but ill be damned if i understand that end of it.

Rick Turner
07-17-2014, 06:20 AM
Your choice of three diminished, as per Jim's explanation...and what you call it depends on what key you're playing in.

In Uke Ellington, Sandor and I are constantly figuring out which one of us will play some of the extensions. It takes two ukes to play some of these more sophisticated chords. I think we may have some of a recent live performance up on YouTube soon, and you'll hear and see what we're doing on some of these tunes like "Midnight at the Oasis", "Don't Wait Too Long", etc.

Mattyukaholic
07-17-2014, 06:41 AM
Like everyone has said you have to take all chord charts in songs with a pinch of salt, especially 4 note chords. It makes teaching hard sometimes too.

One thing I come across all the time is chord charts calling certain chords standard diminished when they're actually diminished sevenths, but that's a whole other problem! :)

Mattyukaholic
07-17-2014, 06:43 AM
Your choice of three diminished, as per Jim's explanation...and what you call it depends on what key you're playing in.

In Uke Ellington, Sandor and I are constantly figuring out which one of us will play some of the extensions. It takes two ukes to play some of these more sophisticated chords. I think we may have some of a recent live performance up on YouTube soon, and you'll hear and see what we're doing on some of these tunes like "Midnight at the Oasis", "Don't Wait Too Long", etc.

Rick - you've just switched on a lightbulb in my mind. I'd never thought of using two ukuleles to play chords with more than four notes. That's a great idea and sounds like fun too! I'm going to try it at our next uke night. Thanks!

iamesperambient
07-17-2014, 07:20 AM
I really always found music mysterious. The fact that people said it was all mathematical made it more so because I've never been very adept at math. I always thought music must be very precise because hey, it's math. :D

So why are these chord charts all over the place? Here's a small example and it's hardly rare.

0101 = A7b9

or so one would think.

according to a different chord chart it's A7+5

on the third chord chart it's not even listed as a chord but that's another issue altogether. I would like to know why there is no comprehensive chord charts that cover most of the possible chords. They all seem to not have the one that's listed in the new song I just found. :confused:

What gives?

Oh and hey, I'm not bitching, I'm complaining. There's a difference right?

i learned the whole replace certain chords with jazz chords theory it get it to a point
and i'm able to turn a certain kind of song into a more 'jazzy' version but i would love to
find a way to understand it even better i'm still learning how to play jazz its been a new
goal of mine as of the last few months to learn it.

Kimosabe
07-17-2014, 07:24 AM
Please allow me to put in my five cents:

First of all you need to understand the basic kinds of chords:tonics and dominants. Where you start and where you go and what you must come back to. The subdominants are in between. So a major is where you start> That could be a a simple major, a major seventh, a 6/9 chord. Variations on a theme. Listen to the differences.

Then your dominants which are basically variations on sevenths. 9ths, 13ths. Listen to the differences; they're subtle. You can substitute one for another. A pinch of this, a pinch of that.

Everybody can learn do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do. You can hear it. That's your major scale. It's also 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. When you start again it's 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

You want to at a flat 9. The re above the second do is the nine. Flat it and you have your flat nine.

When you make chords you start with 1-3-5. Then you add 7, then 9. You keep all the notes below but learn what you can drop when you run out of strings. The bass can pick up the root. If the chord calls for a flat 5, start on the do and count up to the so and flat it.

I've learned to make my own chords. Glen Rose's Advanced Chords for jazzy uke video really opened my eyes and EARS to how you can substitute chords and why you don't have to freak out when you see something that looks weird. Glen Rose is the best way to get into jazz uke without pain. You instantly know that you can substitute something simpler. Jazz musicians do it all the time. Remember music is a job for musicians. Sometimes they like to do as little as possible. Sometimes small is good. Obsessive-compulsive pianists might be doing all kinds of fancy chord changes that sound nice while someone comping in the background on a guitar or uke can get the message across without all the chord extensions (going beyond the 7th) or alterations (flatting or sharping the basic chord notes, which is usually just done to include the melody).

Long story short: Learn do-re-mi and learn it starting on any note. Find your 1, 3, 5, and 7, 9, and13.

iamesperambient
07-17-2014, 07:31 AM
Please allow me to put in my five cents:

First of all you need to understand the basic kinds of chords:tonics and dominants. Where you start and where you go and what you must come back to. The subdominants are in between. So a major is where you start> That could be a a simple major, a major seventh, a 6/9 chord. Variations on a theme. Listen to the differences.

Then your dominants which are basically variations on sevenths. 9ths, 13ths. Listen to the differences; they're subtle. You can substitute one for another. A pinch of this, a pinch of that.

Everybody can learn do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do. You can hear it. That's your major scale. It's also 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. When you start again it's 9, 10, 11, 12, 13.

You want to at a flat 9. The re above the second do is the nine. Flat it and you have your flat nine.

When you make chords you start with 1-3-5. Then you add 7, then 9. You keep all the notes below but learn what you can drop when you run out of strings. The bass can pick up the root. If the chord calls for a flat 5, start on the do and count up to the so and flat it.

I've learned to make my own chords. Glen Rose's Advanced Chords fr jazzy uke video really opened my eyes and EARS to how you can substitute chords and why you don't have to freak out when you see something that looks weird. You instantly know that you can substitute something simpler. Jazz musicians do it all the time. Remember music is a job for musicians. Sometimes they like to do as little as possible. Sometimes small is good. Obsessive-compulsive pianists might be doing all kinds of fancy chord changes that sound nice while someone comping in the background on a guitar or uke can get the message across without all the chord extensions (going beyond the 7th) or alterations (flatting or sharping the basic chord notes, which is usually just done to include the melody).

Long story short: Learn do-re-mi and learn it starting on any note. Find your 1, 3, 5, and 7, 9, and13.

pretty helpful thanks! ya i watched some glen rose stuff, i actually found ukulele mike to be the most helpful
teacher on youtube. He takes all those lessons from other teachers but actually shows all the chords and explains
in very clear simple terms. Glen rose is helpful though for sure.

Kimosabe
07-17-2014, 08:36 AM
Thanks, I watched two of Ukulele Mike's jazz videos and enjoyed them. I'll watch more. He certainly does advocate and promote Glen Rose's material for all aspiring jazz ukesters.

iamesperambient
07-17-2014, 08:40 AM
Thanks, I watched two of Ukulele Mike's jazz videos and enjoyed them. I'll watch more. He certainly does advocate and promote Glen Rose's material for all aspiring jazz ukesters.

yep he does. I just find his slow, simple way of explain to be the best on youtube. I think he should be an actual music teacher he has a very special talent for explaining things so clearly. I go to clean roses videos to listen to the theory but than go to ukulele mike's videos to actually lean how to play them if it makes sense.

VegasGeorge
07-17-2014, 11:38 AM
Well, music isn't exact in the same way as mathematics. I've notice different conventions employed when naming chords, different symbols used, and then there's the subjective element of deciding what a particular chord is when it's not fully spelled out (i.e. missing notes) and could be two or more different chords. And, have you ever noticed how knowledgable people can chord the same song differently? Apparently, they hear the same song differently. So, even though music is made up of physical and mathematical relationships, it's anything but an exact science. And, thank God for that!

Icelander53
07-17-2014, 01:09 PM
all true, I often change a chord or two to a song I grew up with and have sung a million times when I see it written and it plays wrong to me. And I don't think I was looking for an exact science but I wasn't expecting it to be as messy as my own life feels to me. :wtf:

uke4ia
07-17-2014, 01:25 PM
The one that really threw me was when a set of chords on the Ultimate Guitar Tab Archive included an H7 chord. I was stumped for a couple of days, until a friend suggested what should have been the obvious, to Google "H7 chord". It turns out that for some reason, in Germany a B7 chord is sometimes called an H7. Wikipedia explained it as having something to do with a historic worry about confusion because the flat symbol looks like a small B. Sure enough, the chords had been posted by someone in Germany.

UkerDanno
07-17-2014, 01:45 PM
0101 on some chord chart I saw somewhere is C#dim, at least that's the way I've been playing it. Assuming 0101 = no fret on 4th string, first fret on 3rd string, no fret on 2nd string, first fret on first string. Or am I dyslexic dysnumeric too? (could very well be)

Kimosabe
07-17-2014, 02:16 PM
You've just moved the diminished chord.down a step. A diminished chord has four names, the names of the four notes in the chord.

Your chord has a G, a C#, an E, and an A#


So, you could call it any of those names as a diminished chord.

You could also call it a Db or Bb diminished as C#=Db

and A#=Bb.

But what you really need to name it depends on the function it serves in the scale.

Is it based on the seventh note of the scale? The note a half step below the name of the key?


Play Cmaj, Dminor, Eminor, Fmajor, G7, Aminor, Bdim, Cmajor

See how it makes a scale? Especially if you make the chords my barring and moving down the neck.