Saxophone Forum

by birdlover
(43 posts)
5 years ago

Substituting Dominant Seven Chords for Diminished Chords

Instead of playing a diminished scale over a diminished chord you can take any chord tone of a diminished chord, lower it a half step and play a dominant seven with a lowered nine instead. So for an Eb diminished chord you may substitute it with a D7b9, F7b9, Ab7b9, or a B7b9. The advantage of this is you will be implying a tonal center and sound more melodic since diminished scales have no tonal center. Keep in mind that when doing this your choice of the substitute should be influenced by the chords preceding and following the diminished chord. For example if you see a Eb diminished chord followed by say an E minor chord then a logical substitute would be the B7b9 since B7 is the fifth of the following E minor chord.

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