25 Altered Dominant Guitar Chords
What's An Altered Dominant Chord?
Altered dominant chords are used to bring tension and an outside flavor to jazz chord progressions. They generally resolved to an inside chord as the I or a substitute as iii or vi. They have one or more notes lowered or raised by a half-step, in other words they contain one or more alterations. These alterations can be b9,#9, b5 (#11) and b13 (#5). Jazz musicians, composers and arrangers used them as substitutions for diatonic chords for adding more dissonance and spice up the harmony. This tutorial provides 25 altered guitar chord shapes to understand how they are constructed and how to play them on guitar.
Altering the fifth
In jazz music, alterations are used for all types of chords, however, they are most often applied to dominant chords. So let's start with the fifth of V7, it that can be altered with a sharp (#) or a flat (b). So we can get two altered chords named 7b5 or 7#5. Please note that the b5 and the #11 are the same notes, they are enharmonic like the #5 and the b13 that are enharmonic too, so there are two other possibilities, 7#5 and 7b13. However, it is better to use the b5 and #5 extensions as shown in the shapes below.
Dominant Flat Five Drop 2 And Drop 3 Voicings
Here are four guitar neck diagrams to play 7b5 chords.
Dominant Sharp Five Drop 2 And Drop 3 Voicings
These four diagrams take the same voicings as above, but with an augmented fifth. Please note that 7#5 chords can be written 7aug or 7+5 or aug7.
Altering the ninth
The ninth of a dominant chord can be lowered or raised by a half-step, thus giving two altered dominant chords : 7b9 and 7#9. Here are eight guitar diagrams to play altered dominant chords. Notice that there are two rootless chord voicings, meaning that the root tone is not play but simply represented by a red circle.
Dominant 7 Flat Ninth Chords
The b9 is generally used to alter the dominant 7 chord of a minor II-V-I chord progression giving a iim7 - V7b9 - Im(maj7) sequence.
Dominant 7 sharp ninth chords
Now the same voicings but with a #9 instead of a b9. Please note that 7#9 chords are dominant chords with a major ninth.
One or More Alterations
Altered dominant chords can contain one or more alterations, the choice depends on the melody. They are most of the time simplified and written "ALT", for example G7#5b13 can be written G7alt. It means that the altered notes are not specified, you can decide which alteration you add to the dominant 7 chord. Here are some chord shapes that will help you to hear some of these altered chords.
This printable PDF guitar lesson provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
Printable PDF eBook containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This printable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines with tabs and audio files both in major and minor keys
Jazz guitar comping. How to play II-V-I chord progressions on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with analysis, tabs & standard notation.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.
This printable PDF eBook file contains 5 jazz blues studies using only arpeggios.