How To Improvise with Dim7 Arpeggios over V7

Improvising with Dim7 Arpeggios over V7

A couple of weeks ago I posted a free lesson here about the dim7 arpeggio.
If you need a quick recap on this, check out the dim7 arpeggio fingerings here:

The Dim7 Arpeggio

I also wrote in the past about the 3 ways dim7 chords are used in music.
It’s an interesting music theory lesson, that you probably want to read first.

Here it is:

The Diminished 7th Chord and How To Use It.

The topic we’ll talk about now uses knowledge from the above 2 blogs.
I want to show you how you can use the dim7 arpeggio to solo over a dominant chord.

This creates interesting note combinations and sounds, that are different from what you may be used to.

If you’ve read the above blogs, then you know that the dim7 arpeggio that you can use to solo over a dominant chord is the dim7 arpeggio up a half step from that dominant chord’s root

In other words: when you see a G7 chord, you can solo over that chord with the notes of Abdim7

The reason why this works is the same reason that any chord substitution works: both chords share many of the same notes.

The notes in a G7 chord: G B D F
The notes in Abdim7: Ab Cb Ebb Gbb

Of course, Cb is the enharmonic note name for B, Ebb = D and Gbb = F

So while the correct names of the notes in Abdim7 are Ab Cb Ebb Gbb, it gets easier to see how many notes this chord has in common with G7, when you think of it as Ab C D F

Both chords share the same 3rd, 5th, and 7th.

There’s only one note different between both chords: the root.

Fun trivia: when your bass player hits a G bass note underneath your Abdim7 chord, those 5 notes combined create a G7b9 sound.

G B D F Ab = G7b9
Ab is the b9th

As a result, when you solo using an Abdim7 arpeggio over a G7 groove, you are creating a G7b9 sound in your solo.

Check out the cool sounds this soloing technique creates, in the video.


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