Music Theory #2: Circle of 5ths - Dominant 7 & Tritones

Guitar, Piano, Ukulele - Advanced Music Theory - Use Tritone substitutes to create Jazzy sounds & chromatic turn arounds
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Instructed by Rosa Suen Music / Music Fundamentals
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  • Lectures 128
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 6/2015 English

Course Description

Rosa's Online School:

  • Teaching 22 Courses on Business Successes - Udemy, Kindle, Skillshare!
  • Teaching 42 Courses on Music & Piano Courses!

OVER 25,000 Successful students have already taken my online courses since July 2014 with 877 - 5 Star Reviews

Course Updated: Nov 1, 2016



Review from Chris T

Chris T

Rosa has an unique was of teaching, She structure the course in a way, it let us figure out things first before giving us answers, not spoon feeding us. No dry boring lesson , I feel I'm being taught by how & why it 'works'... and not traditionally rigid like many other course out there. Thumbs up & keep up the good work.


Circle of 5ths Level 2 - Intermediate to Advanced

This course takes musicians to apply more advanced music theory into their playing - Tritones, Tritone Chord Substitutions, Jazzy Chromatic Chord Movement, 36251 Turn Arounds.

It is important for all musicians, whether you play guitar, piano, ukulele, violin, harmonica, or any musical instruments to develop an intimate knowledge of the Circle of 5ths. The Circle of 5ths is a visual picture that tells us the relations between keys, scales, chords, chord progressions, tritones, tritone chord substitutions, pentatonic scales, blues scales, 7 modes of music, etc.

The Tritone chord substitution is one of the most commonly used chord substitutions in jazz. By using tritone chord substitution, you often get a beautiful chromatic bass line in the song and especially in turn arounds.

When it comes to more advanced music theory, students get confused and give up in their struggle to advance in their musicianship.

Here's the secret: Learn to use the Moving Circle of 5ths Dynamically! When you know how to move the circle around to understand Tritones and how the interval is created in the Dominant 7 chords, you will understand why professional musicians do such smooth voicing because they know how to concentrate on the 3rd & 7th tones easily.

In this Circle of 5ths Level 2 course, I will show you how to use the Circle to do Tritone Chord substitutions with Dominant 7 Chords and Minor 7 Chords. In this way, you will have many more options in your music compositions other than the normal Diatonic Chord Progression & Secondary Dominants that you learned in Circle of 5ths Level 1 Course.

When you do Tritone Chord Substitutions, you begin to learn advance music harmonic sounds, and the importance of doing smooth voicing, chromatic bass line chord movement in turn arounds that audience loves to listen to.

In this course, I will also show you when Tritone Chord Substitutions work and when they don't work. There are some rules you need to follow so that you create beautiful harmonic sounds in your piece of music, whether reharmonizing a song or in the writing of your own songs.

You will be doing a lot of assignments so that you learn to find the answer yourself. What you discover sticks with you much more than what you are told. It is easy for me to lay out all the answers and theory for you. What is unique in the course is that I will coach you along to help you think and discover the answers for yourself in a creative way.

The following topics will be covered extensively:

  1. Tritone Chord Substitution
  2. Tritone Wants to Resolve
  3. Tritones in All 12 Dominant 7 Chords
  4. Advanced Harmony: Put in Tritone Chord Substitution
  5. Two Magical Ways to Find the Tritone Chord Substitutions
  6. Tritone Chromatic Movement
  7. Song Application - Little Brown Jug - Putting in Tritone Chord Subs
  8. When To Avoid Doing Tritone Chord Substitution?
  9. Improvisation on ii7 V7 I
  10. Jazzy Turn Around - 3 6 2 5
  11. Formula for the Jazzy Turn Around 3 6 2 5 in C Key
  12. Turn Around in Eb Key - Misty
  13. Improvise on the 3625 Turn Around in all 12 Keys
  14. Tritone Chord Substitution to Minor 7 Chords
  15. Minor 7 Chord Substitutions
  16. Golden Rule of Tritone Chord Subs
  17. Applying Golden Rule to 36251 Progression
  18. Apply Tritone Chord Substitutions to E7 A7 D7 G7 C
  19. Only Need One Circle to Find Tritone Chord Substitutions

As you can see, we will be covering a lot of topics so that by the end of the course, you will be able to apply Tritone Chords effortlessly!

I'll see you in class,



Listen to what some of her students are experiencing in her Circle of 5ths Level 1 Course:

Ivan Bradley

I have been teaching myself to play the ukulele for the past few months but had been struggling to understand which chords went together and why. I was able to play by ear but it was entirely through guesswork. The circle of 5ths really helps you understand how chord progressions work and Rosa's moving version makes so much more sense than a static circle. It's only been a few days since I started the course but I feel that I have a much better understanding of music theory already. Plus Rosa's voice is so pleasant! I really look forward to listening to the videos and playing my ukulele after a long day at work.

Melody Evans

I play guitar, Indian flute, and dulcimer, all by ear. This class is helping me to understand music like I have always wanted to. Don't get me wrong, I love playing by ear; I have just always wanted to also understand music. It is a real time-saver for me when I can refer to my Magic Wheel instead of listening for the note or chord that fits. This has opened up a whole new aspect of music for me. Thank you, thank you.


About Rosa's Online School:

  • Over 25,000 very happy students already in my Udemy classes
  • See the 5 Star Reviews from VERY satisfied students
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  • Enroll into this course

What are the requirements?

  • have a basic understanding of Chords: major, minor, dominant, augmented, diminished
  • understand Circle of 5ths Level 1 - 12 Basic Major Keys, 12 Major Chords, 12 Major Scales
  • have a basic understanding of chord progressions in songs

What am I going to get from this course?

  • IDENTIFY the 3rd & 7th tones easily in Dominant 7 Chords
  • CREATE smooth voicing with the 3rd & 7th tone to the Tonic Chord
  • UNDERSTAND why Tritones create such tension sounds
  • USE the CIrcle of 5ths to find Tritone Chord Substitutions in One Flash
  • FOLLOW the golden rule of Tritone Chord Substitutions
  • TURN a boring chord progression into Interesting harmonic sounds with Tritone Chords
  • SPOT the places where Tritone chord substitutions do not work
  • HAVE LOADS OF FUN understanding complex music harmony
  • APPLY Tritone Chord substitutions into their music composition
  • APPLY Tritone Chord substitutions into Little Brown Jug
  • UNDERSTAND why Tritone Chord Sub is not desirable in some places
  • STUDY the first line of Auld Lang Syne
  • CREATE Turn Arounds in long measures
  • CREATE Turn Arounds with Tritone Chord subsitutions
  • APPRECIATE the beautiful descending sounds of chromatic chord movement

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is suited for aspiring musicians who want to take their understanding of music into higher professional levels.
  • This course is suited for all musical instrument players: Guitar, Piano, Ukulele, Violin, Flute, Harmonica, etc

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
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Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Overview of the Topics in the Course
Welcome to the Class - Course Syllabus
Section 2: What is a Tritone?

Interval of a Tritone - 3 Whole Steps apart


Tritone Intervals

C to F# - Augmented 4th

C to Gb -Diminished 5th


Tritone in V7 Chords


Find the Tritone Interval in G7 Chord - G B D F

What are the 2 tones?


The 2 tones of the Tritone Interval in G7:

Answer: B & F

B - 3rd tone

F - 7th tone

These 2 tones - 3 & 7 - are the most important tones in any chords, whether Major 7, Minor 7, or Dominant 7 Chords.

What is the Dominant 7 Chord for the C# Key
1 question
Section 3: Tritones Create Big Tension - Want to Resolve to Tonic Chord
Movement of Tones 3 & b7 in V7
Section 4: Identify all the Tritones of V7 in All 12 Keys & How they resolve to Tonic Chord
Homework Assignment - Use your DIY Circle - Identify Tritone Interval of 12 V7

Tritone interval of G7

3rd Tone - B

7th Tone - F


Tritone Interval of C7

3rd Tone - E

7th Tone Bb


Tritone Interval of F7

3rd Tone: A

7th Tone: Eb


Tritone Interval of Bb7

3rd tone: D

7th tone: Ab


Tritone Interval of Eb7

3rd tone: G

7th tone: D


Tritone Interval of Ab7

3rd tone: C

7th tone: G


Tritone Interval of Db7

3rd tone: F

7th tone: Cb


Tritone Interval of F#7

3rd tone: A#

7th tone: E


Tritone Interval of B7

3rd tone: D#

7th tone: A


Tritone Interval of E7

3rd tone: G#

7th tone: D


Tritone Interval of A7

3rd tone: C#

7th tone: G


Tritone Interval of D7

3rd tone: F#

7th tone: C

Tritone Interval for Bb7
1 question
Movement of Tones
1 question
Section 5: Why do Tritone Chord Substitution Work?

V7 Chord & Tritone Chords:

G7 - G B D F

Db7 - Db F Ab Cb (B)


Dominant 7 Chord Movement & Tritone Chord Movement

Dominant 7 Chord Movement

ii7 V7 to Chord I

Tritone Chord Movement

ii7 bII7 to Chord I


Dominant 7 Chord & Tritone Chord

The importance of the 3rd tone and b7 tone.

For eg:



1 3 5 b7


D F Ab B

1 3 5 b7

3rd Tone in G becomes 7th tone in Db7

7th Tone in G becomes 3rd tone in Db7


Chord Progression when Tritone Chord Substitution is put in there:

ii7 - bII7 - I

The bII7 is a dominant seven with a Capital Roman Numeral II, and the "b" signifies that it is a b Key.


Tritone Chord Substitution

Diatonic Chord Movement - Circle of 5th Movement

Non-Diatonic Chord Movement - Chromatic Movement

Section 6: Two Simple Tricks To Find Tritone Chord Substitutions

Tritone Chord Substitution

This b5 Trick is easy to use if you are just playing in one key.

Follow the Secret Tip in the Video.


Tritone Chord Substitution

This Magic Circle Tip is fantastic when you are playing in different keys in song.

Follow my Magic trick.

No Brainer!

Work this out in all 12 Keys!


Tritone Chord Substitution

Follow my Magic Tip when you play in the Band!

Bring your DIY Circle with you!


Tritone Chord Substitution

There are only 6 PAIRS of Tritone Chord Subs!

You can memorize them if you wish.

Once you know the 6 Tritone Chords, you also know the other 6 Tritone Chord Subs.

Section 7: Tritone Chord Chromatic Movement: ii7 bII7 V7
Demo: Change ii7 V7 I to ii7 bII7 V7
12 Chord Progressions with Tritone Subs: ii7 - bII7 - V7
Section 8: Improvisation - Can do variation to ii7 V7 I by using Tritone Chord Sub
Improvisation in all 12 Keys - ii7 V7 I &K ii7 bII7 I
Improvise on all 12 Keys: ii7 V7 I and ii7 bII7 I
Section 9: Song Application: Little Brown Jug
Little Brown Jug Sheet Music
Step 1: Put in ii7 V7 before Chord I
Lecture 34: Answer: Dm7 G7 before the C
Step 2: Put in The Tritone Chord sub for G7
Answer: Replace G7 with Tritone Db7
Step 3: Put in ii7 V7 before the F Chord
Answer: Gm7 C7 before F
Step 4: Repace C7 with the Tritone Chord Sub
Lecture 40: Final Arrangement of Little Brown Jug with 2 Tritone Chord Subs
Printout for the final arrangement of Little Brown Jug with Tritone Chords
Section 10: Know when you cannot put in Tritone Chord Substitutions
Auld Lang Syne - 1st Line Key of F
Assignment: Auld Lang Syne - Will the Tritone B7 work?
Answer: Auld Lang Syne - Will the Tritone B7 Work?
Dissonant Rules: It depends on the musicians
Assignment: Little Brown Jug
Little Brown Jug - Taking out the Half Tone Clashes
Section 11: JAZZY Turn Arounds - 3625 - Misty
Turn Around in Misty - Em7 A7 Dm7 G7
Turn Around in Misty with Tritone Chord Subs - Em7 Eb7 Dm7 Db7 C
Roman Numerals for the New Jazzy Chord Turn Around - iii7 - bIII7 - II7 - bII7 -
Misty - Eb Key - Turn Around with Normal Diatonic chord movement
Misty - Eb Key - Jazzy Chord Turn Around with Tritones Substitution
Section 12: Jazzy Turn Around in all 12 Keys - 3-6-2-5-1 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
C Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
F Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
Bb Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
Eb Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
Ab Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
Db Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
Gb Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
B Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
E Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
A Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
D Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
G Key - 36251 & iii7 bIII7 ii7 bII7 I
Section 13: Rosa's Magic Tip to Put in Tritone Chord Subs Even Easier Than Using the Circle
Rosa's Magic 1/2 Step Trick in creating Tritione Chord Movement from 36251
Assignment: Use Rosa's Magic 1/2 Step Trick to work out the other 10 Keys
Answer: Applying Rosa's 1/2 Step Trick to all the other 10 Keys
Section 14: Minor 7 Chords also have their Tritone Chord substitutions
The Tritone Chord Subs for Minor 7 Chords are also Dominant 7 Chords
Minor 7 Chord - Tritone Chord Sub - First Pair Cm7 & Gbm7
Assignment: Work out the other 5 Pairs of Tritone Chord Subs
2nd Pair of Minor 7 - Tritone Chord Sub - Gm7 & Dbm7
3rd Pair of Minor 7 - Tritone Chord Sub - Dm7 & Abm7
4th Pair of Minor 7 - Tritone Chord Sub - Am7 & Ebm7
5th Pair of Minor 7 - Tritone Chord Sub - Bm7 & Fm7
6th Pair of Minor 7 - Tritone Chord Sub - Bbm7 & Em7
Section 15: Putting in Tritone Chord Subs to ii7 in 2-5-1 Chord Progression
Subbing the ii7 with Tritone Chord in 2-51 Chord Progression
Section 16: Putting in Tritone Chord Subs to iii7 & ii7 in 3625 Turn Around
Assignment: Put in Tritone Chord Sub for the minor 7 Chords in 3-6-2-5
Answer: Putting in Tritone Chord Subs to iii7 & ii7 in 36251 Turn Around
Section 17: Put In Tritone Chord Subs for both Minor 7 & Dominant 7 Chords

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Instructor Biography

Rosa Suen, Best Seller Music Teacher, 35 Years Pianist, 25,00+ students

Rosa is the Pastor and Church Pianist for a local community church in Hong Kong for over 30 years. She graduated from University of British Columbia and received her teaching certificate specializing in Chemistry and teaching English as a second language. She taught public schools in Canada for a couple of years and then went on to receive her Master's degree in Christian Theological Ministry at Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto. She started full time ministry with her husband in 1989 and received intensive Pastoral Counselling and Discipleship Training at Christian Disciples Church. They were ordained to become church ministers as Pastors in 1996 in a local church in Tsuen Wan and have been ministering to this same congregation for almost 20 years now.

Over the years, she has gone on church missions to Mongolia, Sydney, Nepal, India and expedition trips to the Holy Lands: Israel, Greece and Turkey. Wherever she went, she found herself taking up the music ministry and became the church pianist for that church.

Many people at church have asked her to teach them to play piano. As a result of her passion in playing piano, she started developing piano courses initially for church pianists online since 2008. The piano courses are very unique because she was finally willing to share her Unique Piano Method: Color Chord Improvisation Method known as CCI. The CCI method works for all types of music: Gospel, Pop and Standards.

This Piano Method is easy, fun and creative that you learn to play piano not only from music score sheets, but to play chords from fake books and eventually to play by ear. Students all over the world have requested for courses to teach them play standards and popular songs. As a result she developed 3 Great Reharmonization Method courses for them to play from fake books and play by ear. The Dreamy Piano Techniques courses, especially the one on Autumn Leaves is her students favorite. She has a piano website at Learn Piano With Rosa where she continues to offer new courses to her students. She also holds piano workshops for her local students and train church pianists.

With her education and expertise in teaching, her students love her piano courses and found her piano lessons extremely easy and fun to play piano. They are highly motivated to play piano and playing piano had never been more fun and satisfying for them. You can read their testimonies on her website.

She is now an instructor at Udemy. Come and join her hundreds of students to play piano in a fun and creative way.

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