How to use a Diminished chord in a 1-6 progression

When going from 1 down to a 6, you can play substitute the 6 part with a 1diminished chord over flat 5.

E.g. In the key of Cmajor if you are playing a 1-6-5 melody from a C to A and then G, on the right hand you play

C C+D#+F#+A C+E+G

On the left hand you play 1 flat5 5. In the key of C that will be from a C to F# to G.

Recording coming soon.

Till next time.

A Nice Run to Play Before the 1 Starting Chord

Hi folks,

In this post I will talk about a nice run to play before the starting 1 chord of slow gospel chords.

On the left hand, you go

3 4 5 6 7 1

e.g. in the key of C major, you will go

E F G A B C

On the right hand you will harmonize the following melody:

3 4 3 2♯ 2 1

by using the following chords:

1 4 3minor 2♯-minor 2minor 1.

In the key of Cmajor these chords are:

G+C+E A+C+F G+B+E F♯+A♯+D♯ F+A+D E+G+C

That is:

First chord you harmonize the E using a Cmajor chord
Second you harmonize the F using a Fmajor chord
Third you harmonize the E with a Eminor
Then you go down a half step with the same chord shape to harmonize the D♯ with a D♯ chord
You then harmonize the D with a Dminor
Then you harmonize the C with a Cmajor chord.

To make it more melodious, on the right hand you can insert a 1sus4 chord before the last 1chord. That is, insert a Csus4 chord before the last Cmajor chord. So instead of going from F+A+D to E+G+C on the right hand, you can play it like this:

F+A+D  F+G+C  E+G+C

Furthermore, you can make the left hand run a little more melodious by quickly adding a 2 before the 5 since 2 normally has a strong pull to 5. So the left hand run becomes

3 4 2 5 6 7 1

To summarize, on the left hand you play the following notes

3 4 2 5 6 7 1

while on the right hand you play the following chords:

1 4 3minor 2♯minor 2minor 1sus4 1.

In the key of C, on the left hand you play:

E F D G A B C

while on the right hand you play:

G+C+E  A+C+F  G+B+E  F♯+A♯+D♯  F+A+D  F+G+C  E+G+C

Below is a recording.

Enjoy.

The 9 (add 6) Chord

Hi folks,

I will like to talk about the 9 (add 6) chord. This chord is a nice one to use in worship songs.

You can use this for the 2 chord or the 1 chord.

E.g When playing a 6-2 progression, you can play a minor 9 for the 6 chord and a 9 (add 6) for the 2 chord. Similarly, when playing a 5-1 progression that does not end a song, you can play a 5 minor 9 chord, then a 1 9 (add 6) chord.

Here’s an example of such a chord.

D 9 (add 6)

To play it, you play D on the left hand. Then play F B B and E on the right hand.

An easy way to think about it is to play the root note of the chord on the left hand, then play a quartal 3 chord with an added ♭5 on the right hand.

For example, F is the 3 chord on the D major scale. F B and E is the F quartal chord. And B is ♭5 on the F scale.

Using this trick, it is easy to play 9 (add 6) for any key. That’s all for now. Enjoy.

An Interesting 2-5 Progression

When playing a 2-5 progression, here’s a way to add a few interesting chords in between.

The principle is that you walk up from the 2 chord to the 5 chord.

i.e. 2 3 4 ♭5 5.

Alternatively, to make it easier, you can take out the 4 and walk up as follows:

2 3 ♭5 5

An example of this is:

2minor7 1maj/3 4maj7 ♭5(with a quartal chord of its flattened 7th note) 513

The fourth chord there deserves more explanation.

Let’s assume we are in the key of D, what does a ♭5 (with a quartal chord of its flattened 7th note) mean?

Well, first ♭5 tone of D♭major will be G.

The 7th note of G major is F

Then we play a quartal chord of F (F B E) on the right hand over G on the left hand.

In the key of D♭ the walk-up will be as follows

Chord LH RH
E♭minor7 E B D G
D♭major / F F A D F
G♭major7 G F B D
G (with a quartal chord of its flattened 7th note) G F B E
A♭13 A G B D F

Below is a recording of the first variant:

And of the second variant.

I use the second variant in Thank You Lord posted earlier. See if you can spot it!

Enjoy.

An Interesting Way to End Worship Songs on 1 Chord

Hi folks,

Today I’m going to talk about a cool way to end worship songs when the last chord is a 1 chord. The idea is that instead of just playing the 1 chord and stopping, we play a short progression.

First, play 5 and 1 notes simultaneously on the right hand while you play the 7 note on the left hand.

Then play the 4 and 1 notes simultaneously on the right hand while you play the 6 tone on the right hand. Essentially you’re moving your first left and right fingers down one whole step.

Play the 2 and 1 notes on the right hand while you play the ♭6 note on the left hand.

Finally, play the 3 and 1 notes on the right hand while you play the 5 and 1 notes on the left hand.

In the key of D♭major, here are the steps:

Play A and D on the right hand and C on the left.

Play G and D on the right hand and B on the left hand.

Play E and D on the right hand and A on the left hand.

Play F and D on the right hand and A and D on the left hand.

Below is a recording of the progression.

 

And below is a recording of the end of the song ‘Thank You Lord’ using this progression.

Understanding Number System in Music

Hi folks,

In this post I will briefly talk about a concept that’s very important to know in order to easily play songs in all 12 keys. It’s called the Number System.

Before learning the Number System, I used to find it quite challenging to transpose songs since I thought of each key as its own distinct set of notes. But by thinking of the tones of a scale as numbers, you create a common language to describe what you need to play regardless of scale. This made it significantly easier for me to play in all 12 keys. Here’s a quick example. Suppose you want to play the melody of the first line of Mary has a Little Lamb in the key of C, one can describe this as

E D C D E E E

In the key of G, it will be:

B A G A B B B

Now, instead of thinking of the tones distinctly when trying to play the song, we can use the Number System to abstract this to

3 2 1 2 3 3 3

To make this system effective, one will need to know for each key what tone corresponds to what number. E.g. C is the first tone of C, D is the second tone of C, etc. Once you master the Number System, you can apply it to chord progressions to quickly understand common patterns in music, e.g. the 2-5-1 or 7-3-6 chord progressions.

An Interesting Way to Start Worship Songs

Here I go over a cool progression for beginning worship songs. It is as follows:

1 7 4major(third inversion)/6 1 5major(third inversion)/7 5

E.g. In the key of D, suppose your song starts with the 1 chord D♭major(add 9), you can preceed it with the progression by playing

D C Gmajor(third inversion)/B D Amajor(third inversion)/C A D♭major(add 9)

Below is a recording.