Welcome to The Circle, our voyage into the mysteries of The Circle of 5ths. As we’ve already learned, a Dominant 7th Chord contains two notes that introduce a tension that makes the chord want to resolve a 5th interval counter-clockwise on the circle.
So far we’ve seen that occurrence in the I-V7-I (C-G7-C) and I-II7-V7-I (C-D7-G7-C) chord progressions. Today we are going to take the I-II7-V7-I idea a 5th higher and create the I-VI7-II7-V7-I (C-A7-D7-G7-C) chord progression. A couple of popular tunes that utilize this progression are Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant and the bluegrass classic Salty Dog Blues.
Observation: Simply jump from the I to the VIth of the key you are in, make the VI a Dominant 7th chord (VI7) and let the resolution begin!