Grab a sheet of paper or take the following quiz mentally and record your response time for each:
- What’s a ii V in the key of F# major?
- If the V7 of a ii V progression is Ab7, what’s the ii chord?
- What’s a iii Vi in the key of Db major?
- If the ii chord of a ii V progression is C# minor, what’s the V7 chord?
- If the ii V of a key is F- Bb7, what’s the VI7 of the key?
Now, judge your answers based on correctness and speed of response. Did any of them take you more than a split second?
Be honest with yourself. Chances are a couple of these questions took at least a few seconds for you to answer. You may not think that a few seconds is a big deal, I mean, you got the correct answer, right?
The problem is that after even a second of thought we can totally lose our creative focus. The more ingrained these fundamental progressions are, the less we have to think, and the freer we become.
Why is it difficult to quickly conjure some chords, while others are easy? We’re very used to encountering chords in a set way. For example, after A- we expect D7. Or after D7, we expect G major. But even standards mix and match these basic chord progressions.
These slight rearrangements of the chords can shift us just enough to make it so we screw up. For … Read More