Thursday, July 31, 2008

G# Chord Progressions: Relative Minor Substitutions

Remember the "Dirty Dozen" (see sidebar for more info) Key of G# from last time:

I. G# major
ii. Bbm
iii. Cm
IV. C# major
V. Eb major
vi. Fm
vii(b5). Gdim

(Remember that it's not orthodox notation to include both sharps and flats in the same scale.)

Each major chord in the key of G# has a relative minor that might sound great instead of playing the major chord, and vice versa. What? In other words...

I/vi: G# major could possibly be substituted with Fm
IV/ii: C# major could possibly be substituted with Bbm
V/iii: Eb major could possibly be substituted with Cm

Instead of playing I-V-IV-I, for instance, try the following permutations (not an exhaustive list), but we'll start with the original progression:

I-V-IV-I: G# Eb C# G#
I-iii-IV-vi: G# Cm C# Fm
I-V-ii-I: G# Eb Bbm G#
vi-V-IV-I: Fm Eb C# G#
vi-iii-ii-vi: Fm Cm Bbm Fm

Substituting a major chord with its relative minor (and vice versa) might liven up a boring progression with a less boring progression (albeit still widely used).

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