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using a capo
minor chord
chord progression
playing the guitar
musicians
tension
The Roman Numeral System Explained In Easy Steps
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The Roman Numeral System Explained In Easy Steps

Roman Numeral System

Have you ever heard guitarists and other musicians go on about chord using I-VI-V in "A" and never knew what they meant? I will run through what they mean by these terms. The Roman Numeral system exists so that the chords contained within a scale can be discussed easier. As a scale has seven degrees from I to VII it follows that there are seven chords too.

This article will help you learn

Roman Numeral System Chart

If you look at a Roman Numeral chart all the Major keys are on the right hand side and the Roman Numeral chords features within the key run across the way. The main keys within this system tend to be C, D, E, F, G, A, B. These are the keys most guitarists like to play in. Looking at the question from the start of this lesson you can see the progression I-VI-V in the key of "A" would read A, F#m and E.

The Roman Numeral System takes all the chords within certain keys and tells you how the chord is built up. Once you grasp this and understand it, you should memorise the system or know the chords within each key. This can take a bit of practice and time away from actually playing the guitar but is essential to learning more about the instrument and music in general. You will notice every II, III and VII chords are mionr chords, and every I, IV, V are major chords. The final chord - VII is a minor chord with a flattened fifth. This chord adds tension to your sound, but can also be used to replace the V chord in a chord progression for example in the key of A, G#mb5 can replace E.

Use the Roman Numeral System to Easily Transcribe Songs

This system can make transcribing guitar songs very simple and fun. Using a capo is another way to easily change key without having to know how guitar method works. Just set the capo up or down the neck and you have your key change. This is an easy method but does not compensate for knowing the Roman Numeral System. Once you know the first chord to any song , finding the chords that sound good next to it is easy using this system.

This quick run down on how the Roman Numeral system works will definitely benefit your guitar playing in the long run and will help you learn guitar quicker.


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