Watch the Fuzy Lydian-Loader 4 online guitar lesson by Chris Buono from Juiced Blues
e 7b5 chord is by far the unsung hero. Here in Fuzy the Lydian-Loader, I aim to change that by inserting this tritone-laced harmonic device within a Fuze-approved-Juiced-groove (just try and say that at least two times fast, let alone ten). The 7b5 chord is spelled 1 3 b5 b7 and is the first instance of musical symmetry that we'll encounter here in Juiced Blues since it recycles itself every three whole steps (that's layman's speak for tritone). For example, a root position dropped 2 E7b5 is voiced as follows: E Bb D G#. Take that same interval structure (i.e. fingering) up or down three whole steps and you'll see the same chord tones are in tact, albeit in a different order, creating the same chord type just from a different root. In this case that would be a Bb7b5 (Bb Fb/E Ab/G# D). If you're already putting two and two together and thinking the E7b5 is a Bb7b5/E and the Bb7b5 is an E7b5/Bb--you're starting to the see big picture. This aspect of 7b5 chords, as well as all other symmetrical instances, makes them a favored go-to outside sounding chord since they're so easy to organize visually. As you peruse the Power Tab and PDF charts look for the inherent double b5's lurking within these 7b5 voicings. It won't take long as the second chord in the 1st Inversion Lydian Dominant Diamond--the E7b5/D--is made up of a pair of devil's intervals separated by a whole step with D G# as the first tritone and the Bb E as the second. To add to that epiphany you'll soon see I'm using basically two 7b5 voicings that are easily identified by which interval separates the b5 pair. The first type is the aforementioned E7b5/D where the two tritones are divided by a whole step or major 2nd. The other type of 7b5, such as the initial voicings discussed at the onset, have their b5 pair set apart by a major 3rd.
** Take note: All four chord diamonds purposely have an inside dropped 3 E7 fragment placed on the 6th, 4th and 3rd strings as the starting chord for clarity sake. I find that having an inside chord from a common family of chords helps define the overall vision. In addition, I'm not crazy about the sound of altered harmony in the low registers of the guitar.
At this point you might be wondering if Lydian is centered upon a #4/#11, why are we discussing b5's? Simple: the aforementioned denominations are enharmonic (two or more names for the same pitch) and, more often than not, these chords as named as such. A chord spelled E Bb D G# could just as well be named E7#11 since the Bb is also an A#, which is a #4/#11 in the key of E. So when do you call a chord a b5 or a #11? Truth is, sometimes it's a matter of preference. But, other times it can be determined by whether or not a 5th is present in the chord. If a P5th is in the chord then you have a #11, if not, then it's a b5 since there's nary a P5 to contest it.
Below the chord diamonds in the accompanying Power Tab and PDF chart you will see these two types of 7b5 voicings in their '‘diagonal visions' as discussed in the video segment. Be sure to listen carefully when I explain how to get the most out of these diagonal visions by simply keeping tabs on the 2nd string.