Neighboring Tones Series

 A neighbor tone (NT) or auxiliary note (AUX) is a nonchord tone that passes stepwise from a chord tone directly above or below it (which frequently causes the NT to create dissonance with the chord) and resolves to the same chord tone:

In practice and analysis, neighboring tones are sometimes differentiated depending upon whether or not they are lower or higher than the chord tones surrounding them. A neighboring tone that is a step higher than the surrounding chord tones is called an upper neighboring tone or an upper auxiliary note while a neighboring tone that is a step lower than the surrounding chord tones is a lower neighboring tone or lower auxiliary note.

Learn 12 Secret gospel passing chords from

Here are some Passing and Neighboring Tones in the Melody:

1. CEG/ C, Passing Tone D, E  Chord Tones in melody- C-E-G
(play these single notes in r.h. melody)

2. FAC/ A,  Passing Tone G, F Chord Tones in melody-F-A-C

3. DFA/ D, Upper Neighbor E, Chord Tone D

4. GBD/ G, Lower Neighbor F, Chord Tone G

The G, B, and D notes of the G chord can be played in succession, one after the other, as another way  to harmonize the melody.

What are neighboring tones?


A non harmonic embellishing tone (note) can usually be found in the melody between two chord tones (notes) of the same pitch. It's an "upper neighbor", if the non harmonic tone is a scale step (either a whole or half step) ABOVE the previous chord tone and a "lower neighbor", if it's a scale step BELOW. 

One of my favorite Dvd resources is shown on this short clip by Jonathan Powell from

Gospel Keys Urban Pro Clip - Learn Phat Passing Chords 

Gospel Keys Urban Pro

All the best,

Charlie Parker once said "Learn the changes and then forget them."
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