• Here Are 10 Unique Approaches To Playing The Fifth Chord Of The Scale

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

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    In this lesson, we’ll be learning 10 approaches to playing chord 5 in any given key.

    One of the reasons why we’re dedicating this lesson to the chord of the fifth degree (aka – “chord 5”) is because it’s the strongest option when it comes to a chord progression to chord 1 (aka – “the tonic chord“.) In other words, chord 1 is usually preceded by chord 5.

    It is guaranteed that mastering these unique approaches will upgrade you to a level where you’ll never run out of what to play over the fifth tone.

    Let’s dwell a bit on the chord of the fifth degree before we proceed.

    A Short Note On The Chord Of The Fifth Degree

    There are eight degrees in every key – be it a major or minor key. Every degree has its unique technical name:

    The tonic is the first degree

    The supertonic is the second degree

    The mediant is the third degree

    The subdominant is the fourth degree

    The dominant is the fifth degree

    The submediant is the sixth degree

    The subtonic is the seventh degree

    The octave is the eighth degree

    The technical name of the fifth degree is the dominant. Consequently, the chord of the fifth degree are described as dominant chords.

    In the key of C major:

    …where G is the dominant:

    …the G major triad:

    …G dominant seventh chord:


    …and the G dominant ninth chord:

    …are examples of chords of the fifth degree (aka – “dominant chords”.)

    The Importance Of Dominant Chords

    After the chord of the first degree (aka – “the tonic chord”), dominant chords are the next in importance. 95% of the time, the tonic chord is preceded by the dominant chord, especially at the end of a song.

    In the key of C major:

    …the C major triad (the tonic chord):

    …is usually preceded by the G major triad (the dominant chord):

    In a nutshell, the movement from chord 5 to chord 1 is the strongest progression in music.

    10 Unique Approaches To Playing Chord 5

    You’ll learn 10 unique approaches to playing the chord of the fifth degree (aka – “the dominant chord”) and each approach uses right hand chords you’re familiar with.

    Endeavor to focus on the relationship between the left hand notes and right hand chord, so that you can easily transpose the chords to other keys.

    Attention: All examples are in the key of C major.

    Approach #1 – Using The Major Triad

    The A major triad:

    …can be played over the G minor seventh interval (G-F):

    …to produce the G dominant thirteenth (sharp eleven) chord:

    Using other inversions of the A major triad (like the first inversion:

    …and second inversion):

    …over the G minor seventh interval:

    …produces other variants of the G dominant thirteenth (sharp eleven) chord.

    Approach #2 – Using The Minor Triad

    The G# minor triad (in second inversion):

    …can be played over the G minor seventh interval (G-F):

    …to produce the G dominant seventh (flat nine, sharp five) chord:

    Approach #3 -Using The Minor Sixth Chord

    The D minor sixth chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant ninth chord:

    Using other inversions of the D minor sixth chord (like the first inversion:

    …and third inversion):

    …over the G bass note:

    …produces other variants of the G dominant ninth chord.

    Approach #4 – Using The Major Seventh Chord

    The F major seventh chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant thirteenth (suspended fourth) chord:

    Feel free to use the second inversion of the F major seventh chord:

    …over the G bass note:

    …to produce another variant of the G dominant thirteenth (suspended fourth) chord.

    Approach #5 – Using The Major Seventh [Flat Five] Chord

    The F major seventh [flat five] chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant thirteenth (add nine) chord:

    Approach #6 – Using The Major Seventh [Sharp Five] Chord

    The F major seventh [sharp five] chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant thirteenth (sharp eleven) chord:

    Approach #7 – Using The Diminished Seventh Chord

    The F diminished seventh chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant seventh (flat nine) chord:

    Approach #8 – Using The Half-Diminished Seventh Chord

    The F half-diminished seventh chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant seventh (flat nine, sharp five) chord:

    Approach #9 – Using The Diminished Major Seventh Chord

    The F diminished major-seventh chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant thirteenth (flat nine) chord:

    Approach #10 – Using The Minor-Major Seventh Chord

    The F minor-major seventh chord:

    …can be played over the G bass note:

    …to produce the G dominant thirteenth (flat nine) chord:

    Final Words

    Now that you’ve learned these unique approaches to the dominant chord, it is recommended that you work towards transposing them to other keys.

    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 Zino

    Great

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