#### Topic: Semitones

What do youguys mean by semi tones?
Also what do you guys mean by plus 2 or plus4?  Example...someone will give feedback and say a song or chord is.... (+4)?

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#### Re: Semitones

If u only have the answer to one of the questions ill take what i can get

Always take the high road and be kind to your enemies.
Nothing will annoy them more!

#### Re: Semitones

One semi tone is up one fret otherwise known as a half tone.  If you hold a note at the first fret then move your finger up one fret on the same string, this is a semi tone.  Two frets would be a whole tone.  Any deeper than that and I will have to defer to others on here.  Don't be too discouraged about not getting an anser, as it is Sunday and generally a slow day here.

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#### Re: Semitones

Pete is correct, except that you can also go down (not just up).  For examples:

G to G# (Ab) = up 1 semitone
G to A = up 2 semitones
G to F# (Gb)  = down 1 semitone
G to F = down 2 semitones.

I don't know the context of or where you saw +2, +4, etc. when it comes to "ratings", but since you were asking about semitones, I would guess you were looking at something to do with transposition.

You can transpose songs from one key to another.  For example, if you have a song in the key of G where the chords are G, C and D, and you transpose "+5", then you raise all of the chords by 5 semitones, such that the song is now in the key of C, and:

G becomes C, (+5 or up five steps:  G to G# to A to A# to B to C)
C becomes F, (C to C# to D to D# to E to F)
D becomes G. (D to D# to E to F to F# to G)

People usually transpose songs to other keys for two main reasons:  (1) the new key is a better match to the range of the vocalist, and/or (2) the chord fingering for the new key is easier to play.

If you weren't talking about transposition then I got nothin'.  Regardless, I hope this helps.

'Nom

PS:  Welcome to Chordie.

"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

#### Re: Semitones

thanks guys that helps a LOT.  I'm glad I stumbled upon this forum.  I hope to learn a lot.

Always take the high road and be kind to your enemies.
Nothing will annoy them more!

#### Re: Semitones

I think he's actually asking about "add" or "sus" chords, as in A sus 2, A sus 4, A add 9, or A add 13.

In this case, it means to add that scale degree to the regular triad chord.  An Add 9 would mean to add the 9th scale degree (the second, but scale degrees referencing chord tones are normally referenced by an odd number), so "add 9" is the same as "sus 2"; make your regular open A chord, and then lift the finger on the B string to get the open B (the second or 9th degree in the key of A).  Add 13 is the same as sus 4, so you would make your a shape and move the finger on the b string up one fret from c# to D (the fourth or 13th scale degree).

Staying with the open A chord as an example, if you do the sus 4, then the regular chord, then the sus 2 and back to the regular chord, you'll get a very familiar tone sequence you've heard in every James Taylor song ever recorded.

You can do the same thing with the high e string on an open D chord, and get that same folky sound.

Good luck, and hang in there.  It will all eventually make sense.

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#### Re: Semitones

Or it could be referring to the use of a capo.  "G +2" in this case would mean to play the song in G shape, with a capo on the second fret, thus making the actual key of A.  But then,Astronomikal already said that.

"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
--David St. Hubbins

#### Re: Semitones

excelent! I am trying the capo andf just playing the basic chords or  barring the sercond fret (if its plus 2) and playing the chord. If I cant bar it im using a capo.  Thanks for all the suport gentleman.

Always take the high road and be kind to your enemies.
Nothing will annoy them more!

#### Re: Semitones

There is a difference between add chords and sus chords.  They aren't identical.   Add chords, as noted, simply add the note to the triad.  Sus chords "suspend" (hence, sus) the 3rd before adding the new color tone.

So an Aadd9 would be A C# E B ("add"ing the B) while an Asus2 would be A B E ("sus"pending the C# and then adding the B.)  And while it's less critical in guitars because we take inversions for granted, the 2 and the 9 aren't the same B.  The 9 would be the note above the octive, while the 2 would be the B within the octave.  Keyboard players get this bit a little easier than fretboard players.

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#### Re: Semitones

Thanks for that clarification, jerome.

"There's such a fine line between genius and stupidity."
--David St. Hubbins

#### Re: Semitones

jerome.oneil wrote:

Sus chords "suspend" (hence, sus) the 3rd before adding the new color tone.

Curiously in the UK 'sus' is "sustained" but I am at a loss to to offer any explanation why .

Roger

"Do, or do not; there is no try"

#### Re: Semitones

Roger Guppy wrote:
jerome.oneil wrote:

Sus chords "suspend" (hence, sus) the 3rd before adding the new color tone.

Curiously in the UK 'sus' is "sustained" but I am at a loss to to offer any explanation why .

Roger

There is no explanation because it is a common misconception that "sus" is "sustained," anywhere

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