~ blues chord substitution major ~

~ blues chord substitution minor ~

~ ideas for practice ~

'... practice formats for our core styles ...'

http://www.jacmuse.com/blues/blueschords/major.htmOh, the tag? Lest we forget!

Survey the harmony. A second way into the material is to visually survey the chord symbols within each of the 18 choruses below, which are segmented into 12 parts using a table, one part for each measure of music in 4 / 4 time, with each chorus grouped into three / four bar phrases. A brief description of each chorus precedes the chord charts. The new chord substitutions in each chorus is included in this description. Each of the numerical listings is linked to that particular chorus in the analysis section. The tempos used reflect the educational aspect of the music created. A brighter tempo practice loop is included at the close of each chorus, created from the chord substitutions discussed in that chorus to increase the challenge for more advanced players. My overall intent with formatting the material in the following manner is to simply generate new harmonic and melodic possibilities within the basic 12 bar blues form for the inspired learner.

First chorus. Nothing heavy here, yer basic 1, 4, 5  12 bar blues until the last chord which is a bit altered. The # 9 and # 5 of the chord are the blue notes of the parent scale.

Measures 1 through 12. Wow, look, it looks so empty. Not for long ...

C 7 C 7 C 7 C 7
F 7 F 7 C 7 C 7
G 7 F 7 C 7 G 7#9#5

Second chorus. The substitution of the Four chord for the tonic chord in bar two is the added substitution. This is a very common substitution in various styles of blues and jazz music. New tonic color using the ninth. Measures 13 through 24.

C 9 F 7 C 9 C 9
F 7 F 7 C 9 C 9
G 7 F 7 C 9 G 7#9

Third chorus. Simply expanding the dominant colortones of the changes. Measures 25 through 36.  

C 7 F 9 C 7 C 7
F 9 F 9 C 7 C 7
G 9 F 9 C 13 G 7#9

Fourth chorus. First appearance of substituting the Two / Five / One harmonic motion into the turnaround, starting in bar 45. In the following choruses we'll use this chordal cell to help set up a smoother motion to various destinations within the 12 bar blues. The Two / Five One chord progression in and of itself can become a very important component on your artistic palette. Aspiring jazz artists should explore your literature for this component. Measures 37 through 48.  

C 13 F 9 C 13 C 13
F 9 F 9 C 13 C 13
D min 7 G 9 C 13 G 7#9#5

Fifth chorus. Subbing out with Two / Five for the tonic in setting up the motion to the subdominant in bar 53. Using chromatic motion downward in bars 55 and 56 to set up the turnaround. Same chromatic motion setting up the return to the top of the new chorus in bars 59 and 60. Measures 49 through 60.  

C 13 F 9 C 13 G min 9 / C 13
F 9 F 9 C 13 / B 13 Bb 13 / A 13
D min 9 G 13 C 9 / Eb 9 D 9 / Db 9

Sixth chorus. Subbing out for the dominant in the Two / Five going into Four in bar 64. Using the minor Four chord as part of a Two / Five, the dominant Five chord which approaches the tonic in bar 66 from a whole step below. Using a tonic to flat Seven vamp to set up the return to the top of the next chorus, so cool. Measures 61 through 72.  

C 13 F 9 C 13 G min 9 / Gb 9
F 9 F min 9 / Bb 9 C 13 / D min 7 E min 7 / A 13
D min 9 G 9 C 13 / Bb 13 C 13 / Bb 13

Seventh chorus. Reconfiguring the Two / Five cell going into Four in bar 76. Using chromatic motion downward from the Four chord. Minor Four chord in bar 78 followed by the Three and Six chord, which when combined together create a Two / Five motion into the first chord of the last phrase. Two / Five in the last phrase followed by subbing Three / Six / Two / Five for tonic / Flat seven from the last chorus sets up the return to the top for the next. Measures 73 through 84.

C 13 F 9 C 13 Db min 7 / Gb 9
F 9 F min 9 E min 9 A 7+5
D min 9 G 13 sus4 E - 7 / A - 7 D- 9 /G 13 sus4

Eighth chorus. Subbing out flat Two for Four in bar 86. Again the chromatic motion downward from Four leading to a double Two / Five setting up the next chorus. Measures 85 through 96.  

C 13 Db 13 C 13 Db min 7 / Gb 13
F 9 F min 9 E min 7 Eb min 7
D min 7 G 9 Db - 7 / Gb 13 D - 7 / G 9

Ninth chorus. Pretty straight ahead until bar 102 where the diminished color rears it's gorgeous head setting up the motion to One. Chromatic constant structure motion towards the Two chord in bar 105. The Three / Six / Two / Five turnaround now includes the flat nine on the Six and Five dominant chords. Such an handy color is the diminished chord, which by the way is also in the upper part of the dominant seventh flat nine chord ...? Are ya hip? Measures 97 through 108.  

C 13 F 9 C 13 C 13
F 9 F# dim 7 C 13  B 13 Bb 13 A 13
D min 7 G 9 E - 7 / A 7b9 D - 7 / G 7b9

Tenth chorus. Trane would have loved this one. A real non-resolving Two / Five extravaganza. Using the previous turnaround to start this chorus, we Two / Five cycle our way to Four in bar 113 and do the same towards Two in bar 117. This kind of playing is more Bop than blues. The key here is the basic 12 bar blues form to keep it all together. Measures 109 through 120. 

E min 7 / A 7b9 D - 7 / G 7b9 A - 7 / D 7b9 G - 7 / C 7b9
F 9 F - 9 / Bb 13 E - 7 / A 13 Bb - 7 / Eb 9
D min 7 G 9 / G 7#9 E - 7 / A 7b9 D - 7 / G 7b9

Eleventh chorus. This chorus opens up on the dominant pedal setting up the motion to Four in bar 125 via the passing chord by half step in bar 124. The half step lead in is very cool and very common. Again the diminished color helps energize and accelerate the harmonic motion of bars 125  through 128. New turnaround changes sub out for the above Three / Six / Two / Five. Measures 121 through 132.  

G 9sus4 G 9 G 9sus4 G 9 / Gb 13
F 9 F# dim 7 C 13 C# dim 7
D min 7 G 9 / G 7#9 C 9 / Eb 9 Ab 9 / Db 9

Twelfth chorus. Here we sub a Two / Five cycle moving down in whole steps setting up the resolution to the Four chord in bar 137. The Two chord in bar 141 takes on the suspended quality of the opening of the last chorus and moves downward by half step to a new color, the dominant seventh flat five in bar 143, which sets up the next chorus nicely by resolving by half step. Measures 133 through 144.  

C# min 7 / F# 9 B min 7  / E 9 A min 9 / D 13 G min 7 / C 13
F 9 F# dim 7 E min 7 A 7b9
D min 7sus4 D min 7sus4 Db 7b5 Db 7b5

Thirteenth chorus. Finally back to the tonic at the top of the chorus, now colored with the flat fifth. Again the diminished color in the second phrase followed by suspended chords then tonic / flat Seven for the turnaround. Extended dominant arpeggios and cool permutations in the melody. Measures 145 through 156.

C 7b5 / C 7/Gb C 7b5 / C 9/Gb C 9 / C7 / Gb C 7 / Gb
F 9 F# dim 7 C 9 C# dim 7
D min 7sus4 G 9sus4 C 13 / Bb 13 C 13 / Bb 13

Fourteenth chorus. Picking up the whole step motion from the above turnaround, we simply move from tonic downward to Four by whole steps, using a constant structure. Again, the diminished motion in the second phrase followed by the ascending stepwise in the third phrase setting up the next chorus. Measures 157 through 168.  

C 13 Bb 13 Ab 13 Gb 13
F 9 F# dim 7 C 9 C# dim 7
D min 7 E min 7 F major triad G major triad

Fifteenth chorus. Returning to a more straight ahead blues color for the entire chorus. Again the diminished color appears in the second phrase. Bar 178 subs a minor third for the major third from the preceding chorus. Measures 169 through 180.

C 13 F 9 C 13 C 13
F 9 F# dim 7 C 9 C# dim 7
D 7 Eb 7 F 7 G 7

Sixteenth chorus. Here we continue to simplify things, although exclusive use of the dominant seventh sharp nine color really drives the darker side of the blues color. Measures 181 through 192.  

C 7#9 C 7#9 C 7#9 C 7#9
F 7#9 F 7#9 C 7#9 C 7#9
G 7#9 G 7#9 C 7#9 C 7#9

Seventeenth chorus. The darker blues color from above is now brightened up by the tonic six / nine color. The second inversion subdominant chord of the second phrase keeps the tonic pedal underneath it all, driving the groove nicely. The severely altered Five chord is a sort of last crash as the original theme returns to begin closing out the solo. Measures 193 through 204.

C 6/9 C 6/9 C 6/9 C 6/9
F 13 / C F 13 / C C 6/9 C 6/9
G 7#9#5 G 7#9#5 C 9 G 7#9#5

Eighteenth chorus. Back to nearly the original realization. Measures 205 through 216.  

C 9 F 7 C 9 C 9
F 7 F 7 C 9 C 9
G 7 F 7 C 7 G 7#9

Nineteenth chorus. The tag to end the ride ride. Measures 217 through 220.

C 7 C 7 C 7 C 7#9

So ... find anything of interest in the above ideas? Other topics of chord substitution in the text include the following pages.

minor blues substitution realizations
chord substitutions
modernizing chord progressions
Two / Five  / One substitutions

"I don't know if Charlie Parker was the first to use chromatic ideas in his blues lines, but he sure was the King of doing it!" Herb Ellis