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Jazz Guitar Lessons

A Refresher Lesson on Double Chromatic Dominant Scales



Dominant 7th type chords – it’s fair to say that no other chord type has as much attention in jazz improvisation. Chuck Anderson provides a quick refresher.

Today is devoted to a less used pair of scales. These are the double chromatic dominant scales. 

An alteration is the sharping or flatting of scale notes such as Dominant #4 (aka Lydian Dominant). There can be two or more alterations within the same scale such as Mixolydian b2, b6 scale. This would be considered a double altered scale. In this case, 2 different notes or degrees are being altered ie sharped or flatted within the same scale.

In contrast to this, a double chromatic scale, flats and sharps the same note or degree. Because of this, the scale has 8 notes instead of the typical 7.

There are 2 scale patterns in common use.

#1) C Db D# E F G A Bb C

#2) C D E F Gb G# A Bb C

As you can see, both scales carry the 3 critical notes for the C7 chord. These notes are the root, third and flat 7th notes of a C7 chord (C E Bb).

Each scale can be used against a C7 chord. 

If the chord is an altered chord such as C7b9 or C7#9, use scale #1

Scale #1 includes the b9 and #9.

If the chord is an altered chord such as C7b5 or C7#5, use scale #2.

Scale #2 includes the b5 and #5.

The use of this scale will give you a new sound for your dominant type solos.

More JGT lessons from Chuck Anderson.

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