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"Good improvisation communicates harmonic progression melodically. Effective melodies manipulate harmonic content through the use of guide tones and preparatory gravity notes, masterfully woven in systematic tension, release, and transparent harmonic definition."

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August 27, 2012 | Tritone Subs

To the music theory uninitiated, the term "Tritone Sub" sounds more like the mispronunciation of an underwater military vessel, but not necessarily a jazz technique. It's not a nuclear powered submarine, rather it's short for Tritone (+4, -5), and the abbreviation for substitution. Really it's a pretty good trick, and one very commonly used in jazz and occasionally, pop music.

It won't be a sound you'd use in a bluegrass jam, but it's a very effective technique, borrowing scale DNA from the major mode a half step above the tonic. It's used in place of the dominant, both chord and scale mode. We to into more detail in a February 2010 Mandolin Sessions article using the Django Rheinhardt classic, "Manoir De Mes Reves." We enjoyed showing you how you could interchange a Eb7 with an A7.

Check out the original article: Another Dominant; Fresh Material for the V7 Chord
JazzMando PDF archive.


Posted by Ted at August 27, 2012 5:00 AM

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