4-Part Jazz Harmony > Replacements       


In or
der to create further harmonic tension, each note of a Chord can be replaced by either:

  •     non-chord, scale notes
  •     non-chord, non-scale notes.

These notes generally resolve back to their original chord positions. If a replacement is ABOVE the chord tone, it must be taken from the chord's 8-note scale. If a replacement is BELOW the chord tone, it must be taken either from the chord's 8-note scale, or from a half step below the chord tone. If a scale-note is chosen, the sound will be closer to a diminished 7 chord, whereas if a half-step-below note is chosen, the sound will be closer to the original chord structure. 

For example, if we consider a C major 6 chord, in root position and close position, the "below" notes are taken either from the C maj6/dim scale, or are "half-step-below" notes, where this is an option. The "above" notes are all from the C maj6/dim scale.


The following interactive image illustrates the two replacements available for the Soprano note. Similar replacements can be made for the Alto, Tenor and Bass notes.




The most powerful use of replacements is when combined with what we shall call "Lateral Thinking": you can develop complex harmonic movements, by using replacements and resolutions, on the two most common 8 note scales (maj6/dim and min6/dim) and apply them "laterally" to any chord we encounter, by Lateral Thinking. The result is the introduction of both Enriching Notes and complex voice movements.

Exercises with Replacements

Below are a series of exercises based on replacements (called "appoggiaturas" in classical terminology) and their resolutions. They are grouped according to the type of scale they are built upon. Furthermore, each exercise starts with a specific voicing option.

By clicking on the links below, you will launch a player applet in your browser.

Voicing Options

C Major scale:

Exercise 001


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