Three Steps To Passing Chords

Passing Chords= Passing notes are non chord notes that lead from one chord note to another. They can be diatonic or chromatic; they can be in a melody or in a harmony part. If you read notes, then Pete Thomas explains passing chords with great illustrations:

Learn how to use cool Passing Tones, Turnaround Chords and Endings that Black Gospel And Jazz Music are so famous for. Any chord can be changed or altered, thereby changing its color, its sound.

The passing note fills in the gap between the two harmony notes in the chords before and after the passing note. The short duration and nature of the passing note does not create a feeling of a change of harmony. The passing chord is an extension of the passing note such that the duration of the passing note and the way the note sounds, in conjunction with other notes of the chord, creates a senses of a change in harmony.

There are three steps in getting passing chords to work for you. The first, is to learn how to simplify the changes down to their bare basics so you can hear the actual changes of the tune as you play through it. The second step is learning to play passing chords comfortably and in time to start with. Third step involves learning to hear where the bass line is going as this will key you in on where you need to go with the chords. As you have more and more experience listening to Jazz, and as you get more experience playing and used to playing with a more analytical ear, you'll eventually just naturally feel what's missing.

Here's an example of a song that uses passing chords:
I Don't Feel No Ways Tired
Bb/BbCDF...come too
D/ACDF....from where
G/BbDFG...I started
Db/BbDbEG...(passing chord)
A/GCE.......told me
Bb/ACDF.....that the road
A/ACDF......would be easy
G,A,Bb,C/DbFGBb-CFA (alternate the chords with the bass LH)
C/CFA.......I don’t
A/CEG.......(passing chord)
G/DbFGBb.....He brought me this far
G,A,Bb,C/DbFGBb-CFA (alternate the chords with the bass LH)
C/CFA.......I don’t
A/CEG.......(passing chord)
G/DbFGBb.....He brought me this far
C/ leave

Look inside this title
The Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh: Low Voice - sheet music at
The Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh: Low Voice Arranged by For Solo Voice By Harry T. Burleigh. For Voice. (Low Voice). Vocal Collection. Spiritual. Book. 208 pages. Published by Alfred Publishing. (EL03150)
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To sum it up, my dear friend James says:
"Passing chords are chords that move in between the main chords in a progression, but don't necessarily have the same strong PULL that a dominant or diminished chord may have by wanting to move up a perfect 4th or up a minor 2nd, respectively.

Here is an example of PASSING chords where each chord would represent 1 beat:

C - C - Dm7 - C/E - F. Notice the main chords are C and F. The Dm7 and C/E are just passing chords, but don't by themselves lead strongly in any direction.

Let me give you an example of a Dominant Chord being used as a passing chord. Suppose I was beginning on a C chord and heading to A7, just for fun I might insert a B7 and Bb7 on the way to A7. Even though these two are dominant 7 chords, in this setting, they would be just PASSING chords.

So whereas Dominant and Diminished chords my lead strongly to a certain chord, major or minor, passing chords are just "Passing Through" filling the space in between the main chords of a line to provide a little color." I think I'm getting the hang of passing chords.

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