Reharmonizing is a great way to get some fresh sounds into your song writing or arranging. Often we find ourselves looking for a new sound that we can throw in there to spice things up and surprise the listener!
In this lesson I am going to show you a way to make substitutions without really thinking about music theory and still come up with some great refreshing chord progressions.
The II V I progression
In this lesson I am going to take this II V I in G major (shown below). I am going to show you how playing the D7 in different ways can be a means of completely rethinking the chord and come up with some other sounds that will work well in it’s place.
The reasons for using a II V I in this lesson is that it is a progression that you are probably familiar with, and if we reharmonize the D7 we have a very logical movement: Am7(home) Chord X (away) Gmaj7 (home)
D7 into F#maj7
If we take a look at the D7alt voicing below you can probably see that it is in fact a Gbmaj7(b5) with a D in the bass.
If we take the GbMaj7 (b5) and use that instead of the D7 we get this progression:
D7 -> Fm7
Below I have written out a D7alt voicing that is used is a D7(#9b5) chord. The top part of this voicing is an Fm triad. Let’s try to substitute the D7 with an Fm7.
That givs us this progression:
D7 -> Bb7 -> Bbm7
If we look at the D7 in the example below you can see that the top part of it is a 2nd inversion Bb major triad. We could try to substitute the D7 with a Bb7 chord, but since that is a bit close to Fm7, let’s make it into a Bbm7 instead!
Then we have this progression:
Use your imagination and mess around!
This way of thinking and experimenting with harmony is a great way to explore progressions and come up with things you can use in your own arrangements and songs. Figuring out how to solo over it can be a bit of a challenge though 🙂
If you want to check out the example lines for each ot the reharmonizations that I didn’t include in the video you can do so here below.
I also have a short video of me playing them.
If you want to download the examples I went over here as a pdf you can do so here:
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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.