We’ve mentioned secondary dominants a few times on the path, most notably with this session in Magnify. It’s now time to put them to work in training and to add depth to our chord catalog.
In this session we will look at all of the secondary dominants (in C Major).
These are the ‘fives’ of chords already in the key. The I chord already has its Dominant in the key (the V chord – the primary).
We’ve previously saw that when we have the normal 7 in Harmonic minor, the V chord is Dominant (it’s minor 7 in Natural minor). The V of Am is E7. It is a V/vi (the “5 of 6” = “V of vi” = written “V/vi”) in C Major. E7 is the 2ndary Dominant of Am (in C).
Consider these chords for a moment. In all cases, the chord in the outer ring is the 5 of the chord just inside. Check it … A-B-C-D-E = 1-2-3-4-5.
Do you have voicings for all of these chords? Yes.
The chords are all indicated as 7ths, yet any of them can be triads (or extensions added).
For Dominants, the triad is called the “Dominant” and with the 7, the chord is called the “Dominant 7”.
A Dominant 7 chord typically moves to the tonic chord (the I or i). It’s most final resolution is with this progressive movement…the V to the I or i. Yet, we don’t have to use the secondary Dominants to go to its own ‘1 chord’. Any chord can go to any chord. And, whether we think of them as secondary Dominants is also optional. This is one way to relate outside chords to the inside. When a 2ndary Dominant does progress to its ‘1’ chord, it can act as a passing chord or as device to modulate (go to a new key).
Next, we’ll play a chord scale, showing the order using the picture above.