Friday, June 6, 2008

C Chord Progressions: iii and III Substitutions

Remember from last time:

I. C major
ii. Dm
iii. Em
IV. F major
V. G major
vi. Am
vii(b5). Bdim

Remember that the C major diatonic scale is as follows: C D E F G A B C

Remember that the relative minor of C major (the chord and the scale) is A minor.

The A natural minor scale is as follows: A B C D E F G A (compare with C major).

The A harmonic minor scale is as follows: A B C D E F G# A (note the singular difference between the natural and harmonic minor scales).

Now we have those ground rules established, it might help in the songwriting process to substitute the mellow iii chord with a more confident III chord. Going back to the simple relative minor substitutions from last time, let's try the following progression:

I-V-I-V-IV-V-I (I-V): C G C G F G C (play C G quickly)

Let's replace some I and V chords with their relative minors, vi and iii respectively.

I-V-vi-iii-IV-V-I (vi-V): C G Am Em F G C (Am G)

Let's replace the iii chord with a III chord (that is a major chord).

I-V-vi-III-IV-V-I (vi-V): C G Am E F G C (Am G)

It sounds a bit more adventurous, but still familiar, does it not? Check out Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" to compare.

Anyway, to connect with the natural minor and harmonic minor scales mentioned above, let's look at the iii and III chords.

iii. E minor chord (E G B notes)

III. E major chord (E G# B notes)

Experiment with different chord progressions, and the best of luck to you in the songwriting process.

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