Most music typically modulates from the tonic to the dominant, but that is not the only place it can go to.
Say that you wanted to go to the predominant (which is the fourth scale degree). That is like going from the key of C to the key of F.
One way that can be done is with an I – v7 – I7 – IV progression that utilizes the common ii – V7 formula found in jazz music:
Essentially, because the tonic chord hasn’t played the seventh, we are in ambiguous terms as to whether the triad expands to a major-seventh chord or dominant seventh chord. This works to our advantage that when we set up the ii – V motion, all we do is lower the leading tone down (making it mixolydian). Finally, the ii – V tonicizes the IV chord to become the new tonic and having the piece modulate to the subdominant area.
Try it out and see how you can vary this up.
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