Tip #21 – Substitute Dominant!

Hey, if this works in jazz music, why not in other styles of music?

To explain what a substitute dominant chord (or “tritone-sub” as it is also called – which you will see & recognize why later), take a cadential V7 – I progression:

Now, erase everything except for the tritone of the V7 chord:

If you recall, a tritone can be spelled both a d5 as well as a A4 interval. Keeping that in mind, flip the tritone upside-down. From there, you might have to respell in an enharmonic.

Finally, fill in these bare bones with what can be made as a dominant chord. As you can see, the substitute dominant acts as a bII7/I and that can be your shortcut to getting to it.


Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.