Scales  // Browsing posts in Scales

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Licks and Solo

  Brazilian jazz is a one of the most popular subgenres of jazz for fans and performers alike. With infectious grooves, hard-driving solos, and strong ensemble interaction, Brazilian jazz is enjoyable to listen to and exciting to perform. While you may listen to Brazilian jazz, you may not know how to create that same cool […]

Jazz Guitar Scale Exercises – Rhythmic Variation

Scale Rhythms 4

  Guitarists have a love-hate relationship with scales and guitar scale exercises. You know they’re important, but they’re often not that fun to work on. One of the main reasons that guitarists struggle with learning and being creative with scales in their solos is a lack of rhythmic focus with these devices. If you work […]

How to Use the Melodic Minor Scale

How to Use Melodic Minor Scales 1

Outside of the major scale system, the melodic minor scale is the most important modal system in jazz. When first exploring melodic minor concepts in your studies, tackling the first mode, the melodic minor scale itself, is the best place to begin. Used by every major jazz guitarist in their solos to color minor-family chords, […]

The Gypsy Minor Scale

  In this lesson you will learn a theme based on the gypsy minor scale. The gypsy minor scale is prominently used in Romani (gypsy) music. Exotic guitar scales like this one are a good way to bring new sounds into your playing. The gypsy minor scale (aka Hungarian minor scale or double harmonic minor […]

How To Solo Over Maj7#5 Chords

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  When learning to solo over major family chords, many jazz guitarists explore the Ionian sound (Maj7) and the Lydian sound (Maj7#11), but there is a third major chord color, and that is the Lydian Augmented sound (Maj7#5). Though you don’t see many Maj7#5 chords in jazz standard situations, especially compared to Maj7 chords, you […]

5 Jazzy Pentatonic Scale Patterns

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As many guitarists begin playing rock, blues and pop music before exploring jazz, one of the first scales we have under our fingers are the various positions of the major and minor pentatonic scales. To help you translate these commonly used scales to a jazz context, here are 5 jazz pentatonic scale patterns that you […]

Combining 7b9 Scales and Arpeggios

7b9 Scale Example 9

  The 7b9 Scale, otherwise known as the Phrygian Dominant Scale, are a very important part of the Bebop repertoire. It is one of the fundamental building blocks of the jazz language, and so practicing it is essential study for any developing jazz guitarist. In this lesson, I will be ignoring the Em7b5 chord and […]

Phrygian Dominant Soloing Techniques

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When soloing over the V7alt chord in a minor ii V I chord progression, one of the most common sounds to draw upon in your lines is the Phrygian Dominant Scale. Built from the 5th mode of the Harmonic Minor Scale, this mode produces a 7b9b13 sound that has commonly been used by great jazz […]

Joe Pass Blues

  Here are some typical Joe Pass phrases over a blues in G. In this example he mixes the minor and major pentatonic scales.       The backing track:     Some remarks: Bar 1-8: entirely in the G minor pentatonic scale. Bar 3: chromatic approach of the 3 and b7 of G7. Bar […]

Mixing Major and Minor Blues Scales When Soloing

Mixing Major and Minor Blues Scales 3

  One of the most easily overlooked techniques in blues soloing is mixing major and minor blues scales when creating riffs, licks and full choruses of improvised solos. Just because we’re playing the blues, doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t play any major notes in our lines, and often it is these notes that will make […]

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