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Shortcuts for writing chord symbols


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Other than writing it as "Cadd9," is there a shorter way? "C+9" ... is that a shortcut or is that incorrect? I mean, a "+" usually means augmented, so that might not work. What about suspended chords. Say, "Csus4" ... I could just write Csus since that's supposed to mean Csus4 and save one character but I don't like to write Csus because some people might think it's Csus2. So, is there a shorter way of writing Csus4? I guess not. And what about writing minors versus majors. I've always written Cmajor7 as "CM7." And Cminor7 as "Cm7." The only difference being whether the "M" is capitalized. However, I have REALLY screwed myself up on a song or two where I misinterpreted what I had written. So, I think I am going to start using "CMa7" and "Cmi7". "Cmaj7" and "Cmin7" would be even better but the whole point here is I am trying to squish everything up as tight as I can get it. Seems though, that "CM7" and "Cm7" is the defacto standard. And of course, if you have any other tips for writing ANY chords, advise.

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In a music theory course I had (it was really street-level, not academic) the instructor used C (little triangle) 7 to indicate major seventh and C-7 to indicate minor seventh. Diminished was a tiny o and aug was, as you said, a +. Sus needs a 2 or a 4 to be complete. This seemed to be pretty effective and concise. Others?
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The neat thing about the little "o" for diminished is that you can use an "o" with a slash through it to represent the oft-used half-diminished chord (a.k.a. the minor seven flat 5 chord). But I always get confused for some reason by the triangle notation. The word "triangle" makes me think of "tritone," which makes me think immediately of [i]dominant[/i] seventh chords... I prefer the "maj7" designation...
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It's faster to use Nashville numbers. At the top of the song, write the key that it's in: C for C major, Cm for C minor. All the chords are written with a number to indicate the root's position in the scale. So for the key of C, write 1 4 5 for C major, F major, G major. Write 2m for D minor, 6m for A minor, 5sus for G with a suspended fourth, 5sus2 for G with a suspended second. If the root of the chord is not in the key, then write a plus or minus before the number: D flat minor is written -2m, A sharp major is written +6. Add a + for augmented, degree sign for diminished, various flavors of 7ths in the usual way. Transposition to another key is instant with this approach. If you want to stick with chord names, you could underline major keys if there is confusion about whether that's a capital C for C major or a lowercased c for C minor. I thik C9 is clearly enough "C, add the 7th and 9th". (Adding the 7th is implied because otherwise you'd just write C2 for C major with an added D. Just curious, Why do you need to save so much space in the first place? I'm trying to figure out a way to use formatting features in MS Word 97 to place a chord symbol directly above the text. No look so far. I think I should dust off my Finale disks for doing good looking lyrics sheets.
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[quote]Originally posted by BassGuy: [b]...Just curious, Why do you need to save so much space in the first place? I'm trying to figure out a way to use formatting features in MS Word 97 to place a chord symbol directly above the text. No look so far. I think I should dust off my Finale disks for doing good looking lyrics sheets.[/b][/quote]Did you see my post where I said I might have to use Word to put the chords in superscript? Or are you talking about putting a fretboard grid above the line? If you just mean the chord symbol (in your case, that would be the number symbol), then I'm doing it in Word 97. Format/Font/Superscript. I need to save space because I'm always doing everything I can to make the font large so I can try to get it all on one page and I need to save space.

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Here's how I learned it: C - C major triad C+ - C major triad with #5 C- - C minor triad C7 - C dominant 7 C7(b5) - C dominant 7 with a b5 C9 - C dominant 7 plus 9 C7(b9) - C dominant 7 with b9 C7(#9) - C dominant 7 with #9 C7 (#11) - C dominant 7 with #11 (9 implied) C7 (b13) - C dominant 7 with b13; (9 or b9) C-7 - C minor 7 C-7(b5) - C half-diminished (minor 7 flat 5) C o - C diminished ('o' like a degree marking) C+7 - C dominant 7 with augmented 5th C6 - C triad plus the 6th Cmaj7 - C triad plus major 7th Cmaj9 - C triad plus major 7th and major 9th Cmaj7(#11) - C triad plus major 7th and #11th C2 - C 'triad' with the 2nd substituted for the 3rd. I probably forgot a couple. Been a while since I actually had to make a list! :freak: Doug
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Good list, Doug. I don't think I'll use that "-" sign for a minor chord. That seems it would be too easy to miss. The last C2 you have there, that's acctually a suspended 2nd. I wonder if I could write Csus4 as Cs4 for an abbreviation. Why not. And then you would have Cadd2 or Cadd9, 1-2-3-5 or 1-2-5-9. I guess I'll just have to write "add" for those, as I couldn't use the "+" because it means augmented.

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Duke, the - sign is used frequently and you get use to seeing it. For half diminished chords I always use the regular (see Dougs list) diminished sign with a slash through it. I rarely run into the sus2, so thanks for the heads up.
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