Secondary Dominants- Write Better Chord Progressions! [MUSIC THEORY / SONGWRITING]

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Prerequisite video on Major:
Secondary Dominant chords are a great addition to the 7 chords we normally see in major keys and their modes, they are outside of the key but will take us to chords in the key. This occurs a LOT in modern music, especially the V7/vi, and learning your secondary dominants will help you write better and more interesting chord progressions.

These chords introduce non-diatonic notes (notes outside the scale) so it is usually obvious to the ear that there is something unique and interesting about these chords when they appear.

In this video, we explore all the usable secondary dominants except the V7/iii. The only reason I excluded it is was because the video was getting long and I didn’t have any good examples of it, also I don’t find it to be very usable but I encourage you to play with it.

These chords work in ANY MODE but you will find it’s fairly difficult to use them outside of major and minor due to the other modes not being as stable. The “mini modulations” within the key cause our tonality to get shifted around and maintaining a
modal tonal center can prove tricky.

Here’s the link to the song I wrote for Cara Jeanne:

A huge thank you the following Patreon supporters!
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Free online guitar lessons for beginners, intermediate, and advanced players. Located in Crystal Lake, Jake Lizzio provides free jam tracks and video lessons for guitar players, as well as music theory videos and other music education content.


Me41945 says:

Thanks man, I was totally bored with the four chord songs, then I found this… SWEETT!!

Morgan Lake says: been a teacher of music and language for 23 years – You are the most gifted clear communicator I have ever ever heard. Who are you instructional design heroes? You are mine, but I would like to know how you developed your skill with the psychology of learning theory. Let me guess, you simplified these ideas for yourself and are just sharing that with us? Tonification should be in the dictionary . Genius innovation. Thank you for your work – so so much.

Erg Budster says:

Man! Just lucked onto this channel. Subbed immediate. This guy really knows theory. You can't teach something that you don't really understand. This fella nails it.

scotty says:

I learned these as APPLIED DOMINATES 'SECONDARY' CHORDS were chords borrowed from Non-major minor modes

psychedelicAlpaca says:

But why do they work in creep and 'f you' if the secondary dominants don't go a fifth below?

I T says:

Nice video, thanks dude!

Geetar2112 says:

Interesting, useful and very well explained. Thanks!

RawJamTracks says:

Great lesson! It again proves my point that it is extremely useful if you know your theory, kids…

Vlad Yavorov says:

Great! I have been playing this in some jazz songs, usually a turn round, but I never new the theory behind. Now I know! Thanks a lot! After watching your videos I started writing some chord progression. It's a lot of fun!

Jonathan Cook says:

My favorite channel on youtube for chord movements/theory. Your videos always get me inspired to come up with some new, and interesting stuff. Thanks!

TheBoy2020 says:

2:57 , I Get Around by The Beach Boys?

Tanguy Delooz says:

Awesome !! 🙂

Aspirative Music Production says:

I like this video.

Malcolm Reynolds says:

All this music theory just makes me glaze-over in confusion. It's like trying to learn how to read and write Chinese. There is no hope of understanding this. ;-/

Toby Charlwood says:

Excellent, thank you!

N Rivero says:

Capoooo te banco fuerte, saludos desde argentinaa!!

Fs Vapor says:

i never even thought about doing this once lol, thanks for the ideas.

Nick Munoz says:

amazing video, I'm gonna use all these tricks. But Creep is definitely not in E

Swarnendu Das says:

This made me realize why I mess up every time I try to come up with "sweet" progressions.

faselblaDer3te says:

Incredibly helpful and inspiring as always, mille grazie man!

cast390 says:

You need to tune that guitar.

Kaatwang's Noise Bunker says:

@ 6:25. Yes, that f’in F7 really warms up Hey Jude.

live2groove says:

Good explaination.. Fly Me to The Moon is another great example of using dominate chords to lead into other chords..

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