Music Theory #2: Circle of 5ths - Dominant 7 & Tritones
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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
4.7 (31 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,352 students enrolled
Created by Rosa Suen
Last updated 11/2015
Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
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  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 39 Articles
  • 12 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • 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
View Curriculum
  • 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

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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  • Join this happy family of students
  • Enroll into this course

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
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
128 Lectures
2 Lectures 05:24

Welcome to the Class - Course Syllabus
What is a Tritone?
4 Lectures 07:52

Interval of a Tritone - 3 Whole Steps apart

Preview 01:04

Tritone Intervals

C to F# - Augmented 4th

C to Gb -Diminished 5th

Preview 01:39

Tritone in V7 Chords


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

What are the 2 tones?

A Tritone Interval is present in the Dominant V7 Chord

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.

Preview 02:23

What is the Dominant 7 Chord for the C# Key
1 question
Tritones Create Big Tension - Want to Resolve to Tonic Chord
1 Lecture 02:05
Identify all the Tritones of V7 in All 12 Keys & How they resolve to Tonic Chord
13 Lectures 17:19
Homework Assignment - Use your DIY Circle - Identify Tritone Interval of 12 V7

Tritone interval of G7

3rd Tone - B

7th Tone - F

Key of C - Tritone Interval in G7

Tritone Interval of C7

3rd Tone - E

7th Tone Bb

Key of F - Tritone Interval in C7

Tritone Interval of F7

3rd Tone: A

7th Tone: Eb

Key of Bb - Tritone Interval in F7

Tritone Interval of Bb7

3rd tone: D

7th tone: Ab

Key of Eb - Tritone Interval in Bb7

Tritone Interval of Eb7

3rd tone: G

7th tone: D

Key of Ab - Tritone Interval in Eb7

Tritone Interval of Ab7

3rd tone: C

7th tone: G

Key of Db - Tritone interval in Ab7

Tritone Interval of Db7

3rd tone: F

7th tone: Cb

Preview 01:20

Tritone Interval of F#7

3rd tone: A#

7th tone: E

Key of B - Tritone Interval in F#7

Tritone Interval of B7

3rd tone: D#

7th tone: A

Key of E -Tritone Interval in B7

Tritone Interval of E7

3rd tone: G#

7th tone: D

Key of A - Tritone Interval in E7

Tritone Interval of A7

3rd tone: C#

7th tone: G

Key of D - Tritone Interval in A7

Tritone Interval of D7

3rd tone: F#

7th tone: C

Key of G - Tritone Interval in D7

Tritone Interval for Bb7
1 question

Movement of Tones
1 question
Why do Tritone Chord Substitution Work?
5 Lectures 11:06

V7 Chord & Tritone Chords:

G7 - G B D F

Db7 - Db F Ab Cb (B)

Preview 03:49

Dominant 7 Chord Movement & Tritone Chord Movement

Dominant 7 Chord Movement

ii7 V7 to Chord I

Tritone Chord Movement

ii7 bII7 to Chord I

V7 & Tritone Chord Resolves to the Tonic 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

G7 & Db7 Chords: Tones 3 & b7 are switched in the order

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.

ii- V7- I and ii- bII7- I

Tritone Chord Substitution

Diatonic Chord Movement - Circle of 5th Movement

Non-Diatonic Chord Movement - Chromatic Movement

Diatonic Chords Movement vs Non-Diatonic Chord Movement
Two Simple Tricks To Find Tritone Chord Substitutions
4 Lectures 12:04

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.

Preview 03:51

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!

Circle Magic Trick

Tritone Chord Substitution

Follow my Magic Tip when you play in the Band!

Bring your DIY Circle with you!

Identify the 12 Tritone Chords for the 12 Dominant 7 Chords using the Circle

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.

Only 6 PAIRS of Tritone Chord Substitutions
Tritone Chord Chromatic Movement: ii7 bII7 V7
2 Lectures 11:31
Demo: Change ii7 V7 I to ii7 bII7 V7

12 Chord Progressions with Tritone Subs: ii7 - bII7 - V7
Improvisation - Can do variation to ii7 V7 I by using Tritone Chord Sub
2 Lectures 01:43
Improvisation in all 12 Keys - ii7 V7 I &K ii7 bII7 I

Improvise on all 12 Keys: ii7 V7 I and ii7 bII7 I
Song Application: Little Brown Jug
10 Lectures 12:05
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
Know when you cannot put in Tritone Chord Substitutions
6 Lectures 07:26
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
13 More Sections
About the Instructor
Rosa Suen
4.7 Average rating
950 Reviews
25,697 Students
92 Courses
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.