Wrong Chord Description / Detection?

I loaded the Song Neo Soul 6. It starts with two Em11 chords. The second however has an F# rather than an second E. When I explored this further in a chord database, it suggests this is an Em6/9. When I load the Em scale in Scalar and select an Em11 chord, it is the version with the F#. If I edit the chord and change the F# to an E, it is still described an Em11. The same thing is true for the other chords in this progression where each has a varied or extended version with the same name. The variations do sound quite different. So in the spirit of learning, is this a bug or just the way it is?

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As an orchestrator I know that chord labels put you on thin ice. Terms like, blue note, jazz variation, or “add”, are attempts to identify notes not belonging to a chord or scale but yet sound “good”. I’ve worked with everybody from Dizzy Gillespie to Tina Turner and once you give a chart to a musician, then the arguments begin. Scaler is a wonderful program but don’t expect it to conveniently identify and put an end to a huge issue. The musician has to take responsibility for their composition and notate as best as possible any irregular note being used. If you need to identify every note and passing tone in a chord label, Good Luck. Only a part of music follows the rules!

Hi @jeffreyk,

sorry for the late reply… as @namron is saying, chord labeling can be difficult.

There are often multiple ways to name chords depending on the context. In an 11th chord the 9th (F# in this case) can be omitted and Scaler matches chords with omitted notes when they are often played this way.

It is not obvious that there is a difference of voicing between the two chords here, we have been thinking about adding alternative naming info for more advanced users but it could also lead to even more confusion.

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to respond! As usual, good learning to be had. Much appreciated.