What I'm theorizing about today

The II chord of C is Dm, not D.


The C E A F D G progression doesn't make sense to me either.
As I said in my original post, I didn't address chord qualities, just chord notes. You would make them major or minor or augmented or diminished or suspended as the whimsy strikes you.
 
Oh that was my mistake. I thought the Roman numerals was NNS! Thank you for clarifying.
My mistake, too. I think I confused myself during the latest Matt Stead playalong. Nevertheless, it's all about the relationships between chords, isn't it?
 
Essentially NNS is a verbal version of the Roman Numeral system, I is one verbally, ii is two verbally.etc. It was originally developed as a simplified means for performers to communicate in a studio. For me, the big advantage of the Roman is keeping track of majors and minors/dims in written material. I don't know how they specified the key or minors.
 
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When you guys (in the unisex sense) get all this stuff squared away into a neat package, let me know!

I ordered some aids a couple days ago and they just arrived: The Chord Wheel: The Ultimate Tool for All Musicians, and Decoder: Circle of Fifths. I’m hoping the light bulb will come on at last.
 
Thanks ripock. I like your concept for this thread.

My recent tidbits are from Matt Stead. For any 7 chord, if you find the root note and play a note two frets up from that you get the 9 chord, which makes a nice fourlish or ornamentation. It harder to put into words then to play. Imagine an open A7 0100 the root note is the open A string so the A9 is 0102. For C7 you go from 0001 to 0201 to get C9 because the root is the open C string. Matt also discussed sus2 and sus4 ornaments. Here you find the third in a 7 chord and just shift it down to the second or up to the fourth. Again in practice it is actually simpler to do than say. G7 is 0212. The third is the B on the A string so G7sus2 is 0210 and G7sus4 is 0213.

The point is not the complex names and harmonic structures, but just some simple little tricks that can be used to add some variety. Matt did a nice job with those in his video lesson featuring Aint She Sweet.
 
The II chord of C is Dm, not D.
If one is speaking specifically of the diatonic chords, this is correct. However, it is also correct to say that D is the major-2 chord in the key of C. Non-diatonic chord degrees come up all the time. Chords such as a major-3, minor-4, major-6 I would still call 3, 4, and 6-chords; with the proper qualifier attached.
 
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The C E A F D G progression doesn't make sense to me either.
I think @ripock is just taking the basic (Do-Wop) chord progression // I / vi / IV / V // and inserting a couple of dominant chords into the progression to embellish it. He chooses to lead into the iv chord (Am) by playing the V of A (probably an E7) and later on, leads into the G chord by preceding it with the V of G (likely a D7.) The new progression might be something like: // C / E7 / Am / F / D7 / G7 //
 
Essentially NNS is a verbal version of the Roman Numeral system, I is one verbally, ii is two verbally.etc. It was originally developed as a simplified means for performers to communicate in a studio. For me, the big advantage of the Roman is keeping track of majors and minors/dims in written material. I don't know how they specified the key or minors.
Nice point, @Bibs. For NNS, they put a minus sign ( - ) after a number to indicate a minor. There are several of these cool little signs used by various schools of thought. A little degree sign means diminished, a degree sign with a diagonal slash through it is half-diminished, a triangle or 'delta' after a number means Major7.
 
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Written in NNS, my interpretation of ripock's example would be // 1 / 3^7 / 6^- / 4 / 2^7 / 5^7 //. ( I have to use the little up-arrow ^ to indicate the symbols are to be written like 3 raised to the 7th power.)

I have to admit, it is hard for me to keep the scale degrees straight if we are using different keys. I need to practice this a lot more to get fluent with these numbering systems.
 
What I am doing today, which is kind of theoryish, is refreshing my acquaintance with the fretboard. For whatever reason I am obsessed with knowing the fretboard.

In the past, I made flashcards with what notes were on which frets and I could recite all that to you...but I found that it didn't really translate to music.

What worked for me were modes. Of course I am not using modes as they are intended. I am just using them to map out the entire fretboard in a musically significant way. My preferred key is E, so I mapped out the entire fretboard with the modes of E Harmonic Minor. I can play any mode of that scale from the first fret to the 19 fret.

However, my mind is hazy about the frets in the middle of the fretboard, so I am going to focus on frets 5-10 and play the modes in that region and re-acquaint myself with those notes.

So, again, I am not employing the vast array of theory. I just have a very slight goal and I'm using a particular piece of theory to get me through it.
 
Thanks for starting this thread, Ron! Positive approach to a subject many of us struggle with.
As to someone's question about movable chord shapes, Tim Keogh n/k/a Vance Joy did a fairly good job of explaining at least two movable chord shapes in the tutorial that accompanied the following video. I was able to pause it at key points to confirm positions on the fingerboard. If you search "Chatanooga (misspelled by omitting one of the 2 letter T's) Choo Choo", both Tim's 2012 UU Forum videos are still active.
 
I now use a customized variant of the Nashville Number System (NNS) for all of my lead sheets.

The NNS varies from formal theory notation in several key respects. Most obviously, NNS uses Arabic numerals instead of harder-to-read Roman numerals. Roman numerals are also harder to fit in when there are multiple chord changes in a bar and space is at a premium.

Because of this, case isn't used to distinguish between the general classes of major and minor chords. Instead, NNS uses explicit chord type suffixes as in guitar chord names. Thus, ii is typically notated as 2m or 2- (hyphen right after the root number being an alternative way to notate "minor" [3rd], a convention particularly prevalent in jazz charts). It should never be -2.

Theory notation is primarily an analytical tool, not a rigorously descriptive one. One of its failings is that there is a presumption made that the reader "knows" what mode is being used—a bad assumption. For instance, in minor mode, three or more different modes may be rather freely intermixed. This matters little in analysis—for the finer details, you need only examine the score more closely. But if you're trying to tell someone what to play, you need to be more precise about which VI pitch to root the chord on and what type of chord should be played on it. Thus, unlike theory notation, NNS always tells you precisely how far the root pitch is from the main tonal base, so you don't have to use guesswork to infer root pitches. Degree numbers not qualified by accidentals always match the major scale of the main tonal base. (In minor keys there is often a special exception: 1 labels the tonal base not of the main key but of its relative major. This reduces the number of accidentals that must be applied to minor key degrees, but by putting degree numbering at odds with intuitive alignment; I don't like or use this alternative.)

For instance, the 6th and 7th degree pitches are a half step lower in natural minor than in melodic minor, having a big impact on the chord types that you would typically base on each, yet theory notation would not distinguish them (except perhaps by case, since the VI chord might flip from major to diminished as a result of raising the root a half step).

Another big difference is that theory notation tends to change the tonal base (the I degree) with each significant modulation, whereas NNS usually keeps the same "tonic" (really, frame of reference) regardless of temporary modulations that may occur. This means that, as with explicit guitar chords, you can just play what's on the page (relative to the tonic of the main key chosen) and you'll get the right result. With a little experience, it's not hard to recognize when the music drifts into a different key and just what kind of progression is "really" being played in that key. The general stability of the frame of reference is a boon to players—especially those who may not be well-versed in formal theory.

Of course, there are cases in which noting a change in the reference base (up or down by a given interval or number of semitones) simplifies things within a section, without being a confusing adjustment to make. But reference changes should be used sparingly.

NNS charts are mainly aimed at session players who know their onions and mostly just need a general blueprint of the song structure—they'll work out the finer details themselves in the sessions. So
NNS charts tend to be "just the facts, ma'am" affairs—much like the majority of jazz charts.

This is a main reason I've had to customize the NNS: I put a lot more chord changes and details into my arrangements, so I've had to squeeze every extraneous character out of the chord type suffixes I use.

There are a few other differences between NNS and theory notation, but I think I've hit the main points to be aware of.
 
When you figure that out...the movable 4 basic patterns, I'd like to see it. I'd like to know multiple places to play all chords. The biggest use of that to me is creating chord solos or if you are jamming with someone you can play the chord in a different inversion.

The circle of fifths, I have used for a long time as a practice tool. Going around it in major chords, then minor, sevenths etc. assures that I know the chords in all keys. I can't do that on uke yet. (quickly anyway)
“When you figure that out...the movable 4 basic patterns, I'd like to see it. I'd like to know multiple places to play all chords.”
I’m familiar with three chord shapes (the triad shape such as G at the 2nd fret, the Bb / A# shape/ such as B at the 2nd fret, C at the 3rd and so on, and the barre / modified barre). I’m guessing the 4th shape is what I’ll call the “mirror triad” which is G7 at the 1st fret, A7 at the 3rd and so on.

I’m thinking there is a 5th and possibly a 6th moveable shape (and likely even more), the former being what I’ll call for the sake of a mental image the “String 4-3-2” triad.

EDIT: Then there’s the “full diagonal” such as Cmaj7 at the 2nd fret, Dmaj7 at the 4th fret, and so on. That makes me think of the slightly similar shape for Em at the 2nd fret, which is of course also moveable but isn’t a full diagonal shape.

Solely for moveable shapes for major chords, I made myself a visual reference sheet that I’ll post here later today.
 
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I now use a customized variant of the Nashville Number System (NNS) for all of my lead sheets.

<snippage>
Thank you for clarifying many of the differences between NNS and the typical music theory notation. I have seen so many mixes of the two notations that I have often lost the thread of how to write in either notation. In fact, until this thread, I didn't realize they were different! Much of music theory seems like a set of naming conventions for things that experienced musicians hear and know rather intuitively.
 
I have been refreshing my memory of the middle of the fretboard by playing the C Lydian #2 (that's just the name for the E harmonic minor starting at the C and proceeding up an octave). I have also been using the C# Aiolian b5 (from the E melodic minor). Today, for whatever reason, the B and D# notes have been calling me with their Seirenes song and I have been basing a lot of the melody around them.

My goal is to become familiar with this neighborhood of the fretboard. My favorite place to play is around frets 11-15 and I know that region intimately and I know all the notes. I want to cultivate that same experience lower on the fretboard.

So I am using some modes to make music but I ran across another problem that theory helped me with. I started on the G string (since mine is low) and meandered over to the A string. But then...how do you get back. It is like what old Vergil said: descensus averno facilis est. The descent into hell is easy [but climbing back up is the hard part]. How do I get back to the G string without being lame and repetitive? Using theory and its scales, I found I could use the Diminished scale to move back across to the bass side of the fretboard.

The diminished scale litters the fretboard with all these half-step relationships like g/g#, c#/d, A#/B...so that it is very easy to move diagonally down the fretboard using these dyads and come back to the C# on the G string. This diminished scale uses some of the notes of my modes whilst introducing some new ones. So it kind of fit in and kind of pushed boundaries.

I also used a 7-note diminished 7 arpeggio that I came up with. It allows me to start, for example, on the F# of the A string and descend through the arpeggio 'til I get to the C on the G string.

That may have been hard to read; it was certainly hard to articulate. However the point is regardless of how dense the writing is, the music is easy. I just used a concept from theory to go from the bass side of fretboard to the treble side. And I used another concept to reverse. To recapitulate: theory isn't something to inspire fear; it is just a compendium of observations from which you can cherry-pick an idea or two to help you attain your goal.
 
Thanks ripock. I like your concept for this thread.

My recent tidbits are from Matt Stead. For any 7 chord, if you find the root note and play a note two frets up from that you get the 9 chord, which makes a nice fourlish or ornamentation. It harder to put into words then to play. Imagine an open A7 0100 the root note is the open A string so the A9 is 0102. For C7 you go from 0001 to 0201 to get C9 because the root is the open C string. Matt also discussed sus2 and sus4 ornaments. Here you find the third in a 7 chord and just shift it down to the second or up to the fourth. Again in practice it is actually simpler to do than say. G7 is 0212. The third is the B on the A string so G7sus2 is 0210 and G7sus4 is 0213.

The point is not the complex names and harmonic structures, but just some simple little tricks that can be used to add some variety. Matt did a nice job with those in his video lesson featuring Aint She Sweet.
Thx. I learned something today.
 
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