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#1128506 - 03/23/05 07:12 PM Reading Chord Progressions
Dolce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 9
I was wondering about some of the questions here:

1) How do you play 9th, 11th, and 13th chords (i.e. C9, C11, C13)? What do they mean?

2) What does it mean when a chord says "F#0"?

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#1128507 - 03/23/05 08:24 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
YeCats Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/07/05
Posts: 10
Loc: SC
Dolce,

"Color or Voiceings" is the way I think of 9s, 11s, and 13s. Just check out your C scale. Root C being #1, count up the scale to you hit #9. D. Or #11,,,, F. Stack 'em below the melody, or play them in the left hand. Thats what I do.

F#O? Someone else can tell you that one,, too advanced for me.

YeCats

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#1128508 - 03/24/05 06:06 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dolce:
I was wondering about some of the questions here:

1) How do you play 9th, 11th, and 13th chords (i.e. C9, C11, C13)? What do they mean?

2) What does it mean when a chord says "F#0"? [/b]
1) If the number after the letter is greater than 7, then most of the time this means the 7th is flatted.

C9 asks that you play a D in the voicing (the ninth/second note of the scale).

C11 asks for F (the 11th/4th) to be played in the voicing, not common nomenclature, usually C7sus.

C13 asks for A (the 13th/6th) to be played somewhere in the voicing.

On all of these chords, the important thing to remember is that the 7th is actually flatted to a Bb -- not a B natural.

2) F#o is a diminished chord - F#-A-C-Eb. Continuous stacks of minor thirds. A diminished, C diminished, Eb diminshed are all the same tonality, with a different inversion. For that matter, D7b9, F7b9, Ab7b9, B7b9 voicings would also work for that F#o, because they all share the same eight note diminshed scale.

Don't let this info discourage you, rather use it to know that in the end there are really only three distinct diminished scales. If you learn a particular voicing for a diminished-scale-based chord, you can use the same voicing for up to 8 different chords that might show up on your lead sheet!
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#1128509 - 03/24/05 06:17 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
With regard to the C9 interpretation, I should say that most of the time the 7th should be flatted. Certainly some lead sheets intend for the 7th to be natural (should use C2 nomenclature). There is no cut and dry rule that will apply 100% of the time. Look at the local key to determine quality of the 7th. For example if the next chord is F (something) then you should be playing Bb not B as the 7th.

Notice I speak little of the 9th. Really the ninth is not all that important because more than likely the ninth is sounding in the melody. Same for 11th, 13th, etc... The trick is understanding the 7th that goes with the voicing.
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#1128510 - 03/24/05 11:11 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
Dolce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 9
1) So let's say the composer wants you to play a natural B. Will the chord say "Cmaj9" "Cmaj11" etc.? Or like "Cmaj7 (add 9)" or "Cmaj7 (add 9 & 11)?

2) I've heard that if you play 11th or 13th chord, you omit the 9th and/or the 11th before it. So for example:

C9: C-E-G-B flat-D
C11: C-E-G-B flat-F (no 9th interval)
C13: C-E-G-B flat-A (no 9th and 11th interval)

Or do you play all the intervals in C11 and C13?

3) How do you play chords that say i.e. C5?

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#1128511 - 03/26/05 07:51 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by hgiles:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dolce:
I was wondering about some of the questions here:

1) How do you play 9th, 11th, and 13th chords (i.e. C9, C11, C13)? What do they mean?

2) What does it mean when a chord says "F#0"? [/b]
1) If the number after the letter is greater than 7, then most of the time this means the 7th is flatted.

C9 asks that you play a D in the voicing (the ninth/second note of the scale).

C11 asks for F (the 11th/4th) to be played in the voicing, not common nomenclature, usually C7sus.

C13 asks for A (the 13th/6th) to be played somewhere in the voicing.

On all of these chords, the important thing to remember is that the 7th is actually flatted to a Bb -- not a B natural.

2) F#o is a diminished chord - F#-A-C-Eb. Continuous stacks of minor thirds. A diminished, C diminished, Eb diminshed are all the same tonality, with a different inversion. For that matter, D7b9, F7b9, Ab7b9, B7b9 voicings would also work for that F#o, because they all share the same eight note diminshed scale.

Don't let this info discourage you, rather use it to know that in the end there are really only three distinct diminished scales. If you learn a particular voicing for a diminished-scale-based chord, you can use the same voicing for up to 8 different chords that might show up on your lead sheet! [/b]
When you have an C11 chord or C13 chord, the 11th is naturally sharped (so you'd use a lydian dominant scale over it), unless indicated otherwise. In fact, I've never seen an C11th chord before, they usually write it as C9(#11).

Same goes for major chords -- they have naturally sharped 11ths. So unless you're playing a really old standard, you'll want to use lydian because it doesn't have that avoid note on the 4th.
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#1128512 - 03/29/05 09:32 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dolce:
1) So let's say the composer wants you to play a natural B. Will the chord say "Cmaj9" "Cmaj11" etc.? Or like "Cmaj7 (add 9)" or "Cmaj7 (add 9 & 11)?

2) I've heard that if you play 11th or 13th chord, you omit the 9th and/or the 11th before it. So for example:

C9: C-E-G-B flat-D
C11: C-E-G-B flat-F (no 9th interval)
C13: C-E-G-B flat-A (no 9th and 11th interval)

Or do you play all the intervals in C11 and C13?

3) How do you play chords that say i.e. C5? [/b]
Dolce,
Unfortunately there are no absolutes. Nomenclature is not standardized.

1) Pop lead sheets are likely to say Cmaj7 (add 9) instead of C2. The trick is to recognize the local key of the passage (and the melody) notes to determine the tonality being suggested by the chord symbol. Again, on these extensions, you really do not need to worry about them if you're playing the melody, because most often the melody voices the extensions.

2)Omissions (additions) are up to you. That is the beauty of reading from a lead sheet. Generally speaking though, if there is a tritone in the chord then you probably want to voice it. In all of your examples the tritone is E and Bb. Other than that the rest is up to you. Also, if you play the root, you can leave out the fifth. Again, lots of generalizations. Figure out the scale and voice anything that isn't an 'avoid' note. Chances are you can play E and Bb in the left hand and play the melody in the right and you will get by just fine.

3) C5 doesn't mean anything. What kind of fake book are you reading out of? Maybe C+5. In which case the scale implied is probably a whole tone and/or altered mixolydian.
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Haywood
-------------

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#1128513 - 03/29/05 11:12 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
C5 is a "power chord". It's just root and fifth and can imply major or minor tonality. It's an extremely common way to write the kind of guitar "power chords" in rock styles.
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#1128514 - 03/29/05 11:35 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
 Quote:
Originally posted by SteveY:
C5 is a "power chord". It's just root and fifth and can imply major or minor tonality. It's an extremely common way to write the kind of guitar "power chords" in rock styles. [/b]
Pretty good, SteveY! I have never seen C5 before myself and would have wondered the same thing as Dolce.
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#1128515 - 04/01/05 04:41 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
Dolce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 9
1) Can someone explain to me what gregjazz means? I'm sorry but I found it hard to understand...

2) Cmaj7 (add 9) is the same as C2? I read somewhere that C2 is C-D-E-G kind of chord. So what is it?

3) C5 is a power chord! I saw somewhere where it was written like C(-3) for that kind of chords but maybe that's not common. A friend told me that C5 is G-C-G but I'm not sure if he's right.

4) "C#5" is ambiguous; it can mean C major augmented fifth or C sharp major "power chord." You have to determine which it is from the key signature and tonality of the song right?

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#1128516 - 04/01/05 09:47 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
1. I'll let gregjazz answer for himself.

2. It's not common to write: Cmaj7(add9). That chord would most commonly be written as: Cmaj9. The "9" implies a maj7. C2 or C(add9) is simply a C triad with an added 9th (C-D-E-G).

3. C5 is a power chord. I've never seen it as C(-3). That would be confusing as the "minus" sign is commonly used to flat a note (which would make that Cmi). Remember, a chord is different than a voicing. Your friend is giving you a voicing, or a way to play the chord (but there is more than one way to play a chord).

4. a sharped-fifth would commonly be written in parentheses, such as: C(#5). It's also commonly written as C(+5) or even C+. A power chord wouldn't be written with parentheses.

hope that helps...
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#1128517 - 04/02/05 12:25 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dolce:
1) Can someone explain to me what gregjazz means? I'm sorry but I found it hard to understand...

2) Cmaj7 (add 9) is the same as C2? I read somewhere that C2 is C-D-E-G kind of chord. So what is it?

3) C5 is a power chord! I saw somewhere where it was written like C(-3) for that kind of chords but maybe that's not common. A friend told me that C5 is G-C-G but I'm not sure if he's right.

4) "C#5" is ambiguous; it can mean C major augmented fifth or C sharp major "power chord." You have to determine which it is from the key signature and tonality of the song right? [/b]
1. Gregjazz refers to a person named Greg who plays jazz. Sorry if that disappointed you, maybe you were expecting some much more interesting answer.

2. I've never seen a C2 chord. You write it as Cmaj9, or Cmaj7 (add 9). The 9th can be put in any octave. In fact, when I play chords, I stay away from root-note-based voicings, and rearrange the chord tones to sound interesting.

3. Yeah, or just write "omit 3." Whichever way.

4. "C#5" is indeed a bit ambiguous. That's why I like fake books which put any chord alterations in parentheses, because it's a lot easier to read. Or at least some sort of space or text size difference.
_________________________
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Orange Tree Samples
http://www.orangetreesamples.com

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#1128518 - 04/02/05 07:16 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
2. I've never seen a C2 chord. You write it as Cmaj9, or Cmaj7 (add 9). The 9th can be put in any octave. In fact, when I play chords, I stay away from root-note-based voicings, and rearrange the chord tones to sound interesting.
C2 is extremely common. And it's a different chord from a Cmaj9 or Cmaj7(add9). Those two chords include a major 7th, which makes the chord very "definitive" as to it's place in the tonality. A "2 chord" (also commonly called an "add9" chord) is simply a major triad with the 9th added. There's no major 7 in the chord. Therefore it can function as a I, IV or V chord in a key.
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#1128519 - 04/03/05 06:16 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by SteveY:
 Quote:
2. I've never seen a C2 chord. You write it as Cmaj9, or Cmaj7 (add 9). The 9th can be put in any octave. In fact, when I play chords, I stay away from root-note-based voicings, and rearrange the chord tones to sound interesting.
C2 is extremely common. And it's a different chord from a Cmaj9 or Cmaj7(add9). Those two chords include a major 7th, which makes the chord very "definitive" as to it's place in the tonality. A "2 chord" (also commonly called an "add9" chord) is simply a major triad with the 9th added. There's no major 7 in the chord. Therefore it can function as a I, IV or V chord in a key. [/b]
Okay, I see. Not something that you'd see very often on a jazz chart, it seems.
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#1128520 - 04/03/05 07:53 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
You're right -- jazz charts are a bit more sophisticated in terms of harmony. C2 is one of the most common pop chords, however.
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#1128521 - 04/05/05 01:45 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
keyplyr Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 101
Loc: Southern California
 Quote:
1) How do you play 9th, 11th, and 13th chords (i.e. C9, C11, C13)? What do they mean?

2) What does it mean when a chord says "F#0"?
Here's a couple charts:

Jazz Chords

Jazz Scales
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#1128522 - 04/05/05 10:58 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
Dolce,
As you can see nomenclature is not standardized. I see both C2 and Cmaj7(add9) because I play both pop and jazz music.

I haven't yet seen C5 because I don't generally play rock music, but I learned something.

Just remember these chord symbols are just guides and some individuals "personal notes" on how they interpret the harmony. The key to understanding what they really mean is knowing good music theory: knowing what the local key is and knowing which tones are important to the sounds you need to make.

Also again, remember there are no absolutes. If anyone says you don't play a major 7th on a C2 chord, take it as a suggestion. If you like the 7th, then voice it.

There are some people that will tell you to never voice the 3rd on a C7sus too, but I've heard Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner do it many times! :-)
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#1128523 - 04/05/05 04:08 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
Also again, remember there are no absolutes. If anyone says you don't play a major 7th on a C2 chord, take it as a suggestion. If you like the 7th, then voice it.
No offense, Haywood, but as an arranger, I write my charts very deliberately. If anyone plays a major 7th when I write a C2 chord, they'll politely get asked to omit it. I know other arranger/producers that aren't so polite...
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#1128524 - 04/06/05 09:14 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
SteveY,
No offense taken. You no doubt have a handle on music and music theory. However, the fact that you (and others) have asked some people to "omit it" would suggest that it is being done at least sometimes. I agree that the C2 (as you would have it voiced) has a certain vagueness about it and adding the seventh would "do" something to it.

My suggestions are from a solo pianists perspective and for someone playing music for their own enjoyment.

By all means, if you are in a studio and/or in an ensemble setting or backing a vocalist, you should be following direction as otherwise it may not be good for your continued employment!

SteveY, I have some further questions for you. Incidentally, my background is from Classical and Jazz. I have only recently started playing pop charts and I am interested in understanding the pop perspective a bit better.

My question is when you call for a C2 or any other chord are you also calling for a specific voicing and inversion (i.e. root position) ??

It seems to me this C2 chord functions like a D7sus in jazz would function assuming the local key is C.

Interesting discussion...
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#1128525 - 04/06/05 03:03 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
Sweep88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/05
Posts: 190
Loc: Ohio
interesting giles...I was wondering the same thing....I'm not going to interrupt, but I'll bet you a buck he says it depends on where the melody is...
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#1128526 - 04/06/05 06:13 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
Dolce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 9
So is "C5" just C and G or is it G-C-G?

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#1128527 - 04/07/05 04:43 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
mauri Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/15/05
Posts: 24
Loc: Barcelona
 Quote:
Originally posted by Dolce:
So is "C5" just C and G or is it G-C-G? [/b]
So C5 is made of C and G. That's it, root and fifth.

\:\)

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#1128528 - 04/07/05 08:14 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
It seems to me this C2 chord functions like a D7sus in jazz would function assuming the local key is C.
A C2 chord is pretty standard in pop and contemporary jazz circles. It has a non-leading quality to it, as opposed to a D7sus chord, for example. The D7sus functions as a V-chord and wants to resolve to a G of some sort. However, a C2 could be a I, IV, or even a V chord (although the V would be less common). The whole idea of a "2-chord" is that it has no 7th which would clearly indicate how it functions. Without the 7th, it has a floating character that is very desirable in certain situations.
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#1128529 - 04/07/05 08:28 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
So is "C5" just C and G or is it G-C-G?
 Quote:
My question is when you call for a C2 or any other chord are you also calling for a specific voicing and inversion (i.e. root position) ??
It's important to distinguish between a chord symbol and a voicing. A chord symbol defines the harmony. A voicing is how that harmony is executed/played. Think of a voicing as "spontaneous orchestration". That's the beauty of modern chord-based styles (pop, jazz, latin, etc.)...the player is essentially a spontaneous orchestrator. He/she uses the chord symbols to construct a part that may very well change each time the song is played -- especially in more sophisticated styles like jazz.
There are some stylistic principles that are important to adhere to, but that's part of orchestrating in a way that's authentic to the style. For example, jazz pianists rarely play the root of the chord in their left hand when playing with an ensemble. To do so would most likely take you out of an authentic jazz sound. In pop, too many inversions in the left hand make the sound less authentic. So a style most definitely implies a certain type of voicing. But within a style there are multiple ways to voice a chord.
One more thing about voicings: When playing with an ensemble or band, it's important to think of the big picture. For example, in a pop/rock context, the bass player is most likely playing the root. If the keyboard player plays the root in octaves, the bottom gets pretty heavy/muddy -- especially if the guitar player is playing it as well. The chord symbol is meant to be the cumulative sound of the group. Therefore it's OK to pick-and-choose which notes to play. For example, on a C2 chord, I might only play the D and the G in my right hand. It provides a really cool open feeling. I also might play a bunch of other passing notes/chords. But the point is that as a "spontaneous orchestrator", the context is EVERYTHING!!!
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#1128530 - 04/07/05 12:04 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
hgiles Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 736
Loc: Charlottesville Virginia
I think I understand context and I think I understand the difference between a chord (symbol) and a voicing. I follow you that far.

...but a D7sus could very well be voiced D-G-C-E...D-G-C-E could very well be a voicing for C2.

Would you call the chord D7sus if the key center is G and call it C2 if the key center is C?

If not, which key center does a C2 typically operate? Is it typically a pre-dominant, dominant, or tonic sound?

I guess I can pull out DROPS OF JUPITER or EDWIN MCCAIN chart and see for myself, but I am not at home at the moment...I remember it, I think.

If I remember correctly, In DROPS OF JUPITER (key of F) it seems to function as a V chord and precedes I. I guess a G7sus preceding an F chord would look a bit strange if you're expecting the G7sus to precede a G7 or C chord, but the suspended floating quality is the same. However, G7sus precedes F chords quite a lot in Bossa Nova. Six of one half-dozen of another. Tomato, tomato.

I am rambling, but I think I understand it's use and function -- at least in this particular song.
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#1128531 - 04/07/05 05:45 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
Dolce Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/23/05
Posts: 9
To my understanding that "C2" is a regular C major chord with a D added in between.

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#1128532 - 04/08/05 03:40 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
gregjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/05
Posts: 316
Loc: CA
Are Csus2 and C2 the same thing?
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#1128533 - 04/08/05 11:10 PM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
Pete the bean Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/04
Posts: 450
Loc: Canada
Just to make matters more confusing C2 which is often used in pop charts can also appear as a Cadd9 chord.
It is just a C triad with a D stuck in there to give the chord a little more fullness. It will usually act as a I or IV chord.
With regard to the D7sus mentioned in the above post- D7sus chord (orC/D) the C E G are acting as the 7 9 and11. The D would be heard as the fundamental of the chord. This chord is acting as a dominant function

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#1128534 - 04/09/05 08:11 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
...but a D7sus could very well be voiced D-G-C-E...D-G-C-E could very well be a voicing for C2.

Would you call the chord D7sus if the key center is G and call it C2 if the key center is C?

If not, which key center does a C2 typically operate? Is it typically a pre-dominant, dominant, or tonic sound?
Sorry for the delay, Haywood -- I've been buried this week...

Your example is a GREAT one -- Is it a D7sus or a C2? Because we're dealing with chords, the answer is found in HOW it functions. In a pop style, root movement is probably your biggest clue. If the bass is playing a D, it's probably a D7sus. If the bass is playing a C, it's probably a C2. It would be HIGHLY unlikely for the bass to be playing a 9th or a 7th (unless as passing tones). The "rub" is that both a D7sus & a C2 are commonly found in the key of G. The C2 would be the IV and the D7sus would be a suspended V. So again, how does it function? What does it sound like?

As to your 3rd question, a "2-chord" functions primarily as a I or IV chord, but can even function as a V chord (although that's less common).
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#1128535 - 04/09/05 08:20 AM Re: Reading Chord Progressions
SteveY Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/01
Posts: 1820
Loc: NJ
 Quote:
To my understanding that "C2" is a regular C major chord with a D added in between.
Yes. It's also commonly written: Cadd9

 Quote:
Are Csus2 and C2 the same thing?
That's a great question! You've identified a flaw in how chord symbols are written today! Chords are based on 3rds, so technically, there's really no such thing as a "2-chord". The correct way to write a C2 would be Cadd9. As you can see, it takes up more space. So some arrangers began shortening it to C2. Another popular chord is Cadd9(no3) -- which is really C-D-G. Some arrangers began shortening this to Csus2. I used to hate this kind of slang, as it doesn't really support a good understanding of harmony. However, I have to admit that I use C2 all the time, simply to save space!
So to answer your question: Yes and No. Because of the fact that 2-chords are really musical "slang", there's really no standard. I find that C2 is most commonly intended to mean Cadd9. However, I've seen plenty of charts where C2 is really Cadd9(no3) or Csus2 (which are the same chord).
My advice? Be as specific as is practical. Obviously chord symbols were meant to be a musical shorthand of sorts, so writing really long symbols kind of defeats the purpose. But I don't think writing C2(no3) is too hard. That's what I do, and it works well for me...
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