Altered chords with a base note

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Onr3qu3z

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Joined: 06/30/14

Posts: 6

I've been trying to figure this out but haven't been able to find an answer.

When you're using the Roman numeral system (Nashville Numbering system) and you come across a chord with an altered base note, does that base note dictate the number?

Ex I - IV -V

Thanks!

#1

I've been trying to figure this out but haven't been able to find an answer.

When you're using the Roman numeral system (Nashville Numbering system) and you come across a chord with an altered base note, does that base note dictate the number?

Ex I - IV -V

Thanks!

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 7682

Originally Posted by: Onr3qu3z

When you're using the Roman numeral system (Nashville Numbering system) and you come across a chord with an altered base note, does that base note dictate the number?

Ex I - IV -V

Roman numeral analysis indicates function. So the numbers will always indicate function regardless of specific voicing. If you want to get more specific, for inversions, then the commonly used method to indicate voicing is to use Arabic numbers as superscript & subscript after the Roman number. This is called figured bass & is usually only seen in Baroque or classical music practice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numeral_analysis#Inversions

So a C major chord with an E in the bass being a 1st inversion chord is I6. Because the 6 indicates the interval distance (6th) of the bass from the root.

Seventh chords (typically V chords) get the heaviest treatment in this method because you have 4 potental notes. The numbers indicate the interval distance of the bass from the other notes in the chord. In some cases the numbers are left out or assumed.

V7 (g-b-d-f)

V6 (b-d-g) (1st inversion)

V6/5 (b-d-f-g) (That 4 is supposed to be subscript)

V4/3 (d-f-g-b)

V4/2 (f-g-b-d)

For true slash chords (bass note not natural part of the triad stack) the only way I've seen used is to simply call out the bass note. So, G/C would be:

V/C

But this is very rare in my experience. I think you could simply alter the number! So, a G with a C in the bass, G/C, could be:

V5 (c-g-b-d)

But I've never seen that in actual practice. And it gets complicated because there is already an established system in place. And traditional harmony views the c in a G chord as the 4th. So it already has a name being a Gadd4. And the c is typically used as a passing tone, not an important enough to label bass note. And by the time you get through trying to identify & label the chords, it's easier to just name them with letters G/C.

Also in most music using slash chords don't necessarily follow traditional chord progressions anyway. So, it's more efficient to simply label the chords as is.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#2

Originally Posted by: Onr3qu3z

When you're using the Roman numeral system (Nashville Numbering system) and you come across a chord with an altered base note, does that base note dictate the number?

Ex I - IV -V

Roman numeral analysis indicates function. So the numbers will always indicate function regardless of specific voicing. If you want to get more specific, for inversions, then the commonly used method to indicate voicing is to use Arabic numbers as superscript & subscript after the Roman number. This is called figured bass & is usually only seen in Baroque or classical music practice.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numeral_analysis#Inversions

So a C major chord with an E in the bass being a 1st inversion chord is I6. Because the 6 indicates the interval distance (6th) of the bass from the root.

Seventh chords (typically V chords) get the heaviest treatment in this method because you have 4 potental notes. The numbers indicate the interval distance of the bass from the other notes in the chord. In some cases the numbers are left out or assumed.

V7 (g-b-d-f)

V6 (b-d-g) (1st inversion)

V6/5 (b-d-f-g) (That 4 is supposed to be subscript)

V4/3 (d-f-g-b)

V4/2 (f-g-b-d)

For true slash chords (bass note not natural part of the triad stack) the only way I've seen used is to simply call out the bass note. So, G/C would be:

V/C

But this is very rare in my experience. I think you could simply alter the number! So, a G with a C in the bass, G/C, could be:

V5 (c-g-b-d)

But I've never seen that in actual practice. And it gets complicated because there is already an established system in place. And traditional harmony views the c in a G chord as the 4th. So it already has a name being a Gadd4. And the c is typically used as a passing tone, not an important enough to label bass note. And by the time you get through trying to identify & label the chords, it's easier to just name them with letters G/C.

Also in most music using slash chords don't necessarily follow traditional chord progressions anyway. So, it's more efficient to simply label the chords as is.

Hope that helps!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory