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11/25/2005 8:27 AM
Christian Miller (1937) wrote:
Here's a thought - instead of thinking of excahnging individual chords, think about the shape of a progression and then about different progressions which serve the same purpose. Here are some common examples
Dm7 G7 C
Dm7 Db7 C
F Db7 C
Dm7 G Em
Each have a different quality, but they may be exchanged for one another. The important thing is that the melody of the song sounds good against the new chords. I will publish a lesson on this soon!
This is because all the chords above have one of three qualiies. The first chord is 'somewhere else' the next chord is 'going home' and the third chord is 'home.' As long as the chords preserve these different feelings and don't mess up the melody, they can be excahnged for one another.
My views on substiutions are quite extreme and free:
Tonic major chord: replace with any chord that includes the following scale degrees:
1 2 3 #4 5 6 7 (b6)
Tonic minor chord: replace with any chord that includes these degrees.
1 b2 2 b3 4 5 b6 6 b7 7
Dominant chord: replace with any chromatic or diatonic chord that includes the 4th and/or the #2 of the scale.
There are other rules that deal with what I call 'outside' chords that are not dissonant like a domiannt seventh. These include II, IV and bVI degrees, for example, and involve the idea of modal colour. It's more complex to explain. Watch this space.
And remeber, the bass is the most important voice of the chord!
However, unless you are fluent in chord construction, this may be difficult to understand. However, it all comes from the most basic rules: if it sounds good it is good.
Experiment! Play more conservatively when jamming with strangers though, or they may get angry. When accompanying a soloist, one needs to understand their logic. It's OK to clash with them at moments of tension but you must also be able to back them up with chord that agree with their solo at other times. Many soloists use a fairly limited pallete of notes - modes, perhaps, or pentatonic scales, or extended arpeggios - over certain chords, so you learn the sounds and how to respond when you hear it.
A long journey... 12 years so far. Every time I get to the top of a hill, I see another one. I enjoy this...