The Wrong Tritone Scale

The tritone scale is in itself all a fun symmetrical scale to play around with for some outside sounds, but it turns out that you can actually use more than one tritone scale on a dominant! That’s what I am going to cover in this lesson.

The Tritone Scale

In my first lesson on the tritone scale Iwent over how you can construct the tritone scale by using two major triads a tritone apart. So if you want a tritone scale for a D7 chord them you take the D major and Ab major triads and combine those to make a 6 note symmetrical scale. You can check out more about this in the lesson here: Tritone Scale

The Wrong triads and the wrong Tritone scale

The tritone scale is a subset of the diminished scale. Since you can look at the diminished scale as constructed of 4 major triads a minor third apart you can actually construct two different tritone scales from a diminished scale: One from D & Ab triads and another with B & F triads.

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 1

Since you can anyway use the diminished scale on a dominant you can of course also use a subset of it when making lines over the chord.

The tritone scale constructed from B and F triads would be this scale:

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 2

The examples that I am will go over are all on a D7(13b9) in the context of a II V I in G major as shown in example 3:

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 3

If we look at the notes of our “wrong” tritone scale against a D root we get the following tensions:

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 4

II V I licks with the “wrong” tritone scale

In the first example I start off with a chromatic approach phrase resolving to the C on beat 3. From there I continue with a C major triad. On the D7 I start with an encircling of the B and from there continue by linking the B and F triad using a pattern I talked about in the first lesson.

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 5

The 2nd example is using first a drop2 arpeggio over the Am7 and continues with a descending scale down to the B. On the D7 the line consists of B7 and F7 arpeggios chained together.

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 6

The Am7 line in the last example starts with a descending Cmaj7 arpeggio followed by a descending scale run. On the D7 the line is constructed using a symmetrical pattern that you could see as being a partial B7 and F7 inversion. The F7 inversion has an added trill to keep it from sounding too symmetrical.

The Wrong Tritone Scale - ex 7

Hopefully you can get some fresh ideas for some new dom7th lines using the “wrong” tritone scale and some of the nice colors it contains.

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

The Wrong Tritone Scale

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