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What’s a Back Door Dominant? (Lady Bird Analysis)

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Ever seen a chord progression like: Fmin7-Bb7-Cmaj7? Wouldn’t an Fmin7-Bb7 be a ii-V of Ebmaj7? It would, except this progression is utilizing a chord substitution called a back door dominant.

In this video, I go over what a backdoor dominant is, how it works, and how they function with a little bit of help from the first 4 bars of the jazz standard “Lady Bird.”

Important Links and Resources

Suggested Resource:

If you’re interested in studying jazz standards, and how the harmony works, you may enjoy my eBook “The Jazz Standards Playbook

Further Reading:

LJS 121 Understanding Secondary and Back Door Dominants.

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


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