A tritone is an interval made up of three tones, or six semitones. The tritone interval was considered so dissonant that it led to stories of singers in the church being banned from using it. The song begins with the note D being played twelve times on a harp to let us know that it’s midnight, After the soft string section chords, we hear eerie E flat and A chords. 1. The violin solo repeats again at 4:45 – 4:50. We have seen how the tritone works in a chord; however, rock guitarists have enjoyed using the tritone interval, in a melodic sense, for creating some of the most recognizable riffs in the history of rock music. Because they share the same tritone, they are possible substitutes for one another. So before we dive into substitute dominants, let’s review secondary dominants. The fifth chord consists of the root (1) and perfect fifth (5), while the tritone is built from the root (1) and diminished fifth (b5) guitar.ch Guitar Encyclopedia Chord One of the most commonly used chord subs in jazz guitar, the tritone sub, is a concept that comes up time and again when studying soloing and comping, but sometimes its meaning and usage isn’t clear. Here is a normal II-V-I (2-5-1) chord progression without the tritone substitution added in on the V chord. Example: G7 is replaced by Db7. A tritone substitution occurs whenever a chord is being substituted or replaced by another chord with a root a tritone interval away. This is followed by the solo violin playing a tritone consisting of A and E-flat (0:24-0:32). Or in G major it would be between C and F sharp: A “substitute dominant” or “tritone substitution” is a special type of chord whose function is closely related to that of the secondary dominant. A tritone above G would be Db, so we can play a tritone by playing the open G string followed by the Db on the 6th fret of the same string. Substitution: What we mean by the term ‘substitution’ is that we are substituting, or swapping, one chord for another. (click to expand) 2. Here is a II-V-I chord progression written out with the tritone substitution added on the V chord (G7 is substituted w/ Db7 instead). Tritone Substitution With Notation. This is known as a tritone substitution. Here are a few excellent examples with a link to the YouTube video: Rock Songs That Use a Tritone in the Main Riff. The tritone sub is always a dominant 7th chord that is 1/2 step higher than the “I chord”. Review of Secondary Dominants In practice, a tritone sub in jazz is most commonly a dominant 7 chord. Substitute Dominant or “Tritone Sub” Chords. In each diatonic scale there is only one tritone, and it occurs between the fourth and seventh degrees of the scale, so in a C major scale this would be between F and B. The tritone substitution is a dominant, or secondary dominant 7th chord whose root is a tritone (3 whole steps) away from the original chord. 1/2 step higher would be the note ‘C#’ or ‘Db’ (same note). Also in jazz harmony, the tritone is both part of the dominant chord and its substitute dominant (also known as the sub V chord). The tritone substitution is one of the most common chord and improvisation devices in jazz. In Blues and Jazz turnarounds, it's common practice to use harmonic substitutions for any of the chords. In the key of C major, “C major” would be your I chord. While kinda cool, stories like that are likely not true; in fact, the tritone was used in many Baroque and Classical compositions. 2 Simple Ways to Find the Tritone Sub for any Key. 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