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Here is a demonstration of how you can apply what I have been covering about functional harmony to create more interesting chord progressions.
Remember that I have been saying that any chord can substitute for any other chord if it follows two rules:
1) The new chord must work with the chords around it. In other words, it should create a progression that follows rules of functional harmony. To put those rules very simply, chords like to move either down by fifths or in either direction by steps.
2) The new chord must work with the melody note. There are rules about this, but for the time being, just let your ear be your guide.
I follow this kind of thinking in this reharmonization of “Silent Night.” You might be interested in downloading the lead sheet here before you start watching.
Some of you may try to play this lead sheet only to find out that it does not sound good. That is because a lead sheet does not tell you how to voice chords (position them on the piano). That is a future lesson, but for the time being, just know that you have to experiment to find voicings for these chords that sound good.
If you don’t see the video below, you can view it here.