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The Flat Five Substitution - part 5

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Previous page: The Flat Five Substitution - part 4 Next page: The Flat Five Substitution - part 6

Before closing, you should have a little bit more to play with. First you need to know where you find the tritone on you guitar. These are the five basic tritone positions:

I use the A7 as the basis in all examples, with the Eb7 as the flat five substitution chord. But the positions are moveable. The tritone in these two chords are C#–G and G–Db. Before going on, I will remind you that the C# and Db are enharmonic, and the the tritone is symetric. (The distance from C# to G is the same as the distance from G to C#, meaning that we still get a tritone if the interval is inverted).

I remind you that these chords are not full 7th chords. We have removed either the 5th or the root from the chords. The dominant7 chord without the root is really a dim chord that function as a dominant7. In our context, a C#dim may function as an A7, and Gdim may function as Eb7.

Tritone on 6th and 5th string

We can start by building 3-note 7th chords around the tritone on the 6th and 5th string. As this tritone is on the two bottom strings, we have to vary the notes in the treble, and not the bass-note, as we did in the examples so far.

We find the tritone in two positions: 3rd fret on 6th string and 4th on 5th, and then at 9th fret at 6th and 10th fret on the 5th string.

Tritone on 3rd and 4th fret
A7 (C#dim) Eb7 A7 Eb7 (Gdim)

3 fr 3 fr 3 fr 3 fr
A7 (C#dim) Eb7 A7 Eb7 (Gdim)

Tritone on 9th and 10th fret
7 fr 7 fr 8 fr 8 fr
A7 Eb7 (Gdim) A7 (C#dim) Eb7

9 fr 9 fr 9 fr 9 fr
A7 Eb7 (Gdim) A7 (C#dim) Eb7

Tritone on 5th and 4th string

Now we move our tritone to the 5th and 4th string. Still using the same chords in our example, we find the frist tritone at 5th string 4th fret (C#/Db) and 4th string 5th fret (G). The next tritone is at 5th string 10th fret (G) and 4th string 11th fret (C#/Db).

Notice that it is a tritone (flat fifth) between the two tritone intervals. This equals 6 frets. This also means that you can get a flat five substitution by moving any of these chords up or down six frets.

Tritone on 4th and 5th fret
4 fr 4 fr 2 fr 2 fr
A7 Eb7 (Gdim) A7 Eb7 (Gdim)

4 fr 4 fr 4 fr 4 fr
A7 (C#dim) Eb7 A7 Eb7 (Gdim)

Tritone on 10th and 11th fret
10 fr 10 fr 8 fr 8 fr
Eb7 A7 (C#dim) Eb7 A7 (C#dim)

10 fr 10 fr 10 fr 10 fr
A7 Eb7 (Gdim) Eb7 A7 (C#dim)

Before we continue, I will remind you to see which notes we are adding to the tritone to get these chords. To get the A7 without fifth, we add an A (the root). To get an A7 without root we add an E (the fifth). To get the Eb7 without fifth we add an Eb (root), and to get the Eb7 without root we add a Bb (fifth).

For chords with the next tritones, go to part 6.

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