How To Play Common Progressions In Gospel Music

Illustration of cadential 6/4, modified after ...Image via Wikipedia



There's common progressions in gospel music that correspond with the numeric scale/chord degrees. For example:

7_3_6
5_1_4
3_6_2
2_5_1

Longer progressions are a mix between the above shorter progressions. To play these contemporary chords, you must know what they are. The rule of thumb is, what you can play for the 1, you can also play for the 4. Here's a list of chords and they are all C chords:

CG/CEG
CG/CEGB
CG/CEGBb
CG/CEbGB
CG/Bb
CG/Eb
CG/G
CG/Em
CG/Am
CA/G
CBb/A
CBb/DGC
CBb/EbM7
EBb/D
CBb/Ab

So depending on the inversion, you can come up with some interesting sounds in your music. You can add altered chords at "key" points in the music:

GD/FM7 There
CG/Em7 Is
DA/C A Name I
EB/DM7 Love To
AE/Dbm7 Hear

Depending on the type of songs you play, you can take progressions and use different voicings:

Common Progressions:
2_5_1
7_3_6
5_1_4
7_3_6_2_5_1
1_6_2_5_1
5_6_2_5_1
3_6-2_5_1

Scale Degrees and Chords Associated with them:

Major=1
Minor=2
Minor=3
Major=4
Major=5
Minor=6
Diminished=7
Major=8

Use Chart Above and Create Voicings with Above Progressions:

2_5_1 Key of C (normal)

2= DC/Gbdim7
5= GD/F6
1= CG/C7

2_5_1 Key of C (altered)

2= DC/E
5=GD/Eb
1=CG/Em7

C Chords/ Substitutions:

CG/Em7
CG/Am7
CG/Eb
CG/Bb
CG/G
CA/G
CBb/A
EBb/E
CBb/E
CBb/EAD
CEG/BDG
CEbG/BDG
CEbG/Bb
CEbG/Eb

If you use any of these for the I chord, you can use the equivalent of that chord for the IV chord. Depending on how you look at the board, these altered chords offer color to your music. If you want a more mellow or aggressive tone to your music, it's all about voicings:

1_4_5 (normal)

CG/C
FC/F
GD/G

1_4_5 (7th voicing)

CBb/C7
FEb/F7
GF/G7

1_4_5 (9th voicing)

CG/G
FC/C
GD/D

1_4_5 (11th voicing)

CG/Bb
FC/Eb
GD/F

1_4_5 (13th voicing)

CA/G
FD/C
GE/D

Hearing the differences in the sounds, mix them up, play around with them and practice in every key... have fun! If you're looking for a music theory book, I recommend:

Learn to Play Altered Chords


All the best,
~ LadyD








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