What chord is this? And what does N.C. mean?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Garrett Mireles, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. 1. The chord notes from bottom to top are A A# E

    2. I understand the function of N.C. but what does NC stand for? something italian I assume?
  2. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    1. Difficult to say. Are those the only notes - is there a bass note under that? A A# and E alone don't really constitute any nameable chord. If there was a C underneath it, for example, it could be C13.

    2. It stands for No Chord. Maybe this explains question 1 :D
  3. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    N.C. means no chord, so that means you play what is written and do not improvise over chords because there are no chords to improvise over.
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    A(add b9 omit 3)
  5. Jesus christ, ok thanks :D Is that how you would notate it?

    holey moley :D - Nah those are the only notes being played. This is the first song I've ever written using a chord progression, so this is exciting.

    Asus4 Bbmaj7 Fadd4 A(add b9 omit 3) here I come! :bassist:
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    If anything, A5(add b9). But "A5" is only a "chord" by convention, rather than by definition. A chord is (normally?) defined as three or more pitches, sounding simultaneously. A5 has two. So Phil Smith's suggestion is more kosher, so to speak.
    "Omit" could be replaced with "no", which is how I'd prefer to write it. I.e. A(add b9 no3).

    But this is sort of a moot point, really. You could call it whatever you like provided you also include your own definition, so everyone can understand it. Invent - it could become a standard later on. Like in the case of "A5".
  7. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    It's a possibility, but I wouldn't notate it that way. Personally, I think it's a little clumsy putting "omit 3" in a chord symbol - JMO.

    A(add b9 omit 3) may not be the most appropriate chord symbol here - because it really depends on context.

    Looking at the chord on its own, I can quite see the logic in calling it that, but in the context of that progression, it may not be the best answer.

    The question is - what chord comes *after* it? I just played your chord sequence on the piano, and to me it implies some sort of F major chord in first inversion (i.e. the 3rd is in the bass). To me, it sounds like it wants to be Fmaj7(add4)/A, and wants to lead to a Bb major chord, maybe. But I don't know what you're hearing in your head - only you do.

    So - what chord comes after it?
  8. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS

    This notation is used in the following tunes:

    "Both sides of the coin" Michael Brecker
    "Endangered Species" Wayne Shorter
    "Madagascar" Richie Beirach
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    You mean that notation is used on some specific lead sheet of those tunes?

    I wasn't referring to the idea of specifiying that a chord is thirdless as clumsy, I said I think that saying "omit 3" is clumsy - mainly because of the word "omit". IMO, chord symbols should be short.
  10. A, A#, E could be more than just an A (b9 omit 3). It could be a voicing for a Bbmaj7 (#11) chord, a E half-dim 11, a C13, a Fmaj7 (add 11) a Gmin6 (add 11), a F#7 (#9), a Dmin11 (b11), etc.
  11. Ooh, noticed you're from Sonoma, CA. Just a few miles away from where I live. :)

    Is that good or bad?
  12. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I have to say that is probably along the lines of what geoff was saying (Gb7#9, C13, etc.) A chord without a 3rd or 7th can be like a guy without DNA.
  13. beermonkey


    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    Exactly. Without some additional notes in there to really define this is what the chord is, A A# E could be any number of options.

    Just because there is the notation of No Chord, doesn't necessarily mean that you can't play anything but the root. In those situations, you need to use your ears and listen to what everyone else is playing. You can get away with murder when playing over a section of NC.
  14. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    It depends entirely on the context. What are the other chords that surround it?
  15. Well, you can't really say it depends on the context, because who knows what the author was thinking? If it was Beethoven or something, you could look at the context, but not with modern music.
  16. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Care to explain your statement? Because it's absolutely off the mark. Context, in this case, is not what the composer was thinking, it's the surrounding chords. What is the preceding chord? Where is it resolving? All of this plays a key role in functional harmony.
  17. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    No it can't, if A(add 9 omit 3) is the sound the composer is looking for from the instrument that's playing that chord. If you were on a gig and you ran across this notation, you probably had better play what's written, because there may be a very good reason why the chord is notated in that way.