Gibson ES-137:

On Tritone Substitutions

Question by kris van daele

In your example on tritone substitution you go from Em7 (III) to Bb7 i don’t understand hoe can you substitute it’s note functioning V chord???

M-A’s Answer:

It’s simply a matter of direction. In root motion, it’s equivalent to do …

E – A – D – G


Bb – A – Ab – G

or even

E – Eb – D – Db

in order to get back to a C chord. A little further in the article, I talk about “changing the color” of the chords. That is, simply changing chord qualities to fit what you prefer.

On the three root progressions about, try it out : play different chord qualities for the first three roots and end with a G7 / Db7 to C major.

You’ll be amazed.

(Of course, not all of them will work all of the time, and most of them will sound weird to you… but that’s the whole point of the article: experiment!)

Please, let me know if you have any further questions on the topic. Post comments here below.

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