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Author Topic: #5 Chords: Questions  (Read 1861 times)

Offline outstretchedarm

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#5 Chords: Questions
« on: November 06, 2006, 01:58:39 PM »
some questions for discussion:

1) Why do people refer to #5 chords as such, instead of as augmented chords?   Don't they have the name notes?

2) What is the usage of #5 chords?  If they are treated like augmented chords, then I see them being used for a transition between I and VIm.  For example:

C - F - A             F major
C# - F - A          F #5
D - F - A            D minor

Of course, these are my assumptions.  Because I'm posting this for the sake of learning, how are you all using these chords?

- O

Offline T-Block

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 05:33:24 PM »
Quote
1) Why do people refer to #5 chords as such, instead of as augmented chords?   Don't they have the name notes?

No, a #5 chord technically doesn't exist, so whatever chord you can think of to play here should work, as long as you got the correct bass note.  Even though it doesn't technically exist, it does exist theoretically and musically, so I would just use a chord that sounds good.


Quote
2) What is the usage of #5 chords?  If they are treated like augmented chords, then I see them being used for a transition between I and VIm.  For example:

C - F - A             F major
C# - F - A          F #5
D - F - A            D minor

O.K., let me get this straight:

1.  You are calling C-F-A, which is an F major chord, a 1 chord, so this puts you in the key of F

2.  Now, since you are going to play a #5 chord, the note in the bass should be a C#

3.  C#-F-A is an augmented chord, but I'm not quite sure if I would use this as a #5 chord

4.  From this point, in order to honestly say that you are playing a legitimate #5 chord, I need to know what note is in the bass

This chord you're trying to use here sounds weird to act as a transition between 1 and 6.  What I would do is make that #5 chord a dim7 chord, cuz the natural resolution of that dim7 chord would be a minor chord, which 6 is.  I would play this:  C#-E-G-Bb

But, if you can better show me how u are using this augmented chord, then that's all good.  Those chords sound like a familiar progression, but it uses a 1 in the bass for each chord, like this:

F / C-F-A
F / C#-F-A
F / D-F-A
F / C#-F-A
(repeat)

Even in this instance, it's not a #5 because you have 1 in the bass.  It's really just an augmented 1 chord.  Then again, if I changed the bass note, I could make it a 3, then it could be 1-3-6 progression, like this:

F / C-F-A
A / C#-F-A
D / D-F-A
(repeat)

I could change the bass notes again, then make it a 1-3-4 progression also, like this:

F / C-F-A
A / C#-F-A
Bb / D-F-A
(repeat)

The possibilities are endless.  This is an excellent discussion question, I'm glad you asked it.  Let's get some more feedback from other theory experts and see what conclusion we come up with.
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Offline sjonathan02

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2006, 07:28:32 PM »
I could change the bass notes again, then make it a 1-3-4 progression also, like this:

F / C-F-A
A / C#-F-A
Bb / D-F-A
(repeat)

The possibilities are endless.  This is an excellent discussion question, I'm glad you asked it.  Let's get some more feedback from other theory experts and see what conclusion we come up with.


Ok, I'm no theory expert; but I saw (or in this case heard) T's last progression clear as day. I'd use the C# as a dim chord with the 3 in the bass, then go to either the 4 or the 6:



F / C F A

A / C# E G Bb

Bb / D F A  or  D / D F A



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Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2006, 09:08:42 PM »
@sj : this progression is cool, but, as far as i can see, there are no #5 chords in effect.  I'm trying to understand the #5 chord from the perspective of people who believe in it and use it.

@TB:  you and I both come from a sortof theoretical perspective as opposed to a "play what sounds good perspective."  So I think we are in agreement that at F#5 is really just a Faug, just poorly notated.

I think the idea of a #5 chord only begins to gain meaning as we start discussing OTHER extended chords.  For instance, if we are playing a C13, but wanted that 5th flattened, we'd say "C#5add13  (C-E-G#-B-D-F)" But am I right in saying that "C#5", in and of itself, doesn't really have much meaning?

Offline T-Block

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 11:04:30 AM »
O.K., I kinda understand a little more where you are coming from now.  First off, you need to stop saying #5 chord, cuz you aren't talking about a chord.  You are talking about the #5 as it pertains to a chord.  If you have a #5 chord, then your root should be the #5 scale degree, which is not what u are talking about.  Is that correct?

If the above statment is correct, then if you have an augmented chord, you don't represent it as a #5, you represent it with a + sign in the right hand corner of the symbol.  That tells you there is an augmented chord present, meaning your 5 is sharped.  Example:  C+ = C augmented chord, C-E-G#

If you have that + in the chord symbol, there is no need to have a #5.  So, let's look at your example chord, C13:

C13 = C-E-G-Bb-D-F-A

O.K., if we want the 5th flattened, then we just represent that in the chord symbol like this:

C13 (b5) = C-E-Gb-Bb-D-F-A

If we want the 5th sharpened, then we just represent that in the chord symbol like this:

C+13 = C-E-G#-Bb-D-F-A


Quote
But am I right in saying that "C#5", in and of itself, doesn't really have much meaning?

Yes and no.

Yes explanation

If you are talking about that chord symbol as part of an augmented chord, then yes it doesn't have any meaning.

No explanation

The chord symbol u have there is an actual chord symbol.  It is mostly used by guitar players, and it requires that you only need to play the 1 and 5.  So, the chord symbol C#5 played on a piano would look like this: 

C# / C#-G#
C# / G#-C#

C#-C# / C#-G#
C#-C# / G#-C#

C#-G#-C# / C#-G#
C#-G#-C# / G#-C#

etc.

As long as the root is on the bottom, and u playing 5 somewhere, then you have this type of chord.
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Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 11:31:07 AM »
ok I see why this topic is confusing.  when i wrote C#5, it looked like I was referring to a C# chord, which was not my intetion.  my apologies.

what I meant was a C with a #5 , which would be C - E - Ab, which to me is a Caug (C+)


okay, you also said
Quote
If you have that + in the chord symbol, there is no need to have a #5.  So, let's look at your example chord, C13:

C13 = C-E-G-Bb-D-F-A

O.K., if we want the 5th flattened, then we just represent that in the chord symbol like this:

C13 (b5) = C-E-Gb-Bb-D-F-A

first, I thought  C13 was = C-E-G-B-D-F.   why Bb, and not B?  cause B is Maj 7th?

second, "C13 (b5) = C-E-Gb-Bb-D-F-A" ok I agree with that.  I think this is what I meant when I said that the concept of a #5 or b5 mostly gains meaning when we are discussing other extended chords.

cool

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 12:48:12 PM »
okay, you also said
first, I thought  C13 was = C-E-G-B-D-F.   why Bb, and not B?  cause B is Maj 7th?

second, "C13 (b5) = C-E-Gb-Bb-D-F-A" ok I agree with that.  I think this is what I meant when I said that the concept of a #5 or b5 mostly gains meaning when we are discussing other extended chords.

cool



Whenever you use an extended chord such as 13, you're automatically adding the flatted 7th (in this case Bb). If you didn't want the flatted 7th, then you would notate it this way:

C Maj 13 indicating that the 7th stays as it is.


At least that's how I understand it.
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Offline rspindy

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 03:39:11 PM »
In actuality, a #5 and an aug5 or +5 are the same.  They mean to augment, or raise the perfect 5th of a chord.  The naming convention is that there is no one name.  #5 is easier and quicker to write than aug5.  +5 can be a problem because the "+" has gained a couple of different meanings.  It C +6 is simply a C with an added 6.  An augmented 6 would be the minor 7.  Some will also write C6 +9 to mean an added 6 and an added 9, but that can get confused with the augmented 9 (#9).  Of course context can help.  It is extremely rare to use an augmented 9 on anything but the dominant 7.  In minor it is the same as the 3rd and on an added 6 or a major 7 chord just confuses the tonal function.

The augmented triad only falls naturally on III in the Harmonic and Melodic minor scales so its use in major is borrowed.

The primary scale for imporvising a chord with an aug5 (whether written #5 or +5) is the whole-tone scale

  C D E F# G# Bb C.   If you need the b9 or #9  then the D in that scale is replaced with Db and D# giving you the "Diminished/Whole-Tone Scale"  C Db D# E F# G# Bb C.  [note, there are 2 different D's, not 2 different E's (Eb and E nat)

Hope that this helps.

Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2006, 03:57:48 PM »
so, to summarize, there is not really much to be gained over thinking in terms of #5 insyead of augmented.

Offline T-Block

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2006, 02:29:16 PM »
so, to summarize, there is not really much to be gained over thinking in terms of #5 insyead of augmented.

That's correct.  Nice explanations rspindy and sjon.  I hope we have answered your question successfully outstretchedarm.
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Offline outstretchedarm

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2006, 02:53:53 PM »
pretty good guys!

OT  t-block what happened to your avatar!   did someone hack your account?  or did you lose a bet?

Offline T-Block

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Re: #5 Chords: Questions
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2006, 03:40:06 PM »
I decide to make a change and post my baby on here, u know.  There is a whole thread in the Lounge on this, u can go check it out. ;D
Real musicians play in every key!!!
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