Closing Thoughts

Hopefully we’ve seen that chord substitutions are probably a lot more common and a lot less mystifying than perhaps you first might have thought. The method of re-harmonizing doesn’t have to be reserved for jazz improvisation and can actually be part of the composition process.

Here’s one of my favourite videos about substitutions from YouTuber JB Craipeau, beautifully demonstrating some of the harmonic devices we’ve talked about:

Substitutions can add different colours to your music, and if you hold off on using them, they can have even more impact. If you have a simple verse, chorus, verse chorus type track you can establish a chord progression, and as the piece is coming to it’s climax then you can start deviating.

Kenny Barron.

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