Author Topic: No__64___Superimposing Chords  (Read 151 times)

Peter Anderson

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No__64___Superimposing Chords
« on: March 07, 2016, 09:30:04 PM »
By Superimposing Chords, I mean playing 2 different chords together, at the same time, to create a Giant Chord.

You may think that superimposing chords, may sound rather too complicated.      In reality, it is easier than it looks!

For a chord to be superimposed on top of another chord means just that!       Usually, you’d play one particular chord on your left hand while playing another chord with your right hand, and obviously both at the same time.

You would be surprised how many superimposed chords you already know how to play.

In fact, any 7th, 9th, 11th, or 13th chord can be considered two chords superimposed on top of one another.

To find out more about these chords you might care to first read about Giant Chords in Peters Pearls No 62, and I recommend that you do so before reading the rest of this.     You can go directly there by clicking this link:

http://www.ar-group.org/smforum/index.php?topic=2449.0

You may have heard the term polychords to describe these chords as well.    Basically, polychords consist of two or more chords that are stacked to create one larger chord.

Think about it…
What does a Cmaj7 chord consist of?

Think about breaking it down into smaller chords.

I give the answer in the next Reply, but ultimately, in the fifth Reply, I give a useful chart to enable you to generate all these 'giant chords' very easily.

Peter

Peter Anderson

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 10:42:09 AM »
So what does a Cmaj7 chord consist of?

Cmaj7   =    C + E + G + B

Well, obviously a Cmaj triad: C + E + G
But you could also play an Em triad: E + G + B
Combine them together, and you have one C, two E’s, two G’s, and one B.

Cmaj: C + E + G           plus              Em: E + G +  B

Now if we get rid of any duplicated notes we are left with: C E G B

So playing an Emin over a Cmaj creates a Cmaj7 chord.

In the next Reply we look at major ninth chords, from a similar viewpoint.

Peter

Peter Anderson

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2016, 10:41:56 AM »
What about major ninth chords?  What two chords do they consist of?

Let’s look at Cmaj9.

Cmaj9    =     C + E + G + B + D


If you look closely, you’ll see one major chord superimposed on top of another.

You should see Cmaj on the bottom and Gmaj on the top.

So          Cmaj    +    Gmaj   =   Cmaj9

In the next Reply, we investigate major eleventh chords.

Peter

Peter Anderson

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2016, 12:53:33 PM »
What about major eleventh chords?   

(We explored the Cmin11 in Peters Pearls 62 - see first post above for link.)

Cmaj11    =        C + E + G + B + D + F

There are several smaller chords in this huge polychord.       It just depends on how you look at the chord.

How many different chords can you see?

Cmajor,   Cmaj7,   Emin,   Emin7,   Emin9,   Gmajor,   G7,   Bdim

So there are many different superimposed relationships to choose from?

Here are just two fairly straightforward ones to use.

C     +        G7
C     +        Bdim

In the next Reply we tackle major thirteenth chords.

Peter

Peter Anderson

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 09:08:08 PM »
What about major thirteenth chords?

Cmaj13    =       C + E + G + B + D + F + A

In the same way that we have done before, here are some options to break down this polychord, into simpler chunks.

Cmaj7   +    Dmin
C          +    B half diminished
C          +     G9

In the next Reply I give a useful chart to enable you to generate all these 'polychords'.

So, from now on these seemingly complex polychords and giant chords can be easily and simply coped with by referring to the chart.

Peter

Peter Anderson

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2016, 09:10:50 AM »
Here is that useful chart I promised,  for all the major, minor, and dominant chords covered above:



In order to read this chart, you will have to know your major scales

Let us demonstrate how to use this chart with examples from the key of C major, but you can use it to learn all twelve major scales along with many other major, minor, dominant, and diminished chords like the ones above!

Giving numbers to the    C major scale    as we have done elsewhere in Peters Pearls, therefore, we have:

C — D — E — F — G — A — B — C
1 — 2 — 3 — 4 — 5  — 6 — 7 — 8

If you wanted to play a Cmaj9 chord, you would use the row titled “Major” and the column titled “9.”

Notice the formula for a maj9 chord is 1maj     +     5maj.   Better written Imaj    +   Vmaj, to avoid confusion over which numbers we are referring to.

If you know your major scales, then this will be very simple.

The number in front of “maj” corresponds to the major scale.    The “1” of C major is obviously C.   So you’d play Cmajor on your left hand.    The right hand chord, according to the formula, needs to be the 5maj (Vmaj) chord of the scale.

Count up the C major scale…
C is 1 … D is 2… E is 3… F is 4… G is 5.

So on your right hand, you’d play Gmajor.

Therefore Cmaj9   is equivalent to      Cmaj   +   Gmaj

Follow these same steps for all the other types of chords.

If you require a clearer explanation, or have any questions, then please ask.

Feedback for how this has been of any use to you, would also be appreciated.

Peter


Hugh Wallington

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2016, 09:29:16 AM »
Peter,

As I play from 'chords' your explanations have been quite enlightening.  I identify a type of chord from 'intervals' and using the numbers 1 to 8 on the scale.  So a 9th chord is 1 3 5 7(flatted) 9; so the C9 chord is C E G Bb D.  I have always thought of a 9th chord as the 7th chord + the 9th note.  I didn't know that this chord was called the 'Dominant 9th' (nor for that matter that C7 - ie. C E G Bb - was called the Dominant 7th).

I have never realised that this chord can be split into two other (smaller) chords .. Cmajor and G minor; C E G and G Bb D ie. 1 (the ROOT) Major + the 5th Minor).  Other chords like 11th and 13th I probably would never play, but it's interesting to note that the Dominant 11th is 1 (the ROOT) major + the flatted 7th major.  May use this in future!

Hugh
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Peter Anderson

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Re: No__64___Superimposing Chords
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2016, 09:54:35 AM »
All these large or giant chords are often thought of as being too complicated and therefore, we are inclined to ignore their use.

The chart above breaks them down into very simple manageable simpler chords and I think it is very valuable.  I accept that we may not use it all the time, but they can add a bit of spice on occasions to our playing enjoyment. 

So here is an easy route, by playing two chords to create one giant chord, to handling an area we might well have avoided before, at all costs.

Peter