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Author Topic: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?  (Read 8568 times)

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2008, 12:54:14 AM »
Right on BroAllan, on the case again! 'Preciate it!

BroAllan, if i understand what you and T-block taught me like i THINK i do, you or anyone who knows what this is about can tell me if i (when in a Major key) successfully captured the three "most common" BORROWED CHORD tones (b7, b6, & b3) in the following (3) relatively simple examples. (key of CMaj).

A Major key's scale DOES NOT contain the (b7, b6, or b3). These three chord tones are located in the Major key's "Parallel minor" scale (the minor scale with the same letter name as the Major scale. ex: DMaj/Dmin, GbMaj/Gbmin - all parallel's of one another), but notice how all three tones can STILL successfully be "borrowed" from the minor key and used in the Major key "without losing the key".

1) featuring the b7:


(numbered chord tone____LH / RH_____chord name_____(number of beats)

3____E / B, D, G__________(Em7)_______________(2 beats)
6____A / G, C, E__________(Gm7)______________ (2 beats)
2____D / A, C, F__________(Dm7)______________ (2 beats)
5____G / A, C, F _________ (G7sus4,9)__________ (2 beats)
b7__ Bb / G, Ab, C, Eb___ (Bb7sus4,9,13)_____(4 beats)
1____C / G, B, C, E________(CM7)______________ (4 beats)
b7__ Bb / A, C, D, F_____ (BbM7,9)__________(4 beats)
1____C / G, B, C, E________(CM7)______________ (4 beats)

Notice how the b7 was able to be used as both a 13sus4 & a M9 in two fairly familiar movements. Also notice that the key was not lost.
========================================================================
2) featuring the b6:

1____C / E, G, B, D________ (CM7,9)_____________(4 beats)
b6__ Ab / G, Ab, C, Eb____(AbM7)___________ (2 beats)
5____G / F, A, C, E________ (G7sus4,9,13)________(2 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D________ (CM7,9)_____________(4 beats)

Again, another fairly familiar movement, this time using the b6 as a Major chord. Again, the key was not lost.
=========================================================================
3) And finally featuring, the Hammond b3 (just a joke), the "flat 3" actually:

1____C / E, G, B, D__________(M7,9) _____________(4 beats)
b3__ Eb / F, G, Bb, D______ (M7,9)___________ (2 beats)
5____G / F, A, C, E__________(G7sus4,9,13)_______ (2 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D__________(M7,9) _____________(4 beats)


1____C / E, G, B, D__________(M7,9)______________(4 beats)
b3__ Eb / F, G, Bb, D______ (M7,9)____________(2 beats)
b2___Db / Eb, F, Ab, C_______(M7,9)______________(2 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D__________(M7,9)______________(4 beats)


1____C / E, G, B, D__________(M7,9)______________(4 beats)
b3__ Eb / F, Ab, Db, Eb ____(Eb7sus9)_________(4 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D__________(M7,9)______________(4 beats)

Here we have three different examples for you to Hear how the b3 can be applied in fairly familiar movements, as a major chord & also a sus chord, while once again maintaining the key.

If i made any miss-steps anywhere, please let me know. 8)

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2008, 05:49:55 AM »
(note): didn't proof read this well enough. Too many mistakes. This should clean it up, hopefully.

Right on BroAllan, on the case again! 'Preciate it!

BroAllan, if i understand what you and T-block taught me like i THINK i do, you or anyone who knows what this is about can tell me if i (when in a Major key) successfully captured the three "most common" BORROWED CHORD tones (b7, b6, & b3) in the following (3) relatively simple examples. (key of CMaj).

A Major key's scale DOES NOT contain the (b7, b6, or b3). These three chord tones are located in the Major key's "Parallel minor" scale (the minor scale with the same letter name as the Major scale. ex: DMaj/Dmin, GbMaj/Gbmin - both parallel's of one another), but notice how all three tones can STILL successfully be "borrowed" from the minor key and used in the Major key "without losing the key".

1) featuring the b7:

(numbered chord tone____LH / RH_____chord name_____(number of beats)

3____E / B, D, G__________(Em7)_______________(2 beats)
6____A / G, C, E__________(Am7)______________ (2 beats)
2____D / A, C, F__________(Dm7)______________ (2 beats)
5____G / A, C, F _________ (G7sus4,9)__________ (2 beats)
b7__ Bb / G, Ab, C, Eb___ (Bb7sus4,9,13)_____(4 beats)
1____C / G, B, C, E________(CM7)______________ (4 beats)
b7__ Bb / A, C, D, F_____ (BbM7,9)__________(4 beats)
1____C / G, B, C, E________(CM7)______________ (4 beats)

Notice how the b7 was able to be used as both a 13sus4 & a M9 in two fairly familiar movements. Also notice that the key was not lost.
========================================================================
2) featuring the b6:

1____C / E, G, B, D________ (CM7,9)_____________(4 beats)
b6__ Ab / G, Ab, C, Eb____(AbM7)___________ (2 beats)
5____G / F, A, C, E________ (G7sus4,9,13)________(2 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D________ (CM7,9)_____________(4 beats)

Again, another fairly familiar movement, this time using the b6 as a Major chord. Again, the key was not lost.
=========================================================================
3) And finally featuring, the Hammond b3 (just a joke), the "flat 3" actually:

1____C / E, G, B, D__________(CM7,9) ___________ (4 beats)
b3__ Eb / F, G, Bb, D______ (EbM7,9)_________ (2 beats)
5____G / F, A, C, E__________(G7sus4,9,13)_______(2 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D__________(CM7,9) ___________ (4 beats)


1____C / E, G, B, D__________(CM7,9)_____________(4 beats)
b3__ Eb / F, G, Bb, D______ (EbM7,9)__________(2 beats)
b2___Db / Eb, F, Ab, C_______(DbM7,9)____________(2 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D__________(CM7,9)_____________(4 beats)


1____C / E, G, B, D__________(CM7,9)_____________ (4 beats)
b3__ Eb / F, Ab, Db, Eb ____(Eb7sus9)_________ (4 beats)
1____C / E, G, B, D__________(CM7,9)_____________ (4 beats)

Here we have three different examples for you to Hear how the b3 can be applied in fairly familiar movements, as a major chord & also a sus chord, while once again maintaining the key.

If i made any miss-steps anywhere, please let me know. 8)

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2008, 01:54:47 AM »
note: it's a beautiful thing to borrow chords, and enjoy them forever.

However, if you borrow money, make sure you pay it back!!

And also,  if you haven't paid it back, and you tell me about this new fly plasma tv you 'bout to get, then i ask you about my money - don't get mad!! 8)

Offline lauenceholley

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #23 on: May 19, 2008, 03:09:14 AM »
These are very nice progressions, I am going to borrow them from you.

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2008, 03:18:51 AM »
These are very nice progressions, I am going to borrow them from you.

No prob!!...enjoy. 8)

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2008, 05:59:18 AM »
Hey, I like those nice progressions, Seemunny.
Thanks for posting them ...

Another simple and common way that the "Flat Sixth" and the "Flat Seventh" chords are used, is at the end of a song, when you want to build up the ending with power!

An example is the song, "I lift up my hands" by Israel Houghton and New Breed, off of the "New Season" album.  They modulate several times in that song, and they end up in the key of "G".  When they come to the end of the song, they play the "Flat Sixth" chord (Eb), Flat Seventh (F), and end on the 1 chord (G).  Simple, yet very effective in building a powerful cresendo at the end.

Just another way to use "borrowed" chords.  God bless ... :)

Offline sjonathan02

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #26 on: May 19, 2008, 06:18:54 AM »
anyone have the  mp3 to this song i cant view the youtube clip
COSIGN. Especially at work.
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Offline musallio

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2008, 08:52:02 AM »
musallio:  May I please borrow these progressions from you seemunny..
Seemunny: yes why not musallio! ;D
musallio: Won't I have to repay them ?/? :-\
Seemunny: Of course not musallio..your debt has been paid in full...anyway, this is not $.. ;D

musallio: Thank you seemunny...please get another set ready coz I'll be haunting you for more ;D ;D
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Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2008, 02:32:49 AM »

musallio: Thank you seemunny...please get another set ready coz I'll be haunting you for more ;D ;D

HAHA! Aww man, chords coming right up! Just don't haunt me with the long silky cape and the big sharp teeth!  :o

Maybe some Steve Urkel pants and suspenders would less frightening! 8)

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2008, 02:34:52 AM »

Maybe some Steve Urkel pants and suspenders would less frightening! 8)

"....would BE less frightening!" (typo) 8)

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2008, 04:28:50 AM »
Hey, I like those nice progressions, Seemunny.
Thanks for posting them ...

Thx BroAllen, my pleasure!

I checked out "I Lift Up My Hands" by Israel Houghton, and heard that build up you referred to.

That build-up is one of the "classic" build-ups and used often in songs! Good example!

When i first ask the question about "borrowed chords", then you broke it down, one of the first ways i discovered to use them was exactly that build-up movement! The only reason i didn't include it in my progression examples is because i just decided to individually isolate each tone to hear the character of each tone individually.

Also, there's one other song that comes to mind that features that classic (b6, b7, root) movement,  throughout the ENTIRE SONG (lol), and that's Stevie Wonder's "I Was Made To Love Her".

You'll hear it through the whole song on the "yeah! yeah! yeah!" part. [yeah! (b6)...yeah!(b7)....yeah! (root)]

Good stuff BroAllan. There's nothing like soakin up some good knowledge! 8)

Offline ricorico

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2008, 05:56:17 AM »
I got two questions

Are borrowed chords also good for chord substitutions??? (like substitute the VI for bVI perhaps)

And what about the bII and the bV/#IV, can these two also be used??  8) (perhaps in a other concept than the "borrowed chord")

    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.)

Very interesting post....... Bless

Offline T-Block

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #32 on: May 20, 2008, 04:00:19 PM »
I got two questions

Are borrowed chords also good for chord substitutions??? (like substitute the VI for bVI perhaps)

And what about the bII and the bV/#IV, can these two also be used??  8) (perhaps in a other concept than the "borrowed chord")

Very interesting post....... Bless

To answer both your questions, yes borrowed chords can be good for chord substitutions, but you gotta be careful which ones u use at which time.  There is a tendency to modulate to the "borrowed chords key" if u use them incorrectly, unless that's your purpose.  I'd say experiment with all of them until u found out which ones give u the sound you're looking for.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline chevonee

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #33 on: May 20, 2008, 07:02:44 PM »
Wow, this is some good stuff!! Thanks everyone!!
Strike while the iron is hot!

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #34 on: May 22, 2008, 03:02:55 AM »


I guess what I'm saying at this point is, try determining just the bass line for a tune and then experiment with different basic qualities regardless of what the chord quality is "supposed" to be in a key.  Some will work, some won't, but it will open up some new possibilities.

yes borrowed chords can be good for chord substitutions,I'd say experiment with all of them until u found out which ones give u the sound you're looking for.

I'm discovering this to be truer & truer everyday! Man, you can almost substitute anything for anything if you have a clear direction that you want it to go in!

You hear that you can substitute majors in place of minors...dominants in place of minors....suspendeds in place of dominants....dominants in place of majors! Man, it goes on & on!! :o

With that logic, if you can put a dominant in place of a minor, then probably once it becomes dominant, NOW ALL THE DOMINANT SUBSTITUTION TRICKS CAN BE USED!

It's like MCS ("morphing chords syndrome!") lol.....

All these chords have their own substitutions, BUT, after you substitute it, and it becomes ANOTHER CHORD, now you can use all of THAT chords substitution options!! ....That train will NEVER stop! lol

This is fascinating!! lol....Ohhh, how i love the WWO ("the Wonderful World of OPTIONS!!!")  8)

For instance, if you can play a dominant in place of a major, now that the major has morphed into a dominant, you might now be able to use the "tritone substitution trick". Which ultimately means that you just used the tritone sub for a MAJOR!! lol

Or, let's say you play a major for a minor, maybe theoretically since that minor has morphed into a major, now you can use that majors "relative minor!" (of course paying close attention to the LEADING tone to tie it all together).

But with all those theoretical possibilities, you could conceivably have a ball completely twisting up some progressions JUST FOR FUN, then untwisting it again! lol  :D

At this point, it's still somewhat "theoretical" to me. But some light bulbs have indeed been turned on!

Thanks to T-block, BroAllan, Rspindy and everybody on LGM that contributes their knowledge and ideas! 8)

Offline BroAllan

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #35 on: May 22, 2008, 03:26:44 AM »
I'm discovering this to be truer & truer everyday! Man, you can almost substitute anything for anything if you have a clear direction that you want it to go in!

You hear that you can substitute majors in place of minors...dominants in place of minors....suspendeds in place of dominants....dominants in place of majors! Man, it goes on & on!! :o

With that logic, if you can put a dominant in place of a minor, then probably once it becomes dominant, NOW ALL THE DOMINANT SUBSTITUTION TRICKS CAN BE USED!

It's like MCS ("morphing chords syndrome!") lol.....

All these chords have their own substitutions, BUT, after you substitute it, and it becomes ANOTHER CHORD, now you can use all of THAT chords substitution options!! ....That train will NEVER stop! lol

This is fascinating!! lol....Ohhh, how i love the WWO ("the Wonderful World of OPTIONS!!!")  8)

For instance, if you can play a dominant in place of a major, now that the major has morphed into a dominant, you might now be able to use the "tritone substitution trick". Which ultimately means that you just used the tritone sub for a MAJOR!! lol

Or, let's say you play a major for a minor, maybe theoretically since that minor has morphed into a major, now you can use that majors "relative minor!" (of course paying close attention to the LEADING tone to tie it all together).

But with all those theoretical possibilities, you could conceivably have a ball completely twisting up some progressions JUST FOR FUN, then untwisting it again! lol  :D

At this point, it's still somewhat "theoretical" to me. But some light bulbs have indeed been turned on!

Thanks to T-block, BroAllan, Rspindy and everybody on LGM that contributes their knowledge and ideas! 8)

Thank You Lord, for "LGM"!!!  :D :D

Offline seemunny

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Re: "Borrowed Chords", What Are They?
« Reply #36 on: May 22, 2008, 03:45:48 AM »
Thank You Lord, for "LGM"!!!  :D :D

I got two chords for that:

Eb / Ab-C-Eb
Eb / G-Bb-Eb

"Ahhh-mennn" 8)
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