Tritone substitution

This may be a step too far for scaler but how about introducing trirone substitutions as a feature, possibly in the modulation section?

Just a thought…

Plus add more neo-soul progressions à la

On reflecton the inclusion of more gospel progressions could easily take priorityover tritone substitutions for me too.

Scaler’s modulation features will help you find them. There’s no explicit way for Scaler to suggest them. So, it may be a request the developers will look at. If know how such substitutions work finding them is made a little easier with Scaler. Scaler’s modulation features, and the Suggest function, take things well beyond basic tritone substitutions.

Let’s see how it goes.

What about those of us that have no interest in "Gospel"progressions? I certainly don’t desire those to have any priority over any others.

Therein lies a key challenge for product developers in trying to balance the competing (and sometimes mutually exclusive) demand of the user base. I have the scars on my back to prove it. The key thing to avoid is to p*** off everybody.

I have suggested in the past having some form of structured wish list for enhancements, but I’ve come round to thinking that there are other ways. The most important one is that the developers have a clear vision of where they are going, so they don’t get pulled down endless side tracks. IMHO I believe that @davide and his team has that clear vison and every indication for me is that the evolution of Scaler will be in a direction that suits me. So I’m happy to sit back and take whatever comes.

However, I think we need to distinguish between changes which are of function and those which are changes in data. . Tri-tone requires somebody to write some more COBOL or whatever (joke, @davide), whereas data variation should not.

So adding some songs (as e.g. Gospel) should be a different task to extending data. However, unlike the synth sounds (which are stored separately) songs appears as far as I can see to be embedded in the compiled image, which leads to an ‘all’ delivery

If I may be so presumptuous and bold as to suggest what is known in the trade as a ‘kluge’, if songs (or more likely their category) had a yes/no choice against them, ‘N’ could be used to just supress display. So the effect would be to have a user tailored list, whilst allowing Scaler to do the ‘all’ delivery. You just choose the songs you want to see. This requires a code change, but not as extensive as more elegant solutions. Crude, but effective ?

Part of the issue is easy to solve. There are many, many “Gospel” MIDI progression chord sets out there. Easy to drag and drop them into Scaler and compose away, making changes as needed. What would be better is organization in the Scaler User menu area. I wish we could put Projects into folders there and have that work. As it is I’ve taken to Exporting my projects to the Project Session folder and organizing them there. And favorites with a star system would be great but of course we’ve talked about these and I have no doubt they will show up eventually.
But as @yorkeman says, I think the Devs have a good, clear vision for Scaler and it will get better and better for us all.

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I seem to have started a discussion here that is going off in odd directions, so let me clarify my request.

As @yorkman said @davide and the team probably have a clear vision foe the direction of Scaler. But as this is a forum for suggesting features I just thought I would throw the idea of tritone substitutions into the mix.

Perhaps it would help if I clarified what I am suggesting for those who are not familiar with tritone substitutions.

As I understand it tritone substitutions are generally used on the dominant 7 chord, often in jazz styles of music. Referring to The Jazz Piano Book by Mark Levine if you omit the fifth of a dominant 7 chord the 3rd and 7th notes are actually the 3rd and 7th of two different chords. For example the third and seventh of a G7 are also the third and seventh of a Db7.

The beauty of this substitution is that it can lead to a falling bass line as in the chord sequence ii-V-I. For example in the key of C the ii-V-I sequence is Dm7-G7-C7 when using 7th chords. And the triad chord notes are:

Dm7 = DCF

G7 = GBF

C7 = CBE

However the B and F of the G7 are also the seventh and third of the Db7 respectively (DbFB).

So when playing the sequence ii-V-I in C major and making a tritone substitution the sequence becomes Dm7-Db7-C7. The chord notes are

Dm7 = DCF

Db7= DbBF

C7 = CBE

and if the root notes of each chord D, Db and C are played in the bass, a nice falling base line is created.

Unfortunately in Scaler there does not appear to be a way of creating this as when 7th chords are used. Through experimentation I have discovered that the Db7(no5th) chord appears to be enharmonic to Bsus2(b5)/C#, which is what Scaler has detected. But that is beyond my theoretical knowledge.

So to achieve this result I have had to program the midi chords, then detect the sequence in Scaler 2.5, then save the sequence.

I think including this functionality would greatly help jazz type compositions, but I understand it could be a significant upgrade, or can the chordsets be added more simply as variations to the V7. Also I could not find a 7(no5th) as a variant of any degree of the scale chords. I know that in chord theory the chords ahould be made up of Root, 3rd, 5th and 7th, but I believe that for the 7th chord it is possible to omit the 5th (page 38 The Jazz Piano Book).


I tried to master the Coltrane Changes on my guitar but sort of gave up after 3 attempts. I decided that I’ll leave ‘substitutions’ as what our on-line grocer does when he is out of stock on ordered items :slight_smile:

Modulated from F#m to own brand baked beans

Hello, ed66.
Just for say that you are right.
The so-called tritone substitution is very common in jazz.
An example in Scaler (jazz column) is Tritone Subs

The case that can confuse a bit is that of enharmonies, since when one searches for the Db7 chord in the chords tab, Scaler suggests C#7. (Also, you can search Db7, in Db mixolydian mode).
I have made a set with examples (1st in original and then with the substitution of the tritone). I’ll leave it here in case someone might be interested. It is also true that the option could be included in the suggestions mode. It would be good.
Tritone Example.xml (46.3 KB)

Also, I would like to share this video that explains it very well. (It is in Spanish, but the examples and the nomenclature of the chords are very well understood)



Thanks jjfagot, Stupid me did not think to look in the list of songs, Also thhanks for the xml file.

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Great video thanks for sharing

I think something like this could work, but the challenge is what are we suggesting from? What are we suggesting? and what are we suggesting to? We’ve got some Jazz specialists on both the creative teams and the dev teams so I think we could make something fun. Let us experiment…


Davide, thank you for your thoughts on my suggestion. At the most basic level (i.e. my level) I was thinking that if you included V7 no 5 chords as a variation on the V7 then this would be the chord from which to make the tritone substitution. I don’t think these substitutions are made from any other degrees of the scale, but your jazz specialists could probbaly answer that one.

BTW I think that Scaler is a really good tool and it is helping me in my hobbyist environment.