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What is the Tri-Tone Substitution?

2
Asked 2013-05-07T22:29:05.0Z by Jefe1,498
  • V.I.P.

I've had this explained to me a few times, but I still have no idea.   What exactly is a tri-tone substituon? Is it strictly a jazz concept? or does it apply to all music? 

This is just a picture of a cool guitar....

Image

Comments:

  • That is a cool guitar! Damn!JP 2013-05-07T22:55:31.0Z
    0

1 Answer

Date | Votes
Reply — Posted 2013-05-08T17:44:13.0Z (edited 2013-05-08T23:36:06.0Z)
1
Jeff E13,406
  • V.I.P.
  • Teacher

The Tritone Substituion (or flat 5 sub) is a commonly used substitution in jazz. 

Alot of folks make it more dificult than it needs to be. Case in point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tritone_substitution

In a nut shell, for a dominant 7 chord, you can subsitiute with a different 7 chord a flat fifth higher. (count up a fifth G,A,B,C,D...back down a half step to Db. or 6 half steps.)  

for example instead of G7 you can put Db7 in it's place. Here's a simple ii-V-I in C.

Image

In the second example we have replaced G7 with Db7.

Image

we can talk about why this works, but for starters just try it out, and figure out what the sub would be in different keys...

Comments:

  • What's the yellow square on the G# on the Db chord? is it important?Jefe 2013-05-08T17:55:03.0Z
    1
  • Nothing...sorry just an artifact left over from quickly making the notation...Jeff E 2013-05-08T17:56:08.0Z
    0
  • The chord symbol for the tritone sub of G7 is correct (Db7), as is the tab. However, the notation spells out a C#7. Technically, the notes should be Db, Ab, Cb, F, Ab.Ghost R 2013-05-08T23:37:06.0Z
    2
  • Thanks, you're right...fixed.Jeff E 2013-05-08T23:39:17.0Z
    0

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