• Idea Substitution 301: The Substitution Of Dominant Seventh Chord Ideas

    in Chords & Progressions,Experienced players,General Music,Improvisation,Jazz music,Piano,Theory

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    Our focus in this lesson is on the substitution of dominant seventh chord ideas.

    Although idea substitution is often used by jazz improvisers, the universality of its application or importance cannot be overemphasized.

    That’s why I’m taking you by the hand, and showing you (step-by-step) how dominant seventh chord ideas can be applied on other seventh chord types like the major seventh, minor seventh, half-diminished seventh, and altered chord.

    Let’s get on with it.

    Idea Substitution For Dominant Seventh Chord Ideas

    Idea substitution is one of the greatest tools every creative musician must have at his/her disposal and this is because it puts the ability to replace a musical idea (be it a note, scale, interval, chord, progression, melody, etc.) within your grasp.

    The Substitution Of Dominant Seventh Chord Ideas

    Dominant chords are used extensively in harmony as passing chords. So, beyond the main dominant chord in the key (which is the 5-chord), there are other dominant chords that are generally classified as secondary dominant chords.

    The dominant seventh chord is the chord of the fifth tone of the scale. So, in the key of C major:

    …the dominant seventh chord is the 5-chord (G dominant seventh):

    I’ll be showing you how a dominant seventh chord idea can be applied over other chord types and the goal is to give you more freedom to creatively express your ideas over a variety of chords.

    Dominant Seventh Vs Major Seventh

    Dominant seventh chord ideas can be played over a major seventh chord that is a major second (or 2 half-steps) below its root.

    “Here’s How It Works…”

    Ideas played over the C dominant seventh chord:

    …can be applied over a major seventh chord that is a major second (or 2 half-steps) below the C dominant seventh chord — and that’s the Bb major seventh chord:

    “Let’s Take One More Example…”

    Ideas played over the G dominant seventh chord:

    …can be applied over a major seventh chord that is a major second (or 2 half-steps) below the G dominant seventh chord — and that’s the F major seventh chord:

    Attention: To learn about this and more, join our Jazz Intensive Training Center.

    Major seventh chord ideas can also be used over dominant seventh chords. Any given major seventh chord idea can be played over a dominant seventh chord that is a major second (or 2 half-steps) above its root.

    Ideas that are played over the A major seventh chord:

    …can be played over the B dominant seventh chord:

    Dominant Seventh Vs Minor Seventh

    Dominant seventh chord ideas can also be played over a minor seventh chord that is a perfect fifth above its root.

    “Here’s How It Works…”

    Ideas played over the C dominant seventh chord:

    …can be applied over a minor seventh chord that is a perfect fifth above the C dominant seventh chord — and that’s the G minor seventh chord:

    “Here’s One More Example…”

    Ideas played over the E dominant seventh chord:

    …can be applied over a minor seventh chord that is a perfect fifth above the E dominant seventh chord — and that’s the B minor seventh chord:

    Attention: To learn about this and more, join our Jazz Intensive Training Center.

    Minor seventh chord ideas can also be used over dominant seventh chords. Any given minor seventh chord idea can be played over a dominant seventh chord that is a perfect fourth above its root.

    Ideas that are played over the Eb minor seventh chord:

    …can be played over the Ab dominant seventh chord:

    Dominant Seventh Vs Half Diminished Seventh

    Dominant seventh chord ideas can be played over a half-diminished seventh chord that is a major third (or 4 half-steps) above its root.

    “It’s Simpler Than It Sounds…”

    Ideas played over the C dominant seventh chord:

    …can be applied over a half-diminished seventh chord that is a major third (or 4 half-steps) above the C dominant seventh chord — and that’s the E half-diminished seventh chord:

    “Let’s Take One More Example…”

    Ideas played over the D dominant seventh chord:

    …can be applied over a half-diminished seventh chord that is a major third (or 4 half-steps) above the D dominant seventh chord — and that’s the F# half-diminished seventh chord:

    Attention: To learn about this and more, join our Jazz Intensive Training Center.

    Half-diminished seventh chord ideas can also be used over dominant seventh chords. Any given half-diminished seventh chord idea can be played over a dominant seventh chord that is a major third (or 4 half-steps) below its root.

    Ideas that are played over the G# half-diminished seventh chord:

    …can be played over the E dominant seventh chord:

    Final Words

    Using the idea substitution principles covered in this lesson, you can apply dominant seventh chord ideas on other seventh chord types like the major seventh, minor seventh, and half-diminished seventh chord.

    Keep up the great work and see you in the next lesson.

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 James Singer

    I reviewed the “Substitution of Dominant Seventh Chords”. When seventh chords are applied within dominant seventh chords, the mixing instigates unique sounds generating “color”. A creative composing tool emerges from this lesson. The “color” can represent various moods and feelings within a composition. The application produces unique sounding music. Thank you GMTC for the details.

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