Dominant Motion (Podcast Episode #38)

Posted by: JAZZEDGE on July 13, 2021

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00:06 Hey guys, Willie Myette, creator of jazz edge Welcome to Episode 38 of the confident improviser podcast. Today we are going to be talking about dominant motion, I'm going to give you some great examples of how you can utilize dominant motion in your arrangements to be able to make the harmony filled out a little bit more. Now I have some exciting news, I'm going to be putting the video of future podcast episodes on to my YouTube channel. So just go to youtube.com slash jazz edge or just do a search for the word jazz edge JZED g on YouTube and you will find the channel and you will see the confident improviser podcast. Alright, so let's work on our dominant motion. So what we're going to do is I'm going to utilize the song Go Tell Aunt Rhody it's a classic folk tune, let me just play it for you here. So here we go 01:10 to a very simple, you know, very simple folk song, just utilizing a C major triad and a G seven chord. So if you want to be able to see this, like I said, just go back to YouTube, do search for jazz edge, and you'll find the confident improviser podcast. This, like I said is Episode 38. So you can see the music and all of that right on the screen. Right. So now real basic arrangement here, just one chord to a five chord C chord to a g7 chord, we're in the key of C. So typical 1515 nothing all that, you know, mind blowing or special about this. Now when you're trying to work on harmony and things like dominant motion reharmonization folk songs like this are great because they're simple. Usually most people know them, the melody is not all that difficult. And then there are not a lot of chords needed to make the song sound like the song. so in this situation, you really only need two chords, a C chord and a G chord. But now what about when we want to fill this out a little bit more? Well, this is where we could start to add in dominant motion. First of all, let's talk about what is dominant motion. So here I am, I'm in the key of C, I'm thinking about my C major scale, right. So C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, right, so all white notes, C major scale. First of all, we're going to start with our diatonic seventh chords and our diatonic seventh chords, I have lessons on them on the jazz edge site. But real quickly, basically, what we're doing is we're creating a seventh chord or a block chord, a four note chord built on each note of the scale, using only notes from that scale. That's the important part. So that means that we're only going to be using white notes in this case, since we're in the key of C to build each of the chords. So what I do is I take my thumb, I put it on C and I skip, skip, skip right and I create a seventh chord. So I have C, E, G, and B, that's a C major seventh chord, or what we would call our one major seventh chord. The next chord is our two minor seventh chord. Our next chord is our three minor seventh chord, that's ag BD, the two chord by the way, is D, F, AC, the three chord is egb D, okay, that's my three minor, the four chord is F major seventh are my four major seventh chord, those notes are F, A, C, E, and then I get to my five chord, which is my dominant chord, we call this our five seven chord, or just the five chord, we know that it's dominant normally, and that is G, B, D, F. And then just to finish it out, the sixth chord is a minor AC, E, G, and in the seven chord, we call it a seven minor seven, flat five, some people call it a seven half diminished. I personally like minor seven, flat five, and those notes are B, D, F, and a right and then we get back to our one chord. So one major to minor, three minor, four major 576, minor, seven, minor seven, flat five, and back to one. So within each key there is only one chord, which is our dominant seventh chord, let's just do a real quick shift here to the key of G. So we have one sharp in here, which is going to be F sharp, okay, even though it says flat up there, the virtual keyboard is set all two flats, right, so that would be an F sharp, so there's my one major, two minor, three minor, four major, and my five chord is D, F sharp, A and C. Alright, so remember, I'm using the notes from that G major scale. So I want to play F natural because that note is not in the key of G, D, seven, or D. All right, so d seven D dominant seventh is my five chord in the key of G. Let's do one more just to make sure you got it. F major scale F, G, A, B flat, C, D, E, and F. If I build my die atonic seventh chords, I have F major, G minor, because remember I'm utilizing that B flat, I wouldn't play a B natural because that's not in the key of F, right, then I have a minor, B flat major. And then finally c seven, again with that B flat up top there. So C, E, G, B flat. So the five chord is my dominant chord, and it's found within each key. So in Go Tell Aunt Rhody, we have the C chord, and then we go to the g7 chord, right? That is my five, seven chord. So this would be my one chord, the C, and G seven is my five chord. So I can also look at this as Oh, it's the one chord 05:38 51151. And you'll see that I just playing a very simple g7 chord with the third the seventh and the root, playing a C major triad, and then the g7 chord with a third the seventh and the root sets, B, F, and G, okay? All right. So that's my dominant chord in the key of C, right? So if I'm going to stay in the key of C, my five chord is my g7 chord, and that's my dominant chord. But guess what, I can utilize that dominant motion, anywhere. So it doesn't have to just go back to my one chord, it could go to any other chord could go to a two chord, three chord, four chord, five chord, six chord, alright, so I can utilize that dominant motion. So what is dominant motion? dominant motion is anytime you have a dominant chord, that raise resolving upper fourth or down a fifth, okay, to a target chord, and I say upper fourth, or down to fifth, because it's really however you want to think about it. Right? So some people find it easier to think about going up a fourth, some people find it easier and thinking about it going down a fifth, right? So whichever way is easiest for you to think about it absolutely fine, right? So that means like, let's just say I just took any old court, let's say it took D seven, what D seven. If I have that as my dominant chord, so d seven is a dominant seventh chord, where would that chord resolve y can go up a perfect fourth, and that would take me to G, or I could go down a perfect fifth. And that would take me once again to G. Now there is another way in which you can find out that chord, which some people might find it a little bit easier. So if you're trying to figure out D seven, where does D seven resolve, we'll start on D, don't count D, but go up by half step. So D sharp, that's one, E is two, f is three, F sharp is four, and g is five. So if you count up five half steps, you'll also get to the resolution chord. Let's try a couple more just to make sure you got it a seven, where would a seven resolve us to? Well count up five pass ups 2345, or go up a fourth or down a fifth? And what is it gonna do? It's gonna take me a seven is going to take me to a D chord, right? What about C? Seven, right? c dominant seven? Where would that lead me to? That would lead me to an F chord. I'll give you one more, you can pause the video or the audio and just see if you can figure it out on your on your own. What about B flat, dominant seven, B flat dominant seven, where would that resolve to, like I said, go ahead and pause the audio or the video and see if you can figure it out on yourself. So we started B flat, count up five half steps, not counting the B flat so we go A, B, C, C sharp, D, E flat is my resolution chord. Alright, now the resolution chord, what type of chord do we resolve into for right now it's best to think of resolving into a major minor or dominant seventh chord, those are the three main quality of chord that you will resolve into from a dominant chord. So that means if I have B flat seven, I can resolve to an E flat major, if I have B flat seven, I could resolve to an E flat minor. If I have a B flat seven, I can resolve to an E flat, dominant seven, right? Alright, so now now that we have a better understanding of dominant motion, and like I said, if you really want to do more of a deep dive, or if you're still have questions about it, just do a search on site for dominant motion and a bunch of different lessons will come up and they'll get explained to you in all different ways. So you'll definitely make sure that you know it. So now let's go through our dominant motion exercise number one. Now what I have done is I have preceded my G seven chord with its dominant resolution chord. So now this is what gets tricky for a lot of students, especially when we're talking about jazz, really any style of music, but in this case, we're talking about jazz when we're talking about harmonization. Okay? We always have to be looking ahead. So when we look ahead, we have to say, okay, we're starting on C, I'm not going to do a dominant chord going to C No, because I've already played the C right. So now the next chord I'm going to get to is my G seven chord, right and it was typically in measure Three. And what I did was I push that g seven chord and measure three, from beat one to beat three of measure three. And now I'm beat one, I have a space that I could put a chord in here, I put in the chord D seven, why D seven? Well, because D seven is the dominant chord, that would resolve me to G seven. So D seven results to G seven. Now some of you that already knows some theory might say, Well, wait a second, couldn't you also do D minor seven? You know, couldn't you do a tritone substitution all of a sudden stuff? Sure, absolutely, you could do a lot of that other stuff, as well. But for right now, we're only focusing on dominant motion. So let's stick with the dominant motion. Let's see what this sounds like with with this in here now. So we have seen 10:49 that I go to a D seven, and then g seven, and then C, back to C. And then back to my D, seven, G, seven, C. So you can hear how it really starts to fill out that harmony. And if I change the voicings around, I could get stuff like this. 11:21 That's really nice, doesn't it having that D seven in there. So what has happened is I have delayed the resolution of the G seven chord, because I moved it from beat one over to beat three. Okay, so I just shifted that chord over. Now, you might be wondering, so wait a second, how do you know you can shift that chord over? Well, here's the deal, when you have G seven for an entire measure, that means that g seven is going to work pretty much over all of those notes in that entire measure. Otherwise, they would have put a different chord in there, right if those if the g7 notes didn't work over the rest of the melody notes. So since it works with the entire measure, I can move it over Oh, and by the way, you know, I'm writing this in two, four time, I didn't put the key signature in I'm sorry, the time signature in this second example. So when I say that I moved it from beat one to beat three, I'm actually moving it from beat one to beat two, in this case, right? If we were in for four time and then the G seven chord was last in the entire measure, then yes, in that case, we would be moving it to beat three. But in this case, since we're in two, four time, the G seven chord only lasts for two beats. So in that case, I'm going to just move it over to beat two versus beat three, because we're going to have three beats in the measure. Alright, so here we have d seven, moving the G seven, and then moving to C. Alright, so now here's another example for you. Here's example number two, let me play it for you and see if you can figure it out. 12:59 What's going on in that second line, so I serve on my C chord. And I go to my D seven, like I just did, and then g seven, and then C. But now here, rather than just playing C for two measures, I go C, then g seven. Right now why g seven? What g seven is my dominant chord. That leads me back to C. So rather than just staying on the C chord, I went from the one chord to the G seven, the five, seven, which leads me back to that C chord, right? So now let's say the one chord was an F chord, right? So you know, so in that case, I would end up playing F, going to C seven that back to F, because remember where like, I'm just using the as an example, we're in the key of F, right? So we would go from F to C to F, let's say is in the key of G, I go from G to D to G, let's say it's in the key of B flat, I go from B flat to F seven, back to B flat, right? Alright, so anyway, we have my one chord, back to the five, back to the one and then now I go to a seven. Now why did I do a seven? Well, the next chord coming up is my D seven. So I'm thinking I'm looking ahead. I'm saying, Okay, I'm going to D seven. So now what is the dominant chord that would resolve me to D seven, okay. Again, always have to be looking ahead, right? We're always looking ahead here. So the chord, the dominant chord, that will lead me to D seven is a seven. So a seven leads me to D seven, D seven, leads me to g7 and g7 leads me to C. So I have this extended dominant motion going on a seven to D seven, two, g seven. So we have C, C, A and C. You also notice that sometimes, you know, I don't even have to even necessarily played the G seven as a dominant chord, I don't even have to play the D chord as a dominant chord or the a as a dominant chord, I can just play them as major triads, I can do this. 15:14 A lot of times what will happen is some of the melody notes might pick up that dominant sound like in the case of the D seven here, when I played that C, I had the dominant sound, when I'm playing the a seven, when I just played as a triad, right, just an A chord, and it's okay, you don't have to have that dominant seventh in there if you don't want to. So there's a way in which you can kind of tweak that dominant motion, so that you could still have the root of the chord, right be the dominant motion, so a seven, but rather than playing the dominant seven, you could just play it as a major triad, what that does is it just kind of softens the sound a little bit. And because those dominant chords are quite biting, because they have that try tone interval in them. Right, there's that try tone interval in that dominant chord, which creates a lot of tension. So to get rid of that tension is played as a major triad, right? So and that doing that in the second line here. 16:14 Like I said, some of the melody notes will start to pick up the dominant sound. So here on the G seven, when I go to the F, well, that gives me the dominant sound here on the D seven, when I go to the C, that gives me the dominant sound as well. But on the A and the G here, I end up not having any dominant sound, I was just playing them as a major triad. But like I said, that's just an option, you know, if you want to play it with the dominant sound. 16:44 Right, so that is your dominant motion. Now, a great way of practicing this is just pick a target note, and try and quickly decipher and say what the dominant chord should be that leads you to that target note. So let's just pick any old target, E flat, all right, well, what's the dominant chord that takes you to E flat? Like I said, you can pause the video or the audio if you want a chance to answer for yourself before I answer for you. Well, the answer is B flat seven, B flat seven leaves me the E flat. Okay, what if I wanted to go to a flat, what's the dominant chord that would lead me to a flat, oh, think about it, count up five half steps, or go up a perfect fourth or down a perfect fifth. And what do you get, you end up getting E flat seven, so E flat seven, would take me to my, a flat seven chord. Now I also have a just trying to find my circle of fifths chart here. Okay, so with my circle of fifths, if you take a look at the circle of fifths here, you'll notice that I have in here, dominant motion is going to the left. So when you go to the right in circle of fifths, you're moving by fifths, right, when you go to the left in your circle of fifths, or counterclockwise in the circle of fifths, that gives you your circle of fourths, it also gives you your dominant motion. So that means like if you're trying to figure out the target of D will go to the right in the circle of fifths, a seven leads to D, D seven leads to G, G seven leads to c c seven leads to F, F seven leads to B flat, B flat seven leads to E flat, E flat seven to a flat, a flat seven to D flat, D flat seven, the G flat and then F sharp seven or G flat seven, leading to C flat or B. Alright, so it makes a little bit easier to be able to see it visually utilizing that circle of fifths. Okay, so now if you enjoy this lesson, and this podcast episode, please let me know what topics you would like to hear about in the podcast. There's two ways in which you could do this, the best way is go to the confident improviser.com slash survey, just quickly fill out that form there. And then I will put you know your ideas into into the list and they might get on the next podcast episode. If you're watching this on YouTube. You could also just leave a comment below this video with any of your questions or a comment and say, Hey look, I would love to hear about X, Y, and Z on the next podcast episode, right so two ways in which you could do go to the survey the confident improviser.com slash survey or simply go to youtube.com slash jazz edge, find this podcast episode and then leave a comment on the on the video in YouTube. I will see that as well and I will add your ideas to the list. Remember if you find the episode on YouTube, be sure to subscribe to the channel and turn on notifications. That way you'll easily be able to see when I released the next episode. And then of course, for all of my members, feel free to join me every Another Thursday for my jazz edge core training. You can ask me questions about the podcast then. And of course also every Tuesday is my jazz edge coaching for my jazz edge students. Alright, so that's it. Hope you enjoyed this podcast episode and I'll see you guys in the next lesson.

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