Tritone substitution licks
The tritone substitution is one of the most common substitutions found in jazz music. The basic application of a tritone substitution is to take any 7th chord and play another 7th chord that has its root a tritone away from the original. For example the G7 chord is replaced by the Db7 chord, so you can play a Db7 arpeggio over the G7 chord.
How & why does it work ?
- The third of the G7 chord (B) is the same note as the flat seventh of the Db7 chord.
- The flat seventh of G7 (F) is the same note as the third of Db7.
It brings interesting colors/tension.
- The fifth (Ab) of the Db7 chord is the same note as the flat nine (b9) of the G7 chord.
- The first (Db) of the Db7 chord is the sharp eleven (#11 or b5) of the G7 chord.
Here is an easy tritone substitution jazz guitar lick with tabs to play over a C major II-V-I progression.