Tag Archives: Altered Dominant

Altered Scale – The Most Important Things to Know

The Altered scale is a difficult scale to get into your playing. At the same time, altered dominants are also a cornerstone sound in Jazz, and you need to learn how to solo over them.

This video is presenting 15 different things you can use on an altered dominant so you will have a huge vocabulary of triads, arpeggios, and pentatonics that you can work with in your solos.

The point of the scale is to sound dissonant and ask for resolution, so you need to keep that in mind when you practice using it.

Pentatonic Scales, Triads, and Arpeggios

It is important to have a big vocabulary of material that you can use when you are improvising. Having a set of things you can use as a flexible part of your playing is going to give you a lot more freedom when you are playing.

0:00 Intro

0:41 #1 Fø

1:04 #2 Db7

1:29 #3 AbmMaj7

1:55 #4 B augmented

2:17 #5 Bbm Pentatonic

2:43 #6 Bmaj7#5

3:06 #7 Quartal #9

3:30 #8 Db, B aug triad pair

3:53 #9 Bmaj7(b5)

4:15 #10 Quartal from Bb and B

4:39 #11 Absus4

5:04 #12 Eb7#5

5:28 #13 Eb,Db triad pair

5:52 #14 Ebsus4

6:14 #15 Abm, Bbm

6:37 Like The Video? Check out My Patreon Page!

Other lessons on Altered Scale Ideas

Altered Scale – 3 Great Pentatonic Solutions (Easy And Powerful)

Triad pairs in the altered scale

3 Altered Scale Arpeggios that you forgot to learn!

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How can that be an altered dominant? (The Best Hack)

The altered dominant can be difficult to deal with, but there are some really good hacks or tricks you can use to play the chords and add them to your vocabulary.

In this video I am going to go three of ideas and help add new altered dominant chords to your playing. Using other chords that you already know as altered chords.

Being able to see the same voicing as several different chords was a huge help in building my chord vocabulary and has opened up a lot of things in my comping and soloing.

The Altered Dominant Hack

Which is maybe a hack or is it actually a skill?  The idea is to use other chord voicings that we already know as altered dominant chords. The basic concept is really clear if you look at this example:

Here the G7 altered voicing is really an Fm7b5 or Fø voicing with a G in the bass.

The Fø agaings the G root is F(b7), Ab(b9), B(3) and Eb(b13) so the G7 is a G7(b9b13)

#1 The Fø

From example 1 You now know that You can then use all the Fø voicings and inversions as G7alt chords.

Here’s an example using the original Fø voicing:

And of course you can use the inversions as well:

But you can do a lot of interesting things by using other types of voicings than the Drop2 that was in the previous examples:

#2 Bmaj7(b5)

Another great candidate for a G7 altered voicing is a maj7b5 arpeggio.

A Bmaj7(b5) arpeggio against the G root is: B(3), Eb(b13), F(b7), Bb(#9) so a G7(b13#9)

An example of this that you probably already know would be:

And another great example using a basic root position maj7b5 voicing could be this:

And another good example using an inversion of the Bmaj7(b5) arpeggio:

#3 Using the Db7 or tri-tone substitution voicings

Another great example is to use the Db7 chord as a voicing.

In this first example I am using a basic Db7 voicing. 

Against a G root that would be: Db(b5) F(b7) Ab(b9) B(3) so a G7(b5b9)

And you can use variations of the Db7 chords as well.

Here are an example using a Db7(13) voicing which contains B(3) F(b7) Bb(#9) Db(b5) which is a G7(b5#9) 

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How can that be an altered dominant

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Altered Scale – 3 Great Pentatonic Solutions (Easy And Powerful)

Finding good ideas for using The altered scale can be difficult and often we end up just running the scale and not really making any interesting melodies.

In this video I will go over 3 pentatonic scales you can use when improvising over an altered dominant which is a great way to get some strong and interesting melodic ideas. Pentatonic scales are a great and easy to use resource on the guitar and as you will see you can do a lot with them.

The Sound of Pentatonic Scale in Modern Jazz

I really like to use pentatonic scales in my playing to get some more modern sounding ideas, which is also where the pentatonic scale is mostly used, but it is overall a very effective tool.

Connecting to the basic G Altered Scale

G7 altered is the same as Ab melodic minor:

Ab Bb B Db Eb F G Ab

We have one straight minor pentatonic scale:

Bbm – Bb Db Eb F Ab Bb

That’s what I am using here in this next example.

In example 2 I am first playing the scale as a 2nd position minor pentatonic.  I also use another way which is to play it in a 3-1 pattern.  This has 3 notes on one string , 1 note on the next etc. That is written in the 2nd 2 bars of example 2 here below.

Next lick another type of pentatonic scale that works really well for melodic minor sounds and especially the Altered scale. I will also go over some useful exercises to combine legato and picking for playing fast in the pentatonic scale.

The altered lick using Bbm pentatonic

Here below is the lick using the Bbm pentatonic scale. The first part is just runing up the basic scale position. in the 2nd bar I use 2 different 3 note per string patterns and then resolve to the G on Cmaj7. The line is closed with a small fragment from an Em pentatonic.

Abm6 Pentatonic

Abm6 pentatonic is a very good choice for a pentatonic scale in the altered scale. In fact it is great fro most chords you come across in melodic minor.

Abm6 pentatonic: Ab B Db Eb F Ab 

You can play that like this:

Connecting it to the tritone substitute

You can also look at it the scale as a Db7(9): Db F Ab B Eb which is how I am using it here.

Ab B Db Eb F re-ordered is Db F Ab B Eb

which is a Db7(9) arpeggio.

The example here below starts with a Db7 arpeggio and ending on the 9th in the 2nd bar two octaves higher. From here it resolves to the 9th on Cmaj7 and ends with a short lick on the Cmaj7.

Mixing legato and picking

This lick relies on mixing legato and picking. I find that those two are really cornerstones in my playing and it makes sense to have exercises where you mix them so that you can solve problems for your right hand with legato.

Here below I included an example of an exercise like this using the Abm6  pentatonic.

Let’s have a look at a more exotic but also effective pentatonic scale for altered dominants, some economy picking and how an E7sus4 chord works great on a Cmaj7.

The Eb major b6 pentatonic

This is the Eb major (b6) pentatonic scale: Eb F G Bb B Eb

It is  a great scale to spell out the sound of  melodic minor because it has the augmented triad from B included.

Constructing the scale

Since we are using the scale over a G7 altered it makes sense to connect it to a Cm pentatonic scale. You can construct the scale by taking a Cm pentatonic replace the C with a B. That makes it easier to find fingerings:

Major b6 pentatonic scale example with economy picking

The example using this scale is making use of an economy picking pattern in the first bar. I am using the economy picking to play the 3 note patterns in bar one branching into bar 2.  From there it starts with a small scale pattern resolving to the 3rd(E) of Cmaj7.

The arpeggio on the Cmaj7 is an E7sus4 which works great for that sound. It is also a part of the Em pentatonic scale I am using on that chrord.

Using pentatonic scales in Jazz

The way I work with pentatonics is mostly to get a different sound than the standard blues phrasing, they work great for some open sounds and different melodies. How do you work with pentatonics? Leave a comment and be sure to also check out the ideas that are discussed in the comments because often there is a lot of interesting information being shared.

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Altered Scale – 3 pentatonic scales

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My secret arpeggio and 3 places I use it!

Sometimes it is great to look beyond the diatonic arpeggios for some rich or more colorful sounding arpeggios.

This video is about one of these arpeggios that I really use a lot for melodic minor, altered or Lydian dominant sounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXowsZvR3Mk

Finding the arpeggios

Usually we find arpeggios by stacking 3rds in a scale, but in some cases we can get some really great sounds by building chords in other ways.

The arpeggio I want to talk about in this lesson is the dom7th(#5) arpeggio. The A7(#5) is shown here below:

Where does the dom7th(#5) chord belong?

There are a few places where you can construct this arpeggio.

It is of course found in the whole tone scale, and a can be constructed in both harmonic major and minor.

In this lesson I will focus on it in the context of melodic minor. Purely because that is where I use it the most.

The dom7th(#5) can be found in two places in the melodic minor scale.

If we take the A7(#5) as an example then it can be found on the 5th degree of D melodic minor:

And also on the 7th degree of Bb melodic minor:

Using the arpeggio

If we look at the A7(#5): A C# F G  then it is worth noticing that it is in fact an A augmented triad and an A.

The fac that the augmented triad is a part of the arpeggio is probably one of the reasons why it is so useful for a lot of different chords in melodic minor. The augmented triad sound is a big part of the melodic minor sound. Just think of an DmMaj7 where the upper part of the chord is an augmented triad.

The Altered dominant

When using the arpeggio on an altered dominant we have two options.

The altered dominant in this case is a Db7alt. The two dom7(#5) arpeggios we have available are then A7(#5) and C#7(#5) (or Db)

In this example I am using the A7(#5). If we relate the A7 arpeggio to a Db root we get: A(b13) C#(root) F(3rd) G(b5). So there is a lot of color in the arpeggio.

The Abm7 line is a descending Bmaj7 sweep arpeggio followed by a small turn with a leading note on before the root.

On the Db7alt the line is really just the A7(#5) arpeggio adding a B to resolve to the 3rd of Gbmaj7 in bar 3.

Tonic minor

In the second example I am using the line on a tonic minor chord. The A7(#5) related to D would be: A(5), C#(Maj7), F(3rd), G(11).

The first bar is really just a simple Dm line with a leading note under the root. The 2nd bar is coming from the A7(#5) arpeggio that finally resolves to the 9th(E) of Dm6 (or DmMAj7)

Lydian Dominant

The Lydian dominant example is using a IV IVm progression in F major. In this case it is in fact II bVII I that is being used, but the main idea is of course subdominant, subdominant minor to tonic.

The line on the Gm7 is first encircling the root of the chord and then ascending a Gm7 arpeggio with an added A. 

The Eb7 bar is first the A7(#5) arpeggio followed by Bb and C to resolve to the 3rd(A) of Fmaj7. The ending is tagget with a small pentatonic turn.

Make you own lines with these arpeggios

The examples I went over here are of course only a glimpse at a quite vast amount of options available with this arpeggio.

The best way to get this arpeggio in to your playing is to use it in different situations in songs that you already know so that you can explore the sound of the arpeggio. 

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My secret arpeggio and 3 places i use it!

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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Pentatonic Scale for Altered Chords – Modern Melodic Minor Secrets

The Pentatonic scale is one of the first things we learn. And since it is something we are very familiar with and we can use this to change it a bit and use it for other chord sounds like Altered Dominants or other melodic minor sounds. In this lesson I am going to show you a simple way to make a great pentatonic scale for altered chords and demonstrate how to learn and how to use it.

Creating the Pentatonic scale

I came up with this scale by playing a C minor pentatonic scale and then changing the C to a B. This is shown in example 1, first the C minor and then the B Lydian Augmented pentatonic scale.

As you can see in this example we can easily use that we already know 5 positions of pentatonic scales and that it is easy to “alter” the root so that we make them into or new pentatonic scale.

The Melodic Minor Connection

It is important to also notice that this scale, or 5 note set of notes. Is also a subset of the Ab melodic minor scale:

Melodic minor:       Ab Bb B Db Eb F G Ab Ab Bb

Altered pentatonic:          B        Eb F G            Bb B

This tells us that it is a part of the Ab melodic minor/ G Altered scale and we can also see that it is a good fit for the G7 with an F and a B in there.

Learning The Altered Dom7th Pentatonic Scale

Since the scale is layed out in 2 notes per string patterns across the neck, just like our normal pentatonic scales we can use some of the same exercises to get used to playing the scale

Here are a few excerpts:

The pentatonic scale in groups of 3 notes

The scale in groups of 4 notes:

Finding the chords in the scale

It is important to also have some of the structures under control in the scale. The place you probably want to start is to create some diatonic chords. In Example 5 I have stacked diatonic “3rds” which as you may know yields a lot of quartal harmony.

This exercise is shown here below:

The chords that we get from this are:

  • G7alt Quartal Voicing
  • Eb augmented triad
  • F Quartal Voicing
  • G7 Shell voicing
  • Eb Maj triad (2nd inv)

All of them are quite useful as upper-structures on a G7 altered.

Using the scale as a melody

To demonstrate the way this pentatonic scale works in the context of a II V I I have made three examples.

The first example starts with a pattern of an Fmaj7 (the arpeggio from the 3rd of Dm7). The arepggio is played in a 1 5 3 7 pattern. The line continues with a descending scale run.

On the G7alt the line is simply an ascending run up the scale that is then finally resolved to the 9th(D).

The fact that the pentatonic scale is a bit unusual in the construction makes it possible to get away with using it as a melody in the most basic form as a sort of enriched arpeggio.  

Putting some diatonic chords to use

The 2nd example starts with a Dm7 descending arpeggio. From here it continues with a short scale run. 

On the G7alt the melody is first the G7(#9) quartal voicing and then a Eb augmented triad in inversion.

The line resolves to the 3rd(E) of Cmaj7.

The upper-structure triad

This example makes use of the Eb major triad as an upper structure on the G7alt.

The opening on the Dm7 line is constructed first from an F major triad followed by an Am pentatonic scale fragment. On the G7alt the line is an embellishment of an Eb root position triad followed by a small scale run that resolves to the 3rd of Cmaj7.

Working with these altered or modified pentatonic scales

When you work on using this pentatonic scale it is useful to try to tap into some of all the things you already have in your system with normal pentatonics. There is a lot of tips and ideas already explored on guitar in several styles using pentatonic scales after all. 

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Pentatonic Scales – Melodic Minor – Altered Scale

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

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5 Quartal Harmony licks

An important part of more modern sounding jazz solos is often the use of quartal harmony. In this lesson I am going to take 2 exercises and 5 examples of how I use quartal harmony and demonstrate how you can incorporate the sound into your own playing.

Two exercises and a II Valt I cadence

I have a few lessons on quartal harmony already that you can check out if you want to explore further into the sound both as arpeggios and chords. Here is a lesson on using the arpeggios in solos: Quartal harmony in solos

In this lesson I am first going over to simple exercises of diatonic stacks of 4ths in F major and Db melodic minor (which is the same as C altered). I am then going to use this material in the 5 examples, all on a II Valt I in F major.

Quartal arppeggios are constructed by stacking 4ths in the scale.  When we build chords in a scale we ususally start with 3rds, so in F major if I start from a G. I get:

G A Bb C D E F G – so a G minor triads; G Bb D

If we use quartal harmony we stack 4ths:

G A Bb C D E F G so the stack of 4ths from G is G C F

If we use this structure as an arpeggio that we can move through the scale and play it up the neck on the D,G and B string set we get:

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-1

And using the same principle to play the diatonic stacks of 4ths in Db melodic minor:

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-2

A few of the arpeggios in the last example are a bit unusual especially the one on the 7th degree of the scale (C) which is actually a C7 shell voicing. The one on the 4th(Gb) is also a not found in the major scale version.

5 Quartal harmony licks

The first example  starts with a Gm7 arpeggio and then continues into a quartal arppgegio from the D which is played in a pattern from the G. The C7alt line is based around an inversion of a Bbm7(b5) arpeggio (Check out this lesson for more ideas: The Altered Scale in Three Approaches) and then resolving scalewise down to the 5th of the Fmaj7 chord.

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-3

In the second example, here below, I am starting with a stack of 4ths from the C. You might recognize that as a fairly common Gm11 voicing. From there the line continues with a descending scale run.  On the C7alt the line is starting with a trill using the #9 and the 3rd of C. From there it continues with a line derived from the Db minor triad and resolves via the #9 an octave higher to the 5th(C) of Fmaj7.

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-4

Of course we can also use the quartal arpeggios on the altered dominant since we have the material from example 2.

The third example starts with a Dm7 arpeggio that is used to target and highlight the Bb on beat 3. From there the line continues with a descending scale to the 3rd(E) of C. On the C7 we first have a stack of 4ths from the E which is infact the equivalent of a C7(#9) sound. This is a diagonal line on the fretboard and we can actually flip it around and use that as a descending pattern. On this string set that gives us a Gb major triad. This trick works really well in diminished contexts as well. The altered line is the stepwise resolved to the 3rd(A) of Fmaj7.

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-5

Another good stack of 4th idea for the C7alt is to use the one on Ab because it gives us a lot of colourful notes: Ab,Db,Gb – (b13,b9,b5).

The line the on the Gm7 is based on a Gm7 arpeggio with a scale note added here and there. On the C7alt I start with the stack of 4ths from Ab, which you could also think of as a Dbsus4 triads. The line then continues with a Bbdim triad and resolves to the 5th(C) of Fmaj7.

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-6

In the final example I am using several quartal arpeggios and also making use of that they are 3 note groups to create a cross rhythm in the line.

The example starts out with a scale run down from Bb to G. From the G and from the A we have two quartal arpeggios that work well over Gm7. Over C7 we can use two other stacks of 4ths a half step higher so from Ab and Bb. This means that I can make a pattern of three notes with the bottom notes being G, A, Ab, Bb all with 3 notes in each arpeggio. This gives us a period of 3 note groupings creating osme nice rhythmical tension on top of the meter. The line and the cross rhythm is resolved by encircling the 3rd of F chromatically and resolving on the 1.

5-quartal-harmony-licks-ex-7

Conclusion

That was a few examples of how I use quartal harmony in my playing. When you work on this you will of course get something out of checking out my lines, but don’t forget that you will probably learn more form trying to l take the concept of my examples and make your own lines combining the things you already know. That is also how I work.

If you want to support my videos and check out more examples of how I use quartal harmony and other more modern devices in my solos check out this solo lesson in my webstore:

There will never be another you – Reharmonization Solo

If you want to study the examples I went over in the lesson you can of course also download them as a pdf here below:

5-quartal-harmony-licks

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you want to hear.

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Create your own arpeggio shapes

Arpeggios are often difficult to play because they are a mix of 1 and 2 notes per string and it can also be hard to use them to make nice lines with extensions. In this lesson I am going to show you how to change your chord voicings to two notes per string arpeggio shapes with extensions.

Whenever we can relate a scale or an arpeggio to a shape we already know like a chord shape we gain not only that it is easier to learn that arpeggio or scale, but we also get an idea about where and how we can use that scale or arp.

The approach I am going to cover here will use that approach to make some arpeggios with added extensions that are easy to play because they are 2 notes per string so we can incorporate hammer on/pull offs to execute them.

A scale and a chord voicing

Let’s first take an F major scale like this one in the 8th position:
Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 1

Now let’s try to make a set of arpeggios from a II Valt I in this position. First we take the Gm7(9) voicing shown in example 2.
Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 2

The arpeggio in the second bar is created by using the note that is in the chord voicing and then another note from the scale. You do need to know what each note in the scale is related to the chord so that you have control over what notes you play. SInce the basic arpeggio of the chord will already give you 4 of the 7 notes in the scale there is usually only one note you don’t want to include.

In the Gm7 example we end up with an arpeggio that is using notes before each note of the chord, but that is also just a choice to make it more playable in this specific example as you will see in the next example!

If we do the same for the Fmaj7 chord shown in example 3 we get an arpeggio that has notes above each note of the chord and we have a nice rich sounding Fmaj7 arpeggio with an added 9 and 13.

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 3

The altered chord is always tricky

The altered chord is always causing us to take an extra detour. In this case the altered chord we would usually use would be a C7(b13) voicing, but to connect the voicings it is practical to have everything on the same string set. To do this I used tri-tone substitution, so instead of the C7(b13) I am playing a Gb7(9) voicing which is the exact same voicing with a Gb in the bass instead of a C. You can check out more about the relation ship between tritone subs and altered dominants in this lesson: The Altered Scale: Three Approaches

We end up with this chord and from that we can make the arpeggio in bar 2:

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 4

Making lines with the arpeggios

Now that we have made 3 arpeggios for a II Valt I in F major we can connect the arpeggios and make a simple line. As you can tell I am actually just playing up one down the next, but because the construction of the arpeggios is less predictable than a normal stack of 3rds arpeggio it doesn’t sound so exercise like!
Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 5

If we try the same approach on a II V I in drop2 voicings we can make a completely different set of arpeggios like I have done in example 6 in the key of Bb major. You should notice that I sometimes change the hammer on/pull off to make more interesting melodies. That would be one of the first things you should experiment with when using this approach!

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 6

The same approach applied to a II V I in the key of C major. Here I am using two drop3 voicings to demonstrate how you might deal with the gap between the two lowest notes in this voicing type. As you can see I turn around the direction of the hammer on/pull offs to make the transition between chords more smooth (especially between G7alt and Cmaj7).

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 7

That was some ideas on how to create your own 2 note per string arpeggio shapes that include some extensions and are great frameworks for melodies.

I hope you can use it in your own playing to get some new ideas. I find it an easy way to create lines that have a larger range.

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

Create your own Arpeggio shapes

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you want to hear.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

Triad pairs in the altered scale

Making good melodies on altered dominants is often a tricky business. One strong approach is to use triad pairs to make some strong yet surprising melodies.

One of the advantages to using triad pairs over altered dominants is that triads are by themself already quite strong melodies. Another advantage is that the triads are excellent tools to pull out and emphasize certain extensions over a dominant.

I have already made a few lessons on Triad Pairs. You can check out one here: Triad Pairs – part 1

The scale and the triads

In this lesson all the triad pair examples are on a C7 altered chord and therefore using the C altered or Db melodic minor scale as shown in Example 1

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 1

To get used to the triads one of the first things that it would make sense to practice is to play the scale in diatonic triads, which is what I have written out in Example 2

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 2

Choosing a triad pair

Since we are using triad pairs with no common notes it is not too difficult to find triad pairs in a 7 note scale. The two triads will contain 6 notes. This means that we can just take out a note, and then you have the two triads on the following two notes.

As an example: If we take out the C in the Db mel minor scale we have two triads left: Dbm and Ebm.

Since we want to have some freedom in making melodies with the triads it is important to also have be able to play the inversions of the triads. In Example 3 I have written out the triad inversions of Dbm and Ebm in the position that we are working in.

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 3

Another exercise that I do that I find very useful and which is also helping you not only lean the triads and their inversions but also helps getting started making lines with the triads.

The idea is to just improvise and then after playing one triad try to move to a close triad inversion and then keep playing. It forces you to think ahead and also to try out some combinations of triads that you can then later use in lines. I’ve written out a bit of how I demonstrate this in the video in Example 4.

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 4

Making altered dominant lines with Triad pairs

In the examples I am going to use a few different triad pairs to demonstrate some of the different sounds you have available. I won’t go over exercises like I did with the first pair, but the exercises would be just the same.

In the first line I am using the Dbm, Ebm triad pair. The line on the Gm7 is using an inversion of the Gm7 arpeggio followed by a little Gm pentatonic  fragment. On the C7 the line is a descending version of Example 3 that resolves to the 5th(C) of Fmaj7.

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 5

A distinct part of the melodic minor sound is the Augmented triad. This makes that a very nice candidate for a triad pair. In the 2nd line I am using the Eaug and Gb triad pair. The line starts with a chain of arpeggios over Gm7. First a Dm7 arp and then a Bb triad. On the C7alt the line is first a pattern of the E augmented triad and then a 2nd inversion Gb triad.

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 6

The final example is using an Ab and a Bbdim triad. This triad pair gives us a lot of the alterations from the Ab and the more basic 3rd and 7th sound of the C7 in the Bb dim triad. The Gm7 line is a basic Bb maj7 arpeggio followed by a descending scale run. On the C7 alt it is first a melody made with the Ab triad in 1st inversion followed by a Bb dim triad before it resolves to the 5th(C) of F

Triad pairs in the altered scale - ex 7

I hope you can use the examples and the exercises to get started making some interesting lines with triad pairs over your altered dominants!

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

Triad pairs in the altered scale

Check out how I use Triad pairs  in this solo transcription/lesson:

There will never be another you – Reharmonization Solo

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you want to hear.

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Tritone Scale

The tritone scale is a great symmetric scale that you can use as a tool for making some interested dominant 7th lines. In this lesson I will go over how it is constructed, suggest a few exercises and give you some examples of how you can use the scale in a cadence.

The Tritone Scale is a synthetic scale like the diminished or whole tone scale. What I mean by that is that it is a construction of notes and not something like a key. That doesn’t mean that you can’t put it to good use in a tonal context. The fact that it is symmetrical makes it in some ways easy to use on guitar and you can in general find some good sounds from the Tritone scale to vary your dom7th vocabulary a bit.

The Tritone scale can be viewed as a triad pair, where it is constructed by two major triads a tritone apart. This means that it is a subset of the diminished scale which is symmetrical not only in tritones but also in minor 3rds. I already made quite a few lessons on triad pairs the first one is here: LINK and everything that you can do with triad pairs you can also do with the tritone scale.

In this lesson all the examples are using the scale you get when combining the A major and Eb major triads. In example 1 you see the scale written out not as triads but as a scale with a symmetrical fingering:

Tritone Scale - ex 1

If you play the scale in diatonic triads you will notice that you get the two triads in inversions:

Tritone Scale - ex 2

Tritone Scale - ex 2B

You can also make the observation that the scale contains both A7 and Eb7 so you can play it in symmetrical dom7th arpeggios:

Tritone Scale - ex 3

A very common pattern that is used in this scale is this way of chainging the triads together like this:

Tritone Scale - ex 4

I have heard both Michael Brecker and Arch Enemy use this.

Using the scale on a dominant 7th chord.

In the folowing examples I am demonstrating how you can use this on a dominant that resolves to a tonic chord.

The first example is making a variation on the pattern from example 4 so that it is not the same on both triads and a little bit less predictable. For my taste it is more useful to try to avoid too much symmetrical sounding lines and use that it is technically easy but change it so that it is surprising to the ear, and thus a stronger melody.

Tritone Scale - ex 5

The 2nd line is trying to move a bit away from the symmetrical aspect and using something that the scale also has: there are a few places where you can easily do trills. The line starts out with an A major triad and the moves up in position to make a trill on the 5th(E) of A. From there it continues with descending A and Eb first inversion triads to resolve to a Dmaj7

Tritone Scale - ex 6

The third example uses an almost pentatonic pattern that is also shifts symmetrically to be part of A7 and the part of Eb7. After that it continues with an 2nd inverstion A major triad and an Eb in 1st inversion before it resolves to F# on Dmaj7.

Tritone Scale - ex 7

The way I have demonstrated the use of the scale with dominant 7th with some of the traditional or 1st choice patterns and what you can do with them is fairly basic and should give you a good grip on getting started using this scale.

I hope you can use the material in the lesson to make you own lines and add a nother sound to your dom7th vocabulary!

The other tritone scale

Since this scale is a subset of the diminished scale we could also approach a dominant by using the “other triad pair” so in this case it would be making lines with C and F# triads. If you want me to make a lesson on this then please let me know by commenting on the video or send me an e-mail.

If you want to download a PDF of the examples I went over here for later study you can do so here: Tritone Scale

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make thme fit what you want to hear.

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