The tritone substitution is one of the most common chord and improvisation devices in jazz. Because they share the same tritone, they are possible substitutes for one another. Or in G major it would be between C and F sharp: A tritone is an interval made up of three tones, or six semitones. A tritone substitution occurs whenever a chord is being substituted or replaced by another chord with a root a tritone interval away. 1/2 step higher would be the note ‘C#’ or ‘Db’ (same note). Substitute Dominant or “Tritone Sub” Chords. While kinda cool, stories like that are likely not true; in fact, the tritone was used in many Baroque and Classical compositions. In Blues and Jazz turnarounds, it's common practice to use harmonic substitutions for any of the chords. Example: G7 is replaced by Db7. In the key of C major, “C major” would be your I chord. Review of Secondary Dominants 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). The tritone interval was considered so dissonant that it led to stories of singers in the church being banned from using it. Also in jazz harmony, the tritone is both part of the dominant chord and its substitute dominant (also known as the sub V chord). So before we dive into substitute dominants, let’s review secondary dominants. Here are a few excellent examples with a link to the YouTube video: Rock Songs That Use a Tritone in the Main Riff. 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. This is followed by the solo violin playing a tritone consisting of A and E-flat (0:24-0:32). These chords are interchangeable because the tritone interval pitches are identical in each. 2 Simple Ways to Find the Tritone Sub for any Key. Instead of focusing on the notes today, we will focus on the use of the tritone in chords. 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. (click to expand) 2. The violin solo repeats again at 4:45 – 4:50. 1. 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. In practice, a tritone sub in jazz is most commonly a dominant 7 chord. Tritone Substitution With Notation. A “substitute dominant” or “tritone substitution” is a special type of chord whose function is closely related to that of the secondary dominant. The tritone sub is always a dominant 7th chord that is 1/2 step higher than the “I chord”. Here is a normal II-V-I (2-5-1) chord progression without the tritone substitution added in on the V chord. Substitution: What we mean by the term ‘substitution’ is that we are substituting, or swapping, one chord for another. The tritone substitution is a dominant, or secondary dominant 7th chord whose root is a tritone (3 whole steps) away from the original chord. This is known as a tritone substitution. 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. 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. 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