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use of diminished/aug chords

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Hey I just read David Hodge's article about using diminished and augmented chords and I had a question. So basically the point he was trying to make at the end was the possibilities that arise because there are only 4 augmented chords each with three names, and 3 diminished chords each with 4 names. So the real power behind these chords is that if you can successfully get either kind of chord into a chord progression then you can use them as kind of a step to switch to any of the other keys for which they have an enharmonic counterpart. And you can get away with it because everyone will hear the leading tones resolving and it will mask that the final chord is "out of key" with the rest of the song. Does that sound about right? I guess now that I look back that is pretty much exactly what he said so it must be haha, I think it helped just to write it all out though, this is really cool I wanna try some of this out. And I definetly had noticed the beatles using them before. That article was really great thanks David Hodge.

And you could use those same concepts to switch keys in a solo right?

"And above all, respond to all questions regarding a given song's tonal orientation in the following manner: Hell, it don't matter just kick it off!"
-Chris Thile

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Joined: 20 years ago
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Yah that's pretty much it. You can also use them as passing chords between other, 'regular' chords within a particular key.

And yah, the Beatles used them - George in particular, and you can still hear that sound in his solo recordings. I think maybe he fell in love with that sound and put some in the Beatles stuff and then just carried on from there.

As far as soloing goes, unless your band is really tight and can follow along, just throwing in one of those - or an arpeggio of it - might or might not work; like if you change keys and the band doesn't. But it still might work - staying 'outside' for a brief while; just make sure you know how to come back into the established tonality.

Fun stuff though, isn't it?