I recently purchased the referenced book (A Guide to Ukulele Chords) and noticed on page 46, under the subject "Learning the Fingerboard" E# is shown under fret 1 and Fb under fret 4. I'm confused? My understanding of the musical scales is that there are no sharp or flats between E and F and B and C since they are natural half steps. Am I wrong?
You are right that there is a natural half step between E and F and B and C. But - any one of the seven letters of the musical alphabet can be sharped or flatted. Even double flats and double sharps exist. These is needed for particular keys. And for the correct scale and chord spelling of particular scale and chord.
A good example is the key of C#, not a very common key but, all seven letters are sharped, C#, D#, E#, F#, G#, A#, B#, C#. The same would be true of Cb where all seven letters are flatted.
Scale theory states that a letter can not be skipped or repeated in seven note diatonic scales. The major scale is one of the diatonic scales and the basis for the major keys.
There are 12 notes in one octave but there are 15 keys. Three are "Enharmonic Equivalents". C#/Db, F#/Gb, B/Cb.
There is a little more to it than the above. But the bottom line is that there is E#, Fb, B# and Cb. There are called "Enharmonic Equivalents". Both E and Fb produce the same pitch.
The E is far more common than Fb and B more common than Cb. Sometimes they are even used when the correct notation would be the Fb for E or the Cb for B. This is done for ease of reading.
Here is a link to a UkuleleLessons that talks about Enharmonic Equivalents
Common Interval Notation
- is min when indicating chords. Also used to indication a flat as in C7-9
+ is Augmented in chords.
There is what I call Intervalic and Functional Notation of intervals and chord degrees. The confusion comes from mixing the two.
The relative interval notation uses negative numbers for falling intervals in semitones.
Lower upper note of any MAJOR interval 1/2 step.
Lower upper note of any PERFECT interval 1/2 step.
Lower upper note of any MAJOR interval 1 step.
The relative interval notation uses positive numbers to indicate rising intervals in semitones.
Raise upper note of any MAJOR or PERFECT interval 1/2 step.
- # (sharp sign)
- b (flat sign)
- maj (major)
- m (minor)
- dim (diminished)
- aug (augmented)
Been there - done that. Done with real jobs and don't like real jobs!
After surviving many downsizings and project eliminations I just when with what I've been doing since I was 9 or 10 years old. Just geting paid, but not lot for it now.
(Curt: This is a question I've seen posted few times on various forums. So, here is my take and answer.)
C#dim7 is the same as A7b9/C# which is a sub for A7 which is a Sub for Am7 which is a sub for Am. A VI7 for a VI. Same root different chord type. More detailed explanation below.
The C#dim7 is what is called a disguised secondary dominant chord. It's a substitute for A7b9/C# which are the same notes as C#dim7 and would be a sub for the Am, Am7, the VI chord. The A7 is a V of II, A7 to Dm7, a common sub for the VI in a I VI II V progression. The basic progression is a I VI II V (C Am Dm G). Jazz players with use subs to "jazz" it up. Sometimes going pretty far out. Em7 Eb7 Dm7 Db7 would be a sub for C Am Dm G. When the subs get pretty far out all players have to agree on the chord progression. If you did Cmaj7 Am9 Dm11 G13 for C Am Dm G you wouldn't have to tell other players, it would work.
If A7b9/C# was indicated, chances are the b9 would be ignore by most players and they would play a straight A7 ignoring the C# slash chord indication for the bass note of the chord. So, to get have A better chance of having the voicing of the chord you want played, you write C#dim7 and have a way better chance of getting the ascending bass line of C, C#, D. The C#dim7 is an enharmonic equivalent for A7b9/C#.
The ukulele in the re-entrant tuning doesn't have much of, or any bass notes to speak of. But, if using voice leading in your chords you'll get a nice line inside the chords.
Voice leading at it's simplest is keeping common chord tones (notes) between chords the same and move non-common chords tones to the closest chord tone of the next chord. This creates really smooth chord movement. Also, means you need to know a lot of chord voicings to have this work.
All of the above is the process called Harmonic Analysis, that includes identifying the root movement and harmonic function of chords. Knowing how a chord functions in a song or progression allows you to select appropriate scales for solos and chord substitutions. You're not stuck with what's on the paper and it takes the mystery out of where all these wacky chords are coming from. Even allows you to spot bad notation. I've seen cases where publishers and writers actually make the progression's notation more complex because they don't understand how chords work together. Al lot of times it's to avoid slash notation, but makes it hared to play.