We have discussed secondary dominants and tritone substitutions as effective ways of enhancing basic chord progressions. Another common method of accomplishing this is through the use of modal mixture or the technique of mixing harmonies found in two or more modes.

What are the cosmic forces that govern music? The most important are the forces of tension (or instability) and release (or stability).

I was talking with a student the other day and we got into the subject of diminished seventh chords and how they are used in jazz. It got me thinking about how many different ways this chord can be resolved based on how it is used by composers of jazz as well as classical music.

Understanding the secondary dominant is essential to understanding how most jazz tunes work harmonically.

It is common knowledge that most jazz tunes tend to use harmonic progressions that are based on root movements of descending fifths.

Harmonizing passing tones with diminished seventh chords will make your next jazz arrangement sound like a jazz arrangement.

Many people have asked "John, what is a tritone substitution and how will it improve my life as a jazz musician?"


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John Hall

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