Finding the notes

The notes are : E (5th string) A# (4th string) D (3rd string) G (2nd string)

Let us take E as the root. Then the other notes form the following intervals.

  1. Root : E
  2. A# : #4 or b5   (Hint : B is the fifth of E. Lowering by one note to A# is a flat fifth interval)
  3. D : Minor 7th
  4. G : minor 3rd

minor seventh and minor 3rd notes along with the root gives us a minor seventh chord.

the remaining note is a flat fifth note.

minor seventh with a flattened fifth note is…

the minor seventh flat fifth chord, also known as the half diminished chord (the phi symbol).

So, we find that the chord is E minor 7th flat fifth

Identifying a chord on the guitar by Pattern recognition

Let us shift the notes to the first four strings, in the first few frets. Once we do this shifting,  if we are familiar with usual chord patterns in the first few frets, we may be able to identify it immediately.

Take the 5th string note to the 4th string. 5th string 7th fret note is same as 4th string 2nd fret note.

Similarly take 4th string note to 3rd string, 3rd string note from the original chord to 2nd string, 2nd string note of the given chord to 1st string.

The chord in the new position is on the left side of the figure. (original one to the right)

Learn the basic patterns, and then chord identification and melody to chord mapping is a matter of pattern recognition. 

This is the pattern of a m7b5 chord, where the root is on the 4th string. The note on the 4th string is on the 2nd fret, E. So, it is a Em7b5 chord as we found out in the note identification part.

More about chord names and chord symbols? the Chord code book. Easy step by step guide to understanding how to form and play chords on your own.

Three fingering patterns for minor seventh flat five chord