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Barry Harris Half Step Rules

for dominant chords

The chord in all examples is B b7.

Rule #1 - If a line starts on the Tonic (1), 3, 5, or b7, there must be a half step between the Tonic and the 7th.

& 44 b

Tonic

&
&

1 to b7

b7

&

1 to b7

1 to b7

1 to b7

b
b

Rule #2 - If a line starts on 3, 5, or b7, there can be a sequence of half steps from 3 to 2, 2 to 1, 1 to b7.
3

& b
&

3 to 2

b
5

2 to 1

b b
b

3 to 2

1 to b7

b b
2 to 1

b b 3b to 2
b
&
b7

2 to 1

1 to b7

b
b

b b b

b
1 to 7

www.eddierichmusic.com

Barry Harris Half Step Rules

Rule #3 - If a line starts on 2, 4, or 6, it does not require any half steps.


2

&

&

&

b b

Rule #4 - If a line starts on 2, 4, or 6, there can be a sequence of half steps from 2 to 1 and from 1 to b7.

&
2

&

b
4

&

2 to 1

1 to b7

2 to 1

b b

1 to b7
2 to 1

b b

1 to b7

www.eddierichmusic.com

Barry Harris Half Step Rules

Rule #5 - If a line starts on Tonic, 3, 5, or b7, on an upbeat, it does not require any half steps.

&
&
&
&

Tonic

b b

b7

Rule #6 - If a line starts on 2, 4, or 6, on an upbeat, it requires one half step from 1 to b7.

&

&

&

1 to b7

1 to b7

1 to b7

www.eddierichmusic.com