Super Substitutions

Super substitutions help define your sound

Robbie's Chord House shares more super substitutions, this time the D minor 6/9.  This chord is super because it meets my requirements for a full sounding, memorable chord on a number of levels. First, it incorporates open strings which provides sustain and resonance. And secondly, it has dissonance because of its use of close intervals.

Aside from all of the technical mumbo-jumbo that goes into the structure of this chord, the bottom line is that it sounds great! It is a very distinctive chord that gives a big, defining sound.

Super substitutions broken down

At the 10th fret, we play the D in the bass (2nd finger on the E string), the muted A string,  the C (3rd finger on the D string), the F (the 4th finger on the G string) and then the open B and E strings. You can see and hear the haunting, funky sound the close intervals (B&C, E&F) create. And with this super voicing, there are two of them!

Harmonically, the chord consists of the D (root),  C natural (flat 7th), F natural (minor 3rd), B (6th) and the E (9th). Depending on where it's used in the progression it can work as a substitution for a D minor or a D minor7. But I like to use it as a substitution for a D7 and have the minor 3rd act as a sharp 9th function.

In the end it's all about how it sounds and how well it works for the situation and your ear.  I have included its theoretical justification in case a music theory purist - or piano player - challenges you on it.

 So many ways to play and say what you want

Experiment with the D minor 6/9 and see where it works for you. The lesson here is that there are many chords you can use, so the more you know, the more options you have. And as you learn how chords are structured you will get more ideas on what to play and where to play it. There are more resources for substitutions, like my 30 Chord Blues, and Robbie's Chord House is always open, so remember to drop by every now and then for a visit , you might discover some super substitutions!

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