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Post new topic Kansas City Kitty / Nashville Numbers Question
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Author Topic:  Kansas City Kitty / Nashville Numbers Question
Steve Green


From:
Gulfport, MS, USA
Post Posted 24 Jun 2016 10:31 am     Reply with quote

In a recent "For Sale" listing, Rick Aiello posted a link to a Youtube video of a crowd at Joliet HSGA meeting playing this tune. It was my first time hearing it, and I really liked it.

My question is, if making a Nashville Number chart for it, as per this arrangement, would the Eb7 be considered a b6 or a #5? Why? And does it really matter?



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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 25 Jun 2016 1:44 pm     Reply with quote

I've always thought of it as a #5. Songs like Because, Out of Nowhere, etc. because the melody is going up in pitch above the 5. I can't give you any technical reasons and I don't even know if that's how most musicians think of it, but that's my take.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 25 Jun 2016 1:54 pm     Reply with quote

In the key of G, Eb is b6. #5 would be D#. That's all there is to it.
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Jim Smith


From:
Valley Ranch (north Irving), TX, USA
Post Posted 25 Jun 2016 9:11 pm     Reply with quote

Ian Rae wrote:
In the key of G, Eb is b6. #5 would be D#. That's all there is to it.


There are no flats in the key of G, nor should there be any flats in the sheet music.
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Skip Edwards


From:
LA,CA
Post Posted 25 Jun 2016 10:26 pm     Reply with quote

What does your ear tell you it is?
Let the melody dictate which one it should be.
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Steve Green


From:
Gulfport, MS, USA
Post Posted 26 Jun 2016 3:50 am     Reply with quote

Ian Rae wrote:
In the key of G, Eb is b6. #5 would be D#. That's all there is to it.



This is what I was thinking, also. In the key of G, the 6 chord is E . . . Therefore, the b6 chord should be Eb.

But . . . I also knew this:


Jim Smith wrote:

There are no flats in the key of G, nor should there be any flats in the sheet music.


Therein lies the conundrum. So that's why I asked the question.

I know that when playing the song it doesn't matter, as the #5 and the b6 are the same chord, I was just wondering what was the "theoretically proper" way to notate it on a chart.
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Jamie Mitchell


From:
Nashville, TN
Post Posted 26 Jun 2016 6:53 am     Reply with quote

b6
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Jim Robbins


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 26 Jun 2016 10:15 am     Reply with quote

My first inclination is to say that in this kind of harmony, the tonic - dominant releationship is a fundamental building block (i.e. root of 1 - root of 5 separated by a perfect fifth). They don't move around. So calling it a sharp 5 chord is weird if you think and hear in terms of chord functions.

On the other hand, Jerry Overstreet's comment that this is like other songs where there is a temporary move up a semitone, like "Out of nowhere", makes some sense - thinking of it as a sharp 5 in relationship to a sharp 1 captures that notion of transposing the 1-5 relationship up a semitone. But it doesn't account for the harmonic tension created by the pull back to the original tonic, which hasn't gone anywhere. So to me it still makes more sense to think of it as b6 (which would go to b2) rather than #5. NB Out of nowhwere is generally notated showing the chords in relation to the semitone shift as belonging to the key of b2 not #1 -- G G Bbm Eb7 not G G A#m D#7. So I'm back to my first inclination.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 26 Jun 2016 11:00 am     Reply with quote

Jim is right that there are no flats in the scale of G, but the Eb7 chord is outside the scale anyway and its connection with the home key is the common note G. The author did not call it D# as Jerry thinks of it - there are no common notes between D#7 and G.
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 26 Jun 2016 12:21 pm     Reply with quote

Speaking strictly with regard to the NNS, those 2 lines would be shown as this: Which chart makes more sense and quickest, easiest to read to the musicians that work off them. My meter designation and proper theory notwithstanding. Not saying, just asking?



Key of G


1_____#5⁷_____ 1______6⁷

2⁷_____5⁷______1_____#5⁷____1

or:

1_____b6⁷______1______6⁷

2⁷_____5⁷______1_____ b6⁷____1
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post Posted 27 Jun 2016 11:02 am     Reply with quote

I take your point, Jerry. In the practical situation it's probably easier to head for the more familiar 5 and up one.
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Bill L. Wilson


From:
Oklahoma, USA
Post Posted 28 Jun 2016 7:01 am     To #5 or Not to #5. Reply with quote

The #5 chart is much easier for me to read on the fly. Don't know why, but sometimes I get lost in a chart and can't remember what key the song is in. I play everything from memory in the band I play in now, and if our singer pulls a song out of the hat I've never heard before or in a long time, I listen to a verse and chorus and play what I feel. We call it rehearsal on the band stand.
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Jim Robbins


From:
Ontario, Canada
Post Posted 1 Jul 2016 12:13 pm     Reply with quote

Not for me -- b6 would be easier because it would make more sense musically & I wouldn't have to think about it. #5 would be -- "what is going on?!". (As long as the 6 doesn't look like a G, that is, since I'm more used to reading jazz chord charts with letters than Nashville number charts.)
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Leon Grizzard


From:
Austin, Texas, USA
Post Posted 25 Jul 2016 1:51 pm     Reply with quote

Jim Robbins wrote:
Not for me -- b6 would be easier because it would make more sense musically & I wouldn't have to think about it. #5 would be -- "what is going on?!". (As long as the 6 doesn't look like a G, that is, since I'm more used to reading jazz chord charts with letters than Nashville number charts.)


I'm with this, although I know the general rule saying since key of G has a #, all the chords should be named as #'s rather than b's. Eb7 just registers with me more better.

But what I starting thinking about was why Eb7 (or D#7) in the first place. It sounds very good but does not fit my little rule-bound understanding of swing chord progressions.

Just to get it off my chest: I have always seen this tune played as G Gb G E7 etc.; down a half step from the G and return. But you also that type move being played G Gdim G E7 etc.; most of the chord goes down a half step and then return. Same general effect of putting a little motion on the G chord and then pulling back to it. I think this is "really" Gdim with a common addition of a m6 (Eb)above the root.

Eb7: Eb G Bb Db
Gdim: G Bb Db Fb(E) Eb(m6)
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Steve Green


From:
Gulfport, MS, USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2016 7:59 am     Reply with quote

"Kansas City Kitty" is the first song that I remember noticing with the #5/b6 chord in it.

But recently listening to "Remington Ride" I realize it also has the #5/b6 chord in the A section.


1________1____________1_________5________

4________#5/b6________1____5____1________
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b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 21 Sep 2016 9:02 am     my opinion Reply with quote

It should have been notated as D#7, and the accidentals in the melody should have been sharps too. Flat notes in a sharp key are confusing.

As for Nashville numbering, I would write it #5<sup>7</sup>.
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Earnest Bovine


From:
Los Angeles CA USA
Post Posted 21 Sep 2016 9:42 am     Re: my opinion Reply with quote

b0b wrote:
It should have been notated as D#7,


For me, E flat is easier to read on the band stand, and more correctly describes the function of the chord for study at home.



b0b wrote:
. Flat notes in a sharp key are confusing.


Sometimes flats are correct in a "sharp key". How would you spell a C minor triad in the key of G? Would you write C D# G? I don't think so!
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Jerry Overstreet


From:
Louisville Ky
Post Posted 22 Sep 2016 8:55 am     Reply with quote

Quote:
My question is, if making a Nashville Number chart for it, as per this arrangement, would the Eb7 be considered a b6 or a #5? Why? And does it really matter?


I don't play with people that can read NNS charts very often, but if I'm writing one for this tune, I'm showing it as in my first example, further up the page, as a #5⁷ same as b0b. Same for Rem Ride. I don't think anyone fluent in reading NNS charts would have any difficulty reading that.

As author of the chart, it's easier for me that way....I have to read them too. Smile
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Steve Green


From:
Gulfport, MS, USA
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 8:45 am     Reply with quote

Just realized the Beatles' "I Saw Her Standing There" also has a #5 / b6 chord in it. That now makes 3 songs I know that feature it.
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Jerry Hayes


From:
Virginia Beach, Va.
Post Posted 16 Oct 2017 9:44 am     Reply with quote

Patsy Cline's old hit "Walkin' After Midnight" is another tune with a #5 in it.......JH in Va.
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