• Intermediate Players: Passing Chords And Essential 2-5-1 Chord Progressions In The Major Key

    in Chords & Progressions,Experienced players,General Music,Piano

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    If you’re an intermediate player interested in learning a handful of 2-5-1 chord progressions you’re on the right page.

    The 2-5-1 chord progression has the strongest push and pull between the chords it’s made up of and that’s why a lot of songs have 2-5-1 chord progressions; especially at the end or in-between two sections.

    Apart from the main 2-5-1 chord progression in the key, there are other 2-5-1 chord progressions that can be played to other tones of the major scale: to the 2nd tone, the 3rd tone, the 4th tone, etc.

    But before we cover all the other 2-5-1 chord progressions, let’s get started with an overview of the 2-5-1 chord progression.

    An Overview Of The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    A chord progression consists of the movement of chords and is usually in a given key — from one scale tone chord to another.

    There are seven unique scale tone chords in the major key and a chord progression can progress from one of the chords to the other.

    “As Regards The 2-5-1 Chord Progression…”

    The 2-5-1 chord progression is a chord movement between the following chords:

    The 2-chord

    The 5-chord

    The 1-chord

    In the key of C major:

    …the playing the following chords (in a succession):

    The D minor seventh chord:

    The G dominant seventh chord:

    The C major seventh chord:

    …produces the 2-5-1 chord progression.

    The Power Of The 2-5-1 Chord Progression

    The 2-5-1 chord progression is the strongest chord progression in tonal music and this is because it is based on fourth and fifth movement of chords.

    From the 2nd tone of the scale (which is D):

    …to the 5th tone of the scale (which is G):

    …is either a downward movement by a fifth (to the lower G):

    …or an upward movement by a fourth (to a higher G):

    Progressions based on fourth and fifth intervals are the strongest in tonal music and this explains why they’re found at the end of a vast majority of songs.

    In the key of C major:

    …chances are very high that the last three chords in a vast majority of songs would be the 2-chord:

    …followed by the 5-chord:

    …then the 1-chord:

    Essential 2-5-1 Chord Progressions In The Major Key

    Let’s go ahead and explore other 2-5-1 chord progressions in the major key.

    Attention: We’ll come across two types of 2-5-1 chord progressions: the major 2-5-1 chord progression and the minor 2-5-1 chord progression.

    The chord progressions we’re about to explore resolves to other chords in the key: the 2-chord, 3-chord, 4-chord, and more and the chords they’re made up of are passing chords that you can rely on to take you to these other scale tone chords in the key.

    Minor 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 2-chord

    The 2-chord in the key of C major:

    …is the D minor ninth chord:

    “Check Out The 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 2-chord…”

    The 2-chord (the E half-diminished seventh chord):

    The 5-chord (the A altered chord):

    The 1-chord (the D minor ninth chord):

    Minor 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 3-chord

    The 3-chord in the key of C major:

    …is the E minor seventh chord:

    “Check Out The 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 3-chord…”

    The 2-chord (the F# half-diminished seventh chord):

    The 5-chord (the B dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord):

    The 1-chord (the E minor seventh chord):

    Major 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 4-chord

    The 4-chord in the key of C major:

    …is the F major seventh chord:

    “Check Out The 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 4-chord…”

    The 2-chord (the G minor ninth chord):

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

    The 1-chord (the F major seventh chord):

    Minor 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 6-chord

    The 6-chord in the key of C major:

    …is the A minor ninth chord:

    “Check Out The 2-5-1 Chord Progression To The 6-chord…”

    The 2-chord (the B half-diminished seventh chord):

    The 5-chord (the E dominant seventh [flat ninth] chord):

    The 1-chord (the A minor ninth chord):

    Final Words

    The 2-chord and 5-chord for each of the 2-5-1 chord progressions we covered in the last segment of this lesson can also be used as passing chords.

    Recommendation: Kindly learn, master, and transpose the major and minor 2-5-1 chord progression we covered to other keys.

    All the best and 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 the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

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




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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Mpiyabo Sibanda

    Nice work. Thank you ever so much

    Reply

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