Gb Essentials (new)

Playing songs in the Key of Gb Major

Your go-to resource for playing in the key of Gb.

Foundation Knowledge (Must Know)

Diatonic Triads

Chord Name

Chord Spelling

I

Gb Major (GbMaj)

Gb-Bb-Db

ii

Ab Minor (Abmin)

Ab-B-Eb

iii

Bb Minor (Bbmin)

F# Minor (F#min)

Bb-Db-F

IV

B Major (BMaj)

G Major (GMaj)

B-Eb-Gb

V

Db Major (DbMaj)

A Major (AMaj)

Db-F-Ab

 vi

Eb Minor (Ebmin)

B Minor (Bmin)

Eb-Gb-Bb

vii

F diminished (Fdim)

C# diminished (C#dim)

F-Ab-B

Main Chords

Chord Name

Chord Spelling

Gb Major (GbMaj7)

see full chart

Gb-Bb-Db-F

Gb-A-Db-E

D F A C

Gb7 (or Gb Dominant7)

see full chart

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb-Bb-Db-E

Gb Diminished7 (or Gb dim7)

G Major (GMaj)

Gb-A-C-Eb

Gbmin7b5 (or Gb half-diminished7)

A Major (AMaj)

Gb-A-C-E

Gbsus2

B Minor (Bmin)

Gb-Ab-Db

Gbsus4

C# diminished (C#dim)

Gb-B-Db

Stacking - Use to have the full sound

Stacking notes simply means to repeat the same notes in a chord.  So instead of playing Gb-Bb-Db for the Gb Major (GbMaj) chord above you may play Left Hand: Gb-Db-Gb and Right Hand: Bb-Db-Gb it is the exact SAME chord but it will sound fuller. The trick is to only use the notes within the chord. It is up to you to decide WHICH notes should be played twice and WHERE you want to play them.  Stacking is an important concept because it is the foundation for improvisation. 


Here is an example of Stacking:


Gb7 Chord:  Gb-Bb-Db-E

STACKED NOTES BELOW

Gb7 Chord:  LH:  Gb-Db-Bb    RH:  E-Gb-Bb-Db-Gb

Inversions - Those cool voicings you HEAR are just inversions of basic chords 

Inversions in a technical sense means to simply remove the note and the bottom and place it on the top. That is called First Inversion.  So since Gb Major is played using Gb-Bb-Db, the first inversion would take Gb at the bottom and place it on top, giving us Bb-Db-Gb. The second inversion takes the Bb in the last chord, and places it on top.  However, I use the term inversion differently.  ANY ARRANGEMENT of notes is an Inversion.  Some people call it:  First Inversions, Second Inversions, Open Voicings, Drop 2, Drop 3... the list goes on. To simplify it as long as you are not adding additional notes, call it an Inversion.


Here is an example of an Inversion

Gb7:  Gb-Bb-Db-E (Root Position)

Gb7:  Bb-E-Gb-Db (Inversion)


"Hold up, then using your definition Stacking and Inversions are just the same thing..."

No.. They aren't

Stacking REPEATS notes. Inversions only REARRANGE them.

This is a powerful and significant concept when understood.

Modes of the Gb Major Scale   

Chord Name

Scale to Use

I

Gb Ionian

Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F

D E F# G A B C#

ii

Ab Dorian

Ab Bb B Db Eb F Gb

iii

Bb Phyrgian

F# Minor (F#min)

Bb B Db Eb F Gb Ab

IV

B Lydian

G Major (GMaj)

B Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb 

V

Db Mixolydian

A Major (AMaj)

Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb B

vi

Eb Aeolian

B Minor (Bmin)

Eb F Gb Ab Bb B Db 

 vii

F Locrian

C# diminished (C#dim)

F Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb 

Gb MAJOR Chords, Scales, and Extensions

The Main thing you need to know at this stage is the various scales, runs, and lines to use over various chord voicings and how to expand chord voicings by the use of extensions. This stage is characterized by specific runs and movements that the great pianist use but rather it gives you the melodic framework that they took their melodic lines from. 

Playing Scales Advice

Although you need to know your scales. Your scales are only a FOUNDATION for your solos. 

Your solos need melody, not scales. 

Think outside the box when using this scales to form melodies. Melodies come from shapes and variations. These scales are your STARTING POINT.

Scales over a GbMaj7 chord: Gb-Bb-Db-F

Chord Name

Scale to Use

Helpful Tips and Notes

Gb Ionian

Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb F

D E F# G A B C#

Let's face it.  Using the notes in this order wouldn't sound that exceptional.  However, I would still practice using this scale while holding Gb Bb Db F with my left hand.  In addition, its not the order that is important.  You can start from a different note, which changes it to one of the modes above. You can end on a different note, and you can even skip notes. Remember the goal is to USE the scale to create MELODIES.

Gb Pentatonic

Gb Ab Bb Db Eb

Ahhh the classic gospel go-to run. You NEED to know this one if you need to pull up something really quick over a Gbmaj7 chord and can't think of anything.  I think it sounds better descending than ascending, and start on the 6 (the Eb). Trill up to the Eb from the Db, with the 3rd finger on the Eb, come down the scale using 3-1-3-2-1-3-1-3-2-1 and so on... for a nice pentatonic flavor over that GbMaj7 chord

Gb Lydian

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb F

The classic Lydian Sound.  George Russell would kill me for putting this one 3rd instead of 1st.  If you are struggling to know when to use this then just think AbMajor over GbMajor. Your ear will have to know when you need that voicing but it is pretty common.   Anytime you feel like playing an AbMajor chord with Gb as the root note then try this scale from ANY starting point.

ADVANCED

G Major (GMaj)

Gb Lydian Augmented

A Major (AMaj)

Gb Ab Bb C D Eb F

The 3rd mode of the melodic minor scale contains some unique sounds and voicings.  But.. It is more than just a mode.  It is a SOUND.  I repeat.   The Lydian Augmented scale is a sound. You can write a song using nothing but the notes in this scale.  It is advanced because it needs to be studied in detail.  In the Live Training we studied how Cory uses this mode to create some incredible chords. 


B Minor (Bmin)



Gb Major7 Chord Extensions: Gb-Bb-Db-F

Chord Name

Chord Extension

Helpful Tips and Notes

GbMaj7

Gb-Bb-Db-F

Ways to play it:

LH:  Gb-Db-F or Gb-Bb-F

RH:  Bb-Db-F-Bb or Db-F-Bb-Db

D E F# G A B C#

The most common way to voice a Gb Major chord.  This is the first chord listed in the diatonic 7ths in the Key of Gb.  Keep in mind that you can use variations and inversions of this chord for slightly different textures.  For instance, LH:  Gb-Db, RH:  Bb-F is a great way to voice this chord.

GbMaj9

Gb-Bb-Db-F-Ab

The GbMaj9 chord adds only one note to the GbMaj7 chord.  It adds an "Ab". This is why we call it the GbMaj9, because "Ab" is the 9th note in the scale.

GbMaj#11

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb-Bb-Db-F-Ab-C

This chord is one of the "brightest" chords you can use (along with the GbMaj13#11).  It has a distinct Lydian sound.

Gb6/9

Gb-Ab-Bb-Db-Eb


See "notes" for another way to voice this chord.

This Popular Jazz chord is actually just the Pentatonic Scale with the notes played harmonically (together) instead of melodically (one at a time).  Use a combination of Inversions and Stacking to sound good.  A popular way to play it is LH:  Gb-Bb-Eb, RH:  Ab-Db-Gb.   *notes go from lowest to highest

Suspended Chords - Know the Sus Chords in Gb, Memorize Them

G Major (GMaj)

Gb9sus4

A Major (AMaj)

Gb-B-E-Ab


Alternate Voicings:

LH:  Gb-B-Db  

RH:  E-Ab-B

or

LH:  Gb-Db-Ab   RH: E-Ab-B-Db


A favorite common voicing among gospel musicians.  It actually has multiple uses.  For instance take the Gb at the bottom of the original chord on the left and change it to a Db and you have a Dbmin7 chord. Take the Gb at the bottom and move it up ONE octave and you have a EMaj(add2).  Since it uses all notes from the E scale, you should have fun integrating it into your songs.

Gb13Sus

B Minor (Bmin)

Gb-Ab-B-Db-Eb-E


Alternate Voicings

LH:  Gb-Db-E

RH:  Ab-B-Eb

The only difference with the Gb13Sus over the Gb9Sus4 voicing is the addition of the Eb. This is a full chord that you can get by just mashing a bunch of notes in the Gb Dorian scale (except the A)

Gb MINOR Chords, Scales, and Extensions

Scales to use over a Gbminor7 chord:  Gb A Db E

Chord Name

Scale to Use

Helpful Tips and Notes

Gb Dorian

Gb Ab A B Db Eb E

D E F# G A B C#

The notes in the Dorian scale work well over any minor chord.

Gb Blues

Gb A B C Db E

The Blues scale is actually the Same as the Minor Pentatonic Scale with an Added C.  Please note that the Blues scale is a flexible scale so although you an play it with a Minor chord it works with multiple chord types.

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb Minor Pentatonic

Gb A B Db E

From Penta-meaning 5.  This scale has 5 notes, just like the Gb Major Pentatonic.   Again this should be a go to scale for quick runs of that minor voicings.  It sounds so good when you are able to execute quickly.  So start slow and build up your speed.

Gb Aeolian

Gb Ab A B Db D E

Sure you could practice this scale the regular old boring way. Or you can practice the cool way, with corresponding chords for EACH note!!!

ADVANCED

G Major (GMaj)

A Major (AMaj)

Gb Melodic Minor

Gb Ab A B Db Eb F 

A very important scale to know. The Melodic Minor Scale is a PARENT to several important modes: Lydian Dominant, Altered Dominant, Lydian Augmented, etc... You need to memorize this scale. 

B Minor (Bmin)

Gb Locrian 6


Gb G A  B C Eb E

You can use this with just a Gb-C voicing, or a Tri-Tone interval.

Gbminor7 Chord Extensions:  Gb-A-Db-E

Chord Name

Chord Spelling

Helpful Tips and Notes

Gbmin7

Gb-A-Db-E


D E F# G A B C#

The standard voicing for a Gbmin7 chord.  Voicing for the Gbmin7 is achieved by going up a minor 3rd (A) and playing the Major chord. So in this case play a Amin/F#

Gbmin9

Gb-A-Db-E-Ab

Add a "Ab" to a Gbmin7.  Extended voicing for the F#minor9 chord is actually quite simple go up a minor third (A) and play the Major7th chord over the root note (F#)

Gbmin9(11)

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb A Db E G# B

Add a "Ab" and a "B" to a Gbmin7.  Extended voicings for Gbminor9(11) chords are actually quite simple if you think of it as an EMajor chord over a F#minor chord, or b7 Major over 1 minor.

Gbmin13(9,11)

Gb A Db E Ab B Eb

Don't let all the notes fool you. The Gbmin13 is actually not a complicated chord.  See it as a Abminor on top, and a Gbminor7 on bottom or see it as b2 minor over 1 minor7

G Major (GMaj)

Gb7 (Dominant) Chords, Scales, and Extensions

Scales to use over a Gb7 chord:  Gb Bb Db E

Chord Name

Scale to Use

Helpful Tips and Notes

Gb Mixolydian

Gb Ab Bb B Db Eb E

D E F# G A B C#

You absolutely NEED to memorize this scale.  It is not only the standard go to scale for this chord but it's also the foundation of the Dominant Bepop scale which Glenn Gibson and Mike Bereal use so much.

Gb Ionian Augmented (Sean's)

Gb Ab Bb B D Eb F 

This is my favorite scale to use over a Dominant. It has a double augmented second jump between the Bb and the Eb, It's different and you won't find many musicians using it.  Also, consider using run fragments on part of the scale then changing it to an Altered Dominant halfway through. There are a lot of combinations you can think of. Get Creative!

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb Whole-Tone Scale

Gb Ab Bb C D E

Use this scale to resolve to a GbMaj chord.  It can be used where you want a Gb7b13 voicing.

Gb Altered Dominant / Super Locrian / Diminished Whole-Tone Scale

Gb G A Bb C D E

To use this scale correctly, make sure you highlight the "color" tones. That means you highlight the G and the A.  Emphasize the C if you want a nice flavor since it is the TriTone interval from the root.  On the upper extensions you may want to accenture D(the b13th).

ADVANCED Scales (Limited to Certain Extensions)

G Major (GMaj)

A Major (AMaj)

Gb Lydian Dominant

Gb Ab Bb C Db Eb E

Use this over a Gb7#11 chord.  It's basically a Gb Mixolydian with a raised 4th.

B Minor (Bmin)

Gb Mixolydian b6

Gb Ab Bb B Db D E

More than just a scale! This is an entire structure.  Let me say this if you hear something cool on a Youtube Video or MIDI File.  Just check to see if this is the scale being used.  Yes It can be used with a V7 (B-C) or just holding a Gb as the root and it has multiple chord voicings and uses.  Songs based off of this scale would be: The Promise (Andrae Crouch, Total Praise (Richard Smallwood), etc...

GbDominant Diminished (Half-Whole Scale)

Gb G A Bb C Db Eb E

For Advanced Musicians Only!! The dominant diminished scale is more than a scale it is a SOUND.  Study the "sound" the notes make instead of studying the notes in order.  Also notice that this scale contains 2 diminished 7 chords:  Gb-A-C-Eb and G-Bb-Db-E as well as the Dominant chord:  Gb-Bb-Db-E.... Use carefully!

Gb Dominant7th chord extensions:  Gb-Bb-Db-E

Chord Name

Chord Spelling

Helpful Tips and Notes

Bb tritone or E tritone

D E F# G A B C#

Bb-E or E-Bb

Use this two note tritone in the left hand as a quick way to represent the Gb7 voicing.  In fact, rarely is a Dominant Chord played as listed above Gb-Bb-Db-E), if you are playing a scale or melody with the right hand this would be the GO-TO voicing to play with your left hand.

Gb13(no 5)

E-Bb-Eb-Gb

The 13th no 5 chord is an important chord to know for gospel music. Please see the video on Tye Tribbett's "sinking" for a full explanation.

Gb9

Gb-Bb-Db-E-Ab

This is the first common extension of the Dominant Chord.  The Db is unnecessary if you need room.  The "Gb" is unnecesary if you want to play it as a 'rootless' voicing.  

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb9#11

Gb-Bb-Db-E-Ab-C

Same as the prior chord but with an added #11 which is the C.

Gb9(13)#11

Gb-Bb-Db-E-Ab-C-Eb

Same as the prior chord but with an added 13 which is the Eb.  Another way to look at this would be Abmajor over Gb7 or 2 Major over 1 Dom7

Gb7#9#5

Gb-Bb-D-E-A

A cool way to voice a Gb7 chord.  Essentially a D Major over Gb7, or b6 Major over 1 Dominant7.  So you could literally play LH:  Gb-Bb-E      RH: D-Gb-A for the same sound.

Gb7b9b5

Gb-Bb-E-G-C

I see this chord as the sister to the Gb7#9#5 chord.  In fact they are often used to lead into each other.  Essentially a C Major over a Gb7, or b5 Major over 1 Dominant7. **At this point you should start to notice some patterns that involve major chords over Gb7 voicings. 

Gb7b9#9

Gb-Bb-E-G-A

This interesting voicing takes the 9th note, the Ab, and splits it up and down, playing the neighboring notes around it.

Gb7#9b5

Gb-Bb-E-Gb-A-C

This has a sound that is very closely related to the half-diminished sound. Move the bb down a half-step and the entire chord changes to a Gb Half-Diminished voicing. This means that you need to be intentional when using this chord in order to achieve the sound you are looking for.

Gb7b9#9b5

Gb-Bb-E-G-A-C

This Dominant Extension can be voiced by simply playing a G sus2 over Gb7 or b2 Sus2 chord over 1 Dom7.

Gb13b9

Gb-E-G-Bb-Eb

One of Cory's favorites. He used this chord quality on the Intro of "Yesterday." It was an A 13b9 chord, but its the quality that is important not the key.  Side Note:  If you want to use the chord the way Cory used it, to lead to a GbMajor then you need to play an Db13b9, which is Db-B-D-F-Bb.  This voicing is achieved by playing a Bb Major chord(1st Inversion) over the Db Dominant 7.

Gb7b9#5

Gb-Bb-D-E-G

Essentially an G minor Over Gb7.

Gb7 Altered

Gb-Bb-E-G-A-C

The chord that is most "out there." Although it is a Dominant Voicing, it contains all of possible color tones and extensions of the Gb7 chord.  Essentially an Amin7 over Gb7

G Major (GMaj)

Gb Half-Diminished Tips

Scales to use with the Gb Half-Diminished Chords:  Gb-A-C-E

Chord Name

Scale to Use

Helpful Tips and Notes

Gb Locrian

D E F# G A B C#

Gb G A B C D E

The Locrian scale is the primary scale to improvise with over a Half-Diminished chord. The characteristics of this scale are the b2 and the b5. 

Gb Locrian Nat.2

Gb Ab A B C D E

The Locrian Nat. 2 scale is another scale to improvise with over a Half-Diminished chord. It is the same as the Locrian Scale except the the 2nd degree is natural instead of flat. Hence the name: Locrian Natural 2

F# Minor (F#min)

Gb Locrian Nat.6

Gb G A B C Eb E

The Locrian Nat.  scale is another scale to improvise with over a Half-Diminished chord. It is the same as the Locrian Scale except the the 6th degree is natural instead of flat. 

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