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Thread: What mando chords are these?

  1. #26
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    In common usage, guitarists and mandolinists, and the sheet music & chord charts that they play from, often don't differentiate between a "pure" diminished chord and its related "diminished 7th", formed by adding one more diminished 3rd on top, AND that leaves a nice uniform gap of yet a fourth diminished third on top of that, to get up to the root's octave.
    Yes! As a guitarist, I never distinguished between a diminished chord and the diminished 7th in practice, and you've done a good job of describing the beauty of those chords. That's not to say that I don't understand the diminished triad, or how it lives in the diatonic harmony at the 7th degree of a major scale. Still, the intervals are analyzed from the chord's root note - and in a diminished chord, (triad and dim7) the structure is that of stacked minor thirds. What that means is that you end up with the root, the minor third, and the diminished fifth. The next minor third up gives you a diminished seventh, and the next minor third gives you the octave. That's the only way I know how to parse the diminished chords we've been discussing. IOW, you're not adding "another diminished third on top," you're adding another minor third to get to the octave. A diminished third would be two semitones ... one semitone below a minor third. Stacking minor thirds yields diminished chords in my understanding.
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  2. #27
    jbmando RIP HK Jim Broyles's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    "Pure" diminished chord? I always thought a diminished 7th was a pure diminished chord. You just keep stacking minor thirds. I have never seen stacked diminished thirds. A>C>Eb>Gb = diminished seventh chord named by any of the notes in it, right? Are you saying the last note should be Gbb for a pure diminished? I have never heard that. If you do that, it's going to sound like a (Gbb)7 (F7) so how would it be used as a diminished chord?

    Now, a m7b5: A>C>Eb>G, called by some a "half-diminished," is a different kind of chord and it it used in a different way. This is only Am7b5, it is not named by the other chord tones. If you make C the tonic, it's a Cm6. For Eb, it can be called Eb6#11 and for G, I guess it would be G+sus2add4 or Gsus2add4#5.
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  3. #28
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Broyles View Post
    "Pure" diminished chord?
    Just my attempt to differentiate the 3-note from the commonly-accepted dim7 4-note version. Sorry if it confused, and (as Mark noted above) my stumble on minor vs. diminished nomenclature. I'm up way too late!
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    Emando lover David Lewis's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    Well... uhm... yeah... maybe... sortta... but maybe not quite...

    I wouldn't have recognized this common (mis)usage until I started on piano several years ago, but:

    1 - A "proper" diminished chord is a triad (only 3 notes) built on the 7th degree of the major scale. In the key of C, that would be Bdim = B D F. Relative to a B-major triad, that would be the root, minor 3rd, and diminished 5th, a/k/a the root plus the next two minor thirds above it, each being a 3-fret gap.

    2 - In common usage, guitarists and mandolinists, and the sheet music & chord charts that they play from, often don't differentiate between a "pure" diminished chord and its related "diminished 7th", formed by adding one more diminished 3rd on top, AND that leaves a nice uniform gap of yet a fourth diminished third on top of that, to get up to the root's octave.

    The beauty of such a nice symmetrical 4-note chord is that you can:
    A) properly name it after any of the 4 notes that comprise it, and;
    B) slide it up the neck and find the same chord every three frets. (Makes for great "mood music" for when Snidely Whiplash is tying Daisybelle to the railroad tracks!)

    Frankly, I haven't really found a case where a dim7 chord couldn't be aurally substituted for the straight dim because in context, at least to me, they pretty much sound the same. So maybe this branch of the conversation is moot?

    And here's a real piece of trivia that came from my piano studies: That 3-note Bdim chord (B D F) noted above is really a G7 chord minus the root! So, IMHO, a 3-note dim chord can be freely substituted for that key's 5 (dominant 7th) chord, and sound perfectly normal in context. Maybe not critical to know for mandolin playing, but sure comes in handy on a keyboard!
    ABsolutetly critical to know for mandolin playing - three note chords. It's just a matter of remembering the formula. So if you have an E Dm, you can play a C7 without the C. F#dim? That'd be a D7, and etc...
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by EdHanrahan View Post
    Well... uhm... yeah... maybe... sortta... but maybe not quite...

    I wouldn't have recognized this common (mis)usage until I started on piano several years ago, but:

    1 - A "proper" diminished chord is a triad (only 3 notes) built on the 7th degree of the major scale. In the key of C, that would be Bdim = B D F. Relative to a B-major triad, that would be the root, minor 3rd, and diminished 5th, a/k/a the root plus the next two minor thirds above it, each being a 3-fret gap.

    2 - In common usage, guitarists and mandolinists, and the sheet music & chord charts that they play from, often don't differentiate between a "pure" diminished chord and its related "diminished 7th", formed by adding one more diminished 3rd on top, AND that leaves a nice uniform gap of yet a fourth diminished third on top of that, to get up to the root's octave.

    The beauty of such a nice symmetrical 4-note chord is that you can:
    A) properly name it after any of the 4 notes that comprise it, and;
    B) slide it up the neck and find the same chord every three frets. (Makes for great "mood music" for when Snidely Whiplash is tying Daisybelle to the railroad tracks!)

    Frankly, I haven't really found a case where a dim7 chord couldn't be aurally substituted for the straight dim because in context, at least to me, they pretty much sound the same. So maybe this branch of the conversation is moot?

    And here's a real piece of trivia that came from my piano studies: That 3-note Bdim chord (B D F) noted above is really a G7 chord minus the root! So, IMHO, a 3-note dim chord can be freely substituted for that key's 5 (dominant 7th) chord, and sound perfectly normal in context. Maybe not critical to know for mandolin playing, but sure comes in handy on a keyboard!
    I am very sorry of this response comes off as disputatious, but you are incorrect, and I feel the need to set the record straight. You are definitely confusing the musical term "diminished chord" with a "diminished triad" in your post! These are not the same thing! A diminished chord has 4 notes. A diminished triad has 3. A diminished triad is simply a minor flatted fifth chord, or a m3b5. It is built on the root plus the two minor thirds above it. A diminished chord, on the other hand, is built on the root plus the three minor thirds above it, so it contains the flatted dominant seventh (bb7). It is spelled {1, b3, b5, bb7}.

    You refer to the diminished triad as a " 'proper' diminished chord, " but that is musically incorrect (sorry). If you don't believe me, then you can read about it here, on Wikipedia. It will substantiate everything I am writing.

    You're also incorrect when you write that guitarists and mandolinists somehow don't differentiate between a "pure" diminished form and its "related diminished seventh." That's poppycock, and it grows from your misunderstanding of the three types of diminished forms (triad, diminished, and half-diminished)! First of all, we mandolinists/guitarists are no different than fellow pianists, harpists, and all the other musicians who can play chords on their instruments. And we can -- and do -- perfectly well recognize a musical distinction between a diminished triad {1, b3, b5} and (1) a full diminished chord {1, b3, b5, bb7} or (2) a half-diminished chord {1, b3, b5, b7}, as discussed earlier in this thread.

    You are correct to point out the the full diminished chord can be named after any one of its four notes (but in a different inversion), since the last minor third of a five-note stack happens to the the octave, so these notes "rotate around", coming about full circle after four chords. So there can only be 3 different diminished chords, if you don't count inversions.

    However, you also explain that you've never found a case where a "dim7 chord couldn't be aurally substituted for the straight dim (sic) because in context, at least to me, they pretty much sound the same." The reason for this is because what you're incorrectly calling a "straight dim" is actually just a diminished triad, and not a diminished chord (and not a half-diminished chord, either)!

    As you can see from the above, all 3 of the notes found in a diminished triad are also found in the corresponding 4-note diminished and 4-note half-diminished chords. So OF COURSE you can get away with playing just a triad, because you can always get away with playing fewer notes of the correct chord.

  6. #31
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Back in post #6, Jim made references to confusions in nomenclature ... I think much of the disagreement here concerns nomenclature. Ed seems enthralled by the importance of recognizing the diminished triad as "the pure" diminished chord - an unfortunate choice of words, and the diminished triad is in no way superior to a fully diminished chord as that would seem to suggest. I think he takes issue with the fact that guitarists and authors of music books, etc. assume the fully diminished chord when referring to a diminished chord, and maybe erroneously believes that we who do that are unaware of the basic diminished triad.

    On the other hand, sblock says that the triad is not a chord (if I'm reading it correctly) and that the "chords" are the ones that are sometimes called "fully diminished" and "half-diminished" - the four note chords. If I'm reading that correctly, then it's not quite right. The diminished triad is a chord, just like a major or minor triad is a chord. Those are basic chords. Adding additional notes to the triad make the chord an extended chord.

    Ed is right, I don't make any great distinction between a diminished triad and a diminished7 chord. The only time I ever have is when practicing triads in diatonic harmony up and down a guitar neck, where I'll play a vii* triad - but when playing rhythm in songs, I play the four note, fully diminished version and simply call it a diminished.
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  7. #32
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Further observation: The "fully diminished" chord has very special characteristics as both sblock and Ed have noted the circular, sort of "rotating root" phenomenon of it. That chord contains two diminished fifth intervals. And it consists of consecutive stacks of minor third intervals from root to octave. In that way, I'd say it's superior in many ways to a basic diminished triad and the moniker "fully diminished" is an apt name.

    A statement like the following can add to confusion,

    A diminished triad is simply a minor flatted fifth chord, or a m3b5
    It's not that simple; what you have there is a basic diminished chord. The reason it is a diminished chord is because of the flat fifth. There is no such animal as a "minor fifth" - a flatted fifth is a diminished fifth, and this chord is diminished because of the b5, just as an "augmented" chord is such because of the #5.
    Last edited by Mark Gunter; Jul-12-2018 at 10:06pm.
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Well, yes and no. Yes indeed, this arcane discussion ultimately turns on the nomenclature used. But no, you don't want to confuse a "diminished triad" with a "diminished chord" -- there's an important distinction made here by most music theorists, and Ed has muddied the waters, in my opinion. Theorists tend to reserve the word "diminished triad" to refer to a three-note entity consisting of the tonic, minor third, and flatted fifth. The phrase "diminished chord" is usually reserved for the four-note ('extended') chord consisting of the tonic, minor third, flatted fifth, and flatted dominant seventh. It is also called a "diminished seventh chord."

    And yes, any collection whatsoever of three or more different notes -- where octaves don't count! -- played at the same time is considered to be a "chord." A dyad, on the other hand, has just two notes and is not considered to be a chord. It's also called a "doad" by some English musicologists! For example, the famous "D chop chord" played by many bluegrass mandolinists, 7452, is not technically a chord at all!! It's two dyads of D (tonic) and F# (third) but it has no A (the fifth) in it. Likewise, the rock "power chord" consisting of the tonic and fifth (with no third) is also a dyad, and it, too, is not technically a chord.

    Anyway, by the definition above, the 'diminished triad,' the 'diminished chord' (diminished seventh) and the 'half-diminished chord' are ALL examples of chords, technically speaking. So yes to that. But for clarity, we tend to use different names for them to distinguish among the three possibilities. Whenever someone writes "a diminished chord" in a jazz, blues, or folk chart, the chances are overwhelming that they mean a 'diminished chord' (i.e., a diminished seventh). They don't mean a diminished triad.

    By the way, the notation "m3b5" does NOT mean some kind of chord with a "minor 5th". I completely agree with you that there is "no such animal." But you seem to have misunderstood this, because that isn't what that notation means at all. "m3b5" means "minor third and flatted fifth". And a minor 3rd is the same thing as a flatted major third. So a Gm3b5 (= Gb3b5) is the same thing as a Gdim triad. And a Gm3b5bb7 is the same thing as a Gdim7 chord. Whew...

    But hey, it's all good.
    Last edited by sblock; Jul-13-2018 at 12:42am.

  9. #34
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    No, not confused on the b5, my objection was to your modifier, “simply” which seemed a bit dismissive, although you did call it a m3b5 chord​ which indicates that on some level you must understand that this is indeed a diminished chord. It is in fact the simplest form of the diminished chord. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that, I suppose.
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    These conversations must be dumbfounding to non-theory nerds and they are a little dumbfounding to me. People put a little too much stock in the way they learned stuff (guilty here), and disagreements usually turn on definitions rather than the more important function of harmony.

    I think it is a mistake to give the generic term "chord" a super-precise definition. Some definitions will say "usually three or more notes." But some say "two or more notes." For example: http://www.simplifyingtheory.com/definition-of-chord/

    And context is everything. You can listen to Bach's Two-Part Inventions, where you never have more than two vertical notes at a time, and still chart out chords. If I'm in the key of C and play the tritone b-f and resolve to the tonic, you are going to hear a dominant 7 chord from just the two-note tritone. You can argue that you hear a vii diminished (same as a dominant 7 with a dropped root). The distinction has a lot more to do with nomenclature than function.

    For the record, I have never heard the term "diminished chord" to mean a diminished 7 chord, and somehow distinguishable from a diminished 7 chord with one of its notes missing.

    If you play the bottom three notes of a diminished 7 chord and then the top three notes of a diminished 7 chord, you are going to hear the same chord (with the same function in context), and it doesn't really seem that helpful to argue that these are completely different triads.

    Half-diminished chords are different animals. I often see them as dominant 7 chords with a nine added and the root dropped. But again, you can only see it that way, and it is only useful to think about it that way, when seeing it in its natural habitat, i.e., in context. A bunch of stacked notes by themselves can be terribly ambiguous, and it can fun, but not all that useful, to argue about what they are.
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  12. #36
    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    I think the reason that techno-geek types find fun in discussions like this is because they give insight into other folk's perspectives. If one can keep an open mind, it's a great learning experience, and an opportunity for a person to challenge what he or she believes or perceives. It is great fun, but not so much musically useful, to engage in this kind of stuff.

    FWIW, on the subject of chords in general, my understanding of the etymology and the musical development involved indicates that the term developed from the idea of numerous strings sounding simultaneously.

    cord = string, multiple strings = chords (from "accord" which carries an idea of harmonizing the sounds of gut cords)

    Strings were used extensively in the development of Western harmony, whether in percussion instruments like the piano and its ancestors or stringed instruments like lutes and harps. You could even push the analogy by considering vocal cords, though I haven't yet seen any historical justification for that.

    Adding a plurality of notes in harmony when making music, using strings or vocal cords, gives rise to the idea of chords.

    The three note chord harmony is a very basic building block of Western music, for within the three intervals of Root, 3rd and 5th we're able to distinguish major, minor, suspended, diminished and augmented harmonic sounds.

    The point about being able to distinguish the sound of a chord harmony from successive notes played along a single cord or string is an important point, I think, when considering historical development of Western tonal music.
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    No, not confused on the b5, my objection was to your modifier, “simply” which seemed a bit dismissive, although you did call it a m3b5 chord​ which indicates that on some level you must understand that this is indeed a diminished chord. It is in fact the simplest form of the diminished chord. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that, I suppose.
    This is getting silly, isn't it? I had written that "A diminished triad is simply a minor flatted fifth chord, or a m3b5. It is built on the root plus the two minor thirds above it. A diminished chord, on the other hand, is built on the root plus the three minor thirds above it," And now you reply by telling me that you objected NOT to the use of "m3b5" but to my use of the word "simply," which you took to be "dismissive". Are you kidding me?! There's nothing dismissive about that word: you're just reading it wrong. "Simply" is the adjectival form of the word "simple". The diminished triad has only three notes, and therefore it is SIMPLER than the four-note chords (full diminished and half diminished). You yourself write "It is in fact the simplest (sic) form of the diminished chord." So you would seem to be in total agreement about that!

    I'm not sure why you're trying to parse my words in such a strange way, except perhaps to find something objectionable. I am not trying to rile you, but I do think you need to ease up a bit on the criticism for its own sake.

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    sblock, I'll admit that I may have read too much into what you wrote. I felt though, that the sentence seemed dismissive of the idea that a diminished triad is a "chord" while at the same time calling it a chord if it were named "m3b5". Really, I'm not trying to be picky or criticizing for criticism's sake, but was trying to show that the triad is, in fact, the chord. That's where I think my disagreement lies. To insist that it be called only a triad and not a full chord is what I have a bit of trouble with, and in that context you wrote, "A diminished triad is simply a minor flatted fifth chord, or a m3b5" - what did you intend to convey from that declaration?

    No need to answer if you don't wish too, I'm not anxious for an argument, but perhaps that helps you understand my thought process. In my reply, I said, not that simple - a b5 indicates this is a diminished chord, no way to get around that.

    Again, this is arcane stuff we're discussing, but I have an interest in finding precision, if possible, in these descriptions.
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    An explanation for the meat of my objection, which I don't think is just being silly and argumentative, but I certainly don't intend to be offensive in any way. Consider the force of your statement in light of the words I've highlighted:

    "A diminished triad is simply a minor flatted fifth chord, or a m3b5. It is built on the root plus the two minor thirds above it. A diminished chord, on the other hand, is built on the root plus the three minor thirds above it."

    A confession, for the past two years I've thought long and hard about publishing a book of chords for mandolin (as though there weren't enough already), it will have what I think are better graphics, some images of hand position and the notation for each chord, as well as the chart, so I think it will be a useful addition. But because I'm now working on that book, as well as playing chords of course, this kind of stuff is of great interest to me - it occupies my thoughts.
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Gunter View Post
    sblock, I'll admit that I may have read too much into what you wrote. I felt though, that the sentence seemed dismissive of the idea that a diminished triad is a "chord" while at the same time calling it a chord if it were named "m3b5". Really, I'm not trying to be picky or criticizing for criticism's sake, but was trying to show that the triad is, in fact, the chord. That's where I think my disagreement lies. To insist that it be called only a triad and not a full chord is what I have a bit of trouble with, and in that context you wrote, "A diminished triad is simply a minor flatted fifth chord, or a m3b5" - what did you intend to convey from that declaration?

    No need to answer if you don't wish too, I'm not anxious for an argument, but perhaps that helps you understand my thought process. In my reply, I said, not that simple - a b5 indicates this is a diminished chord, no way to get around that.

    Again, this is arcane stuff we're discussing, but I have an interest in finding precision, if possible, in these descriptions.
    My goodness. With all possible respect, Mark, I suspect you may be reading my posts from an unusual perspective, and missing some important bits. I never stated that a diminished triad wasn't a chord, nor was I "dismissive" about it! Geez. Where did you get that idea from? Quiet the opposite, in fact. I carefully defined a chord when I wrote "And yes, any collection whatsoever of three or more different notes -- where octaves don't count! -- played at the same time is considered to be a 'chord.'" I also wrote that "... the 'diminished triad,' the 'diminished chord' (diminished seventh) and the 'half-diminished chord' are ALL examples of chords, technically speaking." Hard to be more clear than that.

    I did, however, try to draw a clear distinction among three different things, and what best to call them: (1) a diminished triad (3 notes), (2) a 'full' diminished chord (4 notes), i.e., a diminished seventh chord, and (3) a half diminished chord (4 notes). Note that the word 'full' appears before 'diminished' (in 2) in order to distinguish it from 'half' diminished -- this is just a parallel construction, from a grammatical perspective. The use of the word 'full' in this context does not mean, nor does it imply, that a diminished triad is not a chord. It is there to draw a distinction between 'full' and 'half' diminished. So I suspect you might have read this all wrong.

    Anyway, we seem to be talking past one another most of the time, and I regret that.

    The bottom line is this: when a fellow musician in a jam or session asks me to play, say, a "G diminished" over some lyric, they are going to hear a diminished seventh (4-note) chord from me, and the chances are excellent that this is exactly the chord that they wanted. Put another way, when folks call out "diminished," they almost always mean a diminished seventh chord, and not a diminished triad or half-diminished. If they actually meant one of these other things, they would likely specify them more closely. That's been my experience, and I would wager it is the experience of most musicians called upon to play chordal backup.

    Peace. Maybe now we can lay this to rest and get back to playing mandolin -- or working on your book project? Sounds cool.

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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    random and not-so-random observations after wading through this thread:

    we seem to have different names and symbols for the same things, let's calm down and try to bring our various terms, definitions, trainings, genres TOGETHER in hopes of attaining deeper understanding of music and where to find things on the fretboard.

    In harmonizing a major scale we use only tones from the scale, build a chord on each degree of the scale. If we look at this on a nice C scale/ chord, we notice that the chords alternate between the lines and spaces of the staff, and all the tones move scalewise...Cmajor is our first triad, C-E-G on the lines. Next is Dm, D-F-A on the spaces...C has moved to D, E to F, G to A. Next chord up is Em,E-G-B and I'll be darned it's on lines on the staff, and D has moved to the next scale degree of E,F to G, A to B! It's a golden mean pattern, meaning it works this way in all keys, yielding the same results. Continuing the process in C we end up with C-Dm-Em-F-G-Am-Bdim-C. But these are all triads..

    Using the harmonized scale to number and analyze chord functions usually involves chords with four voices, formed by adding the next tone above on each of those triads. C-E-G adds B, D-F-A adds C, E-G-B adds D, F-A-C adds E, and so on. Think lines and spaces again. Our four note chords of the harmonized scale are now Cmaj7-Dm7-Em7-Fmaj7-G7-Am7-Bm7b5-Cmaj7. So that chord in position vii turns out to be a m7b5 chord, also known as half-diminished, symbolized in most fakebooks by a circle with a slash mark through it, allthough also seen as m7b5, -7b5, min7b5. So is it "wrong" to think of the position seven chord(right next to the root!)as a diminished chord? Not exactly--that B-D-F triad is considered a diminished triad. The four voice chord Bm7b5 gives a clearer idea of the function of the chord built on the seventh degree, and it's the one most improvisers and composers refer to, just as the V chord a/k/a dominant chord assumes the inclusion of that fourth voice, in this key G-B-D-F...G7

    In fakebooks(for better or worse), + means to raise or sharp, - indicates to lower or flat. So G+ indicates G augmented, it's just assumed the fifth is the first thing to be raised a half tone. A G7+9 would be a G7#9, G-B-D-F-Bb(a real jazz face chord!) A sharp 11 chord will be seen sometimes as G7#11 or G7+11. Tone 11 is the same as tone 4. A sharp 4 is the same as a b5! Are we having fun yet? See what I mean about different names or symbols for the same things?

    Back to those durn diminished chords and the mandolin: Make a three voice G7 with the third in the bass on your mando, B-F-D or 4-3-5. Wait is that G7 no root but third, seventh, and fifth or is that a Bdiminished triad? YES.

    Now on top of that drop a b9, Ab, fourth fret of the E string. Is that G7b9 or Abdim? YES. Could it also be called B F or D diminished? YES. When you make the baseball diamond shape diminished chord on the mandolin fretboard, the bottom three notes will be some kind of dominant chord with it's third as the lowest note. Also the four voiced diamond shape chord revoices every three frets, meaning slide up three frets and you are playing the same chord. Isn't symmetry great? In this case both the mandolin and the chord are symmetrical...mandolin has consistent patterns everywhere(thank you whoever is in charge of that)and the diminished chord is a stack of minor thirds(3frets).

    OK I have wailed enough. Please don't carve me up now, let's try to avoid "wrong" "right" and try to look for common understanding and language.

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  19. #42
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by sblock View Post
    The bottom line is this: when a fellow musician in a jam or session asks me to play, say, a "G diminished" over some lyric, they are going to hear a diminished seventh (4-note) chord from me, and the chances are excellent that this is exactly the chord that they wanted. Put another way, when folks call out "diminished," they almost always mean a diminished seventh chord, and not a diminished triad or half-diminished. If they actually meant one of these other things, they would likely specify them more closely. That's been my experience, and I would wager it is the experience of most musicians called upon to play chordal backup.
    Yes, I think in practice, playing music, most of us do just that!

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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Bobby Bill & Don Stiernberg, eloquent sense from both of you guys, thanks. Don, I wish it was possible to attain some of your skill just by reading that! I need to practice more, read & write less. Thanks for sharing your perspectives, guys.
    Technique, theory and fun, fun, fun. I love playing, studying and sharing MUSIC.
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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Sblock has stated that the three note diminished chord is a "triad". That is correct. But he then says that a "diminished chord" is a four-note diminished 7 chord. That is NOT correct, according to theory books. The four-note chord is a "diminished 7" chord. In theory, you don't just add a seventh without calling it such. This has changed slightly in modern jazz theory, where 7ths are regularly added to any chord, whether stated or not.

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    Default Re: What mando chords are these?

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    Sblock has stated that the three note diminished chord is a "triad". That is correct. But he then says that a "diminished chord" is a four-note diminished 7 chord. That is NOT correct, according to theory books. The four-note chord is a "diminished 7" chord. In theory, you don't just add a seventh without calling it such. This has changed slightly in modern jazz theory, where 7ths are regularly added to any chord, whether stated or not.
    I think you misunderstand. Anything with a diminished triad in it {1, b3, b5} is considered to be some kind of 'diminished chord'! The triad played by itself is a diminished chord. The diminished triad plus the dominant (minor) seventh {1, b3, b5, b7} is also a 'diminished chord.' It's usually called "half diminished." The triad and flatted dominant seventh {1, b3, b5, bb7} is, yet again, a type of 'diminished chord.' It's usually called a 'diminished seventh.' This last chord is said to be fully diminished, in the sense that the third, fifth, and dominant seventh have all been flatted. I did not invent this nomenclature: it has been around a very long time. It's not a jazz thing, either. The word "full" is used to distinguish this form from the half diminished form, where the dominant seventh is not flatted. The fully diminished seventh chord that has the cool property, which we've discussed, that there are only three possible versions of it, and that any note in the chord could be considered to be its tonic.

    My point is now, and has always been, that when some folks call out "G diminished" in a jam or session, the chances are darned good that they are calling for a diminished seventh (fully diminished) 4-note chord, and not, say, a half diminished chord. And yes, you can always play a diminished triad if you want to support three of the notes, of course.
    Last edited by sblock; Jul-13-2018 at 6:24pm.

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