Topic: Form of a 6th chord?

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"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

Re: Form of a 6th chord?

The 6th tone of any major scale is the relative minor of that key and a 6th chord can be substituted
example: C to Am could be played as C to C6 because the 6th tone or interval of a C major scale is A this holds true for any key.Regarding the omission of the 5th in a chord there are many altered chords that do not include the 5th I understand it as chord voiceing many choral arrangements imploy this,Im sure others can provide additional input on this topic smile

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Re: Form of a 6th chord?

The long answer is that it depends upon how you're using it. The chord commonly used in popular music is an "add 6" and as such contains the 6th in addition to a major triad (1 3 5).

To Russell's point above, a chord that substitutes a 6 for the 5 is really an inverted relative minor:
C E G is C major
C E A is C with no 5, add 6.
A C E is an A minor chord.
(To really blow your mind you might identify that C add 6 C E G A is identical to A minor 7 A C E G).

To answer your question from a practical standpoint: The 5th is a really weak interval in terms of chord composition, so even though the add 6 chord is supposed to contain a root, third, fifth, and 6th, our ears hear the 5 even when it isn't there. It is implied even when omitted. Most of the chords I play in my band lack 5s and many times even lack root notes. I just play color tones. I digress....

That make sense?

Re: Form of a 6th chord?

Russell_Harding wrote:

The 6th tone of any major scale is the relative minor of that key and a 6th chord can be substituted example: C to Am could be played as C to C6 because the 6th tone or interval of a C major scale is A

I sort of agree with you because one thing I also discovered for myself (using your example of the key of C), is that a C6 chord (x32210) can also be written as Am/C, or "relative minor/root".  I assume that holds true for other keys as well.

However, personally I wouldn't sub the 6 for the minor because (1) I would want the A in the bass, and (2) Am is easier to play than C6.  C to C6 is a rather subtle change, but C to Am is more dramatic.

To each his/her own.  Thanks for the reply.

"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

Re: Form of a 6th chord?

Baldguitardude wrote:

That make sense?

Yes, thank you.

"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

Re: Form of a 6th chord?

If you are playing solo acoustic, that's exactly correct. I was referring to chord substitutions with a band.

Kind of a tangent, but for A minor I frequently just play C & G or C, G, and B if I want to add a 9 on top.

7 (edited by christopaul 2013-02-11 15:05:11)

Re: Form of a 6th chord?

There aren't many chord shapes where you can play the 5th and the 6th. If you do play both, the two notes, they are a bit too close and sound as a dischord. If you play G in the first position, then hamer-on the E (4th st 2nd fret) 320003 to 3x2003 you can hear the 6th note clearly.

Keeping that same position. play the g chord but move your small finger from the G on the 6th string and play the D on the 5th string. 320030. the first sounds like a useful chord (Listen to the opening of Tequila Sunrise by The Eagles) the second jut sounds awful. The open E is the 6th the D being the 5th.

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