Recommended substitutions?

Might it be useful to put together a list of recommended substitutions for chords not supported in Hookpad? For example, here are some that I tend to use, though they might not be the best options:

-9th: 7sus2 or 7
-6/9: maj6 or add9
-11th: 7sus4 or 7sus2
-11no3no5: 7sus4 or maybe, if the bass is in the melody, the major chord 1 whole step below with add9, in second inversion (this one is on shakier ground)

-13th: 7
-7th with flat or sharp extensions: 7
-dim7: dim (not m7b5)
-mM7: minor (not M7)
-augmented: regular major chord, I guess?
-Swing 8th notes: 6/4 time signature, with chords of length k+j (4 per bar)

For the extended chords, if one of the notes appears in the melody, I’ll usually try to choose a chord with a different extended note, to maximize how many are heard on the piano. If there’s no melody at that point I’ll add a note that’s missing from the chord. Otherwise I just pick a chord based on whichever notes are most prominent in the song.

Any additions or revisions to this list?

6/9: Third inversion of 7sus4
11th: Sometimes the second inversion of 7sus4
11no3no5: Second inversion of sus4
13th: First inversion of add9 (although (add4)c is available it no longer functions)
7th with sharp extensions: Use #5 directly
7th with flat extensions: 7, except M7b5, respelled as M7#11 using viio24sus4
dim7: sometimes an appropriate inversion of the dim chord from any mode borrowed in the relative Major
augmented: also use #5 directly, but while respecting voice-leading, never use the second inversion

An example of C13 - A6/9 - FM7#11 - F/G.

#9: M if the minor third appears in the melody, m if the major third appears or neither appears
11no3: 7sus4
Bdim7/C etc.: iiø24

Since Hookpad 1.2.0 it is possible to clone any Theorytab containing them, and then copy and paste the inverted suspended chords or #5 chords across Theorytabs; Plus account subscription is not necessary, but instead of searching in the database they could load this .hkt file directly.

Both add4 and #5 have appeared in the public database, but I believe @Hooktheory has made even more now-nonfunctioning extensions.

Some specifics on your first four recommendations:

6/9 chords
Third inversion of dominant or minor 7sus4 = 6/9
Third inversion of M7sus4 = 5(add♭6)(add♭9) or ♭5(add♭6)(add♭9), depending on where you’re borrowing from [not sure how to spell either of those]
Third inversion of m7♭5 = (add♭6)(add9)

11th chords
Second inversion of dominant or minor 7sus4 = minor 11th
Second inversion of M7sus4 = dominant 11th
Second inversion of m7♭5sus4 = M7#11

11no3no5 chords
Second inversion of sus4 with minor chord = dominant 11no3no5
Second inversion of sus4 with major chord = dominant or major 11no3no5, depending on where you’re borrowing from
Second inversion of sus4 with diminished chord = M7#11no3no5

13th chords
First inversion of add9 with minor chord = dominant 13th or major 13th, depending on where you’re borrowing from
First inversion of add9 with diminished chord = minor 13th
First inversion of add9 with major chord = minor 7th flat 13th (or m7#5), though it doesn’t really sound like one

If any of this is wrong, let me know.

A few questions:

  1. I loaded your .hkt file and am unable to copy and paste the chords into other Theorytabs. Is that what you meant? If not, to use these chords I would presumably have to start a tab by duplicating this file (or another tab with these chords).
  2. Regarding M7#11: [quote=“HertzDevil, post:2, topic:297”]
    respelled as M7#11 using viio24sus4
    Did you mean viio34sus4? viio24sus4 would be (add♭6)(add9).
  3. [quote=“HertzDevil, post:2, topic:297”]
    (although (add4)c is available it no longer functions)
    What is the c in (add4)c?

You load the .hkt file, select some of the chords and then press “C”, load another Theorytab within Hookpad, and then press “V” to paste. Works every time, but you may want to adjust the time signature of the .hkt file to match the one in the target Theorytab.

Yes, my fault.

Shorthand for second inversion.

Problem solved: out of habit I was going to “My Tabs” and selecting one there, instead of opening another one within Hookpad.
I assume there’s no way to edit these chords into a public Theorytab, only into tabs you’ve created yourself?


Some more specific substitutions that I use:
7b9: iii7sus2
7b9b5: viiø7sus2
mM9: M9no3 from a suitable mode instead of m(add9)
V13: when in dominant function, use vi24

Test slash chords, created using 2 voices. The chords represented are:

  • A♭7♭5 (the French augmented sixth; one derivation of this chord is V♭57c/V. the bass note of any inverted seventh chord can be replaced in a similar way)
  • F/G (many forms of 11no3no5 are possible, such as M7♯9♯11; dorian IV34 gives 9♭13)
  • G7♯5♭9 (ivo leads to 7♭9, ivø56 becomes 7♯5)
  • C7♯9 (sounds bad here because of the minor second, but sounds decent in other keys such as F Minor)
  • E♭M7♯5 (this is possible, but even by using this form of slash chords, one cannot represent the inversion with the augmented triad above)
  • A♭M9 (ninth chords with omitted third are preferred over those with omitted fifth; VIIsus2 gives 6/9)
  • Adim7 (moreover, it can always be chosen such that the diminished seventh chord is in a correct inversion for voice leading)
  • B♭M13♯11 (no3no5no9; same idea as 11no3no5, so in general triads give 11, 6-5 chords give 13(11) chords, 4-3 chords give 9(13))
  • CM7♯5♯9 (a lot of upper structure triads can be implied because the lower structure’s spelling is now completely gone)
  • C+add♯4 (itself an inversion of 7♯5, but one cannot represent just the augmented triad; other add4 chords are also possible)

The original bass track has been muted; only the harmony track remains, which takes care of the automatic voicing in the upper voices. The new bass track, as it appears on the melody track, is composed of two voices:
Here voice 1 and voice 2 have a volume of 0.65 and 0.45 respectively. (Harmony stays at 0.8.) Of course, these notes can be adjusted to match chords of any duration, not just whole measures; this also gives the opportunity of manually setting the octave of each bass note, but consequently they no longer adjust their octaves automatically, which the original bass track does. Although the same kind of slash chords can be achieved with just one voice, this particular setup imitates the original bass track very well.

Apart from these substitutions, these chords work just as well for normal chords, but one can now explicitly name CM7 as Em/C. For triads, the chord inversion does not affect how the harmony track determines the chord octaves, since one could even leave out these inversions, as a considerable number of music theory books do hide inversions in Roman numerals:
Of course, these are not very useful if Theorytabs in the public database do not have mixer settings, since the original bass track will be played; plus, after all, the general user should not expect that Roman numerals represent the upper structure voicings rather than the entire chords, and in turn should not be expected to derive such full chord spellings from the mimicked slash chords. Finally, the Trends database would contain more of these unexpected progressions (although analyses needing these altered chords usually have no complexity tag anyway, and therefore be excluded from the API).

Sorry if this is a dumb question, but how do you load a .hkt file?

Download the file to your computer, select Open in Hookpad, click Disk Open in the top right, and navigate to the file. You might have to be a plus user, I’m not sure