TRITONE Substitution Vs AUGMENTED 6th: What's The Difference? [Music Theory]

Tommaso Zillio

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tritone substitution augmented 6th

When I started publishing videos on YouTube I did not know what to expect. From when my channel went semi-famous, some weird thing started to happen.

Here’s one that I still find puzzling…

Every video I publish, on any music theory topic…

… literally, it does not matter what I’m talking about…

… someone (a different person every time) comments:

“This is just the Tritone Substitution, right?”

No!

The thing is… 98% of my videos are NOT about the Tritone Substitution. Not even a little bit.

You know what they say… if all you have is a hammer, the world looks like a bag of nails.

And if all you know is the Tritone Substitution, all music looks like Tritones and Substitutions…

(If you are one of these people - don’t worry, it’s not your fault, and I can help you. Reply to this email and we’ll go from there. It’s my civic duty as your friendly neighbour music theorist)

But then again, even a broken clock is right twice a day, right? :-)

So recently I posted a few videos on Augmented 6th chords… and as expected they all got the comment:

“Aren’t these just the Tritone Substitution?”

Well… this time… yes.

Actually… mmmh… yes and no. But mostly yes.

(“Wow Tommaso, you are really making an effort to be clear today, aren’t you?”)

The thing is… yes, the chords I explain in the videos are both Augmented 6th chords and Tritone Substitutions

And no… not all Augmented 6th are Tritone Substitutions… and vice versa. Today’s video shows you the very simple difference between them.

But even if you don’t care at all about the difference, in this video I’m making several examples of sweet sweet sounding chords that you can lift and use in your music as they are.

So come for the cool sounds… and stay because I finally clarify two of the most controversial ideas in music theory.

And here’s the video on the non-standard Augmented 6th chords:

If you have no idea what we are talking about and want to start from the very beginning, here’s the first video of the series:

And if you want to learn much more about harmony - in an organized and systematized way so that even the Augmented 6th chords will look like child’s play…

… then look no further to the Complete Chord Mastery guitar course that will make you a harmonic powerhouse to be reckoned with!


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