In music, an approach chord is a chord one half-step higher or lower than the goal (aka – place you’re going to), and especially helpful in turnarounds and chord progressions that move in fourths.
So if you were in C major and about to play a chord on the 2nd degree (D minor 7), you could immediately apply this technique.
D minor 7
Since this D major 7 is your goal, we have a couple options when it comes to approach chords.
We can take the Db (the tone a half-step LOWER) and play a chord on it. Or we could take the Eb (the tone a half-step HIGHER) and do something with it.
For this example, I’ve chosen the Eb. We’re going to play an Eb13. Those, along with other dominant voicings (Eb7, Eb9) work great.
If we were going to use our other “approach chord” option, we could take the Db and play a diminished 7 on it.
Db diminished 7
Try experimenting. How many approach chords can you come up with to make your transition to the next chord smoother?
Until next time.
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