As many of us come to jazz from a rock and blues background, learning how to apply bluesy phrases to your jazz soloing ideas can be a great way to combine these different genres of music in a fun and cool-sounding way.
While transferring blues and rock licks directly to a jazz tune doesn’t always work out, you can look at different ways in which you can play bluesy phrases over 7th chords in order to bring an authentic and appropriate blues sound to your jazz guitar solos.
In this lesson, we’ll be looking at three ways that you can bring a blues vibe to your 7th chord soloing ideas in a jazz context.
To learn more about the concepts covered in this lesson, please check out the “Introduction to Jazz Blues Guitar” ebook.
Jazz Blues 7th Chord Lines 1
Here is a minor blues scale lick that is applied to an A7 chord. Using the minor blues scale over a 7th chord is a great way to bring a blues sound to your jazz lines.
While this approach works well for bringing a bluesy sound to your jazz lines, you will want to be aware of how often you use the minor blues scale over a 7th chord in any given solo, as if you overdo it you might end up leaning towards a rock/blues feel in your solo a bit too often.
Check out the guitar solos of Kenny Burrel, Wes Montgomery and George Benson for classic examples of how these legendary players use the minor blues scale to create a bluesy vibe in their 7th-chord soloing ideas, without overdoing it at the same time.
Jazz Blues 7th Chord Lines 2
Another great way to bring a bluesy vibe to your 7th chord lines is to use double-stops in your improvisations.
Here is an example that uses double-stops taken from the Mixolydian Mode which brings to mind the lines of jazz organists such as Jack McDuff and Lonnie Smith.
Though there are no blues notes in this line, the use of double-stops against the tonic pedal note, A, creates a blues vibe when applied to your jazzy 7th-chord soloing ideas.
Jazz Blues 7th Chord Lines 3
This last phrase, in the style of sax legend Charlie Parker, can also be found in the solos of Joe Pass and Pat Martino.
Built by combining the 1235 interval pattern with the b3, 4 and #4 intervals from the minor blues scale, this line mixes major and minor tonalities to create a classic jazz blues line in the style of the great players mentioned above.
Do you have a question or comment about these jazz blues 7th chord licks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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