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In going over some old guitar music theory notes of mine, I found this.

G  Am   Bm   C  D  Em  

I appreciate that the chords are those of the major scale in G.

However, over the chords are these numbers

3,  0/5,  1/7,  3,  5,  7/0

Does anyone known of some significance to these numbers in relation to the chords underneath them?

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  • If the image you posted is supposed to show numbers above the chord names (G, Am, and so forth), I'm not seeing them. The only numbers I see are on the dots for the fingerings, which presumably refer to finger numbers.
    – mlibby
    Oct 23, 2017 at 11:49
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    Checking my own question, the site seems to have replaced my text with the image. Ill see what I can do about that. Oct 23, 2017 at 11:50
  • In the meantime, the numbers are 3, 0/5, 1/7, 3, 5, 7/0 Oct 23, 2017 at 11:53
  • Pure speculation that seems to fit: each chord can be played in the position(s) reflected by the numbers. G can be played in third position, Am either open or fifth position, etc. Except Bm would normally be played in 2nd position or 7th. Hmmm. Oct 23, 2017 at 12:11
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    @ToddWilcox Yeah, I'd almost guarantee that's it … the root positions except the B is a mistake.
    – user37496
    Oct 23, 2017 at 15:28

1 Answer 1

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(The comments address this question, but the site still marks this as "unanswered," so I'm adding one.)

The first line shows the diatonic triads in G major. With a scale of G A B C D E F♯ G, you can create:

  • G B D, which is G major
  • A C E, Am
  • B D F♯, Bm
  • C E G, CM
  • D F♯ A, DM
  • E G B, Em

The only one missing is F♯ A C, which is F♯ diminished. Perhaps your theory teacher was only teaching the consonant triads (that is, major and minor). Diminished (along with augmented) are dissonant triads.

As for the numbers, these seem to be the guitar positions in which you can play these triads. G is played in 3rd position, Am is either in open or fifth position, and so on.

The only flaw here is the position for Bm: instead of 1st and 7th position, Bm is played in 2nd or 7th position.

Thus your notes should read:

    G    Am    Bm    C    D    Em
    3,   0/5,  2/7,  3,   5,   7/0

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