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Joined: 01 Jan 2009
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 1

Modulation (Changing Keys)

by Taylor

3 Jan 2009
Views: 10759


Hey everyone, this lesson is focused on changing keys, so before we start you'll want to make sure you know a little about the circle of keys and also make sure you've read my lesson about secondary dominate and diminished chords. Modulating is fairly easy if you know your circle of keys and secondary chords. If you don't know these things then you should probably look it up, I wrote one lesson about secondary chords, as for circle of keys just check it out on the site.


So lets start with this chord progression beginning in G.

G - F#dim7 - Em - C#dim7 - Bm - A7

D - C#dim7 - Bm - G#dim7 - F#m - E7

A - G#dim7 - F#m - D#dim7 - C#m - B7

E - D#dim7 - C#m - A#dim7 - G#m - F#7

This is also an alright example of transposition too. But were focusing on modulation right now. So lets take a closer look at what's happening here.

G - F#dim7 - Em - C#dim7 - Bm - A7

Now, your modulation point is basically the chord you play that is part of the scale you modulated it, it should be a chord the other key doesn't contain. Once you've hit that A chord, you've officially put yourself in the Bm/D key.

If you want a smooth transition I suggest you take a look at the chords your two keys share, and throw them in right before your secondary chord. Remember, you don't just have to use diminished chords like in this example, dominate chords work just as well.

Well that pretty much covers modulation for you.

Hopefully this lesson worked for you and was easy to understand. If you'd like, give me some tips for my next lesson that will make learning this material easier for you. Thanks for reading and I hope to see you use this in your own music someday.

- Taylor



This lesson was awesome! Thanks a lot for showing me something I didn't know existed.


No problemo. but say your in C maj. if you play a Bmajor (secondary dominate) and then go into Eminor. that would be a great opportunity to play in E aeolian rather then E phrygian wether or not your going to modulate into the key of E minor. keep this in mind.

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