Chord name options

Working with the chord analyzer

Inversions, slash chords (chord / bass tone)

After entering or changing a chord shape in the fretboard, the tone on the lowest string is considered as the root.

button chord inversions chord inversions summary

With the button inversions and slash chords you can navigate through the list of the different chord interpretations. The corresponding chord symbol shows up above the fretboard and the spots of the chord shape will display the according notes or intervals.

If you choose to interpret a chord as a slash chord, the lowest note is added to the chord symbol after a slash. In return the interval it represents will not show up in the chord symbol anymore*. Example: Cmaj7(9)/D has the 9th in the bass and therefore can be written as Cmaj7/D.

*) If you prefer to write the full length chord symbol in front of the slash on your lead sheet, feel free to do so.

Which interpretation is the right one?

In most cases it's simply the shortest chord symbol, which is also the easiest one to read. But you should ask yourself what tone a bass player would play to it (even when there is no bass player playing along). Consider that tone as the chords root.

If the bass tone is the same as the lowest tone of the chord shape and the chord symbol seems too complex or doesn't make sense theoretically, you may consider to choose the easiest possible interpretation as slash chord.

Hint: if you don't use the low E-string in your chord shape, you can enter different bass notes in the analyzer and listen to the results (unfortunately the audio function is still limited for some mobile devices).

Accidentals

Changing the accidental of the root

Button accidentals b or #

This button can change e.g. an Abm7 chord into a G#m7. If the root has no accidental, the button has no effect. When entering (or changing) a chord on the fretboard the chord analyzer will decide whether it shows the flat or sharp variant of the root. Preference is given to flats, except when the whole chord has less accidentals with a sharp root (e.g. because double accidentals will be avoided).

Attention! This button can only change the root of the currently chosen inversion. The accidentals of the other tones are calculated according to their function in the chord. Sometimes this can even result in different types of accidentals within one chord: the #9 of an Eb7#9 e.g. is F# and not Gb (which would be the minor third).

Double accidentals and Cb, Fb, B#, E#

Button allow double accidentals bb, ## and Cb, Fb, B#, E#

By default all tones with double accidentals and the tones Cb, Fb, B# and E# are labeled with their enharmonic equivalents (e.g. E instead of Fb or G instead of F##). Actually incorrect, this is often much more practicable. With the button you can enable double accidentals as well as Cb, Fb, B# and E# for an accurate chord analysis. The label on the button (bb or ##) always goes with the accidental of the root and has no effect on the function of the button.

In music notation there is also a special sign for ## similar to an x. Here we use ## because it's easier to write (especially in plain text, comments, etc.).

Spot infos (caption on the fretboards spots)

Button show notes or intervalls on spots A C9 chord with notes and intervals

The Button Notes Intervals determines whether the name of the note or the interval (relative to the root) is displayed on a spot. The notes (e.g. C# may change to Db) and intervals will adapt to each inversion or slash chord interpretation.

Transposing

Button transposing - Up Down Transposing Example

With the Up/Down buttons you can transpose the spots you've entered on the fretboard. If you can't slide a chord shape to the left, you may have entered a tone on an open string (fret 0) and therefore you have to remove it first.

Play sound

Button Play - listen to the chord shape

You can listen to the whole chord with the Play button. The tones will ring from the lowest to the highest string. Unfortunately some mobile devices can't play several sound files at once on a website (like an app).

FAQ

Why only standard tuning?

The Oolimo chord finder and analyzer is a professional tool for people who not only want to look up a few chords quickly. It's made for those who really want to understand the harmonic relations to achieve the highest possible freedom on the guitars fretboard.

After getting a fundamental understanding of those relations it will be possible to find chord shapes by yourself even in different tunings.

What makes the Oolimo Analyzer different from other "reverse chord finders"?

The special algorithm always delivers a syntactically right chord symbol (even when the chord doesn't sound good for you or the chord theory rules speak against the combination of certain tones/intervals in a chord).

How are chord symbols written on Oolimo.com?

Oolimo is trying to be as close as possible to the system, that is used at the Berklee College Of Music. But the following thing will be avoided:

  • Abbreviated forms like C9 for C7(9) or Gsus9 for G7sus4(9). Especially for theoretically less experienced players all elements of the chord are clearly visible.
  • Special characters like ∆7 for maj7 oder ∅ for m7b5, because they are not available everywhere.