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brwnhornet59
post Feb 27 2013, 05:14 PM
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Hey Professor, I was wondering about the methods used to come up with substitutions in the rock world as opposed to jazz. Since rock is mainly triads with 7th chords here and there and jazz uses 4 note harmonies and their extensions creating more interconnected relationships making it easier (in my mind) to hear how rootless subs, tritones, having every chord be a possible dominant (opening the door to use it's ii chord for endless prolonging of resolution, adding movement, turn around's), work etc...

Would we use the same approach to rock as with jazz? If not what would the differences be? I am interested in this not only from a soloing pov but from a song writing pov...Thanks! smile.gif

This post has been edited by brwnhornet59: Feb 27 2013, 05:16 PM


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The Professor
post Feb 27 2013, 05:26 PM
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Great question! Without going too deep into it, this can be a very big topic of conversation, here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

The first is the use of Diminished Triads when you have a 7th chords to play.

What I mean by that is, if you see a 7th chord, you can play a dim triad from the 3rd of that chord.

So, if you have a C7 chord, you could play an Edim triad, which gives you a rootless C7 chord.

C7 is spelled C E G Bb, and Edim is spelled E G Bb, so that triad is a "chord within a chord" and it allows you to play a smaller version of the 7 chord, by only playing the 3-5-7 notes of that chord, which is a dim triad.

If you want to check out diminished triads more on the guitar, and how they are built, check out my lesson on dim triads.

Diminished Triads for Guitar


The other thing you can do is called "tonic prolongation." That's a fancy term for taking 1 chord and making it 2, without going out of the key or far from the home chord.

An example of this is if you have a maj triad, say A, for 4 bars, you could alternate between A and D, the I and IV of that key, to create some movement but not get too far from your home chord.

This also works well if you have A and you play C#m or F#m, as the I, iii and vi of any key are closely related in sound and can be used in this tonic prolongation situation.

Those are two places to start, does that all make sense?


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brwnhornet59
post Feb 27 2013, 07:21 PM
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Most certainly...Using the vii dim triad as a rootless V is a natural choice for sure. But what about the ambiguity of the ii iii vi triads? These open the door to their relative majors as well as the minor triads diatonic/non diatonic relatives down a major/minor 3rd (or modal interchange as Reg puts it)...So it seems that we might want to add the 6th to that triad by pulling out the 5th...ie A C E (1 b3 6) as a sub for a C triad (C E G) giving C these inverted intervals, 6 1 3...Or would you recommend leaving the 5th as well? Or is that getting a little to muddled for rock, unless playing prog rock etc..? I have a habit of using these voices but it can sound strained at times against a basic harmony...

Are there any rule of thumb "rules" that we might want to adhere to when approaching such an open harmony that 1 3 5 triads allow us? Obviously (to me) with such open harmonies the sky is the limit when considering the many pools of notes one can draw from when soloing. I suppose when writing these same ideas, added with dom chords and dim triads relationships, can also unlock the secrets to dim passing chords or modulating 7b9 ideas as well. The Beatles sure did that...

As usual, I am over thinking it all LOL! tongue.gif

This post has been edited by brwnhornet59: Feb 27 2013, 07:29 PM


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klasaine
post Feb 27 2013, 07:58 PM
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It is a good question because with rock you still want to convey the original power of the basic chords. In other words re-harming may smooth things out a bit too much and add unnecessary ambiguity to an otherwise straight forward yet beautiful (in it's simplicity) song.

Let's just take a really basic progression: | G D | A |

Try: | Em7 Bm7 | A | or, | Cma7 Bm7 | A | (very 'Black Crows') or | Em7 (or G) Bm7 | F#m7 |
When subbing like this I find it's effective if you play it once 'normal' and sub it out the 2nd time.
Example: | G D | A | Em7 Bm7 | F#m7 |

Also, try putting the 3rds in the bass : | G/B - D/F# | A/C# | or, common tone in the bottom: | G/D - D/D | A/C# - A/E |
Or with some movement in the low end ... | G/C - G/B - D/F# - D/G | A |
and one of my fave moves: | G D | Asus4/F# | *this chord can have several names - X 9 12 9 10 9 is the fingering ( F# D E A C# low to high - I 'hear' it as an A but you could call it a Dma9/F#)

*Steely Dan is masterful at taking a basic chord prog and re-harming it into something really unique w/o losing it's 'power' - IMO.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 27 2013, 08:39 PM


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brwnhornet59
post Feb 27 2013, 08:33 PM
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QUOTE (klasaine @ Feb 27 2013, 01:58 PM) *
It is a good question because with rock you still want to convey the original power of the basic chords. In other words re-harming may smooth things out a bit too much and add unnecessary ambiguity to an otherwise straight forward yet beautiful (in it's simplicity) song.

Let's just take a really basic progression: | G D | A |

Try: | Em7 Bm7 | A | or, | Cma7 Bm7 | A | (very 'Black Crows') or | Em7 (or G) Bm7 | F#m7 |
When subbing like this I find it's effective if you play it once 'normal' and sub it out the 2nd time.
Example: | G D | A | Em7 Bm7 | F#m7 |

Also, try putting the 3rds in the bass : | G/B - D/F# | A/C# | or, common tone in the bottom: | G/D - D/D | A/C# - A/E |
Or with some movement in the low end ... | G/C - G/B - D/F# - D/G | A |

*Steely Dan is masterful at taking a basic chord prog and re-harming it into something really unique w/o losing it's 'power' - IMO.



Yes, I agree. This can be seen in many pop/rock tunes...

You stole my thunder with your last two comments! tongue.gif I was about to bring them up next...Hehehehehe.

This post has been edited by brwnhornet59: Feb 27 2013, 08:33 PM


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The Professor
post Feb 27 2013, 09:56 PM
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For sure, slash chords are another way to go, adds color to the line but doesn't take away from the harmony, so it's a win-win. I tend to do those without thinking about it, maybe it's my jazz side coming out in my rock/fusion playing.


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klasaine
post Feb 27 2013, 10:02 PM
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As for the actual 'theory' behind it ... it's mostly subbing iii and vi for I, ii for the IV, etc. - pretty basic really. But I experiment with adding 11ths and sus' or the 3rds and 5ths in the bass. The sus4 in the bass. *sometimes stuff just doesn't work - and I never force it. That's the sure fire way to lose a gig. Sometimes D just needs to be D.
A lot of times I'll sub a dominant chord (or whatever's functioning as V) with a m7 a fifth up (ex: A7 = Em7). If there's a major IV chord in the tune I find that 'most' of the time a IVmaj7 works beautifully - even in heavier contexts.
If the progression is essentially an Am to D thing throw a Cmaj7#11 (or an Em7/Em9) in there between the two. All the notes are in the key but the 'tonal arrangement' is a little unconventional.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Feb 27 2013, 10:07 PM


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The Professor
post Feb 28 2013, 09:48 AM
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QUOTE (brwnhornet59 @ Feb 27 2013, 06:21 PM) *
Most certainly...Using the vii dim triad as a rootless V is a natural choice for sure. But what about the ambiguity of the ii iii vi triads? These open the door to their relative majors as well as the minor triads diatonic/non diatonic relatives down a major/minor 3rd (or modal interchange as Reg puts it)...So it seems that we might want to add the 6th to that triad by pulling out the 5th...ie A C E (1 b3 6) as a sub for a C triad (C E G) giving C these inverted intervals, 6 1 3...Or would you recommend leaving the 5th as well? Or is that getting a little to muddled for rock, unless playing prog rock etc..? I have a habit of using these voices but it can sound strained at times against a basic harmony...

Are there any rule of thumb "rules" that we might want to adhere to when approaching such an open harmony that 1 3 5 triads allow us? Obviously (to me) with such open harmonies the sky is the limit when considering the many pools of notes one can draw from when soloing. I suppose when writing these same ideas, added with dom chords and dim triads relationships, can also unlock the secrets to dim passing chords or modulating 7b9 ideas as well. The Beatles sure did that...

As usual, I am over thinking it all LOL! tongue.gif


I like the use of inversions, like playing C E A instead of A C E to get it sounding more like a C6 and less like Am. I also think it's worth checking out spread voicing triads. So instead of playing C E G, play C G E with the E raised up an octave, or, C E G with the G raised up an octave.

You are playing the same 3 notes as any closed-position triad, but by spreading them out you bring a new sound to the equation. So there is a sense of the familiar and the unexpected at the same time.


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