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Author Topic: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?  (Read 8567 times)

Offline seemunny

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"Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« on: May 11, 2008, 01:39:28 AM »
I just recently heard something about "borrowed" chords, and would like a better explanation and/or example(s) of what they are & how they're used. 8)

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2008, 04:02:14 AM »
I just recently heard something about "borrowed" chords, and would like a better explanation and/or example(s) of what they are & how they're used. 8)

My understanding of "borrowed" chords is this,... Every major key has a "parallel minor key", and every minor key has a "parallel major key".  Thus, a "borrowed" chord is simply a chord that belongs to it's "parallel minor", or "parallel major" key.  (Do not confuse "parallel" with "relative, for they are not the same.  Learn the meaning and application of both "parallel" and "relative" keys.)

    Example of "C major" key :        C, D, E, F, G, A, B ...
"Parallel minor" key to "C major" :  C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb ...  (Note that the "parallel minor" key starts on the same note as it's "parallel major" key.)

So, if I'm playing in the key of "C major", I can "borrow" Eb, Ab, and Bb, from it's "parallel minor",  and play these chords for a different sound and yet still be working in the key of "C major".  Many contemporary songs incorporate the use of the flatted third, flatted sixth, and the flatted seventh chords.

Hope this helps you, and brings understanding to your question ...   BroAllan  :)

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2008, 05:46:50 PM »
Here is an example of the use of "borrowed" chords, "flat sixth chord (bVI) , and flat seventh chord (bVII), used in the song, "Be Blessed" by Bishop Paul Morton.

In the song "Be Blessed", after singing the verse twice, (once in "Bb" and again in the key of "C"), they end the verse the second time using the "flat six chord (bVI)",..."To pray for you..." (about 3:20 into the song.  In this case, being that we are in the key of "C". the "flat six chord" is "Ab".

At 4:08, the "Flat sixth" chord (Ab), is again used.  This time it is used to modulate from the key of "C", to the key of "Db".

At about 5:03, you hear a "Flat seventh" chord used in the bridge, "I'm praying for you ...".  Being that we are now in the key of "Db", the "Flat seventh" chord is "Cb", (or the "B" chord).

(The times shown were taken off of the "Still Standing" album by Bishop Paul Morton.
Hope this example helps to show the use of "Borrow" chords.

                                              God bless you,  BroAllan  :)

P.S.  I'm still learning about "borrowed" chords, and what I've shared is to the best of my
       knowledge.  I welcome all corrections and comments in the hope that we help each other to grow ...

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2008, 12:13:55 AM »
Aww man! That did it! BroAllan, you laid it out perfectly when you filtered out the Eb, Ab, and Bb! I can SEE it now! Those "borrowed" chords simply adds yet more "OPTIONS & MOVEMENTS" to your arsenal! And thanks for the Bishop Morton example! It all just made it more clear!

And if you got any other "CHORD MOVES" that you might wanna share, then feel free to do so!

Thx, and good lookin out! 8)

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2008, 12:37:38 AM »
Aww man! That did it! BroAllan, you laid it out perfectly when you filtered out the Eb, Ab, and Bb! I can SEE it now! Those "borrowed" chords simply adds yet more "OPTIONS & MOVEMENTS" to your arsenal! And thanks for the Bishop Morton example! It all just made it more clear!

And if you got any other "CHORD MOVES" that you might wanna share, then feel free to do so!

Thx, and good lookin out! 8)

I'm glad it helped you, bruh!
Although I've played chord moves like these before, I never knew what they were called, or the theory behind the use of them.  After joining "LGM", I have a little more theory and understanding under my belt, and a lot more to add to my "arsenal"!   God bless you ... BroAllan  ;)

Offline minofmusic

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2008, 11:43:20 AM »
on those borrowed chords, are the chords always major, minor, dimished?



Example of "C major" key :        C, D, E, F, G, A, B ...
"Parallel minor" key to "C major" :  C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb ...  (Note that the "parallel minor" key starts
                                                                             on the same note as it's "parallel major" key.)

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Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2008, 05:53:49 PM »
on those borrowed chords, are the chords always major, minor, dimished?



Example of "C major" key :        C, D, E, F, G, A, B ...
"Parallel minor" key to "C major" :  C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb ...  (Note that the "parallel minor" key               
                                                          starts  on the same note as it's "parallel major" key.)

That is a good question.  I don't know for sure if they are or not.  I'm still learning the theory and use of "borrowed" chords.  This is where we need the help of those who are more knowledgeable about this topic.

Okay Fam, what's the answer to this question?  :)

Offline T-Block

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2008, 07:11:34 PM »
Looks like BroAllan has covered it all.  Great job explaining borrowed chords man!!!  ;)  :D

on those borrowed chords, are the chords always major, minor, dimished?

Yes, and there are also some 7th chords that can be thrown in there.  When in a major key, you can borrow from it's parallel minor key as well as the different types of minor scales (harmonic, melodic ascending & descending) of the parallel minor key.

I'm just waiting on rspindy to come through with a very detailed post about this, LOL.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
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Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2008, 10:08:11 PM »
Looks like BroAllan has covered it all.  Great job explaining borrowed chords man!!!  ;)  :D

Yes, and there are also some 7th chords that can be thrown in there.  When in a major key, you can borrow from it's parallel minor key as well as the different types of minor scales (harmonic, melodic ascending & descending) of the parallel minor key.

I'm just waiting on rspindy to come through with a very detailed post about this, LOL.

Thanks T...   Kinda expecting  rspindy to be posting about this subject in detail.  ;)

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2008, 12:36:14 AM »
on those borrowed chords, are the chords always major, minor, dimished?

Yes, and there are also some 7th chords that can be thrown in there.

T-block, tell me if i'm on track with this:

*if you're in a major key, there would be 3 borrowed chords that you could use from the parallel minor key, which are major and dominant. And...

*if you're in a minor key, there would be 3 borrowed chords that you could use from the parallel major key, which are minor and diminished.

Thus, that's where you get the use of (major, minor, diminished, and dominant "thrown in there") right?

Am i on track, or on lack? 8)

Offline musallio

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2008, 05:44:59 AM »
Great stuff BroAllan 8)
the nice thing about this site is that there is always sometyhing new to learn..
i better go start applying this. 8)
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Offline T-Block

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2008, 10:11:33 AM »
T-block, tell me if i'm on track with this:

*if you're in a major key, there would be 3 borrowed chords that you could use from the parallel minor key, which are major and dominant. And...

*if you're in a minor key, there would be 3 borrowed chords that you could use from the parallel major key, which are minor and diminished.

Thus, that's where you get the use of (major, minor, diminished, and dominant "thrown in there") right?

Am i on track, or on lack? 8)

You're on track, but u not there yet.  You can borrow ANY chord from the parallel minor & major.  The most common ones are mentioned in this topic, but u can use the other chords as well.  The problem will be can u use those chords and stay in the current key.

There is a tendancy to try and modulate if u use the wrong borrowed chord at the wrong time, unless you are trying to do that on purpose.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
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Offline sjonathan02

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2008, 10:15:13 AM »
Anybody willing to post a musical example to help us gain understanding?  ;) 8)
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Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008, 12:50:05 AM »
You're on track, but u not there yet.  You can borrow ANY chord from the parallel minor & major.  The most common ones are mentioned in this topic, but u can use the other chords as well.  The problem will be can u use those chords and stay in the current key.

Oh ok, i got you! That's what i meant, when you use the three most common ones, "where you don't lose your current key center".

Thanks! 8)

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2008, 04:28:04 AM »
Anybody willing to post a musical example to help us gain understanding?  ;) 8)


Okay SJ,
I'll post an example using the song, "Be Blessed" by Bishop Paul Morton.

After singing the first verse, the song modulates a whole step from "Bb" to the key of "C".
We'll pick up the song starting from the second verse, and I'll highlight and note the "borrowed" chords that we're discussing...

"Be Blessed
(Modulation to "key of C" Second Verse)
C G / C E G
C F A / C F
C F A / C E         You might be
F C / F A C         hurting,
G D / F A C
                          You
G D F/ G B D      might be
A E / A C E         crying, you might be
F C / F A C         worrying
G D / F A C
                        and fru-
G D F / G B D   strated
A E / A C E       too, ... let me en-
F C / F A C       courage you,
G D / F A C     
                       let
G D F/ G B D   me speak
E E / G B D     life to you
A E G / A C
                      you can can de-
F C E/ F A C    pend on
F# C D/F# A C  God,
G D / F A C
                      to
G D F/ G B D  see you
A E / A C E     thru, you can de-
F C E/ F A C   pend on
F# C D/F# A C  me,
G D F/G B D G
                         to pray for
Ab Eb / Ab C     you ...    ("Ab" is the "Flat Sixth" chord "borrowed from the parallel minor key,
                                            notice that we are still in the key of "C")

F C / F A C      Pray,   I'm gonna
G D / G B D     keep on prayin,
E B / E G B     
E B / E G# B    Pray I'm
E B D/ E G# B  gonna
A E / A C E      keep on prayin for
G D F / G Bb D  you,
G E / G C E

F C / F A C      Pray I'm gonna
G D / G B D     keep on prayin,
E B / E G B     
E B / E G# B    Pray I'm
E B D/ E G# B  gonna
A E / A C E      keep on prayin for
G D F / G Bb D  you,
                      you can can de-
F C E/ F A C    pend on
F# C D/F# A C  God,
G D / F A C
                      to
G D F/ G B D  see you
A E / A C E     thru, you can de-
F C E/ F A C   pend on
F# C D/F# A C  me,
G D F/G B D G
                         to pray for
Ab Eb / Ab C     you ...  (Here we again see the use of the "Flat Sixth" chord, however, this time it's
                                        being used to set up the half step modulation from "C" to the key of "Db".)



Bridge: (Modulation to key of "Db")
Ab Eb Gb/ Ab C Eb Ab  I ... see .. you ... in.. the ..
Gb Db / Gb Bb Db Gb   future,
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Db
                                    and
Ab Eb Gb/Ab C Eb        you look
Db Ab / Db F Ab           better, I see you walking in
Gb Db / Gb Bb Db        favor
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Db
                                    and
Ab Eb Gb/ Ab C Eb       prosperity
Bb F / Bb Db F              too,
Ab Eb Ab/ B Eb Gb       
                                let
Ab Db F / B Db F         me en-
Gb Db / Gb Bb Db        courage you,
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Dd
                                    let
Ab EbGb/Ab C Eb         me speak
F C F / Ab C Eb             life to you,
Bb F / Bb Db
                                    you can de
Gb Db F/ Gb Bb Db      pend on
G Db Eb/ G Bb Db        God
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Db
                                   to see you
Bb F / Bb Db                thru, you can de-
Gb Db F/ Gb Bb Db     pend on
G Db Eb/ G Bb Db       me,
Ab Eb Gb/ Ab C Eb   
                                   to pray for
Db Ab / Db F Ab          you ...


                                   I pray for
B Eb Gb/ B Eb Gb        you,  you pray for    (Here we see the use of the "Flat Seventh" chord. 
                                                                   Since we are in the key of "Db", the "borrowed Flat                 
                                                                   seventh is, "Cb" or the "B" chord.)

Gb Db/ Gb Bb Db        me, and watch God
Ab Eb / Ab C Eb          change
Db Ab / Db F Ab         things ...
(Repeat as led by leader)

                                      Hope that this example is helpful,   "Be Blessed" ... BroAllan  ;)

Offline musallio

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2008, 06:02:12 AM »
Great work BroAllan!!!

Now I just have to try it out & hear it..
It's always good to know what 1 is doing when they do it 8)
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Offline sjonathan02

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2008, 06:08:50 AM »

Okay SJ,
I'll post an example using the song, "Be Blessed" by Bishop Paul Morton.

After singing the first verse, the song modulates a whole step from "Bb" to the key of "C".
We'll pick up the song starting from the second verse, and I'll highlight and note the "borrowed" chords that we're discussing...

"Be Blessed
(Modulation to "key of C" Second Verse)
C G / C E G
C F A / C F
C F A / C E         You might be
F C / F A C         hurting,
G D / F A C
                          You
G D F/ G B D      might be
A E / A C E         crying, you might be
F C / F A C         worrying
G D / F A C
                        and fru-
G D F / G B D   strated
A E / A C E       too, ... let me en-
F C / F A C       courage you,
G D / F A C     
                       let
G D F/ G B D   me speak
E E / G B D     life to you
A E G / A C
                      you can can de-
F C E/ F A C    pend on
F# C D/F# A C  God,
G D / F A C
                      to
G D F/ G B D  see you
A E / A C E     thru, you can de-
F C E/ F A C   pend on
F# C D/F# A C  me,
G D F/G B D G
                         to pray for
Ab Eb / Ab C     you ...    ("Ab" is the "Flat Sixth" chord "borrowed from the parallel minor key,
                                            notice that we are still in the key of "C")

F C / F A C      Pray,   I'm gonna
G D / G B D     keep on prayin,
E B / E G B     
E B / E G# B    Pray I'm
E B D/ E G# B  gonna
A E / A C E      keep on prayin for
G D F / G Bb D  you,
G E / G C E

F C / F A C      Pray I'm gonna
G D / G B D     keep on prayin,
E B / E G B     
E B / E G# B    Pray I'm
E B D/ E G# B  gonna
A E / A C E      keep on prayin for
G D F / G Bb D  you,
                      you can can de-
F C E/ F A C    pend on
F# C D/F# A C  God,
G D / F A C
                      to
G D F/ G B D  see you
A E / A C E     thru, you can de-
F C E/ F A C   pend on
F# C D/F# A C  me,
G D F/G B D G
                         to pray for
Ab Eb / Ab C     you ...  (Here we again see the use of the "Flat Sixth" chord, however, this time it's
                                        being used to set up the half step modulation from "C" to the key of "Db".)



Bridge: (Modulation to key of "Db")
Ab Eb Gb/ Ab C Eb Ab  I ... see .. you ... in.. the ..
Gb Db / Gb Bb Db Gb   future,
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Db
                                    and
Ab Eb Gb/Ab C Eb        you look
Db Ab / Db F Ab           better, I see you walking in
Gb Db / Gb Bb Db        favor
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Db
                                    and
Ab Eb Gb/ Ab C Eb       prosperity
Bb F / Bb Db F              too,
Ab Eb Ab/ B Eb Gb       
                                let
Ab Db F / B Db F         me en-
Gb Db / Gb Bb Db        courage you,
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Dd
                                    let
Ab EbGb/Ab C Eb         me speak
F C F / Ab C Eb             life to you,
Bb F / Bb Db
                                    you can de
Gb Db F/ Gb Bb Db      pend on
G Db Eb/ G Bb Db        God
Ab Eb / Gb Bb Db
                                   to see you
Bb F / Bb Db                thru, you can de-
Gb Db F/ Gb Bb Db     pend on
G Db Eb/ G Bb Db       me,
Ab Eb Gb/ Ab C Eb   
                                   to pray for
Db Ab / Db F Ab          you ...


                                   I pray for
B Eb Gb/ B Eb Gb        you,  you pray for    (Here we see the use of the "Flat Seventh" chord. 
                                                                   Since we are in the key of "Db", the "borrowed Flat                 
                                                                   seventh is, "Cb" or the "B" chord.)

Gb Db/ Gb Bb Db        me, and watch God
Ab Eb / Ab C Eb          change
Db Ab / Db F Ab         things ...
(Repeat as led by leader)

                                      Hope that this example is helpful,   "Be Blessed" ... BroAllan  ;)

It would help more if I knew the song; but, thanks, nonetheless. :)

If someone could upload the original song here to LGM media, that would be great. ;)
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Offline musallio

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008, 07:01:29 AM »
It would help more if I knew the song; but, thanks, nonetheless. :)

If someone could upload the original song here to LGM media, that would be great. ;)


It's 
here
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Offline minofmusic

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008, 07:40:28 AM »
anyone have the  mp3 to this song i cant view the youtube clip
May The Work I've Done Speak for Me.

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2008, 07:52:15 AM »
It would help more if I knew the song; but, thanks, nonetheless. :)

If someone could upload the original song here to LGM media, that would be great. ;)


It's  here


Thanks Musallio!  :)

(Perhaps other songs could be posted, to show more examples ...  :) )
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