To connect chords that are a whole step apart, composers often use passing chords, which use some of the pitches in between a key’s chords. Typically, passing chords have an unusual sound when you play them by themselves; however, when you place them between the right chords, they act like a sonic bridge that leads from one set of pitches to another. In the right sequence, a passing chord makes complete musical sense to your ear as it smoothly transitions from one chord to another.
Passing chords add variety and movement to chord progressions and are fairly common in popular music. If you’ve ever wondered why some chords in a song seem completely out of place yet sound so perfect, then you’ve experienced passing chords before. In this course, you get to know them even better by exploring the use of chromatic, diminished, and augmented chords.