GUITAR SOLOING - LESSON 016: Covering Outside Chord Changes

January 05, 2018:
Lesson 016 - Covering Outside Chord Changes

Explore a collection of the most common "outside" playing situations. In Part One of the lesson, we'll study how to deal with borrowed harmony and how modes can be used along with intervals. In Part Two of the lesson, we'll spend time on more advanced applications with secondary dominant chord concepts and chromatic harmony. 
By the end of this lesson you will have been exposed to four of the most common ways that outside chords are covered during a guitar solo. With this information, you'll be able to move forward with more complex studies of jazz and fusion guitar soloing...

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PART ONE:  In example one, borrowed chord harmony is discussed with an emphasis upon the concept of, "Modal Interchange" between the keys of "D Major" and "D Minor." 

A four bar progression shares the harmony of these two tonalities based off of a "D" Tonic. Learn the chord progression and melodic idea presented to understand how to deal with these types of "outside" chord concepts.

Example two, presents the effect of "non-diatonic" chord harmony. The progression is built from off of the sound of an "F Minor." key center. However, in the second measure an "Am7" chord appears. This "Am7" chord is unrelated to the key of "F Minor." The coverage of this "Am7" chord is done by way of the "A Dorian" mode.

In example three, the application of secondary dominant chords are demonstrated alongside of a borrowed chord concept. The progression is in the key of "C Major," with a secondary dominant chord showing up in measure two as a "D7" (V7 of V). Mixolydian is used to cover the "D7" chords appearance.

In measure three a "Gm7" chord appears functioning as a borrowed chord. Here the "G Dorian" mode is used to cover the "Gm7." In the last measure, a "G9sus" appears, and the "G Mixolydian" mode is used to cover it.

Example four, applies one of the most complex situations of outside harmony. Here we have a progression that moves step-wise in a chromatic descending movement. A series of "Minor 7" chords beginning from, "Cm7" establishes the initial sound of "C Natural Minor" key center.

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However, in the second measure, the next chord, "Bm7" establishes a drop-down of half-step harmony into a non-functioning "Minor 7." Then, upon the up-beat of two, a "Bm6" chord appears. Due to the use of this, "Bm6" chord, (see Guitar Soloing Lesson 013), the second measure is best covered using the "B Dorian" mode.

The next measures' chord shifts downward by another 1/2 step to yet another "Minor 7" chord. Here in measure three we find a "Bbm7" which is best covered by a "Bb Natural Minor" scale. This effect is a form of forced resolution by way of an outside harmony chord of the same quality shifting down a 1/2 step to create a synthetic resolution.

The final measure travels down one last 1/2 step into an "A7" chord. Take note of the new dominant 7th chord quality functioning as a secondary dominant concept. In this case, our outside chord of "A7" would be covered using the "A Mixolydian" mode.

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