• Here’s Why You Can NEVER Go Wrong With The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    in Experienced players,Gospel music,Jazz music,Piano,Theory

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    Our focus in this lesson is on the importance of the 2-5-1 chord progression in tonal music.

    The 2-5-1 chord progression is one of the best things that happened to harmony (for the past 300 years or so) and this explains why it has a special place in classical and popular music (jazz, gospel, etc.)

    We’ll be dissecting the 2-5-1 chord progression with the intent of showing you other ways in can be applied in the major key. I’m very sure that this will prove to you (beyond every reasonable doubt) that you can never go wrong with the 2-5-1 chord progression.

    Quick Insights On The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    The movement from one chord to another produces a chord progression. The “2-5-1” numbers are associated with the tones of the major or minor scale:

    2 is for the 2nd tone of the scale

    5 is for the 5th tone of the scale

    1 is for the 1st tone of the scale

    So, the 2-5-1 chord progression is a movement of chords from the 2-chord to the 5-chord, then the 1-chord in the major or minor key.

    In the key of C major:

    The “2-5-1” numbers are used to represent the 2nd, 5th, and 1st tones of the scale which are as follows:

    D (the 2):

    G (the 5):

    C (the 1):

    If we go ahead and flesh out chords on the right hand, we’ll have the 2-5-1 chord progression:

    D minor ninth chord (the 2-chord):

    G dominant thirteenth [add ninth] chord (the 5-chord):

    C major ninth chord (the 1-chord):

    Now that we’ve refreshed our minds on the 2-5-1 chord progression, let’s go ahead and explore the power of 2-5-1 chord progressions.

    The Power Of The 2-5-1 Chord Progression — Explored

    The 2-5-1 chord progression is multi-dimensional and can be used to any of the scale tone chords in the major key.

    In the key of C major:

    …there are 2-5-1 chord progressions to the following chords:

    The 1-chord:

    The 2-chord:

    The 3-chord:

    The 4-chord:

    The 5-chord:

    The 6-chord:

    The b7-chord:

    …and we’ll be exploring them in this segment.

    Final Words

    The 2-5-1 has its place in harmony as the strongest chord movement and this is because it is based in fifth intervals.

    But beyond that, there’s a 2-5-1 chord progression to every tone of the scale (even to the b7) and that makes the 2-5-1 chord progression an essential chord progression every serious keyboard player should learn.

    Note that the 2-5-1 chord progression to any tone of the scale provides you with passing chords to that tone of the scale. For example, the 2-5-1 to the 4 chord provides us with two passing chords:

    G minor ninth chord (the 2-chord):

    C dominant thirteenth [add ninth] chord (the 5-chord):

    …to the 4 chord (the F major ninth chord):

    Thanks for your time invested in reading this blog. Don’t forget to ask questions, make contributions, and suggestions using the comment section.

    See you in the next lesson.

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    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku (aka - "Dr. Pokey") is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.



    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Carolyn

    Thanks For. Pokey. Now I can practice these in all 12 Keys and master them. This helps a lot. God bless you.


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