# What do stuff like "6add9, sus2, maj7b5" etc. mean?

Music Theory
 GuitarBoy666 20 May 2008 13:02 | Quote Joined: 20 Dec 2007Canada Karma: 2 I still don't get what all this stuff means. How do you get it? All I know is major and minor, that's all that makes sense to me, but the other stuff doesn't. Can someone explain to me what these crazy things are, where they came from, how you get them, etc. I would like not to be confused, so try to keep it basic. I am a noob to music theory and a lot of other guitar stuff, I basically taught myself to play.
 Afro_Raven 20 May 2008 13:56 | Quote Joined: way backUnited Kingdom Lessons: 1Karma: 20 Moderator Ok, chord formulas and their names were really confusing for me when I was learning the basics, but it is honestly really simple! I will try my best to explain this in the most dumbass way, not because I want to sound patronising to you but because it's how I would want it presented. Right, well you should know that major chords are built off the major scale, minor chords off the minor scale, diminished off diminished, etc? Well, if you take the Cmaj scale: C D E F G A B, and then number each note in order, you get C=1 (the 1 is properly known as the root), D=2, E=3, etc. Now play a Cmaj CHORD - what notes are in it? C,E and G, so in other words the 1st,3rd and 5th of the Cmaj SCALE (remember C=1, E=3...) This 1-3-5 chord setup is the standard formula for chords when you apply it to that chord's corresponding scale, e.g. 1-3-5 of the major scale, minor scale etc... However, what happens if instead of using 1-3-5 to build a chord, we replace the 3 with the 2 creating a 1-2-5 formula? This is known as suspending the 3rd, and doing so creates a sus2 chord (sus is short for 'suspended'). The same can be done by replacing the 3 with 4, creating a sus4 chord. Furthermore, we can also replace the 3 with both the 2 AND 4, which creates a sus2sus4 chord. So, if we were to take our standard Cmaj chord and apply these suspended formulas to it, we could get Csus2, Csus4 or Csus2sus4. Does that seem pretty straightforward so far? Afro
 GuitarBoy666 20 May 2008 16:06 | Quote Joined: 20 Dec 2007Canada Karma: 2 I totally get what you mean by each note having a number to it. That makes a lot of sense to be, the "swapping" thing I don't totally get though. Um, how does that work? Does the 3 become 2 and 4 because it sounds better in the scale or something
 blackholesun 20 May 2008 17:07 | Quote Joined: 04 Jan 2007United Kingdom Licks: 1Karma: 11 Moderator GuitarBoy666 says:Does the 3 become 2 and 4 because it sounds better in the scale or something It's done just to make the chord sound different. Adds a bit of variety.
 blackholesun 20 May 2008 17:12 | Quote Joined: 04 Jan 2007United Kingdom Licks: 1Karma: 11 Moderator Afro_Raven says:Right, well you should know that major chords are built off the major scale, minor chords off the minor scale, diminished off diminished, etc? I thought that all chords were built off the major scale, and the chord formulas are relative to the major scale, for example major = 1, 3, 5, minor = 1, b3, 5, etc
 bodom 20 May 2008 17:16 | Quote Joined: way backCanada Lessons: 4Karma: 5 Yeah he was wrong in saying that. They are all built off the Major scale.