Same same but different chords

What's Hot
hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1408
edited June 11 in Theory

Sorry for my naive question to some maybe but can you guys explain something to me? These two chord shapes are the same but they can be seen as two very different chords. Why? Am I Missing something?

This is a G9 Chord which I use a lot :- 

https://i.imgur.com/uUwcBpi.png


This is a Bm7b5 chord (Minor Seven Flat Five Half-Diminished?

https://i.imgur.com/6wyN6jJ.png

Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Comments

  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 1165
    I suppose it depends what the bass is playing. If the bass has the root covered, the guitar can leave that note out sometimes.
    It's not a competition.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BradBrad Frets: 280
    Not a naive question at all. As we can see they share almost all the same notes. 

    G9 - G B D F A
    Bm7b5 - B D F A

    That’s why we can use a half diminished chord from the 3rd of any dominant chord. It’s just it’s extensions. 

    The context of the progression and the root movement determine what you’ll call it. So you could have a major ii V I in the key of C (Dm7 G7 Cmaj7) and you could use the Bm7b5 for the G7 giving a G9 sound. 

    However if you had a minor ii V i in Am (Bm7b5 E7b9 Am7) we’d call it Bm7b5 because in this context it’s acting as a ii chord, rather than the extensions of a V chord as in the previous example. 

     Hope that helps a little. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 3reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1408
    Brad said:
    Not a naive question at all. As we can see they share almost all the same notes. 

    G9 - G B D F A
    Bm7b5 - B D F A

    That’s why we can use a half diminished chord from the 3rd of any dominant chord. It’s just it’s extensions. 

    The context of the progression and the root movement determine what you’ll call it. So you could have a major ii V I in the key of C (Dm7 G7 Cmaj7) and you could use the Bm7b5 for the G7 giving a G9 sound. 

    However if you had a minor ii V i in Am (Bm7b5 E7b9 Am7) we’d call it Bm7b5 because in this context it’s acting as a ii chord, rather than the extensions of a V chord as in the previous example. 

     Hope that helps a little. 
    Ah yes makes sense. Thanks guys
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BradBrad Frets: 280
    @hotpickups you're welcome. To take this further, check out the inversions of Bm7b5. This will give you more flavours of either G9 or Bm7b5 to work with, which is never a bad thing. Might be easier to do these on the top 4 strings at first...

    Also what if we expand the idea and use different m7b5 chords if a G root is being played (or implied) by another instrument? Here are a couple of places to start. 

    Em7b5 would give us a Gm6
    Fm7b5 would give us a G7#5b9 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5168
    I would see and write your G9 as Gdom9 .... got a flat 7th so not to be confused with Gadd9 . One thing that quickly comes apparent is some chords are defined by the bass note ..... play Bm over a G bass root note and it's now basically Gmaj7 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • RolandRoland Frets: 4229
    Sting once said that the bass player determined what chord the guitarist was playing
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 1reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • GuyBodenGuyBoden Frets: 541
    Brad said:
    Not a naive question at all. As we can see they share almost all the same notes. 

    G9 - G B D F A
    Bm7b5 - B D F A

    That’s why we can use a half diminished chord from the 3rd of any dominant chord. It’s just it’s extensions. 

    The context of the progression and the root movement determine what you’ll call it. So you could have a major ii V I in the key of C (Dm7 G7 Cmaj7) and you could use the Bm7b5 for the G7 giving a G9 sound. 

    However if you had a minor ii V i in Am (Bm7b5 E7b9 Am7) we’d call it Bm7b5 because in this context it’s acting as a ii chord, rather than the extensions of a V chord as in the previous example. 

     Hope that helps a little. 

    Brad said:
    @hotpickups you're welcome. To take this further, check out the inversions of Bm7b5. This will give you more flavours of either G9 or Bm7b5 to work with, which is never a bad thing. Might be easier to do these on the top 4 strings at first...

    Also what if we expand the idea and use different m7b5 chords if a G root is being played (or implied) by another instrument? Here are a couple of places to start. 

    Em7b5 would give us a Gm6
    Fm7b5 would give us a G7#5b9 

    All excellent stuff, this is someone who knows their stuff. Well done @Brad ;

    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1408
    GuyBoden said:
    Brad said:
    Not a naive question at all. As we can see they share almost all the same notes. 

    G9 - G B D F A
    Bm7b5 - B D F A

    That’s why we can use a half diminished chord from the 3rd of any dominant chord. It’s just it’s extensions. 

    The context of the progression and the root movement determine what you’ll call it. So you could have a major ii V I in the key of C (Dm7 G7 Cmaj7) and you could use the Bm7b5 for the G7 giving a G9 sound. 

    However if you had a minor ii V i in Am (Bm7b5 E7b9 Am7) we’d call it Bm7b5 because in this context it’s acting as a ii chord, rather than the extensions of a V chord as in the previous example. 

     Hope that helps a little. 

    Brad said:
    @hotpickups you're welcome. To take this further, check out the inversions of Bm7b5. This will give you more flavours of either G9 or Bm7b5 to work with, which is never a bad thing. Might be easier to do these on the top 4 strings at first...

    Also what if we expand the idea and use different m7b5 chords if a G root is being played (or implied) by another instrument? Here are a couple of places to start. 

    Em7b5 would give us a Gm6
    Fm7b5 would give us a G7#5b9 

    All excellent stuff, this is someone who knows their stuff. Well done @Brad ;
    I’m amazed at how someone can work this stuff out. I’ve just got my head around modes which amazed me and has changed the way I play which has gotta be a good thing lol 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BradBrad Frets: 280
    Cheers @GuyBoden I know enough to get by that’s all :smile:

    @hotpickups A desire to want to know this kind of stuff is the starting point. Then it’s a case of time and effort, learning lots of music and learning/playing with other musicians, getting info from books. It doesn’t all happen at once (well not for me anyway), but if I can wrap my head around it believe me, anyone can! 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • hotpickupshotpickups Frets: 1408
    Brad said:
    Cheers @GuyBoden I know enough to get by that’s all :smile:

    @hotpickups A desire to want to know this kind of stuff is the starting point. Then it’s a case of time and effort, learning lots of music and learning/playing with other musicians, getting info from books. It doesn’t all happen at once (well not for me anyway), but if I can wrap my head around it believe me, anyone can! 
    Yeah totally agree @Brad . People forget that to become proficient at something there is only one way I.e. hard work, study and practice. It isn’t in a pedal or amp etc  :) 
    Link to my trading feedback:  http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/59452/
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • BradBrad Frets: 280

    Yeah totally agree @Brad . People forget that to become proficient at something there is only one way I.e. hard work, study and practice. It isn’t in a pedal or amp etc  :) 
    So true, and I’ve made that mistake many a time in the past too and will continue to probably...

    A wise friend once told me ‘discipline leads to freedom’. I always try and hold on to that when my motivation wavers. It’s important to keep at it with this stuff. 
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 0reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
  • CrankyCranky Frets: 29
    edited June 19
    This is awesome.

    If I may, I can share what was once explained to me in hopes of building on Brad's excellent explanation, particularly the way he outlined the shared notes of the respective chords but also how we decide to name a chord "this" or "that" depending on the context, i.e where it falls within an overall chord progression.

    While there are things like "borrowed chords" that could be a monkey wrench in our understanding, the gist of it is that, in Ionian/major mode, a vii chord is pretty much always interchangeable with a V chord (a V7 chord especially).  This is true because the vii chord is effectively an inverted V7.  In this case, the Bm7b5 is basically a first inversion G7 (B being the third of G).  The piano shows this more clearly.  There's a variety of B, G and D chords just waiting to be played right in that one spot pictured by the op, with some version of E, A and C chords just a fret or two away.  It's amazing how subtle the differences can be between chords, even to the point where they're identical, as with the original premise of this thread.

    When Brad used the Am example, since Am is the relative minor of Cmaj and they share the same chords (despite the new tonal center and thus the chord numbers being reordered now that the Bm7b5 is the ii chord and the Gdom is the VII), it effectively changes nothing about the interchangeability of the Gdom and the Bm7b5. 

    Diminished chords are super versatile in their ability to either be themselves or be inversions of three other chords, depending on how you want to use them.

    Inversions are inversions whether there's a bass player or not.  As I heard Jacob Collier once explain, once we settle down on how we want our chords to sound by way of what feeling the harmony ought to convey, then any melody can potentially run alongside any bass note, and we can call it darn near whatever we want.
    0reaction image LOL 0reaction image Wow! 2reaction image Wisdom · Share on Facebook Share on Twitter
Sign In or Register to comment.