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Substitution Rules

Frederick Burton (5465) · [archive]
Style: Jazz · Level: Advanced · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

My first lesson on "wholenote" was entitled "Learning the Turnarounds". On that lesson I mentioned how certain chordal substitutions, extensions and alterations can be used to enhance certain progressions. I'm going to attempt to cover many of those rules in this lesson. This can very useful for songwriters as well as guitarist/instrumentalists. Learning these rules will open up worlds to you in the form of reharmonization, improvisation, substitutions. Let's get started........... EXTENSIONS AND ALTERATIONS: To add interest to a song a jazz player will more than likely never use a plain triad or 7 chords unless necessary. A plain C MAJOR CHORD can become: C6, Cmaj7+11, Cmaj9, Cmaj7b5, C6/9, or Cmajor6add9. A C MINOR CHORD can become: Cm6, Cm add9, Cm7b5, Cm w/nat7, Cm11. The C dominant chord becomes: C9, C11, C13, C7b9, C7sus4, C7#9, C7#5, C7#5#9. Check out example 1. Experiment with other extensions and alterations like the examples and others aforementioned. Even though these chords may look good as they contort your fingers to no end. It may also be "cool" to write them on a chord chart but I would be remiss if I don't throw out a word of caution with using these "cool" chords. You should never forget that the melody, a lot of times, determines the chord you should use! This is prevelent in the jazz idiom. Also the musical environment you play in determines how a guitarist play certain chords! For instance: If you're playing with a piano or keyboardist and bassist then a lot of these extensions/alterations are unecessary. If you're in a big band then you will probably never use these chords unless annotated on the chart. Accompanying a vocalist creates a different musical situation as well. etc.
Substitution Rules