Tip #138 – Using Random Modulations in Length

Say you wanted to get from one key area to another in a certain amount of measures:

What would you personally do? Keep in mind that there are many different possibilities on filling in those empty measures.

One way is my using any random pairs of chords, moving by root of a fifth or a step in motion – with ending by a fifth or half-step motion in the bass at the key change.

It would look like as such:

Once again, keep in mind that this is simply a tip as well as an option for an interesting way to modulate. Personally, when I first read about this idea, I wasn’t fully convinced. However, it is still worth experimenting with.

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Tip #108 – Innate Pulls of Dominant Modulations

Take a look at the melody below and analyze it the best you can:

Notice how the melody seems to be for the most part centered in an E Mixolydian mode.

However, you have those two measures highlighted in blue that hint at a temporary modulation to B Mixolydian. Then, it returns back to E Mixolydian.

If you play this melody, the transition works so smoothly. Why?

Well, think about the B Mixolydian mode. The mode itself is built around a B7 chord. In common music theory practice, the B7 chord will resolve (typically) to a chord with a root in E.

Thus, that is why the modulation from B Mixolydian is smooth, because it has the innate pull to resolve back to a centered tone of E anyways.

So, for this tip’s overall lesson: when using temporary modulations, consider the resolution of the scale/mode as well as the chords built on it for a seamless transition.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.