Discover Passing Chords in Your Piano Playing

 Use the Dominant 7th Flat 5 Chord as a passing chord to get to another chord within a progression. This would be an altered chord because we've altered the 5th by flatting it.

Take a look at this chord:

A7b5      LH/RH    A/GBC#Eb

When we breakdown this chord, we have:
LH = the root  and RH = b7, 9, 3, b5

How would you use this chord?

In a major 2-5-1 progression use this chord as a tritone substitute for the 5:

In the Key of Ab, a normal 2-5-1 progression would be:

LH/RH                     NUMBER BREAKDOWN         CHORD NAME
Bb/AbCDbF             1/b7-9-b3-5                                    Bbm7
Eb/GBbDbF             1/3-5-b7-9                                      Eb7
Ab/GBbCEb             1/7-9-3-5                                       Abmaj7

I've added the 9th freely. I'm beginning to learn in jazz that you can add the 9 (no alterations) to any of the 7th chords to add some color.

Here is that same 2-5-1 progression with the dom7b5 added. Again in the Key of Ab, the tritone substitution is going to happen on the 5 chord. Change the Eb7 to A7b5.


Bb/AbCDbF      1/b7-9-b3-5                              Bbm7
A/GBC#Eb        1/b7-9-3-b5                              A7b5
Ab/GBbCEb      1/7-9-3-5                                  Abmaj7

Play the original chord progression and then play it with the change and hear how smooth the chord progression sounds.

You can use this chord as a passing chord to get to the Imaj7 or Idom7.

Here is the 7b5 chord in every key around the Circle of 4ths/5ths. This is how you should practice every chord to really learn them. This should help with your chord placements/voicings.

C7b5 =  C/EGbBbD  

F7b5 = F/ACbEbG

Bb7b5 = Bb/AbCDE

Eb7b5 = Eb/GADbF

Ab7b5 = Ab/GbBbCD

Db7b5 = Db/FGBEb

Gb7b5 = Gb/BbCEAb

B7b5 = B/ADbEbF

E7b5 = E/AbBbDGb

A7b5 = A/GBDbEb

D7b5 = D/F#AbCE

G7b5 = G/FABDb

I use YouTube and Hear and Play Chords Audio Course for great music resources and music tools when it comes to understanding passing chords. Another great book is the Home Study Course

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