What Are Secondary Dominants?

In the key of C major, the primary dominant is G7

Secondary dominants are dominant chords that resolve to all the other chords in the key of C major.

These ones: Dm, Em, F, G and Am

Nobody has ever resolved onto a minor seven flat five chord without sustaining physical injury, so don’t even try to do that.

The first example could be a harmonisation for Tiptoe Through The Tulips. That’s not what the actual chords are, but it sounds fine, and it gives you a handy way to remember the first few secondary dominants in ascending order.

The second example is all the secondary dominants resolving to their diatonic temporary homes.

It’s a neat way of getting from C to Am in 6 bars.

Useful, eh?

Comments on What Are Secondary Dominants?

  1. This (at 1min 25sec) is my preferred version of that classic tune http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wbGIo01mgo4

    It makes me forget about practicing guitar though.

  2. tony heiberg says:

    Another laugh-out-loud, mind-expanding EC. Great.

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