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Watch the >> Full View online guitar lesson by Larry Carlton from 335 Improv

Now that you know Cm7 can be used in place of the vamp's F9sus4, think about the many choices you have using Cm7. For starters, Cm7 can be voiced any number of ways: with tightly grouped intervals providing lots of tension or with the intervals spread out for a nice, open sound. You can also use the same voicings played in a higher or lower position on the neck.

Changing chord voicings is essential when you're supporting a soloist, so make sure you have an ample supply at your command. I've given you a head start with the voicings shown in PowerTab but don't stop there - learn all you can!

Remember that you're no more locked into Cm7 than you were to that first F9sus4 chord. Cm9 can be substituted for a Cm7, right? And since Cm9 shares notes with an F13 chord, why not explore that substitution? Keep stretching, exploring and likewise learning as many substitutions as you can. They are essential improvisational tools for feeding ideas to the soloist and/or reacting to what the soloist is playing.

Knowing your inversions and substitutions, and their notes and degrees, is also essential for improvisational soloing. For example, if I am improvising over a two-chord change, I know the common tones between those two chords, and can build my melodic phrases around those common tones with great results.