How To Use The Tritone Substitution To Create Great Sounding Solos On Guitar

Try This Hack For Soloing On Guitar - The Tritone Substitution

by Simon Candy


Tritone Substitution Guitar Article ImageIn this video, you learn a really cool way to get outside sounds in your guitar solos using the tritone substitution.

This particular approach is a great hack for sounding very advanced with your guitar soloing without needing to know and understand all the theory behind what is happening.

To do this, we will be using a II V I chord progression, which happens to be the most common progression in Jazz music, but common to other styles of music too.

We will play this chord progression in the key of C Major, giving us a Dm7, G7, and C Major7 chord.

Watch the video below to learn how to use the tritone substitution over the II V I progression to create and play advanced sounding solos on your guitar:



The Tritone Substitution

In a nutshell, the tritone substitution is when you take any dominant 7th chord and replace it with another dominant 7 chord that occurs a tritone (b5) away.

For example:

Our chord progression is:


Tritone Substitution Guitar Progression


We are going to apply the tritone substitution to the G7 chord in the progression above.

The tritone of G7 is Db7 (b5 above G7)


Tritone Substitution Arpeggio G Scale






The Db7 chord/arpeggio contains the following notes:


tritone substitution arpeggio Dd7



These notes relate to the G7 chord in the following way:


tritone substitution arpeggio Db7 G7





This gives you some cool outside sounds when played over the G7 chord and actually implies a G7b5b9 chord.


Arpeggio Shapes


The following is a common arpeggio shape for a G7 chord:

Tritone Substitution Arpeggio G7


The following is a common arpeggio shape for a Db7 chord:

Tritone Substitution Arpeggio Db7

Arpeggio Exercises

Exercise 1:

This first exercise has you ascending and descending the G7 arpeggio:


Tritone Substitution Arpeggio G7 Exercise


Exercise 2:

The second exercise has you ascending and descending the Db7 arpeggio:


Tritone Substitution Arpeggio Db7 Exercise


Exercise 3:

In this exercise, you ascend the G7 arpeggio and then descend the Db7 arpeggio to begin connecting these two shapes together on the fretboard:


Tritone Substitution Arpeggio G7 Db7 Exercise


Exercise 4:

Next, you ascend the Db7 arpeggio and then descend the G7 arpeggio to continue connecting these two shapes together:


Tritone Substitution Arpeggio Db7 G7 Exercise


Arpeggio Overlay Pattern:

To further integrate these two arpeggio shapes together, check out the diagram below where I have overlayed the Db7 arpeggio on top of the G7 arpeggio revealing many different connection points between the two shapes:


Tritone Substitution Arpeggio G7 Db7 Overlay


Learn how to create and play great solos using arpeggios on guitar