• Here’s A Passing Chord You Can Use Right Away!

    in Chords & Progressions,Experienced players,Piano

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    You arrived at this page because you’re interested in learning passing chords you can use right away.

    In the next ten minutes or so, I’ll be taking you by the hand and showing you a passing chord that you can works 100% of the time. All I need is your undivided attention.

    Let’s get the party started!

    A Short Note On Passing Chords

    A passing chord is simply a chromatic chord that is used to connect two chords. For example, if a chord progression in the key of C major:

    …should progress from chord 1 (the C major seventh chord):

    …to chord 3 (the E major seventh chord):

    Both chords can be connected by a passing chord:

    …which is the B dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord.

    Therefore, instead of the regular progression to the 3 from the 1, the passing chord is used to connect the chords.

    “Check It Out…”

    Example #1 – Thank You Lord (without the passing chord)

    Thank you (chord 1):

    …Lord (chord 3):

    Example #2 – Thank You Lord (with the passing chord)

    Thank (chord 1):

    …you (passing chord):

    …Lord (chord 3):

    A proof of the pudding is in the taste, right?

    That said, apart from the fact that passing chords connect two chords, they are chromatic. Chromatic chords contain one or more notes that are foreign to the prevalent key.

    In the case of connecting chord 1 and chord 3 in the key of C major with the passing chord:

    …the B  dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord (which is the passing chord) consists of notes that are foreign to the key of C major: D# and F#.

    Alright, now that we’re done with passing chords, let’s proceed to learning a passing chord you can apply right away.

    Introducing The Dominant Seventh (Flat Ninth) Chord

    The dominant seventh chord flat ninth chord is one passing chord you can learn and readily apply. Lowering the ninth tone of the C dominant ninth chord:

    …which is D:

    …by a half-step (to Db):

    …produces the C dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    “Check Out All The Dominant Seventh (Flat Ninth) Chords On The Keyboard…”

    C dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    C# dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    D dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    Eb dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    E dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    F dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    F# dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    G dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    G# dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    A dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    Bb dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    B dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    A Breakdown Of The Dominant Seventh (Flat Ninth) Chord

    There are so many ways to approach the formation of the dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord. However, we’ll be focusing on the use of the diminished seventh chord of the third tone.

    For example, the E dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord can be formed by playing the diminished seventh chord of the third tone of the E major scale:

    …which is the G# diminished seventh chord:

    …over E on the bass:

    So, here’s the E dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    “Here’s Another Example…”

    The G dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord can be formed by playing the diminished seventh chord of the third tone of the G major scale:

    …which is the B diminished seventh chord:

    …over G on the bass:

    So, here’s the G dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    Application Of The Passing Chord Learned

    The dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord can be applied a half-step above any given major or minor chord. In the key of C major:

    …the D minor ninth chord (which is chord 2):

    …can be approached using a dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord that is a half-step above D:

    …and that’s the Eb dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    So, the Eb dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    …resolves to the D minor ninth chord:

    Also in the key of A major:

    …where the D major ninth chord:

    …is chord 4, the D major ninth chord can be approached using a dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord that is a half-step above D:

    …and that’s the Eb dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    So, the Eb dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    …resolves to the D major ninth chord:

    Final Words

    Using the passing chord learned in this lesson, you can resolve to any scale-degree chord a half-step below (be it a major or a minor chord).

    For example, the C dominant seventh (flat ninth) chord:

    …resolves either to the B major ninth chord:

    …or to the B minor ninth chord:

    All the best!

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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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    { 4 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Paul

    Wow! EVERY TIME I read these emails I have to stop and check this stuff on a piano – so awesome! And how am I going to meet these deadlines when I keep stopping to whack out chords!

    Reply

    2 l.c

    isn’t this voicing minor—-e g b d.?

    Reply

    3 Jim

    Hi,

    a beginner question. :-)

    Why do you call the C dominant seventh a flat ninth in parenthesis?

    If I understand dominant chords correctly, then the B7 consists of these notes:
    B Eb Gb A.
    Is this not right? Where does the 9 come from?

    Thank you,

    Jim

    Reply

    4 Zinokeys

    nice

    Reply

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