• Who Else Wants To Learn Chromatic Variations Of The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    in Chords & Progressions,Piano,Theory

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    Or focus in this lesson is on chromatic variations of the 2-5-1 chord progression.

    Attention: This lesson is written with the intermediate keyboardist in mind. Therefore, keyboardists who are either below or above the intermediate skill level may not really appreciate this lesson.

    The 2-5-1 chord progression is one of the most important chord progressions in popular music because of its common place in prominent styles like gospel, jazz, R and B, etc., and that’s why we’re dedicating this lesson to it.

    A Basic Information On The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    The 2-5-1 chord progression consists of a root movement between the following tones of the scale in the major key:

    2nd tone

    5th tone

    1st tone

    So, the numbers 2, 5, and 1 are derived from the root notes in the progression. For example in the key of C major:

    …D:

    …is the second tone, G:

    …is the fifth tone, and C:

    …is the first tone.

    “Check Out The Chords Associated With Each Scale Tone…”

    The D minor seventh chord:

    …is the chord of the 2nd tone.

    The G dominant seventh chord:

    …is the chord of the 5th tone.

    The C major seventh chord:

    …is the chord of the 1st tone.

    “Using These Chords, Check Out The 2-5-1 Chord Progression…”

    Chord 2 (the D minor seventh chord):

    Chord 5 (the G dominant seventh chord):

    Chord 1 (the C major seventh chord):

    Chromatic Variations Of The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    In this segment, you’ll be learning some chromatic variations of the basic 2-5-1 chord progression. However, right before we proceed, it’s important for us to refresh our minds on the term chromatic.

    A Short Note On The Term Chromatic

    The term chromatic literally means colorful.

    In music theory, any idea (be it a note, scale, interval, chord, or chord progression) that is foreign to a given or prevalent key.

    In the key of C major:

    …any note other than the scale tones in the key are said to be colorful (aka – “chromatic”).

    The same thing is applicable to scales, intervals, chords, and chord progressions that contain notes that are not in the prevalent key — which is C major in this case.

    So, chromatic variations of the 2-5-1 chord progression are basically other 2-5-1 chord progressions with colorful chords (aka – “chromatic chords”) that are foreign to the prevalent key.

    Variation #1

    Chord 2:

    …is the D min(maj9) chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom7 [b9,#5] chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C dominant ninth chord.

    Variation #2

    Chord 2:

    …is the D dominant ninth chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom7 [b9,#5] chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C major ninth chord.

    Variation #3

    Chord 2:

    …is the D min9(b5) chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom7 [#9,#5] chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C dominant ninth chord.

    Variation #4

    Chord 2:

    …is the D dominant ninth chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom13 [b9] chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C dominant thirteenth chord.

    Variation #5

    Chord 2:

    …is the D dominant thirteenth [#11] chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom7 [#9,#5] chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C dominant thirteenth [add9] chord.

    Variation #6

    Chord 2:

    …is the D dom7 [#9,#5] chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom13 chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C major ninth chord.

    Variation #7

    Chord 2:

    …is the D dominant thirteenth chord.

    Chord 5:

    …is the G dom7 [b9] chord.

    Chord 1:

    …is the C6/9 chord.

    Final Words

    Using these spicy variations of the 2-5-1 chord progression, I have no doubt that your chordal arsenal would explode with tons of chords. However, this is directly proportional to the number of keys you practice these progressions on.

    Therefore, learning this progression in all twelve keys is of the greatest possible importance.

    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 Zino

    lovely

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