i bought this book, 75 Blues Turnarounds Paperback – February 1, 2011", and have a question about the numbering he uses with the chord progression.

i understand the nashville numbering system, but he adds like what looks like an "exponent" and fraction after the roman numeral. i think he calls them inversions so like V7 i easily get with my current knowledge base but the I6/4 i don't.

before i ramble on about what they might be, chord-note intervals or whatever, i'll just ask.

take a look at the image i'm attaching and you'll see what i'm trying to ask about.

tia
Attachments:
75Turnarounds-Notation.pdf
It's figured bass my friend.

It goes like this for triads:
Nothing = root voicing
6 (3) = 1st inv
6 4 = 2nd inv

For sevenths
7 = root
6 5 = 1st
4 3 = 2nd
4 2 = 3rd
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Oct 20, 2016,
The numbering make sense when you look at the intervals between the bass note and the other chord tones. Originally (I mean, before the 18th century) these chords were not thought as the same chord. The bass note was always thought as the "root", and that's where the numbering comes from - they were intervals built on top of the bass.

When people started thinking these as the same chord in different inversions, they started using roman numerals to represent chord functions. But the inversion numbering stayed the same. Let's say we are in C major. I6/4 means that you use the notes in the C major chord, but the intervals between the bass note and the other notes are a 4th and a 6th, which means C major with G in bass. I6 means that you use the notes in the C major chord, but the intervals between the bass note and the other notes are a 3rd and a 6th, which means it's a C major chord with E in bass. It's a bit messy system because it's a combination of two different ways of thinking. It's mostly used by classical musicians.

BTW, it's kind of funny that your example also uses the diminished chord symbol in it because it's actually mixing three different systems and that kind of makes everything even more messy (chord symbols were originally not part of this system, and I don't think they should be used if you are going to use this system). The #ivo7 could be marked as #IV7 because the only note that differs from the key signature is the root of the chord. Also, it is a secondary dominant so a proper way of marking it would be VII7/V. (There is no need to use upper/lower case in this system either because the assumption is that you use the notes in the key signature, unless marked otherwise. As I said, chord symbols are not used in this system and this system doesn't really even care about chord qualities that much. It's more based on voice leading, not really thinking in separate chords, and applies best to classical music because of that.)
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Depending on what crowd you talk to, some people may analyze the last two chords as

``````V 6-5
4-3``````

The figured bass would be
(blank) 6/3 (blank) o7 6/4-5/3
with the notes (in the bass, C major)
C-E-F-F#-G-G

E up to G is a chromatic walking bass line.

The Roman numeral analysis is on the left, and the Arabic numbers denote the scale degree played by the bass through this chord structure.
MaggaraMarine

" It's a bit messy system because it's a combination of two different ways of thinking. It's mostly used by classical musicians."

i agree, i mean it's a book on blues turnarounds. you opened my eyes/mind when you mentioned the secondary dominant too. glad you did that.

thanks for your time and help!!
Quote by GoldenGuitar
It's figured bass my friend.

It goes like this for triads:
Nothing = root voicing
6 (3) = 1st inv
6 4 = 2nd inv

For sevenths
7 = root
6 5 = 1st
4 3 = 2nd
4 2 = 3rd

thanks for pointing that out. i wasn't quite able to wrap my mind around it, though in the book the author mentions inversions on that page. appreciate you helping me to "see" what is going on here. at the least so i know what/why i'm playing and hopefully write my own lil turnarounds.

appreciate it!!
Quote by NeoMvsEu
Depending on what crowd you talk to, some people may analyze the last two chords as

``V 6-5  4-3``

The figured bass would be
(blank) 6/3 (blank) o7 6/4-5/3
with the notes (in the bass, C major)
C-E-F-F#-G-G

E up to G is a chromatic walking bass line.

The Roman numeral analysis is on the left, and the Arabic numbers denote the scale degree played by the bass through this chord structure.

thanks for helping with this. i think the "..scale degree played by the bass.." is the big picture for me. though i need to get my pencil and paper and drill this into my head a bit more. thanks!
appreciate all the help and insights from all who answered. all the replies help.
I'm actually shocked he's including figured bass in a book based on blues/jazz styles.

I wouldn't stress to much about it, just pay attention to what inversion the chords are in (as in what degree is in the bass).

All you really need is to be able to identify root position vs. 1st/2nd/3rd inversion, or even "Chord name with X in the bass" for these styles.

If the figured bass thing interests you though, I'd look into learning some basic counterpoint. You'll get WAY more understanding out of that than through a blues turnaround book.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Quote by Jet Penguin
I'm actually shocked he's including figured bass in a book based on blues/jazz styles.

I wouldn't stress to much about it, just pay attention to what inversion the chords are in (as in what degree is in the bass).

All you really need is to be able to identify root position vs. 1st/2nd/3rd inversion, or even "Chord name with X in the bass" for these styles.

If the figured bass thing interests you though, I'd look into learning some basic counterpoint. You'll get WAY more understanding out of that than through a blues turnaround book.

yeah, your insight helps. that "normalizes" it for me, as others pointed in that direction, and everyone's explanation helps.
got a book or web-link in mind regarding "basic counterpoint" ?
yeah what the hell are classical inversion symbols doing in a book about blues?

With the exception of people playing very old organ music, that kind of indication is strictly analytic. You wouldn't put it in a chart for someone else to read. Furthermore, if you're in a group with a bassist, that's who determines the inversion of the harmony. Nothing the guitarist does can change whether the overall harmony is in root position or inversion.

Maybe the guy wrote the book such that people could read it without having to read the specific voicings on a staff, but forgot that if you know what I6/4 means, you can probably read music just fine.
Quote by WUB34G
yeah, your insight helps. that "normalizes" it for me, as others pointed in that direction, and everyone's explanation helps.
got a book or web-link in mind regarding "basic counterpoint" ?

I know some really good ones; totally depends on how much money you want to spend. Internet tutorials on counterpoint might be dodgy, but I can't say for sure as I don't really know many.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
Counterpoint might be the most studied concept in music. There are tons of books on it. Hell, you can probably just go to the library and copy some exercises if you want (or fail to return the book, which I have most certainly never done ever). If your library has a large music section you even find a copy of the Fuchs counterpoint exercises that Beethoven was raised on!

Counterpoint is foundational concept in voice leading, so expect any educational resource to be short on instruction and heavy on exercises. There's just no way around it - you really do have to practice counterpoint and voice leading before you can really utilize the concept in your playing. It's one of the "A ha!' concepts that, once grasped, will suddenly illuminate a lot of the music you hear every day.
Quote by Jet Penguin
I know some really good ones; totally depends on how much money you want to spend. Internet tutorials on counterpoint might be dodgy, but I can't say for sure as I don't really know many.

sorry for delay; i'll internet search first and get more background before laying out dough. what "cdgraves" suggested is good. the library thing, which is just down the street actually.

thanks much
Quote by cdgraves
Counterpoint might be the most studied concept in music. There are tons of books on it. Hell, you can probably just go to the library and copy some exercises if you want (or fail to return the book, which I have most certainly never done ever). If your library has a large music section you even find a copy of the Fuchs counterpoint exercises that Beethoven was raised on!

Counterpoint is foundational concept in voice leading, so expect any educational resource to be short on instruction and heavy on exercises. There's just no way around it - you really do have to practice counterpoint and voice leading before you can really utilize the concept in your playing. It's one of the "A ha!' concepts that, once grasped, will suddenly illuminate a lot of the music you hear every day.

>>find a copy of the Fuchs counterpoint exercises that Beethoven was raised on!

that's cool, i will do this. i'm sure this will tease my brain but i'll dive in. thanks!
Counterpoint excises may be less exciting than you are currently imagining. But they are good practice in the fundamentals of music theory.

If you do want to get a little excited about counterpoint, though, listen to Mozart and Beethoven. Back in the early 1800s, counterpoint was still the ultimate tonal concept. All of that amazing, complex music was written with a basically contrapuntal approach. Functional harmony as an analytical concept didn't really exist until later on.
Last edited by cdgraves at Nov 10, 2016,
Fux counterpoint doesn't teach you anything about TONAL counterpoint. Which is slightly problematic. Get something modern.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp