Thursday, September 25, 2008
What is a "Chord Substitution?"
There are many things to consider when working with chord substitutions. First of all, chord substitutions will be especially easy when the two chords share a number of common notes. C major, for example, can be easily substituted with A minor because both of these chords contain a C and E. But it isn't just enough to share common notes; the common notes in chord substitutions are best received when they drive the chord. The first two notes of a chord (including the root) are what give a chord its defining characteristics. If chord substitutions contain these notes in an insignificant place, the substituted chord won't be as interchangeable. Let's consider C major and A minor again. These chord substitutions works because the two common notes, C and E, are the two most important notes within the C major chord. The root note, C, shifts in these chord substitutions, but it is still present enough to keep the chord's essential quality. But it's important to mention here that, rules and regulations aside, chord substitutions are really in the eye of the beholder; if you think it works and like the sound the chord substitutions have created, feel free to explore it. There's no rule in chord substitutions (or music, for that matter) that can't be broken.