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Old 08-31-2017, 01:21 PM   #1
Morfz
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Default III chord in major context

I absolutely love using a III chord in major. Somehow I like using it more than iii in major. Ive been playing around with different progressions using III in major and have found some nice progressions but wanted to discuss it with you guys. What progressions do you like to use with the III chord ? A few I like:

I III IV I ---- Plagal cadence? I think its used in Plug in baby by muse in the verse. Not sure.

I III IV iv ---- Creep by Radiohead.

I III ii iv ---- same harmonic functioning progression as above?

I III vi V I


Also does the III chord in major function as secondary dominant when followed by vi ?

Last edited by Morfz; 08-31-2017 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:19 PM   #2
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What progressions do you like to use with the III chord?
The first time I ever heard it was in the "Old Home Place", written by the Dillards in 1963 and played by pretty much everybody since.

It goes: I - III - IV - I.



Several years after that Otis Redding and Steve Cropper came out with "The Dock of the Bay", which went to #1 in 1968. It was similar but ended on the II...

I - III - IV - II

I'm sure there are a ton of songs that came before and since with the same chords, but these are the ones that I remember most.

Last edited by Big John; 08-31-2017 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:54 PM   #3
Morfz
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The first time I ever heard it was in the "Old Home Place", written by the Dillards in 1963 and played by pretty much everybody since.

It goes: I - III - IV - I.



Several years after that Otis Redding and Steve Cropper came out with "The Dock of the Bay", which went to #1 in 1968. It was similar but ended on the II...

I - III - IV - II

I'm sure there are a ton of songs that came before and since with the same chords, but these are the ones that I remember most.
Thats nice ! Love me some blue grass in moderate amounts. Sweet banjo playing ! Always makes me feel good. Thanks for posting.
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Old 09-01-2017, 12:22 AM   #4
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Thats nice ! Love me some blue grass in moderate amounts. Sweet banjo playing ! Always makes me feel good. Thanks for posting.
Check out that Otis Redding one too. They walk the bass between the changes...very nice!
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:40 AM   #5
Morfz
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Check out that Otis Redding one too. They walk the bass between the changes...very nice!
Ooo ! Somehow missed that one. Ill check it out !
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:22 PM   #6
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Also does the III chord in major function as secondary dominant when followed by vi ?
Yes. Meaning it would be labelled V/vi, not III.
Even when not followed by vi it can usually be interpreted that way. Eg - as in many of the above examples - it's commonly followed by IV, which makes it a "deceptive cadence" - the ear expects vi, but IV is substituted, and works because of shared tones and similar voice-leading.
I haven't seen an example where it's followed by ii. (ii is a common sub for IV, but in this case, IV has already replaced vi, so it seems a step too far. ii is not a sub for vi.) Do you know any songs that use this change?

Last edited by JonR; 09-01-2017 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 09-01-2017, 01:38 PM   #7
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The first time I ever heard it was in the "Old Home Place", written by the Dillards in 1963
First time I heard it (I must have been 8) was in this:

Love the guy playing "slide drums" on the right (as a pal of mine refers to washboard )

It's an Elizabeth Cotten song of course:
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