Our mini lesson features a way to change the chords on the music to give a more professional sound to our music. What we are going to do is to add (Substitute) one chord for another. I have included a fool proof chart to make this new knowledge easy to apply.
Chord substitution is not difficult. First lets set the stage. When you hear a chord held for a long time it gives the music a studentish sound. Music arrangers change and add chords to keep the song fresh and interesting. One of their stocks in trade is taking a 7th chord ( any 7th chord---example C7,F7, G7 etc.) and substitute a minor chord in its place ( that changes the harmony) and then follow it by playing the original chord you changed to a minor chord. ( Resolving) Look at the chart below. The first example is a C7 chord. Instead of playing the C7th chord play in its place a Gm or Gm7, then return to the original chord-- the C7.(resolve)
The Minor to 7th chord substitution
C7-----change to a Gm or Gm7-----resolve back to the original chord C7
F7------change to a Cm or Cm7-----resolve back to the original chord F7
Bb7----change to a Fm or Fm7-----resolve back to the original chord Bb7
Eb7----change to a Bbm or Bbm7 -resolve back to the original chord Eb7
Ab7----change to a Ebm or Ebm7 -resolve back to the original chord Ab7
Db7----change to a Abm or Abm7-resolve back to the original chord Db7
Gb7----change to a Dbm or Dbm7- resolve back to the original chord Gb7
B7------change to a Gbm or Gbm7-resolve back to the original chord B7
A7------change to a Bm or Bm7 ----resolve back to the original chord A7
D7------change to a Am or Am7 ----resolve back to the original chord D7
G7------change to a Dm or Dm7---- resolve back to the original chord G7
A good way to learn this technique is to find some
easy songs with 7th chords that are held for a measure and add the minor
chord substation for 2 beats then resolve to the original 7th chord for 2
beats. Some songs you might hold the minor chord for 3 beats before you
resolve to the seventh chord. The melody will tell you what sounds better.
There will be times where a 7th chord is held for 2 measures. Start with the
minor chord and resolve to the original 7th chord when it sounds good to
As an example, I am providing an arrangement of Till We Meet Again. The first is the original and the second has the minor -7th chords added in.