Hints to Hearing Chord Changes

In my latest teaching video I go over some listening hints for hearing chord changes.  These are sounds I often listen for to help me anticipate the next chord change.  I think knowing a little more about what to listen for will help you increase your hearing abilities.  Overall, you will find out just how important the BASS line is when it comes to developing your ears.

First up is the 1 to 4 chord change 

Two things you can listen for to help you hear this chord change

1)Often the chordal instruments will put SEVENTHS on the chord that will pull you into the 4 chord.  This is known as a 7-3 motion.  A b7th of the I chord moving down to the 3rd of the IV chord. 

2)You sometimes get a walk directly up the scale 1-2-3 and then 4.  This one is a bit easier to hear.

What about a 1 to 5 chord change?

One common melodic theme near the end of phrases is the 3-2-1 motion.  Meaning it’s going right down the scale from the 3rd degree.  The 2 is where the V chord change occurs.

Another common chord change is the 1 to 6 minor

The bass player is your friend in this case.  Very often you’ll get a half-step walk down followed by a whole step.  I demonstrate using the guitar in this video.

Here is the corresponding video:

Jody Written by:

Professional Musician of 27 years. I've played Banjo and Acoustic Guitar on the stages of Carnegie Hall, The Grand Ole Opry, and The Ryman Auditorium. I've also played in six different countries.

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