Gospel chord progressions
Issue No. 38  ·
"Secrets of Exciting Chords & Chord Progressions!"
 

     
 

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" Secrets of Exciting Piano Chords & Piano Chord Progressions!"

- Free Piano Lesson 38 -

 

Chord Progressions Part 19:

The "Walk On Up" Gospel Progression

Pianoman!

 

Christian music piano lessons

 

    Last week we looked at a chord progression that is technically known as a "double plagel cadence". A plagel cadence is a chord progression that closes a section of music with a IV to I. A double plagel cadence would mean playing the IV of the IV before ending on the I chord:

Gospel Technique #1: "Get On That Church!" Chord Progression

The IV chord of the IV chord, followed by

the IV chord, followed byGospel music piano lessons

the I chord.

    Let's spell it out to make it clear. Pretend you're in the Key of C. The I chord is C -- correct? And the IV chord is F -- correct? Now -- what chord is a perfect 4th higher than F? Just count up the F scale 4 notes - F, G, A, Bb. So the answer is Bb. That's the IV of the IV chord. So the progression in the Key of C would be: Bb to F to C.

     Here's what it would look like in each key:

Key of C

Bb to F to C

Key of Eb

Db to Ab to Eb

Key of D

C to G to D

Key of F#

E to B to F#

Key of F

Eb to Bb to F

Key of Ab

Gb to Db to Ab

Key of A

G to D to A

Key of B

A to E to B

Key of Bb

Ab to Eb to Bb

Key of Db

Cb to Gb to Db

Key of E

D to A to E

Key of Bb

Ab to Eb to Bb

      But here's the key to giving it a "gospel sound" -- use the 1st inversion of the first chord (the IV chord of the IV chord), the 2nd inversion of the 2nd chord (the IV chord), and the root position of the last chord (I). You can either use the root of each chord as your left hand low note, or you can use the root of the I chord as an ostinato (constant low note).

Gospel chord progression

     It's also fine to embed a 7th in any or all of the chords -- the "bluesier" the better!

   This  time we will demonstrate another gospel technique, which builds on this technique, but turns it into a rock or jazz riff. We'll call it the "walk on up" chord progression, because it "walks up a 4th" to the next chord, and then uses the "IV of IV" chord progression for a bluesy feel.

Gospel Technique #2: "Walk On Up!" Chord Progression

Walk in 10ths from the I chord up to the IV chord,

but quickly move to the IV of the IV first,

then back to the IV, then back to the I chord. Use 7ths freely.

Gospel music piano lessons

 

    Here's an example in the key of Bb.

     Watch the video as I demonstrate:

 

 

      You can toggle back and forth all day long on those 3 chords -- the I7 chord (put a 7th in all chords to make them sound bluesy), the IV7 chord, and the IV7 of the IV7 chord. Many gospel players use very little else except variations of these 3 chords. Of course there are many other techniques you could use, but that would take an entire book or course to chronicle all the potential techniques available.

     But for the purposes of this free lesson, this is plenty, and will keep you playing variations of this for years to come!

    If you have ever wondered how fingering works, you'll find this low-cost course invaluable:

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 http://www.playpianocatalog.com/wfigowhandwh.html

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