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Advanced CHORDS THEORY - Lesson 30 - Advanced chords with modified triads

Advanced Theory

Andrew Milner

Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 11, 2019
    So you're telling me that these chords can actually get even weirder?

    1. Topics of discussion
    2. Modifying the triad
    3. Advanced added tone chords
    4. Chord variations you may encounter
    1. Topics of discussion

    In this tutorial, we will be combining chord forming techniques and learn how we can build chords by using different triads. So, let's have some fun.

    2. Modifying the triad

    During this course, all the chords we've talked about involved using the four basic triads: major, minor, diminished and augmented.

    But...what would happen if we decided to be a tad sadistic and modify that triad? What would happen if instead of a major triad, we used a sus2 triad? As you know, a sus2 triad consists of the 1 2 5 notes. A Csus2 triad consists of the C D G notes.

    So, what would happen if we add a B♭ on top of a Csus2 triad? We would get a C7sus2 chord. Here is one way to play it:


    Go ahead and try to play it and then try to play a C7 chord to notice the difference.

    And as you might expect, you can play a C7sus4 chord if you use a Csus4 triad (C-F-G). Something like this:


    Of course, this can become as complex as you want. For example, you can also have a C9sus2 chord, if you play your notes right:


    Or, why not try a C9sus4 chord as well?


    You can play around with these as much as you want and obtain a number of different variations for them.

    3. Advanced added tone chords

    Much like how we can change the base triad and play a different variation of a chord, we can also add a 9th, 11th or 13th note on top of a complex chord in order to play a, let's say, Cmaj7add11. Let's take a look at it:


    Another example of such a chord is C6add9:


    Finally, let's try to play a C7add13 chord:


    4. Chord variations you may encounter

    There will be times when learning and playing some songs that you will encounter variations of the chords we have talked about until now. There will be times when you will see added tone chords that make use of a flatted note, e.g. Cadd♭9. What you need to remember is that whenever you see an accidental next to a note in a chord, you first need to figure out the note from the major scale formed on the root note of the chord and then apply that accidental to the note.

    In other words, in order to play a Cadd♭9 chord, you would need to play the C E G and D♭ notes, since the 9th note of the C major scale would be D. Thus, a ♭9 would translate to a D♭.

    And that about covers it for this tutorial. In the next one, we will be going through all the advanced chord types we've talked about and figure out where we can use them. See you then.
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