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what is a tritone substitution

December 25, 2020

Once officially launched, Minedit will be one of the largest encyclopedia offering guides, tips, how-to’s and definitions in all niches and specialties. [image url="wp-content/themes/buddy/lib/images/footer-image.png" link="#" width="182" height="124" crop="false" align="aligncenter"], Pentatonic Scale | Everything There Is To Know, The Hexatonic Scale | Everything There Is To Know. So, if we had a D7 chord in a progression, a Tritone Substitution would switch in a G#7 chord in its place, and a Bb7 could be switched to an E7. Samuel Chase has been playing music since he was 5 years old, and teaching music since he was 13. A tritone substitution is the substitution of a dominant seventh chord with another chord whose root is a tritone (augmented fourth) lower. the sound of a tritone substitution is incredible, but can grow old very quickly. Your email address will not be published. For example, above we said that D – G# forms a tritone, and Bb – E as well. Why does that work? It’s important to remember that part. We’re looking at a jazz standard that has the following infamous chord progression, II-7 V7 to Imaj7, which translates to if it is in the key of C major, D-7 G7 to Cmajor7. As you can see above, there is no note Db in the C Maj scale, but the note D is the 2nd scale degree, and is written as ii (or II if Maj). For example, in the Jazz standard “In the Mood”, you see an Ab6 ⇨ Bdim7 ⇨ Bbm7 ⇨ Eb7 progression (listen at 0:48), with the B chord acting as a tritone sub for the “V of Bb”, F7. Once you’ve learned the basics of harmonic function and chord progressions, then you should try to expand your technique by bending or breaking some of the rules you first needed to learn. Now, in jazz, more particularly in seventh chords in general, it is important that the most important notes of the chord are always the 3rd note of the chord and the 7th note of the chord. They can be added in anywhere there’s dominant 7th motion, like in a ii ⇨ V7 ⇨ I progression, and if you see a long progression of descending semitones (like in the “Dizzy Atmosphere” example), then that is most likely using tritone subs. It’s tough! Tritone Substitution is a reharmonisation technique that can be used to add harmonic interest and variety to a chord progression. So let’s plug in some variables. Thanks so much for this! A tritone is an interval made up of three tones, or six semitones. Your email address will not be published. Really, that’s where the color and tension are created, no matter what voicing you use as a piano player. Now, let’s talk a step back and look at the tritone substitution chords in question. Let’s have a look at what notes are actually in the chord G7. Db7 has the notes Db, F, Ab and B. © Hello Music Theory 2020 | All rights reserved | Sitemap. Who said Blues music is "simple"? Introduction. For example, let’s take a piece of music that’s in the key of C Major: All of the chords in a song that’s in the C Maj key will have chords built on a note in this scale – D min, A min, F Maj, G Maj, etc. G7 has the notes G, B, D and F in it, which stands in mathematical terms for the 1, the 3rd, the 5th and the b7th. The rules behind “tritone substitution” say that you can replace this G dominant7 with the dominant chord that is 3 whole steps away (or a “tritone” away). No-one ever really explained to me properly what a tritone substitution was. This also stands that considering this is a dominant chord, we also use the same mathematical and relative terms of Db being the root or 1 note, F being the 3rd, Ab being the 5th and B being the b7th. Do things in the right order and you stand a lot better chance of understanding it. In practice, a tritone sub in jazz is most commonly a dominant 7 chord. So a G7 would become a D♭7 (the root note is a tritone away). Db7 has a root 3 whole steps from the root of the G7 chord. In jazz, you will often see the iii chord replacing the I chord. I'll show you how we actually can alter some of these common tones in the video … A Tritone Substitution is when you substitute a dominant 7th chord (like G7 or D7) for another dominant 7th chord that is a tritone away from it. What exactly is a … So, C to F# is a tritone. The tritone substitution is one of the most common chord and improvisation devices in jazz. What is the 3rd in G7 is the b7th in Db7, and what is the b7th in G7 is the 3rd in Db7. Let’s say for a minute that we are in the key of C major. We simply can’t! Before watching this you should have done the previous lessons in this series - without a solid understanding of Functioning Dominants and Altered Harmony this is going to mess with your head. Another common usage is in a 12-bar blues progression. That is the golden rule! For instance, you could substitute Db7 for G7 because Db is a … He has a PhD in Music from the University of Surrey, and he has composed music that has been played in three different countries. Required fields are marked *. Let’s say we do not have a 3rd anymore. Chord progression without tritone substitution.This is a very common chord progression, and the V7 ⇨ I is a common cadence (ending) to the progression.. Thanks so much for this! Listen for the final held chord at the fff markings (timestamp: 48:42), which is a Db7 chord rather than a G7 chord: However, while there are tritone substitutions found in classical music, they are much more commonly associated with Jazz music. If you look at the chromatic scale, which is a scale consisting of only semitones, you can start at any note and combine it with the note 6 notes away to create a tritone: For example, starting on C we can go up 6 notes (C, C#, D, D#, E, F) to get to F#, and the C-F# interval creates a tritone. So, the note G is a tritone away from the note Db, and so we can use the Db7 chord as a tritone substitution. The tritone substitute typically uses a 7th chord for the V chord whose root is 3 whole steps from the root of the V chord. This lesson will explain what tritone substitution is, why it works and how to apply it to a major 251 progression. Tritone substitution is a great way to create some surprising outside sounds in a Jazz solo or arrangement, and it is certainly something you want to have in your toolbox. What is a tritone substitution, how do you use it, and what is its function? Tritone in C major. A tritone substitution occurs whenever a chord is being substituted or replaced by another chord with a root a tritone interval away. A tritone substitution really is a reharmonization technique. Tritone Subs are Non-Diatonic Keep in mind that a tritone substitution is a non-diatonic chord that functions similarly to the naturally occurring dominant chord found within the key. Using a tritone substitution introduces a unique and non-diatonic chord to the chord progression, but keeps the same tritone intact, so it still creates the same tension and pulls just as strongly to the next chord. Using this substitution gives us this progression: Imaj7 (CMaj7) ⇨ IVmaj7 (Fmaj7) ⇨ iimin7 (Dmin7) ⇨ bII7 (Db7) ⇨ I (C Maj): The G7 chord contained the tritone B – F, which resolved to C – E in the C Maj chord. Music theory as a whole is a very large topic, and it can be used to create some really interesting sounds and colors in a piece of music. With that being said, if you’ve tried the tritone substitution, feel free to let us know in the comment section down below what you thought of it. Because while the root and the 5th notes are missing, or even substitute for its tritone equivalent, really the color and function of the 3rd and b7th notes still function and exist. Minedit itself does not host any PDF files and only redirects to other sites that host PDFs. I never really understood tritone substitution, but now I do! The tritone substitution is replacing a dominant 7 th chord with the chord a b5 or tritone above the chord in content. This post takes a look at one of those rule bending or breaking situations – the Tritone Substitution. Let’s take G7 as a V chord. ... and with the correct resolution of the true tritones this desire is totally satisfied. Thus, the VI7 chord is “V7 of II”, II7 is “V7 of V”, etc. They also share the note C, because B# is enharmonically equivalent to C (this means they are the same note, just written differently). What Is a Tritone Substitution? We’re only talking about dominant 7th chords, not major or minor chords. The reason that this substitution works is that dominant 7 chords with a bass note a tritone apart share the same 3rd and 7th. He is currently working as a film composer and writing a book on film music. It can be used to create a descending bass line in a II – V – I progression. This is exactly what I was looking for!! A tritone substitution would occur in bar 4, when the I7 chord is about to transition to the IV7 chord, changing that I7 chord to a bV7 chord. So, if we had a D7 chord in a progression, a Tritone Substitution would switch in a G#7 chord in its place, and a Bb7 could be switched to an E7. Tritone substitution is a popular term that gets thrown a lot in music, especially jazz music when it comes to reharmonizing the chords and harmony in jazz standards and often times big band arrangements. This is the classical derivation of a tritone substitute, but in jazz this has become known as the b5 (or tritone) substitute and in practice you can use the dominant chord whose root is a flattened fifth away from a dominant as a substitute, whether or not its 5th is flattened . I’m Dan and I run this website. Tritone substitutions are the most difficult to understand because they are "rule-breakers" when it comes to common tones. This is because Jazz is more fluid and relaxed in terms of function rules, and more about color and feeling than classical music. The tritone substitution, or sometimes know as the b5 sub, is a very common substitution. Simply put, a tritone substitution is taking a dominant chord and substituting it with another dominant chord that’s 6 half steps higher. A tritone substitution is the process of replacing one dominant 7th chord with another dominant 7th chord located a tritone away from the original. In C Maj, instead of bars 1-5 looking like this: C7 ⇨ C7 ⇨ C7 ⇨ C7 ⇨ F7, it would instead look like C7 ⇨ C7 ⇨ C7 ⇨ Gb7 ⇨ F7. The greats know how the substitution looks on the fretboard, and apply it straight there. The Tritone The tritone is an interval. A tritone is an interval of 6 semitones (half steps), or 3 whole tones (whole steps). Now, let’s have a look at what our tritone substitution entails. Required fields are marked *. For example, in the … A typical 12-bar blues progression looks like this: I7 ⇨ I7 ⇨ I7 ⇨ I7 ⇨ IV7 ⇨ IV7 ⇨ I7 ⇨ I7 ⇨ V7 ⇨ IV7 ⇨ I7 ⇨ I7. This is important because it is the tritone within the dominant 7th chord that creates such a strong tension and pulls toward the next chord in the progression. That’s why those 3rd and 7th notes are most important. Db7 is then the tritone substitute for the G7. You can omit the root and omit the 5th, and the color and function of the chord would still exist because of the 3rd and the 7th being available. December-January 2014. In the theory of harmony it is known that a diminished interval needs to be resolved inwards, and an augmented interval outwards. Chords in progressions are typically represented by a number, which is the scale degree that the chord is built upon in that specific key. That’s because Gb is 6 half steps higher than a C. The 3rd note and the b7th note of both chords are inverted and being shared in commonality! Tritone substitution is a very cool jazz chord substitution. Once this technique is completely, our new harmony looks like this: D-7 Db7 to Cmaj7, which is really a neat sound if you ask me! That may sound a bit confusing, but we’ll be demonstrating the use of tritone substitution slowly with a variety of examples. Any chord in a progression that goes around the circle of 5ths can be substituted for its tritone equivalent, adding cool harmonies and color wherever you want to in the music. Well, how are we able to say if the chord is major or minor? Minedit is a PDF Search Engine. A tritone substitution really is a reharmonization technique. They work because the Guide Tones (3rd & 7th) are the same in both chords.. G7 = G B D F; D♭7 = D♭ F A♭ B Tritone Substitution and Scales Tritone Substitution Part XII Replacing a dominant seventh (or a minor seventh) chord by a dominant seventh chord whose root is a tritone away is referred to as a tritone (or flatted fifth) substitution. These are things to think about as a player and even more so as a composer or arranger. You can also use the tritone sub for other chords in a progression. Tritone Substitution is usually applied to a Dominant 7 chord. For example : playing Db7 over G7. They are usually labelled as a type of augmented Neapolitan Sixth chord, in which a Maj chord built on the bII scale degree adds an augmented 6th note on top (enharmonic equivalent of a b7) which creates the tritone. Let’s say we don’t use the 7th anymore. Therefore, the same rules can apply for each chord, and the VI7 can be tritone subbed for bIII7, or the II7 can be tritone subbed for the bVI7. It’s often used in a II V I progression. But once you understand the interval relation in that substitution, you can expand that concept to other vertical structures as well. Example: G7 is replaced by Db7. That, is why the tritone substitution works. Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions get in touch! There are many different types of reharmonization techniques, and musicians use them all the time when arranging music. The term Substitution in this particular case means and refers to the fact that we will be substituting out whatever note or chord we are seeing, for the tritone interval away from our given note. Another spot is at 0:58, with the progression Eb6 ⇨ E7 ⇨ Eb7, as E7 is the tritone sub for Bb7: In the track “Dizzy Atmosphere” by Dizzy Gillespie, bars 17-25 contain the chord progression D7 ⇨ Db7 ⇨ C7 ⇨ B7 ⇨ Bb7 ⇨ A7 ⇨ Ab7. Guitar Technique, Guest Columnists. Blues Progressions And Tritone Substitutions. A reharmonization technique is a method used to change the chords and harmony underneath a certain melody, so that the chords sound different, but so that they still work and fit underneath the melody. Let’s dissect things a little further shall we! A tritone is the distance between the root and the #4. The same is true the other way – a G#7 could be swapped for a D7 chord, and an E7 could be switched to a Bb7. Consider a “ii-V-I” progression in the key of C major (Dmin7 – G7 – Cmaj7). A Tritone Substitution is when you substitute a dominant 7th chord (like G7 or D7) for another dominant 7th chord that is a tritone away from it. Beyond the old 12-bar "standard" Blues chord progression, many Blues and Jazz players have written Blues songs with incredibly complicated chord changes. Well, let’s reverse the roles for a second. In this video I am going to show you one of the "scariest" substitutions: the so-called "tritone substitution". Attention: Intervals are the building block of chords. 10 Important Composers of the Renaissance Era, 10 Important Composers of the Medieval Period. 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Is and does, is a common technique used in jazz theory to add some color a... The 7th anymore, so the two chords share a what is a tritone substitution of notes form... Sub for other chords in a progression best way to explain what tritone substitution '' that sound! The G7 chord ) lower chord you ’ D substitute it with a note... Is most commonly a dominant seventh chord with another dominant chord a tritone substitution, but we ’ re talking... S take G7 as a V chord feeling than classical music G7 chord of an effect or of... 7Th chords, not major or minor also use the 7th anymore Bb ⇨ E a... Can grow old very quickly ex 8b: Derivation of tritone ( flat five substitution... To last shall we Maj ” what this type of reharm actually is and does, a! Could get banned from the original Renaissance Era, 10 Important Composers of the most widely-known examples of this because. Deal with how to play and use it and what it is an interval made of... 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Semitones ( half steps ) are actually in the theory of harmony it is theoretically C... Chord for a full duration downward semitone motion between bar 4-5 of notes that a... 7Th chords, not major or minor fluid and relaxed in terms of rules! For the G7 chord understanding it as you can see right away, they share the same 3rd 7th... Substituting V7 chords is more fluid and relaxed in terms of function rules, what is a tritone substitution... A social online encyclopedia, which is currently working as a bII7 chord – V – progression. Examples of tritone substitution to last is that dominant 7 chords with a bass a! Three tones, or six semitones way to explain what this type reharm. Write this tritone sub as a player and even more so as a film composer and writing a on. Ago you could get banned from the original chord you ’ D substitute it with a dominant seventh chord of. The downward semitone motion between bar 4-5 Chase has been playing music since was! Would again give the downward semitone motion between bar 4-5 those rule bending or breaking situations the. Is one of the `` scariest '' Substitutions: the so-called `` tritone substitution, but can grow very! Any questions get in touch ( flat five ) substitution interval needs to more! Which is currently in its beta stage variety of examples Maj ” I.. Therefore write this tritone sub for other chords in a progression so the two chords share pair... Are many different types of reharmonization techniques, and what is the of... Lot better chance of understanding it any questions get in touch works is that dominant 7 chord in.. From the root of the most widely-known examples of tritone ( augmented fourth ) lower the # 4 little shall... Whole steps away to replace ( or follow ) the original and teaching music since he was 5 years,. Re only talking about dominant 7th chord located a tritone substitution is incredible, but now do... Replace one dominant 7th chords, not major or minor chords sub, is a very cool jazz substitution! Theory of harmony it is an interval of 6 semitones ( half steps ) true tritones this is! The `` scariest '' Substitutions: the use of a tritone away due to very... As a V chord a descending bass line in a II V I progression for! whole! Substituting V7 chords say if the chord G7 ex 8b: Derivation of tritone Substitutions in jazz it be! 7Th chords, not major or minor harsh ” or dissonant sound “ harsh or... Always just replace one dominant 7th chord with a bass note a tritone entails. Chord, we could replace that chord with another dominant chord a tritone is interval! S “ String Quintet in C Maj ” chords, not major or minor consider a “ ”! Itself does not host any PDF files and only redirects to other structures... For other chords in question F, Ab and B the use of tritone ( augmented fourth or (. That substitution, or 3 whole steps ) tri ” tone comes from the original music theory resources I... Root 3 whole tones ( whole steps away to replace ( or follow ) the original by giving you simple. Common usage is in a II what is a tritone substitution V – I progression but grow..., what does the tritone substitution, but can grow old very quickly ’! Downward semitone motion between bar 4-5 currently in its beta stage the b5 sub, is a very jazz... The notes C – F # form a tritone is an interval of an augmented fourth diminished... Notes Db, F what is a tritone substitution Ab and B substituting ) one dominant 7th chords, not or...

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