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Thread: slash chord = chord substitution?

  1. #1
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    slash chord = chord substitution?

    hello, please someone answer me..is it true that chord substitution has the same basic as slash chord ? are they the same? sorry for my poor english ..i hope you all know what i mean ..thx u

  2. #2
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    No, slash chords are not the same as chord substitutions. A chord substitution is like playing a E+9 instead of a Cmaj7 because they have the same qualities, and to make the progression different / interesting.

    A slash chord is a chord with a non-root tone as the lowest note (e.g. Cmaj7/E is a Cmaj7 with E as the lowest note).

    A slash chord may, as all other chords, be used as substitutions, but that does not make them the same.

    Well, at least this is my opinion

  3. #3
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    hello, thx u for the quick reply...i think i get it right now..if i have any other question i'm sure gonna ask again..thx u..please don't bore with me..thx u

  4. #4
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Your welcome. I love questions that I'm able to answer. Love them twice as much if I can nail the right answer . For the second part, I guess we will have to wait for the real theory guys to see their response....

  5. #5
    Jazz Apprentice Factor's Avatar
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    I think Gersdal is right on the money.

    ChrisJ has written an article as well: http://www.ibreathemusic.com/article/136

  6. #6
    Registered User sixstrings121's Avatar
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    A real quick question on this...how do you know what chords substitute what chords?

  7. #7
    ,.¤oOo¤., theox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixstrings121
    A real quick question on this...how do you know what chords substitute what chords?
    Your ear will tell you - if you ask!

    Try singing (or wistle) a simple melody and play different chords underneath it. Some chords will sound good with the melody, some won't.

  8. #8
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sixstrings121
    A real quick question on this...how do you know what chords substitute what chords?
    There is a lot of theory books that answers that question. I'm not an expert, but I find it quite difficult at times. Heared a lot of great substitutions, but cant always fin them myself. There is obviously a few basic rules, and a lot more advanced. I found this little text file that talks a little about the basic ones.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  9. #9
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    The basic idea behind finding substitutions to chords is finding chord that share many of the same notes.

    Here's a very common subsitution: Em7 for Cmaj7. Take a look at the notes of the two chords:

    Cmaj7 - C E G B
    Em7 - E G B D

    They share three of the same notes, and there is only one note different between the two chords. As such, Em7 is a very strong substitution. Overall, the sound created is a Cmaj9 chord (simply putting the two chords together). The fewer notes in common between the original chord and the substitute chord, the less effective the substitution is.

    Keep in mind, this is note a reharmonization. A reharm would be to actually make the harmony at that point in the music an Em7 chord. With substitutions, the harmony in still a C chord, so the bass player will be playing a C, and the ear will still hear the harmony as being based around 'C', but the specific voicing being used doesn't have a C in it. Substitutions are simply a way to thinking about chord voicings in a way to that you can reuse chords you do know (Em7) and use them in different situations to create new sounds (Cmaj9).

  10. #10
    ,.¤oOo¤., theox's Avatar
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    'Jazz Theory' by Mark Levine

  11. #11
    ii-V-I skeletron's Avatar
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    You can also substitute chords based on their guide tones (ie. the 3rd and 7th). The way I was shown, as long as you keep the same 3rd and 7th in tact, your harmony will be the same, the substitution will allow the melody to interplay differently with the chords and vice versa.


    Example:

    Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7

    The Dm7 could be substituted with another chord that has F and C as its guide tones. Therefore...Dbmaj7 (Db F Ab C)

    The G7 could be substituted with its tritone substitute, which has the same guide tones (B and F). Therefore Db7 (Db F Ab Cb) where Cb = B

    The Cmaj7 could be substituted with another chord that has E and B as its guide tones. Therefore...Dbm7 (Db E Ab B)



    Obviously you have to also be aware of what other people are doing when you pump out some of these subs. But as long as the guide to the harmony in the chords (the 3 and 7) is consistent, the underlying harmony will remain intact in its minimal form.

  12. #12
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeletron
    The Dm7 could be substituted with another chord that has F and C as its guide tones. Therefore...Dbmaj7 (Db F Ab C)

    The Cmaj7 could be substituted with another chord that has E and B as its guide tones. Therefore...Dbm7 (Db E Ab B)

    This is reharmonization and not substitution. Substitution leaves the harmony intact, but utilizes voicings that can be seen as other chords. If you're substituting for a Cmaj7 chord, then any chord used has to be drawn from the C major tonality (i.e., no Dbm7 chords).

    If you were to play a Dbm7 chord in a band in the place of a Cmaj7 chord, it would really clash. However, if you were to work things out ahead of time, you could reharmonize that part of the music to use that chord, but everyone would have to be on the same page.

    Basically, with a substitution, you should be able to play it while everyone else is doing what they normally do and it won't cause any dischord.

  13. #13
    Sonic4ever
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    I agree with poparad. It will be very usefull to understand the different environments found on a major scale:
    Tonic Environment:Cmaj7,Em7,Am7.
    Subdominant Envm7,Fmaj7.
    Dominant Env:G7,Bm7b5.
    You can substitute the chords from the same Environment freely.
    At least for a Beginner.

  14. #14
    JazzNerd gersdal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poparad
    This is reharmonization and not substitution. Substitution leaves the harmony intact, but utilizes voicings that can be seen as other chords. If you're substituting for a Cmaj7 chord, then any chord used has to be drawn from the C major tonality (i.e., no Dbm7 chords).

    If you were to play a Dbm7 chord in a band in the place of a Cmaj7 chord, it would really clash. However, if you were to work things out ahead of time, you could reharmonize that part of the music to use that chord, but everyone would have to be on the same page.

    Basically, with a substitution, you should be able to play it while everyone else is doing what they normally do and it won't cause any dischord.
    John Pizzarelli in his column in Guitar World acoustic June/July 2005 propose some subtitutions for Satin Doll that I wanted to check out with your way of thinking. Inserted the original chords, and added a very easy walking bass on these chords, then added the substitutions according to Pizzarelli. Don't know, does it work with the bass doing what he normally do?

    Bass line may not be that brilliant, but not unlikely.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  15. #15
    Jazzman Poparad's Avatar
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    Yes, that looks to be simple substitutions. The bassline is just a typical jazz bassline, and the chords overtop still fit the original harmony (i.e., it's not reharmonizing anything; it's sticking to the original chords), therefore it is substitution. If you isolate the chords the guitar is playing and ignore the bassline, you might come up with some different names for them than if you were to consider everything as a whole, which is the whole idea of substitutions.

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