I am in the middle of arranging my next CD at the moment and am very busy, so this is going to be short and sweet today. I am going to give you the simplest modulation possible, and believe it or not, I use it all the time. You can sum up the rule in three words:
Just Do It…
Don’t worry about a formula or chord progression or getting to the V7 in the new key. Just play a phrase in the old key and play it again in the new key. In many cases (not always), it sounds great. I tend to use it most when I am going up a half step or whole step.
Here is an example of this modulation from “My Jesus I Love Thee” on my most recent CD.
Look at the pattern I am using in measures 21-22 and then notice I repeat it in measures 24-25 in the new key of D.
If you used a theme or pattern in your introduction, return to it and use it like this during a modulation. That makes things simple and helps tie your arrangement together.
Take a simple song like “Just As I Am” and work on using this modulation. Come up with a simple pattern for the introduction and then use it for the modulation (play it once in the old key and then again in a new key a step or so higher).