1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Boston Turnaround

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by borgward, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. borgward


    Sep 28, 2006
    Anybody familiar with the term Boston Turnaround? It's a chord progression that goes all over the place. Used to know how to play it. Would like to re learn it.
  2. sardocs


    Mar 31, 2013
    I'm not sure about the Boston Turnaround, is it just a 3-6-2-5-1 progression? But I am a longtime Borgward fan. A neighbour had an Isabella Coupe when I was a kid in Montreal. That was my first real case of GAS!
  3. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    No idea what the Boston turn-a-round is. Google did not help. Perhaps.....
    • vii-iii-vi-ii-V7-I
    • iii-vi-ii-V7-I as sardocs suggested.
    • or do not resolve the last line of the verse and end on a V7 which will pull you into the starting tonic I chord of the next verse.
    Perhaps this will jog your memory:
    • The vii is an interesting chord. It and the V are dominant chords which of course want to move to the I tonic chord. The vii is also the leading tone minor chord, as well as the diminished chord; so it wants to resolve to the I tonic, however, is in no hurry to do so. It and the iii (being the middle chord) are your move somewhere else chords. So the vii or the iii make a good starting chord for a turn-a-round.
    • The iii likes to move or take you somewhere and the iii likes to drag the vi with it.
    • The vi likes to move to a sub dominant chord, i.e. the ii or IV.
    • The ii and IV are both sub-dominant chords and like to move to a dominant chord.
    • The V7 because of the added tension the b7 gives wants to resolve to the tonic I chord right now.
    • That leaves us the I tonic chord and it can go anywhere it wants to, but, when it does it resolves all the tension you have built up so you start the rest, tension, climax process all over again.
    • I've use the words "like to" and "want to" meaning the chords like to move somewhere, you do not have to let them, as any chord within the same key is going to sound OK with any other chord from that same key. So you can make them move anywhere you like. However, if you let them move like they like, it normally turns out for the best.
    Perhaps from that you can remember the order of the Boston turn-a-round. All the above deals with movement, where you place a chord also takes in the sharing of notes between the melody line and the chord line, i.e. harmonization. The placement of chords is a balancing act between moving the song along in the progression and harmonizing the melody line over that chord - through the use of shared notes.

    Have fun.