Give your major-key compositions a moment of darkness by employing the 'four minor' chord

Close-up of guitarist playing a minor chord on a Gibson SG
(Image credit: Future)

Last time, I laid the theoretical groundwork for a look at some ways in which composers, when writing in a major key, have creatively 'borrowed' chords from its parallel minor key, which is based on the very same root note - for example, E major and E minor are parallel keys.

This is often done to insert a brief moment of musical darkness, or sadness, into an otherwise bright- and happy-sounding progression.

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Jimmy Brown

Over the past 30 years, Jimmy Brown has built a reputation as one of the world's finest music educators, through his work as a transcriber and Senior Music Editor for Guitar World magazine and Lessons Editor for its sister publication, Guitar Player. In addition to these roles, Jimmy is also a busy working musician, performing regularly in the greater New York City area. Jimmy earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies and Performance and Music Management from William Paterson University in 1989. He is also an experienced private guitar teacher and an accomplished writer.