Saxophone Forum


by Freaky McPants
(12 posts)
10 years ago

Chords

My name is Travis and I am a senior in high school and I am in Jazz band. I know very little about music theory so I have no idea what all the little numbers and letters in chords mean. For example, the chord name for the B flat blues scale is c7. What does this mean. Its like a foreign language man.

Reply To Post [Report Abuse]

Report Abuse

Replies

  1. by The_MarkVI
    (80 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Chords

    Hey Travis. C7 means the 7th would be flat. Every time you would see that scale, you would want to use the Bb blues

    Reply To Post


  2. by TrentG
    (15 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Chords

    this sounds confusing. let me see if I get this straight. I'm no go with scales, (the names.) I should work on that. Bb starts with G on alto. i think. so the seventh note...G? is flat? that is confussing, because the first one wasn't flat... nevermind.

    Reply To Post


  3. by peter090
    (155 posts)

    10 years ago

    Re: Chords

    The basics of Chord symbols are fairly simple but will be difficult unless you know your scales. Although there are a variety of symbol conventions they all have the same basic rules. The letter designates the root of the chord. Unless noted otherwise the chord is major. If there are two letters seperated by a slash (C7/E for example) the second letter is the bass note. There are four chord types Major=C or CMaj=C E G (Maj 3 Perfect 5) Minor=Cmin or C-7=C Eb G (min 3 Perfect 5) diminished=Cdim=C Eb Gb (min 3 Diminished 5) Augmented=Caug or C+=C E G# (maj 3 Aug 5) Numbers represent chord tones above the root. For notes other than the seventh the interval unless altered is major or perfect. So assuming C as the root 2 or 9=D (major second) 4 or 11=F (perfect fourth) 6 or 13=A (major sixth) The seventh is special case. The minor seventh is played in most cases. The exceptions being chords designated maj and dim. With C as root CMaj7=C E G B (assumes major seventh) C7 =C E G Bb Cmin7=C Eb G Bb Caug7=C E G# Bb Cdim7=C Eb Gb Bbb (assumes diminished seventh here's one origin of the mysterious double flat...) You can alter any tone with sharp or flat so CMaj7 (#11) is C E G B F# Cmin7 (b5)=C Eb Gb Bb Caug7 (#9)=C E G# Bb D# C7 b9=C E G Bb Db and so on. I think that is about all you need to know to decipher most chord symbols.

    Reply To Post


    1. by Freaky McPants
      (12 posts)

      10 years ago

      Re: Chords

      See, I only understood about a quarter of what you just said. Scales and chords confuse the hell out of me. Are there any good books that explain the structure of scales and all that goes into them? And I know I need to practice and memorize my scales, and I have recently started to work on that.

      Reply To Post


      1. by kitnachi
        (41 posts)

        10 years ago

        Re: Chords

        where did you learn all of that stuff? I really want to learn it!!

        Reply To Post AIM


        1. by jbroad572
          (46 posts)

          10 years ago

          Re: Chords

          Yea that's definitely something that confuses me as well. This is where a good music theory book or class will come in handy. I'm in pursuit of that now. At the local bookstore I found music theory for beginners and Idiot's guide to music theory. Feel free to check out the reviews on Amazon or some other sites. I think they are $6.95 and $12.95 respectively.

          Reply To Post