I,m having some trouble figuring it out a nice way to change from B major to A minor. So far i've tried B -> E -> A -> Am, but it doesnt sound smooth, and I have no much knowledge about music theory and modulation, if you can help me I could learn from your answers. Thanks!

Edit: I forgot to add some context. Im asking for modulation because we are playing a guitar song in B major and we want to play another song without stopping playing, but to modulate, that song is in A major, then we want to go back to B major. Maybe we should transpose from B to C major, but i want to learn modulation. Also, instrument=guitar. Hope you can understand, english is not my language


The commonest modulation route is to play the V of the new key just before the I. When you're in B, an E or E7 is a natural progression, as the B is V of that E, which then becomes the V of the target key, Am. It ought to sound the smoothest change. Try different voicings for the E/E7 - or even E9. It has worked millions of times so far!


If you want to get to A minor, you don't want a chord of A major muddying the waters. A straightforward "V I" cadence E (or E7) Am will get you there.

The A major chord will probably mess up the "harmonic rhythm" as well. (That's just a fancy term for which are the "strong" and "weak" chords in a progression, similar to the strong and weak beats in counting any rhythm.) In B E7 A Am, the B and A chords are likely to be "strong" and the E7 and Am "weak", but if you are trying to get to A minor, you want the final Am chord to be "strong". In other words, your chord progression modulated to A major, and then stuck an A minor chord on the end, without a clear reason for it to be there at all.

To establish the new key even stronger, you want a "II V I" cadence which is Bm (or Bm7) E (or E7) Am.

Note the Bm, not B major. So your first task is to get to that Bm chord, which should be easy, since flipping back and forth between the tonic major and minor keys is barely a "modulation" at all.

You could throw in another "minor-sounding" chord before the Bm to begin de-stabilizing the B major before you modulate - for example B(major) F#7b9 (with a G natural not a G sharp) Bm E Am.


You're going down a note, and it doesn't help that you're going from major to minor. This modulation is in danger of feeling like a 'downer' however skilfully you disguise it. But if you must...

My absolutely favourite way of getting into a new key is the Nike method - 'Just Do It!' Wrap up the song that's in B, set straight off again in A minor.

If that's too direct for you, think melody as well as just chords. A strong melodic line can lead you just about anywhere! Suppose the first song ended with a simple 3,2,1 scale. Use the same melodic shape in a link passage using II7 and V7 of the new key. Like this.

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If you are just strumming chords to match songs, then one idea would be to play an F#7-B7-E7-am (dm-am-E7-am optional afterwards). A good way to find these patterns (unless just going directly which can be good, too) is to find a cadential pattern in the target key and approach that target as a whole. There are several, (V7-i, ii0-V7-i, ii-V7-i, iv-V7-i, etc.) all go through a V7-i pattern to fix the key.

More exotic would be something like a iv6-V in the target key, (dm-E followed by am) or F7-a64-E7-am (this is very dramatic so should be used sparingly.) Of course, then the question is how to get to F; you could play a C63 (notes E-G-C-E) from B then go directly to an F7 chord.



B Esus2 E7 Am

B A#sus4 A# Am

Bmaj7 B7 Emaj7 E7 Am

B7 Bdim7 Am

B Bm E7 Am

B Bdim E7b9 Am

These also work if you're going to A major.

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