More extensions for chords?

To keep the UI clean, perhaps future expansions of extensions/embellishments etc. could be under a drop down list called “Advanced”, or perhaps a radio box you click that turns on/off the extended interface. Some additions that would be useful:

  • turn any chord into any type of seventh (ability to tack on major 7th, minor 7th, or diminished 7th)
  • ability to tack on 9ths (b9, major 9th, #9)
  • ability to tack on 11ths (b11, major 11, #11)
  • ability to tack on 13ths (b13, major 13, #13)
  • ability to invert add7, add9, add11, add13, etc. chords
  • ability to invert sus2 and sus4 chords
  • basically the ability to invert anything
  • the option to add a deliberate, arbitrary slash note to the bottom of a slash chord

especially for a lot of jazz/blues-based tabs. Even if it’s possible to kinda hack together a major 11th drop 9 chord or whatever when you might need it through convoluted chord inversions/subsitutions, it really makes no sense to the reader, who might be someone on the piano or guitar or bass who just wants to read something like “Cmaj7b9#11(drop5) / B” and play against that instead of whatever else would have to take its place. Almost purely for a readability reason, honestly.


The first one is already possible, except fully diminished seventh chords which are currently not supported by Hookpad. This must be indirectly done using borrowed chords, and sometimes copy/pasting across modes, since the explicit way has been precluded.

Further extensions are also rejected, see above. The ♯5 remains in the database after it was disabled.

Inversions of add7 chords (same as seventh chords when no further extensions are allowed, except perhaps dimM7) are possible, so are add9 chords except the inversion that puts the ninth in the bass.

Inversions of sus4 and 7sus4 chords were possible, but disabled in the interface as soon as sus2 was introduced. In particular, inversions of the 7sus2 chord correspond to the add11 chord which, like the augmented fifth embellishment, stays in the database but is no longer interpreted.

Slash chord needs to be implemented, although its usefulness might be limited to the diatonic 11no3no5; Hookpad supports these slash chords generated from borrowing modes, but currently it won’t accept chords like B/C or Fm/E that do not come from the diatonic scale.

The usual way of notating slash chords in Roman numerals is similar to that of applied chords, but with the bass scale degree (often with the ^ mark) instead of the target scale degree. For example, Vno3no511 is the same chord as IV/5.

CM7♭9♯11no5/B = [B C Db E F#] = Bsus4♭2add9 = Bsus42add♭9. By the way, most of the time Hookpad appears confusing to users is not because of chord options (although a lot of applied chords in the database are misleading), but because certain features are mentioned in the manual but not explicitly instructed with text in the editor, e.g. changing octaves, copy/pasting, or adding new rows.

Added sixth, on the other hand, might be added since they often do not represent the first inversion of seventh chords (in the same way that secondary dominants do not represent applied chords so that they are accessed by borrowing modes).

All valid points, but to performers or jammers or people who want to improvise off of a progression – or, especially, students – something like Bsus4♭2add9 is meaningless compared to CM7♭9♯11no5/B, which tells them immediately what they need to know to. Bsus4♭2add9 adds a lot of guesswork, and for example if we’re in the key of F major, then CM7♭9♯11no5/B would serve as V11(plus the drops/etc.) – Bsus4♭2add9 would be #IV9sus4b2 and that’s pretty meaningless to the average person, and not to mention an incorrect analysis of the intended function of the chord.

Hookpad is most useful as a learning tool, and forcing students/teachers to find roundabout “hacks” to use any remotely exotic chords is a major shortcoming.

The main point is not rather if one could get to those chords through supermodes/inversions or sustained notes, but if they are accurately represented in numerals, at least in “Popular” chord notation mode, so that they are useful in actually understanding how chords in a progression function from a glance without guesswork.

It also wouldn’t hurt to simply make it a lot easier to make chords what they’re supposed to be without a roundabout abuse of supermodes and borrowing and such. Sure, you can still TECHNICALLY make the chords, but the average person would much, much rather just select the chord and tack on the appropriate 7th type as needed (and the fact that the “Supermode” thing is necessary at all shows that there is a need for a more straightforward interface.)

This is probably because anyone attempting to use exotic chords quickly realizes that it’s more trouble than it’s worth and moves on to another piece of software.

More to add:

  • As I mentioned before, each chord in Hooktheory must belong to one mode or transposition of the home scale, so consequently the same chord could belong in multiple modes (e.g. I can be from Major, Lydian or Mixolydian, but the one with the dominant seventh must be from Mixolydian), and in specifying an arbitrary chord the modal mixture system has to be rewritten;

  • While inversions and slash chords share the same notation in modern chord symbols, for chords with extensions they refer to different entities in Hookpad; so the inversions of G7 in Hookpad are actually G7no3/B, G7no5/D, and G/F;

  • All notes of a chord, except the bass, must fit within an octave in Hookpad algorithmically. Combined with the issue above this can give very different interpretations between chords played and chords displayed, and even different spellings for the same chord in analysis, e.g. iii6(add9) and **V13, the latter of which is valid if the thirteenth is the highest note among four parts and does not resolve; (Figured bass can ignore this issue completely.)

  • In analysis but not in transcription, incomplete chords have to be notated as complete ones. Hookpad is still largely based on four-part voice leading, and analyzing an extended chord may either show no information of the omitted tones, or collapse the extensions within one octave. (Figured bass also ignores this.)

In general I only support the addition of ♭5 and + (♯5), the dim7 and mM7 chords, and the 11no3no5 slash chord. I would like to see what @chris and @dave have to say on extended/altered chords (as Ryan had discussed this months ago).

Super necro, but I feel like that it’s worth reviving.

It’s been 2 years since this thread was made, and we still don’t have the new chord extensions. Here I am, trying to do a 42 sus2 chord, but I can’t do so without having to fork, but here I am and having to fork @HertzDevil’s inverted sus4 tab, but then I can’t change the sus4 into a sus2.

It is possible to invert sus2 chords by manipulating the underlying HKT format.

During these two years or so however, I have become increasingly concerned with the factual accuracy of the Hooktheory books. For example, although a considerable number of Theorytabs use some form of 7sus2 to represent full ninth chords, the book will not simply use that as the representation for ninth chords since they inherently lack a third. The problem is whether and when @Hooktheory will add ninth chords to the books; once these demand new harmonic features, they will be naturally added to the editor. The most we could expect from the developers is probably a table-of-contents roadmap for all future book releases.

Judging from the current pace of development I expect fully diminished seventh chords and augmented triads to be available by 2017 and early 2019 respectively. Maybe at that time we could further discuss how to represent more advanced chords without treating them as purely combinatoric collections of intervals (as I almost always do by emulating slash bass with two voices); they will certainly be added because they are not extremely rare in contemporary music, although I doubt that many of the current users would still remain active by then.

@HertzDevil if augmented triads were implemented, half of the rock tabs already posted would need to be editted haha.