Gospel: Neighbor Chords

Neighbor chords are a great way to expand and embellish a single chord that is played for an extended length of time. Here are two kinds for your consideration...


Neighbor Chords: C-F/C-C

This device doesn't really "change" the chord being played. Think of it more like an embellishment of the prevaling chord that gives a nice lilt to the rhythm. You will discover that this embellishment almost always works for the three major chords in a major key (I, IV, and V) and sometimes as an embellishment of secondary dominants as well.

Gospel: Neighbor Chords


Neighbor Chords: C-Dm/C-C

Note: Remember to swing the eighth notes! Also notice that the back beats in the left hand are "ghosted", more felt than heard.

Gospel: Neighbor Chords


Neighbor Chord Variations

Don't forget that you can invert and revoice these patterns in order to create a sense of directed motion and melodic interest. Here's an example using inversion:

Gospel: Neighbor Chords

Notice the strength of the melodic motion in the bass, creating a powerful sense of direction and anticipation. Experiment and see what other creative ways you can mix and match and morph these basic patterns.