Chord substitution and key changes

Chord Substitution And Key Changes

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Chord Substitution Ideas

Chord substitution is exactly what it sounds like... substituting chords for other chords. A large universe of harmonic possibilities opens up when a guitarist understands what is achievable with chord substitution.

There are many theoretical ideas that can be used when substituting guitar chords. The guitar fingerboard is laid out in such a way that is easy to see patterns, especially when experimenting with chord substitution.

What Chords Can Be Substituted?

Any chord can be substituted, although the style and genre of music will often greatly impact the type of chord substitution.

If you come across a dominant 7th chord in a pop song, you probably cannot use some advanced jazz chord substitution idea to replace the chord as it will sound out of place. A dominant 7th chord in a jazz tune, functioning as a v7 chord will have much more creative substitution possibilities.

The ideas used in this week's guitar lick videos use various chord substitution principals ranging from substituting single chord voicings to groups of chords to change from one key or one chord to another.

If you want to dive deeper and learn more about the ideas used in these chord substitution videos, you can receive an analysis of each week's guitar licks via email by signing up to my free newsletter. You will also receive my free guitar study packs which include guitar tablature for sample guitar solos, bass lines and chord diagrams for the chord progressions.

Key Change Ending To C Major

Diatonic chords and open string chord voicings are used in this guitar lick. The idea can be used as an ending, although it is also a great study of diatonic chords moving horizontally along the guitar fingerboard.

The open string voicings should inspire you to experiment with your own open string chord ideas.

A7 To D7 Blues Chord Changes

Blues in the key of A is such a common guitar chord progression. Learning interesting ideas for moving from an A7 chord to a D7 chord is well worth the effort as this chord progression will be required time and time again.

Blues is also great fun to play on the guitar. Try playing chord ideas and mixing more complex chord licks in with simple bluesy single note melodies.

Key Change Ending To B Major

Another key change idea is used in this guitar chord melody lick. More use of open guitar strings to create some nice textures, along with chords based on quartal harmony.

When it comes to chord substitution, this idea has totally deviated from the harmony, and incorporates a key change to a non related key centre. A key change used when ending a song adds an interesting twist to the chord progression.

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