• Two Important Passing Chords To Major And Minor Chords

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    If you’re interested in learning passing chords to major and minor chords, then you arrived at the right page.

    In this lesson, I’ll be showing you two important passing chords that most gospel pianists incorporate in their chord progressions.

    But before we go any further, it’s important for us to refresh our minds on the concept of passing chords.

    “What Is A Passing Chord?”

    A passing chord (which is usually foreign to a given key) functions as a harmonic link between two scale tone chords.

    For example, in the key of C major:

    …where scale degree chords may include the D minor seventh chord:

    …and the A minor seventh chord:

    A passing chord comes in-between the D minor seventh chord and the A minor seventh chord and is usually foreign to the key (aka – “chromatic”).

    In the case of the D minor seventh chord and the A minor seventh chord, the E dominant seventh [sharp nine, sharp five] chord:

    …can be played in-between both chords to function as a passing chord to the A minor seventh chord.

    “Check It Out…”

    D minor seventh chord (scale tone chord):

    E dominant seventh [sharp nine, sharp five] (passing chord):

    A minor seventh chord (scale tone chord):

    The function of the passing chord, which is the E dominant seventh [sharp nine, sharp five] chord is to create an anticipation for the A minor seventh chord.

    Application Of Diminished Chords As Passing Chords

    Let’s go further by exploring the application of diminished chords as passing chords. We’ll be considering passing chords to major chords differently from passing chords to minor chords.

    Passing Chord To Major Chords

    Diminished chords can be used as passing chords to major chords. A major chord can be approached with a half-diminished seventh chord that is a half step below its root.

    For example, the C major triad:

    …or C major seventh chord:

    …can be approached using a half-diminished seventh chord that is a half step below C:

    …which is the B half-diminished seventh chord:

    “Here’s Another Example…”

    The A major triad:

    …or A major seventh chord:

    …can be approached using a half-diminished seventh chord that is a half step below A:

    …which is the G# half-diminished seventh chord:

    “Summarily…”

    In the key of  C major:

    …where the major chords are on the first and fourth scale degrees:

    The C major triad

    The F major triad

    The C major triad:

    …can be approached using the B half-diminished seventh chord:

    …while the F major triad:

    …can be approached using the E half-diminished seventh chord:

    Passing Chord To Minor Chords

    Just like major chords, minor chords can be approached using diminished chords. A minor chord can be approached with a diminished seventh chord that is a half step below its root.

    For example, the E minor triad:

    …or E minor seventh chord:

    …can be approached using a diminished seventh chord that is a half step below E:

    …which is the D# diminished seventh chord:

    “Here’s Another Example…”

    The B minor triad:

    …or B minor seventh chord:

    …can be approached using a diminished seventh chord that is a half step below B:

    …which is the A# half-diminished seventh chord:

    “Summarily…”

    In the key of  C major:

    …where the minor chords are on second, third, and sixth scale degrees:

    The D minor triad

    The E minor triad

    The A minor triad

    The D minor triad:

    …can be approached using the C# diminished seventh chord:

    The E minor triad:

    …can be approached using the D# diminished seventh chord:

    The A minor triad:

    …can be approached using the G# diminished seventh chord:

    Final Words

    Getting to this segment lets me know that you’re seriously interested in learning passing chords to major and minor chords.

    In summary, we learned that half-diminished seventh chords are used as passing chords to major chords while diminished seventh chords are used as passing chords to minor chords.

    See you in the next lesson!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Edmond Edems

    Tested and trusted sir

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