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  1. #1

    Default "Jazz Anatomy" Chord Sub Question

    In the first Bb Blues in Mimi Fox's, "Jazz Anatomy", she plays a V min (F min7) instead of V7 (F7) in bar 4.

    I usually recognize basic chord subs quickly, but this one seems to have me stumped. It could be very simple and matter of fact--"Sometimes you just substitute min7 for dom7", I guess, but I'd like to pin it down theoretically. I've flipped through one of my jazz blues comping books, and I don't see a Vmin7 sub mentioned in a list of common progressions.

    I wondered if it was a temporary modulation, since Fmin7 is the ii chord of Eb maj. It's common to approach a V chord from its ii chord, and it's also common in blues to temporarily treat one of the other 7th chords as a "I" and put its ii in front of it. (so Fmin7 could go to Eb7). But that's not what happens here. F min 7 goes to Bb7.

    I feel like I'm missing something very simple, so if someone could clue me in, that'd be great.

    Oh...and one gripe. Why didn't TrueFire put the chord type(s) above each measure to make the progression easier to follow in the PDF? There's just tab and notation, but no chord chart.



  2. #2


    Never mind, I think I got it.

    The Fmin7 isn't a sub for the V. I got things turned out when looking at the PDF.

    The second half of bar 4 is a ii-V that moves to Eb in bar 5. So, it is a case of treating the Eb in bar 5 as if it was the I chord. And it's preceded by *its* ii-V, which is Fmin7-->Bb7.

    Got it. Yay.

    Still, it woulda been nice to have the chord chart. It would have made that sub much clearer--at least to me. And it would've also been great if Mimi had covered it in her video.


  3. #3


    Hello Jeff,

    Very interesting question you have there. I'm not an expert in jazz theory, but I believe what's happening is tonicization. Yes, that's a word, a fancy one at that; but it really just means you are treating another chord as tonic(the I).

    In this case, the Fmin7 is exactly what you describe. It becomes the ii7 of Eb, and is followed by a Bb which is the V of Eb. As you can see, it's the good old ii-V-I progression.

    This is not a modulation(changing key), as the listener still perceives the key to be Bb. The function of the "v7" is to lead to the IV7 chord, which it does via the 2-5-1 progression. A very cool little "trick" that you can use in a bunch of places.

    About the comment regarding the pdf, I agree with you 100%. It would have been helpful to have the chords above each measure. Luckily, you have Mimi calling out the chords but still, it would make things a bit easier and you won't have to rely on the video.

    I appreciate your comment and will definitely let someone know about it.

    Hope this helps!

    (EDIT): Ah.. that's what I get for taking too long on a post.. the original poster figures out the answer to his own question! Good job!
    Last edited by jimiclaptoncarl; 01-02-2012 at 01:05 AM.


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  4. #4


    Yep...Just a few minutes after my initial post, I figured it out. If I had been looking at a chart and had seen Fmin 7, Bb7 and then Eb7, I'm sure I would have immediately realized it was a ii-V-I. Which leads me to...

    The next example (Bb Blues #2) has an extended performance in which Mimi plays all kinds of alterations/extensions, subs, and half step approaches in her Bb blues comp. It's great that the PDF includes a transcription of what she played, but the lack of chord names/references in the chart is a serious oversight, in my opinion. I'm sure I can figure out most of them, but I'll probably be guessing at a few of them, too, since, among other reasons, chords can have more than one name. Just a guess, since I've only viewed that segment once, but I bet she omits the root on some of the chords, which means I'll be left to wonder if I should try to name the chord based on what she played, or whether I should look for the theoretical root and name the chord accordingly.

    Overall it would have made this course a whole lot better to have chord charts included, since she didn't spend any time breaking down that lengthy example. Unless I just haven't gotten to it yet?



  5. #5


    Nope, it was an oversight. I wrote out the basic structure of the tune and treated the rest as ornamentation.

    The course is a few years old, so it wouldn't be as streamlined as newer courses. This is a shame since there is a lot of good stuff in it, but you have to work at it.

    We tried blogging it a while back and it may help you.

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