2/26/06

More Barry Harris diminished subs

Here is some more material from Jonah on Barry's subs. This material is similar to the diminished subs I outlined in my post Symmetrical Scales-Diminished, Wholetone.
Barry even takes these diminished subs even a few steps further .


  • You can substitute chords of any quality from minor 3rds away, but especially Dominant 7ths. Looking at the subs for G7, we have Bb7, Db7 and E7. These could be explained conventionally as G7(b9, #9) for the Bb7/G sub, G7alt for the Db7/G sub and G13b9 for the E7/G one. But, Barry's theory takes it further and says that you can use all of the related scales of G7, Bb7, Db7 and E7 over any one of those chords. (because they are all related by minor 3rds, and their roots form a diminished 7 chord)

So, over any G7 chord (or Bb7, Db7 or E7), you have the following scales available:

Barry Harris scales over G7, E7, Db7 or E7:
G "Bebop dominant" (Mixolydian with added maj7:G A B C D E F F#)
Bb Bebop Dominant
Db Bebop Dominant
E Bebop Dominant

G Dominant Diminished (combine notes from G7 and F#dim7: G A B C D Eb F F#)
Bb Dominant Diminished
Db Dominant Diminished
E Dominant Diminished

D Minor 6 Diminished (D E F G A A# B C#)
F Minor 6 Diminished
Ab Minor 6 Diminished
B Minor 6 Diminished

  • Also, the relative tonics of the 4 Dominant 7 chords may be substituted, ergo:

C Major 6 Diminished (add notes from C6 and Bdim7: C D E F G G# A B)
Eb Major 6 Diminished
Gb Major 6 Diminished
A Major 6 Diminished

C Minor 6 Diminished (combine C-6 and Bdim7: C D Eb F G G# A B)
Eb Minor 6 Diminished
Gb Minor 6 Diminished
A Minor 6 Diminished

  • You can also pick one of these scales to sub for the ii chord and another for the V7 chord. But actually there are a ton more subs you can throw in for the ii, eg: reharmonizing the ii as II7 and transposing the above chart, in this case to D7 (or F7, Ab7 etc.)

3 comments:

Az Samad said...

This is great stuff David! Thanks for the links. It somewhat reminds me of some of Pat Martino's concepts with viewing the diminished 7th as a main chord as well - deriving the other chords.

Anonymous said...

Your "symmetrical" link above is dead.

MonksDream said...

Poor Anonymous! It's funny, I was just looking through a fairly good book from Hal Leonard about Miles' music, where the author talks about these minor third substitutions. A tritone sub is just one flavor of these. It's always interesting to check out the third and seventh pairs. You have for G7, Bb7, Db7, and E7, {B,F}, {D, Ab}, {F,B} and {G#(Ab), D} Only two pairs, which are either the thirds and sevenths or fifths and flat nines. Great stuff!