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Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #1 

I have been trying to understand what is going on in this video for some time now but so far no success. I have read the comments on the video, I have searched this blog and I've also tried to figure what Tommy is talking about by using my Chord Chemistry book (cycle of 5ths chapter) but still no luck. Can someone help me understand what he is doing there? It seems like he substitues a chromatic sequence of chords for a sequence using the cycle of 5ths, but I don't get how. I have a song of my own in which I would like to try to apply this but I can't work out how to achieve the same result. Can someone please try to explain to me how to approach that? Here's the link:

Thanks in advance!

Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #2 
Hello Miguel and welcome to the forum.

The original song he's talking about goes up chromatically from Ebmaj7 to Gmaj7.
What he's talking about is known as "backcycling" or "V of V". The principle behind this is that you can always precede a chord with its V.
Joe Pass explains this in his guitar-style and in the chords book. There is also a good explanation by Jake Reichbart on Youtube. On the Ted Greene website look for the Harmonic Improvements pages. 

So back to our song:
Original Progression: Ebmaj Emaj Fmaj F#maj Gmaj
We now want to replace the three chords between Eb and G. The thought process is this: What's the V of G? It's D. What's the V of D? It's A. What's the V of A? It's E!
Now we have: Eb E A D G. 
Instead of playing all the chords with the root in the bass he went this way: Eb E/D A/C# D G.
And he puts some extensions to the chords.
If I hear/see it correctly he does this
Ebmaj   x6x333
E7/D     x5x454
A9/C#   x45455
D7#9    x54566
Gmaj    3x5477

As you can see, the top voice is going up while the bass is going down. This is called contrary motion. He could have even extended this by using D/C and G/B.

Hope this helps

Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 
Hi Christoph,

Thank you so much for your explanation! I think I get it now, I will try to see if I can apply it and see how that works out in my song. Really great help! Thanks


Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks for posting the question and the reply. I love this site!
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