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Naming Chords on `Ukulele
A Chord can have alternate names based on how it is being used. A chord's function is an important determining factor in naming a chord.
So unless you know the harmonic function of a given chord, you might not be able to accurately name it.
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Determining the Name of a Chord?
One very important step in determine the name of the chord is the figure out the root or letter name of the chord, which can only be determined by 1) the harmonic function or 2) asking the bass player. A bass player has extreme power in determining the name of a chord and its harmonic function. They can use the power for good or evil. A good example of this is the play all the open strings of a C tuned ukulele and and ask most players the name and you will either get Am7 or C6. If the real bass note or perceive bass note is C it might be C6, is the note A it might be Am7. If the harmonic function is a I chord in the key of C major it is C6. If it is the I chord in Am it's Amy if it is the VI chord in C is Amt, if it is the II chord in F major its Amy ... you get the idea. One really needs to know how it is being named.
A Chord can only be named in the context of how it is being used and after determining how it's functioning within that context.
- A Chord can have alternate names based on how it is being used. A chord’s function is an important determining factor in naming a chord.
- A Chord can NOT be named by its fingerboard shape.
- A Chord can NOT be named by its lowest note.
- A Chord might NOT have a root.
Additional Information and Links
- WidipediA: Chord names and symbols in jazz and pop music
Various kinds of chord names and symbols are used in different contexts, to represent musical chords.
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Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets
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Harmonic Analysis Major and Minor Chord Charts
All 15 full diatonic major and minor key with chord charts. For use when performing a harmonic analysis on a song or chord pregression.
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Harmonic Analysis for Scale and Chord Selection
Harmonic Analysis is the process used to determine the harmonic function of chords within a chord progression or song. A chord progression is defined as a sequence of chords, each chord has a root and is a particular chord type. The relationship of a chord's to a scale determines its function within that scale's tonality.
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