Reading song chords

Thread: Reading song chords

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  1. masterpaul said:

    Default Reading song chords

    I learnt to play guitar, by my self. Meaning I have no idea how to read chords when there are written like this:

    D A D
    Ήμουνα μικρός για τόσα αινίγματα
    D A Bm
    Κι’ όμως τα απάντησα μωρό μου
    D A F#m G
    Έκανα με σένα τόσα ανοίγματα
    Em A D
    Τώρα έχω κλειστεί στον εαυτό μου

    D A D
    Σου ’ριξα τα δίχτυα μα δεν πιάστηκες
    D A Bm
    Ξέρεις να ξεφεύγεις απ’ το θέμα
    D A F#m G
    Ίσως έχεις δίκιο που φυλάχτηκες
    Em A F#m
    Απ’ το σ’ αγαπώ και από μένα

    Bm G Em A
    Είναι επικίνδυνα εδώ γι’ αυτό καλύτερα που φεύγεις
    Bm G Em A
    Χρόνια προσπαθώ αυτό που χρόνια αποφεύγεις
    Bm G Em A
    Κι άλλο αν μείνεις θα δεθώ, γι’ αυτό καλύτερα που φεύγεις
    Bm G Em A

    So basicly my question is... what is Em? D? Am? E#m ? etc
  2. selim said:

    Default How to read chords

    Dear MasterPaul,

    I don't know your level but I think it's better you look it up on the net.

    I will try to give you a brief info.

    Let me tell you a story and I'm sure there are many versions of it.

    One day someone noticed that two frequencies, one is twice of the other,
    produced the same sound, one at a higher pitch (treble). That frequency
    was somehow 440Hz, and the higher being 880 Hz. Then he said let me call
    this A1 and the second A2 and name it as a note. (Numbers may be different).
    He found out that two notes weren't enough, so he tried and tried and
    came out with 8 notes, namely A1,B1,C1,D1,E1,F1,G1,A2, excluding A2 there are
    8 intervals. Including A2, there are 8 notes, and he said that A1 and A2 is
    one octave apart.
    Then one day somebody else who is sick of trying to find the notes on his
    fretless guitar decided to put frets on his guitar but found out that
    to his surprise the frets were not evenly distributed. "Ofcourse" said the
    wiseman " The distance between E1 and F1 is half tone, and so is the interval
    between B1 and C1. He asked his close friend the physician(doctor, those days
    doctors did many things) to find the formula and he computed that between
    each half note there was a relation of the 12th root of 2. The guitar player
    did not understand anything so the phsycian helped to put the frets in their
    right places. There was a problem. How would they call new notes: one said
    "higher A1", the other said "lower B1" Wiseman said "let's use both but in a
    shorter way so "higher A1" became A#1 (A sharp) and "lower B1" became
    Bb1 (B bemol) and they agreed that A# == Bb and Fb was in fact E and wasn't used.
    Well, the guitar players found the notes easily on his guitar
    but there was a problem; he was using half tones so much that was becoming
    something other than being musical.
    So, the wiseman said you will be playing in the C major scale until other
    scales are invented:
    C major scale - C1,D1,E1,F1,G1,A1,H1,C2

    ---------- C1,one,D1,one,E1,half,F1,one,G1,one,A1,one,H1,half ,C2

    Instead of B1, he used H1 but some continued to use B1 still.
    He said this scale takes its name from the starting note and if you want another
    major scale start from another note,keep the relations the same and give that
    major scale the name of the starting note.
    The guitar player started to play in C scale, but he was not very happy because
    others played better. Then he said to the physician "I will find polyphony" and
    came out that in C scale notes (1) and (5) produced harmony and polyphony that
    was to say {(C1,G1),(D1,A2),(E1,B2),(F1,C1),(G1,D2),(A1,E2),( B1,F2)}. The wiseman
    said "Ok, may you be a rock player and you don't have problem with the major or
    minor chords". The physician asked "what's a minor/major chord?" Wiseman said
    "you'll find that out later". Physician came out with a solution. He said that
    in C scale notes (1) and (3) produced harmony and polyphony too that's to say
    {(C1,E1),(D1,F1),(E1,G1),(F1,A1),(G1,B1),(A1,C2),( B1,D2)}
    Wiseman said let's do it (1),(3),(5) and call it chords, and name it with
    the starting note and made a list:

    Natural chord of C major scale 1-3-5

    C.......C1-E1-G1 2/1.5 Major
    Dm....D1-F1-A1 1.5/2 Minor
    Em....E1-G1-B1 1.5/2 Minor
    F.......F1-A1-C2 2/1.5 Major
    G......G1-B1-R2 2/1.5 Major
    Am....A1-C2-E2 1.5/2 Minor
    B-.....B1-D2-F2 1.5/1.5 Diminished (I guess)

    And he said if you use 1-3-5-7 you will get to chords of 7th

    And the story suddenly ends here. The characters and the events in the
    above story is fictional.

    Now let us have an application for your case. Let me list the chords first:
    Major is default, Minor is indicated by a small m.

    D,A,Bm,F#m,G,Em, in ascending order D,Em,F#m,G,A,Bm

    Let's find the notes of chords by the formulas (Major: 2/1.5, Minor: 1.5/2)

    D .... D1 -F#1 -A1 2/1.5 Major (D1-one-E1-one-F#1 , F#1-half-G1-one-A1)
    ..............................................*( (see Dm) only the note in the middle changes)
    Em....E1 -G1 -B1 1.5/2 Minor
    F#m..F#1-A1 -C#2 1.5/2 Minor
    G......G1 -B1 -R2 2/1.5 Major
    A......A1 -C#2 -E2 2/1.5 Major
    ................................................*( (see Am) only the note in the middle changes)
    Bm....B1 -D2 -F#2 1.5/2 Minor

    Now let's put notes of chords in ascending order


    Since formula for a major scale is "one,one,half,one,one,one,half" this is a major scale.
    Since it starts with D it is D major scale and the notes of the melody must be in this scale
    (There are exceptions of course) And the chords used are natural chords of D major scale.

    So from the chords of the song you can find the in which scale it is written, and/or from the
    scales you find which chords to use.

    Now how to play on guitar: It would be better if you found anouther source because text format
    isn't good for it. But I'll do my best

    Let's represent the notes on the string as

    0....1......2......3....4.....5.....6.....7.....8 Fret no, (0 is empty string, 1 is 1st fret ..)

    E3|F3...|F#3 |G3|G#3|A3..|Bb3|B3...|C4 |... ---Thinnest string ------
    B2|C3...|C#3|D3 |D#3|E3..|F3..|F#3|G3 |.... ---------------------------
    G2|G#2|A2...|Bb2|B2 |C3..|C#3|D3..|D#3|.... ------------------------
    D2|D#2|E2...|F2 |F#2|G2..|G#2|A2..|A#2|.... ------------------------
    A1|Ab1.|B1...|C2 |C#2|D2.|D#2|E2..|F2 |.... ---------------------------
    E1|F1...|F#1|G1..|G#1|A1.|Bb1|B1..|C2 |... ---Thickest string ------

    You may use it as tuning map. For example 5th fret on B2 string must match E3 empty string.

    Fingering is very important but unfortunately I don't remember the names.
    Some used PIMAE but I will use numbering and give hints to understand the no.s
    I hope you're right handed. You will use your left hand so
    L1 thumb
    L5 little finger
    L3 middle one
    L4 ring finger
    L2 pointing finger

    The chords will be represented by fret no.

    D chord D1-F#1 -A1 2/1.5 Major
    E3|--2-------- 2nd fret (F#3) L3
    B2|--3-------- 3rd fret (D3 ) L4
    G2|--2-------- 2nd fret (A2 ) L2
    D2|--0-------- empty (D2 )
    A1|-(0)------- may use or not (A1 )
    E1|--x-------- don't use

    * used much in Folks music and it's very brilliant

    Em chord E1 -G1 -B1 1.5/2 Minor

    E3|--0-------- empty (E3 )
    B2|--0-------- empty (B2 )
    G2|--0--------empty (G2 )
    D2|--2-------- 2nd fret (E2 ) L4
    A1|--2------- 2nd fret (B1 ) L3
    E1|--0-------- empty (E1 )

    * Easiest start with this one

    F#m chord F#1-A1 -C#2 1.5/2 Minor

    E3|--2-------- 2nd fret (F#3) L2
    B2|--2-------- 2nd fret (C#3 ) L2
    G2|--2-------- 2nd fret (A2 ) L2
    D2|--4-------- 4th fret (F#2) L5
    A1|--4------- 4th fret (C#2) L4
    E1|--2-------- 2nd fret (F#1) L2

    * You don't have to use all of them
    * This is the hardest. As you can see L2 is on many strings
    * You have to cover the 2nd fret with one finger and this
    * is call barré (if you don't use (F#1) it's a small barré

    G chord G1 -B1 -R2 2/1.5 Major

    E3|--3-------- 3rd fret (G3) L5
    B2|--0-------- empty (B2 )
    G2|--0--------empty (G2 )
    D2|--0-------- empty (D2 )
    A1|--2------- 2nd fret (B1 ) L3
    E1|--3-------- 3rd fret (G1 ) L4

    *This is the folk style G chord.
    *There is another type but I'll leave it aside

    A chord A1 -C#2 -E2 2/1.5 Major

    E3|--0-------- empty (E3 )
    B2|--2-------- 2nd fret (C#3 ) L5
    G2|--2-------- 2nd fret (A2 ) L4
    D2|--2-------- 2nd fret (E2 ) L3
    A1|--0-------- empty (A1 )
    E1|--0-------- empty (E1 )

    * 2nd Easiest start with this one after Em

    Bm B1 -D2 -F#2 1.5/2 Minor

    E3|--2-------- 2nd fret (F#3) L2
    B2|--3-------- 3rd fret (R3 ) L3
    G2|--4--------4th fret (B2 ) L5
    D2|--4-------- 4th fret (F#2) L4
    A1|--x-------- don't use
    E1|--x-------- don't use

    * This is the easiest way. If you use L2 as barré
    * you get the full chord

    I think that's enough. I hope you enjoy it.

  3. selim said:

    Default using chords

    Yes that's the main idea but that's not so easy always. It depends on how you start to compose music.

    Sometimes you start with a melody, then you find the scale and decide on which chords and where to use them.
    If the melody is strong then the chords are of secondary importance, however if the melody is weak
    then chords have much importance and may make a weaker melody first class. More chords doesn't mean a more beautiful song.
    More important is which chords and where to use them.

    Sometimes you decide on the chords and start to play. They will induce you a melody and then you make small changes on the chords
    and then on the melody and an iterative process begins.

    Of course bass is as much important as the chords. In a classic way bass plays the lowest note of the chord.

    These are just guide lines and not rules. In fact as long as you make something nice there are no rules. If you can make noise sound nice use it.

  4. Davidmechaly said:


    how do i know when to play the chords and how often when its written out like this, i just ignore things like that because i dont understand themm
  5. selim said:

    Default Attaching chords to a melody

    Attaching chords to a melody

    how do i know when to play the chords and how often?
    The answer is in the question. You don't know it but you choose it,
    and there are almost infinite number of choices.

    I will try to give examples, simple yet effective.

    Assume you are in the C scale or C key as some people call it.
    Let's remember the C scale: (*when not written, default is major)

    C major scale - C1,D1,E1,F1,G1,A1,B1,C2
    C1,one,D1,one,E1,half,F1,one,G1,one,A1,one,B1,half ,C2
    Natural chords of C major scale 1-3-5
    • C.......C1-E1-G1......2/1.5 Major
    • Dm.... D1-F1-A1......1.5/2 Minor
    • Em.... E1-G1-B1......1.5/2 Minor
    • F.......F1-A1-C2......2/1.5 Major
    • G...... G1-B1-R2......2/1.5 Major
    • Am.... A1-C2-E2......1.5/2 Minor
    • B-..... B1-D2-F2......1.5/1.5 Diminished (I guess)
    (* rule of thumb don't use B-; It does not sound nice,
    however, a master can make it sound nice with pre or/and post chords)

    I will drop the no.s since in fact E1= E2....=En

    Assume we have a melody as given below

    (1)-----(2)-----(3)-----(4)-----(1)-----(2)-----(3)-----(4)-----(1)-----(2)-----(3)-----(4)----- Time
    (E)--------------------------->(E)-(D)-(B)-(G)-(A)------------>(G)-(A)-(B)-------->(A)-------> Melody

    Which chords have (E) in common ? C, Em, Am ; you can choose one or more of them (not at the same time, of course)
    (D)(B)(G) -> A perfect G major chord: You can use use it for the whole duration
    Which chords have (A) in common ? Dm, F, Am ;
    Which chords have (G) in common ? C,Em, G ;
    Which chords have (B) in common ? Em, G ; we have left B-. out

    My choice: Two chords Am and G

    (1)-----(2)-----(3)-----(4)-----(1)-----(2)-----(3)-----(4)-----(1)-----(2)-----(3)-----(4)----- Time
    (E)--------------------------->(E)-(D)-(B)-(G)-(A)------------>(G)-(A)-(B)-------->(A)-------> Melody
    Am---------------------------------G----------Am--------------G------------------Am-------> (1) *(G)(A)(B) is given G chord, skippin' (A)
    Am----------AmAm---------Am------G------G--Am---------Am--G-------G------G---Am-------> (2)
    Em----------EmAm---------C--------G------G--Dm---------Am--C-------Em-----G---Dm------> (3) Same as (2) with different chords


    *it is not possible to write something in tabular form with this font