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Thread: Numbers wrong in minor key?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2018

    Default Numbers wrong in minor key?

    I appears that the generated numbering system is wrong when a minor key is assigned to a song. I checked a bunch of songs rooted in natural minor & the chord numbering (e.g., sharps, flats, etc.) appear to be drawn from the parallel major key (NOT the relative major key)

    I may be confused, but songs in A minor with only diatonic chords should have no sharps or flats; however, the number system seems to assign flats to chords as if the song is written in the parallel A major key. I checked a bunch of songs & drafted my own to check this. It seems to be corrected if a song is assigned the relative major key....then the autogenerated #s follow a Nashville numbering system.

    Please let me know if I'm trippin', but I don't think so (kind of a theory amateur, but not total newbie).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2020


    I'm not sure about the issue you're describing, but I do know that it can often times be more useful to create a chart listing the related Major key instead of minor, and that would likely fix what you're describing above.

    Example: beginning chord progression for House of the Rising Sun in Am
    Am C D F Am C E
    In the key of Am, that'd be
    1m 3 4 6 1m 3 5
    If you list it in the related Major key of C-Major, the numbering would be:
    6m 1 2 4 6m 1 3
    Setting the song key to the related Major like that should solve the issue you're describing, and for most people it's a little more intuitive to read the numbers/chords that way as well. Hope that helps.
    -Tim Gross

  3. #3


    iRp chart examples
    A- chart
    A- number chart
    C number chart
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