WADE IN THE WATER
Lesson by Lisa
When in a particular key, you know you have three main chords, or chord degrees to play: the 1_4_5, that's
with ANY gospel song...it's a given. Now, within that structure, you have other chords or scale degrees to
consider, these are your secondary: 2_6, of which these are minor. So there you go, you're foundation
1_4_5_2_6, three of which are MAJOR, and the other two are MINOR. Not always in that order.
With a song that's in minor, you have a different structure, you have a minor 1_major 4_major 5
DIMINISHED 2_DIMINISHED 6 (PASSING CHORDS)
With a turnaround of 3_6_2_5_1, this applies to the LEFT HAND!
Let's take an example of a song in minor, "Wade in the Water"
99% of the time, minor songs will go to the 5th scale degree for the 2nd change, this song is no exception:
1. CG / Cm - WADE IN THE WA-
GbEb / Gbdim7(Adim) - TER
5. GD / G7 - WADE IN THE___[ 2nd change ]
3. EBb / Cm7 - WA-
6. AE / F6(Dmin) - TER MY
2. DC / Gbdim(Adim) - CHILD-
5. GF / Baug - REN
CG / Cm – WADE IN THE
EbBb / GbM7 – WA-
FEb / EbM7(b5) – TER
GEb / Cm7 – GOD’S GONNA
GbEb / Gbdim7 – TROUBLE THE
DG / Gbdim7(Adim7) – WA-
GD / G7 – A
CG / Cm7 – TER
As you can see, the 1_5 chord degree change is there, as well as the 3_6_2_5_1, which is a turnaround
progression, but for this song, it’s used as part of the song itself! Hope you’re following me here!
Now, back to the major chord songs, when you get comfortable with knowing where your main scale degrees
are, You now must realize that gospel music moves in 4ths:
It’s how you get there that gets most musicians, that’s where progressions come in:
2_5_1 = 2 + dim b5th__5 + 4(6th )____1 + root
5_1_4 = 5 + dom M7th__1 + dom M7th(b5th)___4 + 4th chrd **( dom. M7th of the key uoi’re in )
7_3_6 = M7th + m2___3 + bdim 6th _____6 + 6th chrd
Those are your main baby’s right there, anything else is just variations of the above progressions,
otherwords, same progressions, just plaved in a different scale degree:
A 6_2_5 can be played as a 7_3_6, or a 5_1_4, do you follow me? The end result is the last scale degree
at the end of the progression, weather it’s major or minor.
Now comes the fun part, no matter if a song is major or minor, getting familiar with the circle comes in handy
here, you can have many, “stopping points” on your way to your next chord!! Let’s say that you have a song
that moves from the 1 to the 4, and it’s a slow or medium speed song. You know you’re going to the 4th scale
degree, and IN THE TIME ALLOWED, where can you go to? What can be the “stopping points”?
Well, let’s say that you want to use the 5_1_4 progression to eventually get to the 4, that’s fine, there’s 3
chord changes right there, but that’s the last three, how about two more to get to the 5, so you’ll have 5
chords to use to get to your 4.
Let’s do this theory wise, ok? You’re on the 1 chord, and you know you have to go to the 5, to do the 5_1_4, so
what will lead to the 5? The m2, right? Ok, but what can lead you into the 2? Were you thinking 6,well you’re
right, but we’re not going to do that, let’s do the dominant 7th of the root, so if you were in the key of C, that
would be Bb, and we know that the 3rd scale degree of Bb is…D! There you go, your 5 chords to go to the 4!
Now, WHAT TYPE OF CHORDS to play now that you know the scale degrees to follow?
Well, theory wise the dom. 7th is a major, but if you play the root of that chord, Bb in the left hand, you can play
the 3rd scale degree of that Bb, (D) which would be a MINOR, there you go, 1 down:
Bb / Dm
Let’s go to the next, we said earlier that we’ll use the m2, or D as one of the chords, but we’re already playin
it!!! OH NO what are we going to do!!! Well don’t worry, we’ll still going to use that m2…how, easy, we’re going
to SUBSITITUTE the m2 chord by playing the m6th in the right hand while playing the D or m2 in the bass!
There you go! Two down!
D / Am
So we went from Bb to D, 7_2 scale degree, now the rest is simple, it’s the regular 5_1_4! This is where
knowing your circle of 5th comes in handy, see, the 5th of D is A! And you used two subs to play the Bb and D
chords!!!! Do you feel me?!! So the progression would go like this:
CG / C_____________1
BbF / Dm7__________7
DG / Am7__________2
GD / BbM7__________5
CG / BbM7(b5)_______1
FC / Am7___________4
Hope this enlightened your playing!