Pianist Terry Seabrook continues with his series of Jazz Tips with No. 22
Turnarounds and Substitutions (part 1)
A turnaround is a sequence of chords which starts form the tonic (I) and moves through a short “progression” (mostly through the circle of 5ths) back to the tonic.
This is typically as follows:
eg: |Cmaj7 – Am7 |Dm7 – G7 || Cmaj7 etc
This sequence is very common in the last 2 bars of song sections (e.g. Misty) but also occurs throughout songs. The A section of Blue Moon is just a turnaround 4 times. I Got Rhythm is also a turnaround twice in the first 4 bars.
Notice the circle of 5ths movement here from A to D to G to C; only the first movement form C to A is not by 5th (it’s a 3rd)
However it is common to substitute E for the first chord C to conform to the movement by 5ths entirely:
|Em7 – Am7|Dm7 – G7 || Cmaj7
ie: III – VI – II – V – I
The chords here have a quality (m7 or 7 or maj7) which naturally occurs according to the key (no foreign or non-scale notes – see below). But this doesn’t have to be so. Each of the m7 chords (the first three) can be turned into or substituted with dominant seventh type chords:
|E7 – A7|D7 – G7 || Cmaj7
Now we have E7 A7 and D7 (III7 VI7 II7 ) but the only true dominant seventh in C is G7, any other dominant seventh chords are called “secondary dominants”. This is so because the naturally occurring chords in any major key are as follows:
Imaj7 IIm7 IIIm7 IV maj7 V7 VIm7 VIIm7b5
Eg: Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5
So far we have 3 turnaround sequences:
|Cmaj7 – Am7| Dm7 – G7 || Cmaj7
|Em7 – Am7 | Dm7 – G7 || Cmaj7
|E7 – A7 | D7 – G7|| Cmaj7
But you can mix and match eg:
|Cmaj7 – A7| D7 – G7|| Cmaj7
|Em7 – A7| Dm7 – G7|| Cmaj7
|E7 – Am7|Dm7 – G7 || Cmaj7
The permutations are many especially when you bring tritone relatives and substitutions into the picture More on that next time.