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Thread: Through your hands

  1. #1


    Need some help w this Hiatt song. What I have for chords from the Hiatt Archives are D+9, Emin7, F#maj7 and A7sus4.
    I can't find D+9 and A7sus4 on the charts. I normally play 3 or 5 chord bluegrass so I need some help from someone. If you can help with this or Know an easier way to play this awesome Hiatt song please help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    victoria, canada


    For the A7sus4, find the 3 of whatever A7 chord you're using and change it to the 4 by moving up one fret. You'll lose the three and that's fine. On the D+9, you're looking to add an E note to the D triad. You should have the notes D,F#,A,E.

  3. #3


    Thanks Ill have to mess w it. That is kind of greek. Are you saying the song could be d,f#,a ANd e. Not sure I understand but Ill see if I can figure it out. Anything extra you could give me may help.
    Ill work on moving the A7 up, not sure I understand adding an e to the d triad. I will try to ask some more learned folks than I.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    victoria, canada


    I'll slow down a bit and try to make what I'm saying more understandable.

    The basic chord, called a triad since it has only three notes. There can be four notes played, but one of them will be the same note as one of the other three, only an octave apart. You said you play mostly bluegrass, so let's look at the standard G chop chord. Low string to high, it's fret number 7, 5, 2, 3. Those notes are: D, G, B, G.

    Ok, now take a look at the open G chord. Open strings on G & D, and then the same two high notes, B & G. You can make any G chord you like and you'll only find those three notes, or duplicates of them. That's why these chords are called "triads". If there are any other notes, you have a different kind of chord. But the important thing is that if you can understand the triad, you can understand any chord, since the same idea is used, just expanded to include other notes of the scale. It's all based on the idea of numbering the notes of the major scale, aka do-ra-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do.

    Next, play a G major scale, in any position but I'll assume you're starting on the open G string. If you play it up to the first octave (the next G note), you'll play open string, 2nd fret, 4th fret, 5th fret then move up to the D string and play the same thing. Eight notes in total, but the first and the last are both G notes. Now if you number those notes, 1-8 and select the first note (the "1") the third note (the "3") and the fifth note (the "5"), you'll have the notes of the Gmajor triad. That's your open G chord, your G chop chord and any other G chord you can find. This is true in all keys, of course. G was just an example key. Any key would have done, but we bluegrass mando players are pretty confortable in G.

    And that's a good chunk of the theory you need to start finding chords on your own. In your case, you needed an A7sus4. You'd start with an A triad. Using the numbering of the notes in the scale method, you'd find A was the 1, C# the 3 and E the 5. To get an A7, you'd need to add another note (the 7 of the A scale). Find the A major scale, number the notes and G# will be the 7th note. Now here's a potentially confusing area - there are two kinds of seventh chords (I'm talking about major chords only, not minors. That's another story). One has the regular 7th note that appears in the scale, a G# in this case. These are called major 7th chords and they have to be identified that way in the chord symbol, e.g. Amaj7.
    If you just see A (or whatever) with the numeral only, as in "A7", then it's assumed the chord is what's called a dominant 7th. What that means in practical terms is that the 7th note of the scale is flattened, so in this case it's a G, not a G#.

    So you want an A7sus4. Well, you just read the chord name like you were reading text, left to right. It's telling you to start with an A chord, a simple triad, then add the note that will make it an A7. That's G. Then you need to add the note that will make the chord into a sus4. What you do to accomplish that is lose the 3rd of the chord and replace it with the 4th (note of the scale). That's a D, in this case. So your A7sus4 chord will have the one (A) the four (D) the five (E) and the seven (G). Adding the seven makes your A chord an A7 and changing the three to the four makes it an A7sus4.

    I'll stop there and hope it made sense to you.

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