In this tutorial we’ll be dealing with a substitution idea that should breathe new life into your playing over a certain chord vamp. I ran across this device upon transcribing Tim Miller’s solo on Janek Gwizdala’s song “Mana” off the “Live at 55 Bar” record.
What Tim did was play an F# major triad against a static Cm7 groove. This creates a beautiful sound that instantly got me hooked and helped me come up with a few interesting, outside sounding licks.
Firstly, let’s see what intervals are in an F# major triad superimposed on a Cm7 chord:
F# (root) against Cm7: b5
A# (3rd) against Cm7: b7
C# (5th) against Cm7: b9
Now that might seem really strange at first, so the trick is to resolve these intervals in a logical manner and thus making your licks work. For example:
- b5 to 4 or 5
- b7 stays or moves to nat 6 or root
- b9 to nat 9 or root
Triads have a very strong sound, so as long as you resolve them nicely you’re good to go and you'll profit from the distinctness of those triads. If that’s too theoretical for you, you’re welcome to just memorize the examples.
Now, on to Example 1!