Creating Slow Gospel Blues Progressions

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A couple of weeks ago I taught Live-to-Library Slow Gospel Blues Progressions lesson. Students had a bunch of questions and we spent a lot of time on the 2 topics I’m going to discuss in today’s article: dominant motion and bass motion (more specifically alternate bass motion).

Dominant Motion

Dominant motion happens when a dominant chord moves to it’s resolution chord which is up a perfect 4th or down a perfect 5th.

What does this mean?

Well, after studying diatonic motion, you learned that there is only (1) dominant chord per key in music. This we call the V7 chord.

If we take a simple progression like…

Ex 1: C to Amin to Dmin to G7

and we precede each of these chords with their dominant 7th chord, we get example #2 below:


This concept is covered in much more detail in the Live-to-Library Slow Gospel Progressions lesson.

Bass Motion

Bass motion is the motion of the bass note. This could be the root, or it might be another note (usually a chord tone).

In example #3 below, see how I chose a different note to play in the bass? This creates, what I think, is one of the coolest sounds when it comes to chord progressions. Just by messing around with the bass motion, I’m able to create dozens of NEW sounds while using the SAME chord progression! It’s kind of like chord recycling!

If you’re interested in hearing these examples or learning how to play them and many more, please check out my Live-to-Library Slow Gospel Progressions lesson.

Do me a favor and leave your comments or questions below, and be sure to share this article!

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Welcome Paul Buono

Paul Buono has returned to the JazzEdge family as an instructor.  His professional piano/keyboard experience includes national and international touring, university professor, musical director, pit

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  1. Willie
    In the example the bass motion shows a G# in stand of a B. It’s the same way in the lesson.

    1. Yep you are right Donald. Sheet music is now fixed. The chord should be E7/G#. I do mention that in the Live-to-Library lesson.