Watch the Week 4: Substitution Chord Forms for Dom. 7th online guitar lesson by Bob Wolfman from Essential Guide To Jazz Blues Comping

Substitutions for the Dominant 7th chord/Altered Dominant 7th Chord Substitutions -

This particular lesson is to equip you with an arsenal of chord forms. Basically, you going to drill your new chord vocabulary. Once you have familiarized yourself with the fingerings and you're fairly comfortable playing them, the next step is mostly about the way you choose to express yourself using these chord forms. It's a very subjective thing, what chord to use and when. It's more intuitive than analytical, but you still need to drill playing these forms, then absorb the way they sound, and then you can apply them in different musical situations and contexts. One of the many applications of this particular lesson is for the purpose of comping over just one particular chord type in a solo section of a tune. You're playing a tune and the chart calls for a solo (soloist could be playing any instrument), and the solo is to be played over 16 bars of a C7 chord. Well, suffice to say, it would be horribly monotonous, boring and downright annoying to play the exact same chord voicing for 16 contiguous bars of music. Preferably, you want to put some color and flavors behind the soloist, and also give him/her something to sink their teeth into. Playing these chord forms in sequences will create more flow and movement, and will spice up the "comping". Keep in mind that there is another big benefit to learning all these substitution forms...you can use them whenever and wherever you like. Blues, standard jazz tunes, jazz/blues, rock, funk, fusion, country, and...well, you get the idea. I suggest you drill them horizontally in each category (from left to right), for example, play all of the 9th. forms shown in a row...6th string root, then 5th, then 4th, 3rd, etc.

Next, play the forms vertically down from the top, changing from 7th, then 9th, then 11th, then 13th. Play down from the top of each column . Notice how the chord voicings are in close physical proximity position-wise on the fretboard when you go down from the top of each string root column. However, the chord forms are in different positions/areas of the fretboard when playing the same substitution type horizontally from left to right. Drilling these forms both vertically and horizontally will greatly benefit you in the following ways:

1. Most obvious, you will actually train your fingers, eyes, and mind to become very familiar with all the forms.
2. You will see the physical relationship/similarities between different voicings who share the same root on the same string.
3. You will know all the possible and practical fingerings for the substitutions of the Dominant 7th chord provided on the chart.
4. You can apply this very same approach/process for learning the major 7th and minor 7th substitution chord forms.
5. One of the most significant benefits - you will develop sonic recognition of all the chord substitutions. Some will come faster than others and some will become your favorites. Once again, experimentation is the answer here and this will enable you to come up with some really beautiful applications...that will inevitably surprise and delight you. Try it, you'll see what I mean!