Chords/Roman Numerals/Nashville/Modes

Hi Guys

Just a quick question regarding how people see and think about chords in modal keys. or if anyone has any inside knowledge on how the guys in Nashville would see this?

Say Am - Bm - D - Em or E7 (Dorian)

Would you look at this as IIm - IIIm - V - VI 

Or Im - IIm - IV - Vm or V7?


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Comments

  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8267
    Good question. Does the music have a generally Dorian feel, or is its most salient point the E7 - Am change suggesting the harmonic minor scale over that chord change? If it's your choice you could use both ...
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  • bloodandtearsbloodandtears Frets: 373
    edited April 13
    I am no expert but my thought would be...

    Look at the chordal notes..  this leads me to G major (E minor)

    So it would suggest to me the Key is E minor..

    Thus your progression would be: iv-v-VII-i
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    is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8267
    I think you're right about G major, that's the same note set as A dorian or E aeolian. In the latter case, the D would have to be bVII rather than VI.
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  • bloodandtearsbloodandtears Frets: 373
    edited April 13
    I think you're right about G major, that's the same note set as A dorian or E aeolian. In the latter case, the D would have to be bVII rather than VI.
    using this a reference (http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-e-minor.html)

    I can see my 'D' was wrong and should be VII (have corrected the original reply)...  not sure why you have bVII ?? please explain as I am still learning this stuff myself and see these posts as an exercise in testing my understanding..


    I have obviously also ignored the E7 reference and used Em instead..
    My trading feedback

    is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 714
    I'm not sure whether there's a definitive correct way or not. Personally I prefer to think (and hear) relative to the 'home' key.

    So for a progression like Am - Bm - D - Em, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - Vm  (Dorian)

    and for 
    Am - Bm - D - E7, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - V7  (Melodic Minor)

    It's not a competition.
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  • bloodandtearsbloodandtears Frets: 373
    I'm not sure whether there's a definitive correct way or not. Personally I prefer to think (and hear) relative to the 'home' key.

    So for a progression like Am - Bm - D - Em, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - Vm  (Dorian)

    and for 
    Am - Bm - D - E7, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - V7  (Melodic Minor)

    Ok, so your thinking is based on the Am being home... and therefore implying the Dorian mode of the G major scale in the case of the progression using Em.

    So when you apply the Roman Numerals... what is the protocol?
    instead of: i-ii-IV-v ; you have used: Im - IIm - IV - Vm??
    My trading feedback

    is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

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  • the E7 is a substitute for an Em to create a stronger resolution back to the I chord.


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  • I would look at this as Am (Dorian) 
    Its a Dorian feel and sound. My ear wouldn't suggest Em to be the home chord. 

    I was more interested in people thinking Am as the I chord or looking at what Major scale/key its come from. 
    Even if it has the E7 (V) i would look at this in the G major/A dorian but with a substitute on the V chord
    I am no expert but my thought would be...

    Look at the chordal notes..  this leads me to G major (E minor)

    So it would suggest to me the Key is E minor..

    Thus your progression would be: iv-v-VII-i

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  • I think you're right about G major, that's the same note set as A dorian or E aeolian. In the latter case, the D would have to be bVII rather than VI.
    using this a reference (http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-e-minor.html)

    I can see my 'D' was wrong and should be VII (have corrected the original reply)...  not sure why you have bVII ?? please explain as I am still learning this stuff myself and see these posts as an exercise in testing my understanding..


    I have obviously also ignored the E7 reference and used Em instead..
    If D was the VII of the key of Em.

    That would mean either your thinking

    D Em F#m G A Bm C#dim - this would be incorrect as A is used instead of Am

    The chords have to be related to the Major key of G major scale not D major.
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  • Thanks!

    This was more of the answer i was looking for. 

    If i was soloing on Am - Bm - D - E7 i would still use Am Dorian but on the 5 chord target the E7 chord tones 
    I'm not sure whether there's a definitive correct way or not. Personally I prefer to think (and hear) relative to the 'home' key.

    So for a progression like Am - Bm - D - Em, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - Vm  (Dorian)

    and for Am - Bm - D - E7, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - V7  (Melodic Minor)


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  • in any minor Key you can sub the V chord for a dominant for a stronger resolution
    I'm not sure whether there's a definitive correct way or not. Personally I prefer to think (and hear) relative to the 'home' key.

    So for a progression like Am - Bm - D - Em, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - Vm  (Dorian)

    and for Am - Bm - D - E7, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - V7  (Melodic Minor)

    Ok, so your thinking is based on the Am being home... and therefore implying the Dorian mode of the G major scale in the case of the progression using Em.

    So when you apply the Roman Numerals... what is the protocol?
    instead of: i-ii-IV-v ; you have used: Im - IIm - IV - Vm??

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  • stratman3142stratman3142 Frets: 714
    edited April 13
    I'm no expert but I've just checked a book I have called The Nashville Number System by Chas Williams. That reminded me that the Nashville System uses numbers instead of roman numerals.

    The book also states that "in Nashville, most of the time, for a song in a minor key, chords charts are written as if in the relative major key". Personally I find that a bit counter intuitive and at odds with how my ear works, because I like to think and hear relative to a home root note key. Also, that's all very well if it's an Aeolian mode where the minor is the 6th of the relative major, but what about other modes?

    It's not a competition.
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  • ok so they would read it as 2 3 5 6 in G?


    dean111music said:
    in any minor Key you can sub the V chord for a dominant for a stronger resolution
    I'm not sure whether there's a definitive correct way or not. Personally I prefer to think (and hear) relative to the 'home' key.

    So for a progression like Am - Bm - D - Em, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - Vm  (Dorian)

    and for Am - Bm - D - E7, I would prefer to think of it as Im - IIm - IV - V7  (Melodic Minor)

    Ok, so your thinking is based on the Am being home... and therefore implying the Dorian mode of the G major scale in the case of the progression using Em.

    So when you apply the Roman Numerals... what is the protocol?
    instead of: i-ii-IV-v ; you have used: Im - IIm - IV - Vm??


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  • bloodandtearsbloodandtears Frets: 373

    I think you're right about G major, that's the same note set as A dorian or E aeolian. In the latter case, the D would have to be bVII rather than VI.
    using this a reference (http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-e-minor.html)

    I can see my 'D' was wrong and should be VII (have corrected the original reply)...  not sure why you have bVII ?? please explain as I am still learning this stuff myself and see these posts as an exercise in testing my understanding..


    I have obviously also ignored the E7 reference and used Em instead..
    If D was the VII of the key of Em.

    That would mean either your thinking

    D Em F#m G A Bm C#dim - this would be incorrect as A is used instead of Am

    The chords have to be related to the Major key of G major scale not D major.
    You've missed my meaning. I am not suggest the key of D major at all.
     
    I was referring to my incorrect statement that the D major chord of your progression was a VI instead of the correct VII; if I was using Em as home...

    However it has since been suggested that home is Am (meaning Dorian mode of G major).
    And the roman numberals have been identified as :  Im - IIm - IV - Vm.
    I presume this is because the Numeral denotes the scale degree (within A Dorian) and the 'm' for minor; whereas I'm more familiar with upper and lower case.. i-ii-IV-v.


    Sorry for any confusion, I'm still learning; and I appreciate this is a deviation from your actual "Nashville" question.



    My trading feedback

    is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?

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  • BradBrad Frets: 200
    @bloodandtears you’re correct in thinking that it’s convention to have upper case for major and lower case for minor. Personally speaking that’s how I do it and appreciate it when others do it too, I just think it makes things cleaner and less ambiguous. But as with most things music related, there are many ways of notating the same thing, so as long as the chord type is defined it’s not something I’d get too hung up about. Although be warned, some folk will!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8267
    I think you're right about G major, that's the same note set as A dorian or E aeolian. In the latter case, the D would have to be bVII rather than VI.
    using this a reference (http://www.guitar-chords.org.uk/chords-key-e-minor.html)

    I can see my 'D' was wrong and should be VII (have corrected the original reply)...  not sure why you have bVII ?? please explain as I am still learning this stuff myself and see these posts as an exercise in testing my understanding..


    I have obviously also ignored the E7 reference and used Em instead..
    D is a minor 7th interval away from E, we have a major chord built on it. (btw: the major 7th would be D#; if we built the same notes on it we would get D#dim or viidim). I think.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2725
    Hi Guys

    Just a quick question regarding how people see and think about chords in modal keys. or if anyone has any inside knowledge on how the guys in Nashville would see this?

    Say Am - Bm - D - Em or E7 (Dorian)

    Would you look at this as IIm - IIIm - V - VI 

    Or Im - IIm - IV - Vm or V7?


    I'd see that as I, II, IV, V 
    because with respect to the tonic, that's what is happening
    note that if for example Dorian harmony was specified, IV would be major rather than minor
    play every note as if it were your first
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