One of the most popular jazz chord substitution is the tritone substitution sometimes referred to as the dominant chord substitution. The most used is to replace the V with a dominant 7th chord whose root is a tritone below. Example with G7 (V), it can be replaced by Db7 a tritone (Three whole-steps) away. Thus giving two chords that have two notes in common. The 7th of G7 (F) is the third of Db7 and the third of G7 (B) is the seventh of Db7. The inversion of the 3rds and the 7ths between the original dominant chord (V) and the substituted dominant chord (bII7) is the main feature of the tritone substitution.
If the most common tritone substitution involves two dominant chords, there are other chords that can be substituted as the vi chord, the ii chord, and the iii chord. You can substitute any chord which has its roots the flat fifth of the original chord. The type of chord used depends on the melody and the desired harmony. The tritone substitution can also change qualities from the chord it is substituting. Provided that the melody indicates no strong preferences for chord type. For example, dom7 chords can be played in place of minors. This could be subject of another lesson. Meanwhile this article is focused on dominant seventh tritone substitutions.
A new video is online on the youtube channel. It is a quick jazz guitar chord melody arrangement with chord diagrams of the famous jazz standard "Stella by Starlight" (Victor Young).
You surely know what are major chords, minor chords, seventh chords and diminished 7th chords ? But you may be wondering what half-diminished chords are ? In music, the most encountered chords are major and minor chords. These are the basis of the Harmony. Seventh chords (m7, Maj7 and dom7) are also widely used, particularly in jazz and blues music. When a guitar student start to take an interest in jazz, he can sometimes find chords with a little barbaric names such as diminished 7th chords, augmented or even half-diminished chords (m7b5). This article will explain you what are m7b5 chords, how to play them on the guitar and how to apply them in common harmonic contexts as major and minor II-V-I progressions.
An interval is the distance between two notes, each one is represented by a number (1,2,3,4,5,6,7...) and a prefix related to its quality ("M" for major, m for minor, "P" for perfect, "d" for diminished and "A" for augmented). There are 5 different qualities. An interval can be melodic, when the tones are successive (played one after the other) and harmonic, if the notes are stacked (played simultaneously). Knowing the name of each interval is very important for any musician, they are essential elements of music theory. Intervals are very useful to understand how chords and scales are built. This article shows you how to make the difference between them.
If the basic sound of jazz is based on tetrad chords (four-note chords), it is common to extend them with other tones. These other notes forms the upper structure of a chord which includes 9th, 11th and 13th. Adding extensions to chords help to get off the beaten tracks and provides some new harmonic colors to your playing (chord soloing, comping, and arrangement). This lesson provides you useful extended major 7th chord shapes to apply to your playing.
Basically, major 7th chords are made up of a root (1), third (3), fifth (5) and seventh (7). They can be extended with a ninth (9), a sharp eleventh (#11) and a thirteenth (13).
The notes in yellow in the chart below can be added to the basic structure of a major 7th chord to extend it. Therefore a C major 7th chord can become Cmaj9, C maj7#11, Cmaj13.
|C Major seventh chord||C||E||G||B||D||F#||A|
Chord substitution is to replace a chord by another one to add more harmonic interest to a piece, a song or a chord progression. In jazz music, this technique is widely used to add interest to a . It can be useful to reharmonize a harmonic sequence or a jazz standard. There are two types of substitutions :
- Diatonic substitutions (chords that have the same tonal function) :
- Relative minor.
- Secondary relative minor.
- Dominant minor (II-V).
- Chromatic substitutions (Formed with chords from other keys or modes) :
- Tritone substitution.
- Secondary dominant chords.
- Chromatic common tones.
- Chord quality substitution.
- Adding II-V progressions.
This post is focused on diatonic substitutions, chromatic substitutions will be discussed in another topic.
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This lesson is about a 12-bar blues in the key of Bb included two guitar transcriptions with tabs : a guitar walking bass line for the accompaniment and a guitar improvisation to solo over.
Note that this study is based on a common blues jazz progression but with a descending chromatic progression in bars 7 & 8 using three dominant 7th chords (Bb7, A7, Ab7) to approach G7 at the end of the bar 8.
Bb7 | Eb7 | Bb7 | % |
Eb7 | Edim7 | Bb7 A7 | Ab7 G7 |
C-7 | G7 | Bb7 G7 | C-7 F7 |
Last edited: 21/04/2017