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Predictable Chord patterns

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marty D 06 May 01 - 11:40 PM
Mark Clark 07 May 01 - 12:25 AM
Gary T 07 May 01 - 01:02 AM
Roughyed 07 May 01 - 04:12 AM
Mark Clark 07 May 01 - 11:28 AM
Rick Fielding 07 May 01 - 12:08 PM
M.Ted 07 May 01 - 12:32 PM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 12:45 PM
Rick Fielding 07 May 01 - 12:47 PM
M.Ted 07 May 01 - 02:09 PM
Jim the Bart 07 May 01 - 02:11 PM
Don Firth 07 May 01 - 02:41 PM
Gary T 07 May 01 - 02:55 PM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 03:04 PM
Rick Fielding 07 May 01 - 03:12 PM
Roughyed 07 May 01 - 03:14 PM
Whistle Stop 07 May 01 - 03:23 PM
Don Firth 07 May 01 - 03:34 PM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 03:48 PM
Gary T 07 May 01 - 06:21 PM
mousethief 07 May 01 - 06:30 PM
Mark Clark 07 May 01 - 09:19 PM
mousethief 08 May 01 - 12:44 AM
Gary T 08 May 01 - 02:03 AM
Mark Clark 08 May 01 - 10:26 AM
M.Ted 08 May 01 - 12:37 PM
marty D 08 May 01 - 07:15 PM
M.Ted 08 May 01 - 08:25 PM
mousethief 08 May 01 - 11:50 PM
mousethief 08 May 01 - 11:59 PM
M.Ted 09 May 01 - 08:44 AM
Gary T 09 May 01 - 09:26 AM
M.Ted 09 May 01 - 10:14 AM
Rick Fielding 09 May 01 - 10:40 AM
Mark Clark 09 May 01 - 12:23 PM
M.Ted 09 May 01 - 12:38 PM
Marion 24 May 01 - 12:30 AM
Murray MacLeod 24 May 01 - 01:03 AM
Marion 24 May 01 - 01:17 AM
M.Ted 24 May 01 - 02:23 PM
Murray MacLeod 24 May 01 - 06:25 PM
Helen 06 Jun 01 - 08:13 AM
Gary T 06 Jun 01 - 08:38 AM
Helen 06 Jun 01 - 08:04 PM
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Subject: Predictable Chord patterns
From: marty D
Date: 06 May 01 - 11:40 PM

This may be pretty basic to some, but I'm trying to learn some standard chord patterns common to a number of songs each. Someone (it may have been Rick F or MTed) mentioned a number system that they think is a kind of musical shorthand. I like the idea of that. C F and G would be 1 4 and 5. But what about all the OTHER numbers and what do you do with sharps and flats? I'm currently learning a diminished chord shape, is there a number for that? Do the numbers give the time signature or number of beats per bar? I'd better stop before I confuse myself.

marty


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:25 AM

Marty,

I think you've already grasped this but, in the key of C, the system works like this:

  Chord names     C D E F G A B
Chord numbers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

A song like "Little Maggie" in the key of C goes C/Bb/C/G/C. Using numbers it's 1/7/1/5/1. I know, it's technically a 7b chord but I've never heard it called anything but a 7 chord. If you want to play it in the key of G, it's still 1/7/1/5/1 but a 1 chord is G in the key of G so it comes out G/F/G/D/G.

An Adim7 chord in the key of C would be called a 6dim7 or more often just 6dim. (That's pronounced six, not sixth.) An A minor (Am) chord becomes 6m. Note that this is a lot different than saying minor 6 which is a 1m chord with the sixth added.

If you learn the chords by number and train your ear to hear numbered chords coming, it makes it very easy to transpose keys as needed almost without thinking about it.

I may be wrong but I think the number system is used mostly by country and bluegrass musicians playing music with a comparatively simple chord structure. Jazz musicians just know all the keys and chord names and equivalences so they tend to talk in terms of classical theory.

Good luck,

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Gary T
Date: 07 May 01 - 01:02 AM

Start with a major scale. For illustration, we'll use the key of C. Write the notes of the major scale with lower-case letters and number them with Arabic numerals:
   1 2 3 4 5 6 7
c d e f g a b

These numbers can be used to list the notes in a chord, for example a C major chord has notes 1, 2, & 3, which are c, e, & g.

When talking about chords, we use Roman numerals and capital (upper-case) letters:

   I  II  III  IV  V  VI  VII
C D E F G A B
In the key of C, the chords you mentioned are the I, IV, & V chords. Jillions of songs use just these three chords, or sometimes even just two of them (I & IV or I & V). When I talk about very broad and general chord patterns, I use just the numbers. When talking about more narrow chord patterns or the chord sequence for a particular song, I get more specific, as follows:

The major (tonic) chord uses just the number: I=C major, II=D major, VI=A major, etc. Other chords are noted just as if you were using the letter name of the chord: I7=C seventh, IIm=D minor, IIIm7=E minor seventh, IVmaj7=F major seventh, etc. Likewise flats and sharps: IIIb=E flat major, V#dim=G sharp dimished.

As you can see, these numbers have nothing to do with time signatures or describing a chord shape or variation (in IIm7, for example, it's the "m" and "7" that give you the specifics, not the "II"). So what's their value? Chord patterns and transposing.

Any song's chord sequence can be written out in the Roman numeral form. You will start to notice many different songs, regardless of the particular key you usually do them in, have very similar or even identical chord patterns. If you train your mind to think in these Roman numerals, transposing to a different key is much simplified. For an example, we'll look at "Happy Birthday":

  In the key of C:
C G G C
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you
C F C G C
Happy birthday dear you, happy birthday to you

With Roman numerals:
I V V I
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you
I IV I V I
Happy birthday dear you, happy birthday to you

Now let's look at a couple of other keys:

  Key of G:                    Key of D:
I II III IV V VI VII I II III IV V VI VII
G A B C D E F# D E F# G A B C#

You can make a similar chart for any key, based on its major scale. Pick the key you want to do the song in, stick that key's chords in where the Roman numerals are, and you're ready to go. To do "Happy Birthday" in G:

        G(=I)       D(=V)      D(=V)       G(=I)
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you
G(=I) C(=IV) G(=I) D(=V) G(=I)
Happy birthday dear you, happy birthday to you

Try writing the numbers on any song you do or are trying to learn, and after a while I believe you'll see how it simplifies many things for you. Good luck!

(P.S.--feel free to post here or send me a PM if there's anything I can clarify for you or help you with.)


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Roughyed
Date: 07 May 01 - 04:12 AM

You might like to try G Em C D7 and back to G. Or D C G and back to D. I suppose the commonest progression is just C F G7 C. Ragtimey sort of progressions are C E F D7 G7 or C A7 D7 G7 C.

As I think you can grasp from the stuff already written (very clear and helpful I think) you can play these progressions (or relationships as I like to think of them) in any key. So the first would become C Am F G7 in C or D, Bm,G A7 in D.

The great thing about these sort of 'standard progressions' is the bits writers throw in to vary them.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 May 01 - 11:28 AM

Gary's notation, using Roman numerals, make much more sense than mine. I just realized that although I've used the number system of chord names for 30 years or so, I've never actualy written them down nor seen anyone else write them down. The number names have always just been musician's jargon used in rehearsals or on the job.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:08 PM

Wow. Great info. Wish I'd got in earlier but it's ALL here. Good work Mark, Gary and Swan.

Perhaps I can add that some "predictable chord patterns" are named after specific songs. "Blue Moon" might indicate the 1 6- 2- 5 pattern so commonly used in early rock ballads. "Rhythm" changes are named for "I got rhythm" and might (there are variations) go 1 1#dim 2-7 57 (damn, this looks awkward when i type it..works great for scribbling lightning chord charts though, or just calling the changes to a band mate while playing.

1 6 2 5 is often called "circle of fifths" (or just "circle")

Rick


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:32 PM

I believe Rick posted info on the Nashville Session Chord Numbering system--I am not real up to date on it, meaning that I can't remember how they designate diminished, augmented chords--the one thing I think I do recollect is that when they use the "7" or VII designation, it usually means the chord based on the flatted seventh note, rather than the diatonic seventh--in key of C, it would be Bb--

I do know that, as with most musical symbol systems, there is quite a bit of lattitude--the Nashville system is intended to make it easy for the "Nashville Cats" to pick-up a tune quickly, and makes it simple to change the key, and is "quick and dirty",meaning that as little is written down as possible, problems of ambiguity are resolved by simply asking "What's this mean?"--


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:45 PM

So which song is the G-Em-C-D(7) (aka I-VIm-IV-V(7)) pattern named after? There are millions, including virtually anything by the Four Seasons.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 01 - 12:47 PM

Ted. I remember mentioning in that thread (must have been a long time ago) that my first encounter with this WAS in a Nashville studio. The guys (and I do mean GUYS) scribbled all the info down on matchbook covers! I know enough about human nature to recognize guys being sooo cool! ha ha!

Works though.

One little note though. I don't think they indicated the seventh (flat 7) or even the sixth....that was implied contingent upon the song. Same with minor sevenths, and in those days a minor sixth would have been seen as a communist conspiracy. A major seventh was written as "1 M7". I think the minor chords just used a "minus" sign.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 07 May 01 - 02:09 PM

I meant more or less as in "Shady Grove" writing 1-7 instead of G-F or D-C--anyway--

The 1-6-2-5 chord progression is a common way of harmonizing a melody that runs back quite a ways, in fact, it(and many of the other popular chord changes) are found in those old ballads that we speak of in other threads--The Maid of Bedlam follows that chord progression (although some sticklers would say that it really moves to an Em with a B in the bass, at which time I'd say that that was really a Cmaj7, at which point someone would say that if I said that, why not say just say that the Am is really a C6, at which point someone else would jump in and say that it is a simple scale-wise decending line in the bass, at which point everyone would start posting insults in other threads and finally quit the group)--

Anyway, the point here is that the chord progression has been around since way before the "Four Seasons"(well, Frankie Valli and the... anyway, it probably wasn't used for very long before Vivaldi) but to also point out that one can stick an Em in between the C and the Am--Or if you want to play Jazz, an E7, so you'd have a C-E7-A7-D7-G7 progression to add to your "predictable" chord progression book--I gotta go!


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 07 May 01 - 02:11 PM

I've been on country jobbing dates (pickup gigs) where the leader(usually the singer or bass player) would walk the group through the progression using his/her fingers.

Once the key and style is stated ("It's a waltz in C") you signal the chord changes by extending the appropriate number of fingers. Fingers pointed up are major chords; pointed down minors.

That's about as sophisticated as we got; after going through the entire progression once or twice some people would start adding those 7th's, 9th's, argumentative and demolished chords if they wanted. As long as people knew the drill and were paying attention, you could do a whole lot of songs you never even heard before using this system.

Fingers - or I should say, one specific finger - was also used to signal that your playing wasn't measuring up.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 May 01 - 02:41 PM

For what it's worth: standard notation practice in music theory classes (at least when I was there) for analysing the harmonic structure of a piece of music (what chords is Beethoven using in this string quartet?) made use of Roman numerals. A tidy way of indicating the difference between major and minor chords was to use upper-case for major chords, lower case for minor chords. For example,

I ii iii IV V vi vii* I.

*The diminished triad (vii) had a little superscript degree symbol following it. Added-note chords would have a number following them, for example,

I IV V7 I or i iv V7 i

Augmented chords were followed by a superscript "+"

Now that I've thoroughly confused the issue. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Gary T
Date: 07 May 01 - 02:55 PM

In my mention of forming a chord above, I said "a C major chord has notes 1, 2, & 3, which are c, e, & g."

Whoops! That should have been "...has notes 1, 3, & 5, which are c, e, & g." Sorry about that.

I have seen the lower case Roman numeral method. It's equally valid, but I prefer the consistency (to my mind) of using the upper case and adding "min" just as one adds "7" etc. I also prefer the consistency and accuracy of using "VIIb" rather "VII" if it is indeed a flatted VII. Although it's very rare, I have seen songs that use the actual VII chord (a B7 in the key of C, for example). I can understand not bothering with it in cases such as illustrated above where everyone knows what is being communicated.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 03:04 PM

I've never played a 1-6m-2-5 progression; I've always played 1-6m-4-5. I can't imagine playing an "A" when you're in "G" in those Franki Vallee songs. Perhaps you mean 2m? If you just use "2" when you mean "2m" what do you do when you REALLY mean "2"? There are songs that use the "D" chord in the key of "C".

Alex


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 May 01 - 03:12 PM

Hi Alex, one i can think of is "All Through The Night" the welsh song. Beatles did it as well. Agree with you though...wouldn't catch Frankee Vali doing it!

Now of course someone will prove us wrong.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Roughyed
Date: 07 May 01 - 03:14 PM

Hey, I always think of that G Em C D7 thing as the 'Mairi's Wedding' progression - but that jsut shows what a sad individual I am.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 07 May 01 - 03:23 PM

One thing to keep in mind is that, in a conventional western piece of music, the I, IV and V chords are typically major, while the II, III and VI chords are typically minor. So when someone refers to a I-VI-II-V progression (As M.Ted did above), he really means I-VIm-IIm-V. M.Ted only did this halfway, which resulted in mousethief's confusion. Nashville cats tend to add in the "m" to indicate minor when they're preparing their charts, while classically-trained musicians (like Don firth) would probably say that this is implied by the numbers themselves.

Am I making sense to anybody?


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Don Firth
Date: 07 May 01 - 03:34 PM

I vi ii V7 (over and over and over. . . )?

How about "Blue moon, you saw me standing alone. . . " Etc.

I've always heard that referred to as the Blue Moon prgression. It's almost appalling how many songs work with that.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 03:48 PM

That's swell, Whistle Stop, but then what do you write when you want the major of the 2nd or 6th? Better to have a consistent system then one that is too hard to figure out.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Gary T
Date: 07 May 01 - 06:21 PM

Whistle Stop's remark about M.Ted's post illustrates what I meant by referring to "very broad and general chord patterns." I might speak of a pattern that steps through the circle of fifths as a "I-VI-II-V" pattern, with the understanding that the VI, for example, may be a VI major, VI seventh, VI minor--it's going to be a VI something. Getting more specific, a typical "Doo Wop" pattern might be referred to as I-VIm-IIm-V7, or one pattern for "Salty Dog" would be I-VI7-II7-V7, while some other folks might play the same song as I-VI-II-V. All three of these specific examples fit the broad I-VI-II-V pattern, but they obviously don't interchange. I try to make it clear whether I'm talking in the most general terms or being specific, to avoid the potential confusion.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 07 May 01 - 06:30 PM

I guess I don't see it that way, because I think of Em as being associated with G, not with E. A song in (say) the key of C can very often use a G and an Em interchangeably. No song can use an E and an Em interchangeably. So saying that a song that goes G-Em-Am-D fits the "broad I-IV-II-V pattern" doesn't make any sense to me at all. Maybe from a strictly numerical point of view it fits the pattern. but from a sound point of view it doesn't, at all.

Alex.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Mark Clark
Date: 07 May 01 - 09:19 PM

The Blue Moon progression (I-VI-II-V) in the key of C becomes C,Am,Dm7,G7. Note also that Dm7 (D-F-A-C) is just an inversion of an F6 (F-A-C-D). Same notes! You could call it a V6 if you want but it's still a IIm7.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 08 May 01 - 12:44 AM

Um, Mark, F is IV in C, not V.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Gary T
Date: 08 May 01 - 02:03 AM

Alex, there are two different classes of patterns under discussion. The type you are referring to is what would fit a specific song, and by extension a number of individual songs which can be grouped together as sharing that pattern, using the same chords.

When I talk about a "very broad pattern," it is most clearly seen from the numerical point of view. It is not to say that a song that goes G-Em-Am-D can be played with G-E7-A7-D7, or vice versa. It is rather to point out that a great number of songs which go from G to E-something (major, minor, seventh, whatever) will then go to A-something and then on to D-something. Whether it's G-Em-Am-D, G-E-Am-D7, G-Em-A7-D, etc., what these specific patterns have in common is that they go through the circle of fifths (more info here and here and here) in the same way. There is a fair amount of significance to that in the big picture of various sound relationships in music, hence there is some value in seeing it as a broad type of pattern. It is, as you note, to be distinguished from a pattern or sequence of specific chords that would be used in a particular song.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Mark Clark
Date: 08 May 01 - 10:26 AM

Alex, Right you are. I seemingly droped the I. My previous post should have read:

The Blue Moon progression (I-VI-II-V) in the key of C becomes C,Am,Dm7,G7. Note also that Dm7 (D-F-A-C) is just an inversion of an F6 (F-A-C-D). Same notes! You could call it a IV6 if you want but it's still a IIm7.

Thanks for staying awake.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 May 01 - 12:37 PM

Was I right? That I-6-2-5 business did start a conflict!

Mousethief(or Alex, what *are* we supposed to call you?) GaryT is on the money with his explanation--in my words--in a diatonic scale, the II chord (or supertonic), the VI (submediant) and the III(mediant) are all minors--and need no further clarification--if it is a circle of fifths, basically what is happening is that you are changing the key--how did we distinguish? We would simply call"circle of fifths, or even just say "One out" for D7(because it was one fifth out of the key of C, assuming that we started in C), "Two out" for A7(second fifth out of the key) or "Three out" for E7--

The 1-6-2-5 thing generally doesn't even have to be called--if there is one measure of C, then one measure of G7, is is generally assumed that you should stick the Am/C6, and the Dm7/F6 in (there is the answer to your question about the II and the VI, Alex!)--this is even done when they don't really fit--

Here is your quiz question for the day--if I were to play the Melody to "Blue Moon" over just *one* chord(and I have been known to do that), what one could it be, and why?


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: marty D
Date: 08 May 01 - 07:15 PM

Blimey!

Well I can't say I don't get a slew of answers when I ask a question here. Thank you one and all. Now I just have to extract the ten percent that I'm capable of understanding at this point in my musical life.

marty


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 08 May 01 - 08:25 PM

You can actually also just transpose(change the key) of everything to C, and then just write the chords out as they would normally be, with the major, minor, diminished, 7th, etc so there would be no confusion--

C-Am-Dm-G7
C-G-F-C
C-A7-D7-G7
F-C-G-C
Dm-G7-C-Am

That eliminates all the fuss in the above discussion about why this and that, and leaves you to deal with those things later, when you feel like it--


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:50 PM

What I was saying is this: if you are writing the numeric notation on your lyric sheet as a sort of shorthand so you can play the song in any key without having to transpose in your head, and if "II" automatically means "II minor" then what do you write if you really want II major?

Nobody has answered this yet.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: mousethief
Date: 08 May 01 - 11:59 PM

PS call me "Alex" or "Mousethief" or whatever is recognizably me, and reasonably polite.

Alex


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 May 01 - 08:44 AM

Alex,

There have been several useable answers--the formally correct method, as pointed out above, is to use upper case letters for major and lower for minor-even still, but since we are talking about a quick and dirty method, different people do different things, and it is really pretty much up to you--especially since you are doing it for yourself--you might want to use a minus sign when the chord is minor, for instance(as is done by some) and just use the number when it is major--I always use the chord names myself--


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Gary T
Date: 09 May 01 - 09:26 AM

Alex, your question illustrates why I personally favor using only upper case Roman numerals AND adding the descriptive terms (min, 7, etc.) just as one would if actually using the the letter name of the chord. "II" alone is understood to be II major, everything other chord type is clearly spelled out. I just believe that this way is the easiest to use and to teach to others who might be interested. The other variations work when everyone involved knows the ground rules, but I find them less intuitive and more complicated than necessary.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:14 AM

The thing is, in a playing situation, the numbers, chord names, or whatever aren't written out, they are called out--if you're lucky--and you are pretty much left to fill in the details--sometimes, as Don points out, you just get the fingers--


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 09 May 01 - 10:40 AM

Hey guys (checking back to see if any women are here) Had a chance to use my much beloved number system in front of a fair-sized audience last night. Here's the scenario.

I was gonna do three songs solo, but saw Trevor Mills, a fine (very) young bass player gettin' ready to leave the stage. I know that trevor studied theory (near Boston) and asked him to play with me, even though I planned on doing some old time country stuff, and he's a jazz guy. My initial instructions (for Dick Justice's "Black Dog Blues") were Key of D, circle of fives, start on the 6th. He nailed the B7, E7, A7, D pattern like we'd been playing it for years.

Next song: John Prine's "Hello in there". Instructions: Key of G. 1,4,5, look for the 2 off the top (it's a 2minor, but since he didn't know the song I doubted that he'd play a scale so just "2" sufficed) and the flat 7 in the chorus. I'd forgotten the "3 minor" so when it came up, I just whispered "3" and he nailed it. There's a Major Seventh during every verse so I emphasised the F# note in my G chord, and he picked it up by the second verse and played the note as part of a G scale.

Third song: Improvised Swing Blues. Instructions: "12 bar in E", use diminisheds, stay with the 5 for the 9th and 10th bars.

The end result is that the audience certainly wouldn't have known we'd never played together before, and the "rehearsal period" was no longer than 10 seconds for each song. I'm not good with math myself and it took me a while to learn this "shorthand", so i sympathize with my students who find it just a jumble at first, but boy, does it pay off.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Mark Clark
Date: 09 May 01 - 12:23 PM

Thanks Rick, for sharing that great story. It really underscores the usefulness of the technique. I add a link to this thread in the Tips #3 thread so it wouldn't get lost. Too much good stuff here.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 09 May 01 - 12:38 PM

You are a lucky fellow--to have had a bass player all ready to go when you hit the stage, Rick! It is getting so that you can't even get one when you call the union hall!

These young ones that have studied jazz are good, though, aren't they? I'll bet he could have followed you without a word!! And polite, too! I once played a parody of "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" (you can figure out how long ago it was) and tried to give the chords to the Bass player--who said, "Just play it" with a look of utter disgust--


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Marion
Date: 24 May 01 - 12:30 AM

Hey M.Ted!

re: "Here is your quiz question for the day--if I were to play the Melody to "Blue Moon" over just *one* chord(and I have been known to do that), what one could it be, and why? "

I like to sing Blue Moon in G, so I'm going to guess that the one chord I want is G major.

I look at the melody and found that the longest held notes are D (moon, alone), B (heart), and G (own); the three notes of the G major triad. So I assume that the chord would be at least based on G major (which seemed kind of intuitive anyway).

So then I looked at what other notes are in the melody, and found C, A, and E. I noticed that C and E only appear on offbeats and A appears once on an onbeat, so I decided to ignore C and E and concentrate on A.

So I tried GaddA (using my index finger to do the extra work in the middle strings, are you listening Rick?) but it definitely wasn't an improvement on plain G.

So I thought, that A is kind of connected to a ii chord, and it's the C natural that defines Am, so what if I added a C? So I tried both Gsus and GaddC (using my conveniently available index finger, of course, Rick), and neither was an improvement on plain G.

Then I decided that strumming plain G through the whole song wasn't that bad... certainly less objectionable than anything else I had tried.

So how did I do? I suspect the correct answer is G with a bunch of additions and subtractions that I never would have stumbled on... but do I at least get partial credit for showing my work, or fingering the G chord properly?

Thanks M.Ted, it's been a long time since I sat in front of the computer with a guitar.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 24 May 01 - 01:03 AM

You can't play the whole song on one chord. You could just about get by on a Gmaj7 for most of the song, but how would you cope with the modulation to A on "looked" , where the lyric goes "And when I looked, the moon had turned to gold" (and you have to go D or D7 on "gold"),

Come out of hiding MTed and explain yourself.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Marion
Date: 24 May 01 - 01:17 AM

Murray, the bridge didn't even occur to me. This must be a trick question.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: M.Ted
Date: 24 May 01 - 02:23 PM

Murray, you are my tormentor!! However, I used ambiguous weasel wording, when I said "the melody" which I meant to mean the "A" melody, which is the more predictable part--and yes, you are right, the Gmaj7 will do it, though I added a 9th to it, which gave me what amounted to a mixed chord, that is to say, a G chord that was combined with a D chord in it--

Here is the fingering for this G chord--
7-X-5-7-7-5
However, this is a bit difficult, especially on acoustics and 12 strings (painful but not impossible, you barre across the 5th fret) and you can play it in D rather more civilly, with just 3-X-O-3-3-O
For the bridge, you just move at a strategic point to the major seventh chord a full step below (in G, to Fmaj7, in D to Cmaj7) you can figure out where to change, and where to change back yourself(even if you are wrong, the whole concept is so far out that the damage will be minimal)--

Admittedly, this approach to the song is not for the faint of heart--and Marion, you are right to focus on the long notes at the end of each each phrase--I kind of sing the first part almost parenthetically, (blue)MOOOOOOON!(you saw me standing a-)LOOOOOONE--etc--and more or less just try to find a way to make it work--

At any rate, this should be a warning to you all as to how my mind works!!!


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 24 May 01 - 06:25 PM

I think MTed's explanation above, notwithstanding that it works, (which it does,) should serve as a warning to parents not to expose their children to diminished, augmented, maj7th chords,and the like or they might turn out like MTed.

Let us restrict our musical excursions to major and minor chords, brethren, only therein may the truth be found. (Dominant 7ths allowed, but only sparingly, and as a last resort.)

Hallelujah.

Murray


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Helen
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:13 AM

Hi Guys & others (grin)

I have been reading this thread during it's lifetime and after it went to sleep, i.e. before I just woke it up.

I am in a phase of my music-learning where I want to be able to understand chords, chord progressions and related music theory, especially to do with arrangements and improvising. I play Celtic lever harp, so I am not able to just play any old chord when I want to, like guitarists , banjo players, mandolin players etc.

A quick bit of info on lever harps, just in case you have never been up close & personal with one:

Generally it is easier to set up the levers so that you play in one key e.g. C major/A minor, or G major/E minor, etc. The most frequent keys that I play in at sessions are C maj/A minor, G maj/E minor & D maj/B minor.

Accidentals are not easy because it means flipping the lever at a strategic point before playing that bar, and flipping it back again afterwards.

I have been studying the info and suggestions in this thread, and also in a couple of books that I have about chords and arranging.

The chords that I can make in the Key of C major (& A minor) are:

C, C6, Cma7, Dm, Dm6, Dm7, Em, Em7, F, F6, Fma7, G, G6, G7, G9, Am, Am7. (i.e. no sharps or flats, because it is set up in the key of C)

(I have a similar list for the other two frequently played keys.) If I tried to do other chords in that key I would need accidentals so it would mean flipping levers.

Anyway, to get to the point - I have found this thread really helpful, and it has motivated me to start looking into this chord progression/arrangement stuff much more seriously because I *finally* am starting to *get* what it is all about and how it works. I looked at the circle of fifths information and it finally clicked, too.

I also set up a file on MsExcel where I laid out the chords of a few songs and then put the roman numeral chord symbols next to them and started to see the patterns that they form in a new way. Because I am dyslexic I find it very hard to memorise the chord progressions but by expressing it visually with colours and on different lines I can *see* the patterns that they make much more clearly. And once I see things visually I can usually remember them a lot more easily.

So thanks guys (& others) for your helpful discussion.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Gary T
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:38 AM

Cool, Helen. It's nice when concepts like that start gelling in the brain (I love those "Hey, it's making sense!" moments). Thanks for sharing the good news.


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Helen
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 08:04 PM

I've looked at the Circle of Fifths at different times over the years and thought "so what?" but that is because I had no-one to explain it to me in a logical & practical way.

So, about these chords I can use: any suggestions for some really nice progressions, given the limitations? Or do I just use the same progressions you have suggested by using the roman numerals and ignore whether it is in fact exactly the same chord that you would play on a guitar, where you have a choice, i.e. with accidentals whenever you want?

I mostly play Celtic, folk, early 20th century popular, etc.

BTW, the info I read on the circle of fifths is here:


Theory on Tap: Lesson V, Circle of Fifths

http://www.scroom.com/mus_lessons/tot.5.html

It was a Mudcat recommended site, from another thread quite a while back - I forget which.

Helen


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: marty D
Date: 06 Jun 01 - 11:16 PM

Have you ever been totally fascinated by something you have not got a clue about? I have. Here. Continued thanks.

marty


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: wysiwyg
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 11:02 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: GUEST,Frank
Date: 13 Jul 01 - 01:38 PM

Rick Write it I #Idim7 IIm7 V7.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Predictable Chord patterns
From: Bee
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 05:44 PM

Refreshing to say great threads like this one are gold mines for learners like myself, and may save Mudcat any number of 'chords req.' threads. ;-D


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