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Chord Progressions Archives

The Brown’stone

The Brown’stone: The 2-5-1 Chord Progression Using Triads & Inversions

This week in The Brown’stone on No Treble, Rich Brown wants to take another look at triads and inversions. In this lesson, he shows how you can use these three notes to play the II-V-I chord progression in a variety of different ways.

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: Suspended Chords & Modes, Part 1

In this “Bass & Creativity” lesson, Olivier Babaz focuses on the beautiful colors made through suspended voicings. He walks through the basics of sus4 & sus2 chords and their most common use.

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: Alternate Lydian Modes

For this lesson, we'll be looking into some alternate Lydian colors. We will take a look at the colors and applications of the Augmented Lydian and Dominant Lydian, both as full modes and as temporary colors integrated within more usual chord sequences.

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: Transposition Cycles

This new lesson focuses on using transposition cycles applied to both chord colors and intervallic shapes to offer an alternative to diatonic harmonization.

The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Discovering The Key

One universally befuddling inquiry is deceivingly simple, “what key are we in?” As easy as it sounds, the key of a song can often be interpreted in different ways. That’s the subject of this “Lightbulb Moment” column.

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: Chord Alterations in Depth, Part 2

This Bass & Creativity lesson is the second part about alterations of dominant chords. Today Olivier Babaz takes a look at b9 and #9 added to a 7 chord within a II V I.

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: Chord Alterations In Depth

In this “Bass & Creativity” lesson, Olivier Babaz takes a deep dive into some alterations of the dominant chord. With the help of piano and on bass, he covers how to get used to the colors and options of b13 and #11 within a II V I progression.

Bass & Creativity

Bass & Creativity: The ii-V-I and Voice Leading

The ii-V-I is one of the most common chord progressions in music. As bassists, we have a horizontal view of the harmonic movement. Today we’ll see how other instruments view the progression and implement voice leading to build interesting lines.

Ask Damian Erskine

Exercise For Unlocking The Fretboard

In this video, we’ll work through a great pattern that I learned from the great trombonist Dave Glen. It’s a fantastic way to make the transition between scales and arpeggios and also helps you to relate them more naturally to different chord types. I found this very useful when I first heard Dave talking about it and I think you...

Creative Bass Lines

Creative Bass Lines: Using the Melodic Minor Scale To Navigate on a Minor ii-V-i Chord Progression

Welcome back to another column, and today we’re diving further into jazz-related harmony with a look at starting to get inside two of the most useful modes from the melodic minor scale. The full line is demonstrated right after the opening title credits, with a little backing groove, and then during the video, I dissect and explain it for you....

Ask Damian Erskine

Should I Be Afraid of Breaking the Rules of Harmony When Composing?

Q: I have been playing bass for others for years but when it comes to writing my own music I constantly question myself about the rules. I understand if it sounds good play it but, “what key could this be and, can I play a dominant 7 here, and will it still be in a key?” (In the musical rulebook)...

The Lightbulb Moment

The Lightbulb Moment: Substitutions

For those of you who haven’t noticed, I enjoy learning about food almost as much as I enjoy exploring the bass. Lucky for me, there are plenty of parallels between the world of food and the world of music. Both rely on unique combinations of ingredients in order to make a final product. Both can be traced back to a...