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How to Use Chords Like a Pro, Part 2: Substitutions

music theory Nov 12, 2020

This week, we're into Part 2 of our series on using chords like the pros do. Remember, all of this information is only meant to help you solve problems. The intent isn't to rely solely on these functions to write music. They are analytical structures meant to help us understand music phenomena we hear.

Last time we covered the major scale, the chords built from each scale degree, and how to put together a basic chord progression. Today, we're diving in deeper, learning how to use substitutions for our tonic, subdominant, and dominant, to create more varied atmospheres and expressive qualities. We'll also talk about our naming systems and why we use more than one. It's useful, I promise.

I honestly love talking about this stuff because it was a huge step for me as a musician to understand the music I was listening to, writing, and performing. The better understanding we have of our music, whether it's technical, or emotional, gives us a bigger well to draw from as we express ourselves. It brings more intention into our writing, rather than using trial and error when we hit a snag.

Let me know your thoughts in the comment below! 

As always, thanks for being here :) 

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