Author Topic: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence  (Read 4816 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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« Last Edit: May 16, 2011, 05:50:25 pm by justinguitar »
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Offline Telekaster

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2010, 01:19:09 pm »
Many thanks for posting another excellent lesson Justin.   If you were to improvise over these chords, would you use C major? It doesn't seem to sound quite right to me!

Offline rjtorres

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2010, 09:42:59 am »
Hi Justin, first of all congratulations to you and your site, your intentions and actions are very honorable. :)

Anyway, I just wanted to ask how much jazz do you play, and are you planning to insert some more advanced concepts, tips or tricks? I was trying to find some substitution concepts, or inversions (for widening my chord grips/chord vocabulary) but can't really find them in your site. I'm not sure where to post this, so I decided maybe this is a good place to start.

An example I have (just discovered this yesterday) was that altered dominant chords can be substituted by a m7b5 chord, placed 2 frets below (G7alt can also be played as Fm7b5). I am also currently practicing arpeggios and inversions to those chords, so that gives me a lot of m7b5 chords, which also means a lot of G7 alt chord. I figured if I could learn new concepts like this, it would really help with widening my chord vocab.

Hope to hear from you soon! :)

Offline steveokla

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2011, 08:33:02 pm »
Greetings
Wonderful site!  I'm really enjoying this lesson, but do have a question (doubtless, something obvious I'm missing) about substitution number 8.  I understand that the  C# dim. functions as an A7b9, the sixth chord of the progression.  Further, it's I clear that the D#dim can be substituted for a B7b9 on the same principle.  What I'm uncertain about is the function of the B7 chord in the progression.  Specifically, the C# dim is functioning as the 6th chord, but what is the function of the B7b9 (for which the D# dim is being substituted) in the progression?  As a five of five (the E shows up as a substitute for the I chord, C maj) I can sort of see the connection of the B chord, there but don't really understand how the B fits in the mix.

Thanks so much, and kindest regards, Steve K.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2011, 09:21:29 pm »
B7 --> Em

Em being the 1. B7 is V of Em

B7 substituted for Bm7 is a popular sub.

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Offline steveokla

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2011, 09:52:29 pm »
So I wasn't too far off? The B works because it's the five of the Em substituted for the Cmaj?  thanks very much.


Offline kaoD

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2011, 11:22:02 am »
I've noticed you can substitute even further with the TT sub:

4. C∆7 Eb7 D-7 Db7 C∆7 can become C∆7 Eb7 Ab7 Db7 C∆7

Which is surprisingly similar to Trane's substitution, maybe that's why it works? I took a look at Wikipedia for Coltrane changes but it's too heavy for me to understand right now (I'm a native spanish speaker, and learnt lots of music theory in spanish, which is very different, including the european nomenclature...)

I don't know if any theory supports this, but to my ears it sounds good, so... good to go ;P

Offline justinguitar

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 08:47:53 am »
The Coltrane changes are a 1625 sub, but it is pretty complex - but works because of the sounds, not cos of the theory!

Playing over any of these you should play from the chord, not from a scale of each one!

Cmaj ---- C maj
A7-------- A alt, or A Mixo
Dmin----- D Dorian
G7-------- G alt or G Mixo

But as the chords grow out, you need to change what scales you play too!! More on that when I get into a jazz lead series!!
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Offline TheFrooshinator

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2012, 02:13:10 pm »
Hi,

I just have a question regarding the different chord qualities in the substitutions because they seem to change alot (especially the 6 and 2 chord)

Can you just choose whether the 6 chord and/or the 2 chord is dominant or minor?
Like in sub 4: The 2 chord is minor again, could it remain being dominant like in sub 3?
And in sub 3, 5 and 6: can the 6 chord become minor again like in sub 1?

I know it's all about the sound and these things sound good to my ear but I still want to be sure, can you just randomly use secondary dominants??

Offline TB-AV

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2012, 03:41:05 pm »
Some chords sound surprisingly similar and could be used just to prevent a static sound to a song.

Other times the substitute chord has job to do. That job being to help guide the song to a new place. Like a key change.

It really is about what you hear.

You can play a song with 3 chords or you can select from a pool of 9 chords using some as substitutes. How you apply them and how they sound in that application is all that matters. It's just a matter of increasing your tool set to make a more ornate and interesting sound.
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Offline princecharles

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2014, 01:25:18 pm »
Thanks for the great lessons.

Arent the cool sounding coltrane changes basically tritone substutions for the 1625?

I      cmaj7       cmaj7
VI   A7            Ebmaj7
II     dm7         Abmaj7
V    G7           Dbmaj7


The Coltrane changes are a 1625 sub, but it is pretty complex - but works because of the sounds, not cos of the theory!

Playing over any of these you should play from the chord, not from a scale of each one!

Cmaj ---- C maj
A7-------- A alt, or A Mixo
Dmin----- D Dorian
G7-------- G alt or G Mixo

But as the chords grow out, you need to change what scales you play too!! More on that when I get into a jazz lead series!!

Offline sophiehiker

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2014, 02:44:30 pm »
@Charlie,  No expert, but it doesn't sound like tritone substitutions from this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYJsl3FCOfk  and this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coltrane_changes  HTH
...where the deer and the antelope play.  Well, they're not really playing.  They're fleeing in terror.

Offline TB-AV

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2014, 04:56:59 pm »
Those chords are "Flat Five Substitutions"

EX: A7 sub Ebmaj7   -- normal V is E.... FLAT FIVE is Eb.

You are basically thinking V to I or E to A or E7 to A7 or the various other extensions like 9, 11, maj7, etc.

the V by nature is a tense chord and wants to go home. Yet it is still considered "inside" or a 'normal' chord.

Jazz likes to add more tension, especially over the V chord.

So your inside notes are A B C# D E F# G# leaving A# C D# F G as the outside notes.

Enharmonically Bb C Eb F G.  Bb scale = Bb C D Eb F G A   compare to E7 = E G# B D

So the Bb scale adds the desired "outside" chromatic notes to your typical E7. They only share D note. the rest are chromatic additions "outside" for tension.

So if E7 =  E G# B D = 1 3 5 b7
then Bb scale adds ... Bb(b5) C(#5) Eb(major7) F(b9) G(#9) to continue that the D(b7) and A(11) are diatonic to E7.

So the concept is ... play the MAJOR SCALE that is a FLAT FIVE from your FIVE chord.

You probably know that the ii chord is also the v of V,,, so FLAT FIVE is also FLAT NINE of the ONE or FLAT two made MAJOR.

Basically you play one semitone up from the ONE in MAJOR.

Again... this concept is for the V chord.

Basically what you are looking for are 'other scales' that provide you with outside notes but also have the inside notes as well and substitute them in for your strict diatonic scales that you normally use.

why they didn't call it the Flat Nine Sub... I have no idea. Probabaly because people were doing V of V substitutions already and then someone figured if they drop another half step they get all this chromatic movement which tends to work and get some cool sounding outside stuff as well.

The realization being they are only half step from diatonic home at any time.

The above is from information passed from various people and related by Danny Gatton so you can probably most easily hear it by listening to his music. He was doing it by ear and by figuring things out on paper so to speak. IOW after he was told about this half step concept he sat down and figured which scales worked with which chords. However if you research it the Jazzers will call it the Flat Five Sub.

I'm sure there is a lot more to the whole Coletrane thing but that at least explains your Emaj7 substitute for A7

You could also call on the b9 of V. In this case we have an A7 and have called on it's V(E7) but then altered it into a Flat Five of V via Bb.. V of E = B so Bb is the bV.

That's also the same as b9 of A... so either way you name it you end up at Bb scale to built that Ebmaj7.

You could also call on the b9 of E(or E7) which is F F G A Bb C D E .. .these notes fit very nicely to both E and A and have some outside notes as well. Again only 1/2 step from 'home' which would be the E chord(your expected or typical VofV for A7).

Clear as mud? ... just remember the whole point is not sound like the same old thing but to call on something new without destroying the whole deal. So you are looking for ways to add spice and hopefully be able to do so without taxing your brain..... thus "1/2 step from home".

Timing and the order you apply the notes makes all the difference more so than them being 'wrong notes'. People that know what they are doing can play all 'wrong notes' and make it sound great.

+++++++++ETA: Just to be clear the above is not to say the videos sophiehiker posted are incomplete or wrong or anything of that nature. This is simply a means to solo over whatever chords you happen to end up with. If you notice in that one video the guy says "over this chord coltrane always played such and such" He went on to say he studied many of his performances and every time he got to that chord he would call on a certain tool set or scale tones. .... same with Gatton, he might default to Bb over E7 in key of A.... The point is, you/we need something to grab on to.  Let's say coltrane has this three tonic system and the notes and chords end up being the same as the flat five of five. that is the nature of music and the fact we only have 12 notes. Our job is to identify what is going on and how will we handle it in the moment.

This is basically the task everyone has. How will I deal with the chords no matter how they came to be. Some deal with them by playing "licks". some deal with them by playing a diatonic key, some deal with arpeggios, so we have two systems at play here.

How did coltrane come to play those chords. How did he decide to write his progressions. And then how will he or you improvise over them. IOW... the methods used to build the bridge will be different from the methods you use to cross the bridge.

what sophiehiker posted is how the bridge was built. what I posted is more about how you can think of the bridge so you can cross it with your guitar and the beauty of this one method is that you only need to be able to think 1/2 step from home.

Just want to be sure those two worlds are not confused. The greatest players have this ability through deep research to reduce all these complex chord changes down to simple manageable blocks.








« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 05:23:27 pm by TB-AV »
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Offline princecharles

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Re: JA-030 • Substitutions for the I-VI-II-V Chord Sequence
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2014, 02:09:48 pm »
Cheers for the replies.

@Soph - The moving down in steps of major or minor thirds characteristic of coltrane change doesnt seem to fit this exactly.

So the flat five substitution (or tritone) explanation would maybe appear more apt.