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Chord substitution questions...

Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
1) Some smart person once posted a message I've been searching for unsuccessfully… it went something like this:

"If it's major, play minor! If it's minor, play major!…"

I should have bookmarked it or made a copy, can anyone tell me the rest?

2) Has anyone ever done an analysis about "busy" songs with a lot of chords and how to determine which changes can simply be ignored?

I play with a clarinet player who, believe it or not, enjoys playing, and can actually wail on, crazy old 1920's songs like "Tiptoe Through the Tulips With Me". (Perhaps you are old enough to remember the crazy falsetto singer/ukulele player Tiny Tim's big hit in the 1960's?)

It is my job to solo on tunes like this with no rhythm guitar, since I am the trio's rhythm guitarist… and I find that trying to spell out all them chords ain't really workin' for me… ?

Any ideas would be gratefully accepted... :?
Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
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Comments

  • jimvencejimvence Austin, TX✭✭
    Posts: 73
    Will, I recall that thread, and remember contributing some input to the discussion.

    The discussion basically stated that major and minor arps over major and minor chords are pretty apparent, but that when it came to dominant chords, especially when it acts as a five (V) chords, the simple arpeggio over the chord does not create such a musically interesting experience.

    Over a dominant chord, the first sub that pops into my head is based on the melodic scale a fifth away. Over a D7 (for example), my first thought is to play an Am6 arp. That arp includes an F# and C, which are the strong tones of a D7 (by D7, I assume you know that includes a D9 as well).

    A better sub when the D7 is a five (V) chord, that is the next chord is a G major, is the diminished scales that map to the D7b9 (C dim, Eb dim, F# dim, A dim).

    Our friend Denis recently pointed to the use of the min7b5 as very handy. Over a five (V) chord, the min7b5 arp a third away can be used. For D7 again, that becomes an F#min7b5..which are the same notes as in the Am6 arp!

    These are some basic rules on chord subs. The more educated players on this board can build on my input here.
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    Thanks, Jim... hey, we were once talking about Toronto mayor Rob Ford... perhaps you've noticed he's been in the news lately? :wink:

    I think your posting probably summarized that old posting I haven't been able to find! but I keep thinking there might've been something else, too...
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • pickitjohnpickitjohn South Texas Corpus, San Antonio, AustinVirtuoso Patenotte 260
    Posts: 936
    What's with the Secret Handshake to get in the door and why post in the Daniel Givone method board?
    just wondering.

    :?:

    pick on

    pickitjohn
  • jimvencejimvence Austin, TX✭✭
    Posts: 73
    Thanks, Jim... hey, we were once talking about Toronto mayor Rob Ford... perhaps you've noticed he's been in the news lately? :wink:

    I think your posting probably summarized that old posting I haven't been able to find! but I keep thinking there might've been something else, too...

    There's more we can add. We can add to the top-level of chord subs the one that most people pick up soon after learning a chordal instrument, in that each major has a relative minor .. G major = E min for example. When I started jamming trad bands, with songs in Bb, I tend to think notes from Gminor.

    We can get into the next level, there is the common tritone sub over a dominant chord, for a D7 going to G, an Ab7 dominant arp works well (especially when you add a b5 to the arp). Jazz theory also talks about the "iii" chord being a sub for its major -- that is, a Bmin7 can be subbed for G major, except that sub tends to create the "major 7" tonality, which is arguably not as desirable a Gypsy Jazz tonality as the "major 6".
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    jimvence wrote:

    We can get into the next level, there is the common tritone sub over a dominant chord, for a D7 going to G, an Ab7 dominant arp works well (especially when you add a b5 to the arp).

    It's well worth exploring the tritone sub. You can Google it and get lots of theoretical explanations as to why is works. My favourite is this ...

    Take a dominant 7 chord, say E7. Then flat the 5: E - Ab - Bb - D. The 7b5 chord itself is interesting in that it adds to the tension of the 7 and creates a nice dissonance between the Ab & Bb.

    Now if you do the same thing to a Bb7 chord, you wind up with Bb - D - E - Ab. Guess what? These are the exact same notes as the E7b5, just inverted. They are in fact 2nd inversions of each other. So the E7b5 and Bb7b5 are equivalent.

    When we sub a Bb7 for an E7 (without the b5), we are cheating a bit, because they don't share all of the notes, but it's the notes that they don't have in common that create the interesting tonalities.

    So for example, if you have two bars of E7 leading to A or Am (as in the last four bars of the "head" to Minor Swing), you can play Bb7 - E7 instead. For a ii - V - I/i, instead of Bm7 - E7 - A(m), play Bm7 - Bb7 - A(m).
    Benny

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    What's with the Secret Handshake to get in the door and why post in the Daniel Givone method board?

    yeah, sorry, that is annoying, I get the same thing too and I'm supposed to be one of the head honchos here in Givone-ville. It wasn't my idea, honest!

    I guess I'm just in the habit of posting stuff here; maybe it's time to quit doing that...

    Will
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • MariventMarivent New
    Posts: 2
    Lango, to answer your 2. point, I've been in the same situation, being the only guitar player, i understand why you'd want to 'boil down' some of the more involved charts.

    what I do, sometimes I'll move away from the changes for my solo, I'll just play anything in the same key, maybe even another tune's chords, then play a really obvious dominant to cue the soloist back in (violin in my case)

    also, say you have a busy tune with two chords a bar, I'll then play the chord that happens to be on the one of the first bar, then solo on that, disregarding the chords that come after, then i'll play the one of the bar three (or even five), again just one or two beats. for this, i tap my foot real hard so the audience can hear it, and try and stay inside the rhythm.

    I'm sure you're aware that, for a ii - V, you can just play the V, and , this is a secret, you can, at any point, play the V of the KEY of the tune. It's a lot of work playing without piano, bass or other guitars, but there's much more freedom as well.

    cheers, Mari
  • Lango-DjangoLango-Django Niagara-On-The-Lake, ONModerator
    Posts: 1,852
    Good idea, Mari, I'll have to try that. Do you play in a duo with a violin?
    Paul Cezanne: "I could paint for a thousand years without stopping and I would still feel as though I knew nothing."

    Edgar Degas: "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.... To draw, you must close your eyes and sing."

    Georges Braque: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the bit that can’t be explained."
  • MariventMarivent New
    Posts: 2
    Sometimes, yes, also, clarinets, singers, the lot, really.
    Prefer a second guitar though, if I can have it.
  • jimvencejimvence Austin, TX✭✭
    Posts: 73
    Thanks, Jim... hey, we were once talking about Toronto mayor Rob Ford... perhaps you've noticed he's been in the news lately? :wink:

    This scandal is one area where the USA has much more experience than Canada. I mean, a big city mayor caught on video smoking crack -- that's so 1989 here in the States! :mrgreen:
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