Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks. Free jazz guitar lessons that will inspire you. Learn how to play jazz from the world's biggest jazz guitar website and improve your playing instantly. 2018-04-20T17:02:53Z https://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/feed/atom/ WordPress Matt Warnock <![CDATA[The Altered Scale For Jazz Guitar]]> https://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=7383 2018-04-20T17:02:53Z 2018-04-20T16:17:19Z When learning how to solo in jazz, one of the scales that comes up in our studies time and again is the altered scale, which is the 7th mode of the Melodic Minor Scale. While this scale comes up often when reading about jazz improvisation, it can seem like a…

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When learning how to solo in jazz, one of the scales that comes up in our studies time and again is the altered scale, which is the 7th mode of the Melodic Minor Scale. While this scale comes up often when reading about jazz improvisation, it can seem like a bit of a mystery.

To help demystify the altered scale in your playing, this lesson will explain how to build and apply the altered scale, as well as explore common scale fingerings and melodic phrases.

 

Band in a Box 2018

 

 

What Is The Altered Scale?

The first item on our checklist of altered scale studies is digging into the construction of this commonly used melodic device.

The altered scale is the 7th mode of the melodic minor scale, which means that it is like playing Ab melodic minor starting from the note G. The altered scale is used to solo over dominant 7th chords, both in major and minor keys.

The altered scale contains all four of the common altered notes (b9-#9-b5-b13), which are used to create tension over the underlying chord when applying this scale to a soloing situation.

Here is a reference chart that lays out the notes and intervals for the G altered scale in comparison to the G Mixolydian scale.

Because there are two 9th intervals in the altered scale (b9 and #9), the chart below uses the upper extensions to indicate the notes above the octave, 9-11-13, and their alterations. To make things easier to read and compare, the Cb note from G altered is written as B in this case.

 

G mixolydian scale G A B C D E F
1 9 3 11 5 13 b7
G altered scale G Ab Bb B Db Eb F
1 b9 #9 3 b5 b13 b7

 

Altered Scale vs Diminished Scale

The altered scale has a lot of similarities with the half-whole diminished scale:

 

G Diminished Scale 1 b9 #9 3 b5 5 13 b7
G Altered Scale 1 b9 #9 3 b5 b13 b7

 

As you can see in the table above, both scales have a lot of similar notes. The difference between the two is:

  • The diminished scale has eight notes (octatonic), while the altered scale has 7 notes.
  • The diminished scale has a 5 and 13, while the altered scale has a b13.

These two scales are also used for different purposes:

  • The altered scale is used to improvise over altered dominant chords (G7#9b13 for example).
  • The half-whole diminished scale is used to play over G13b9 chords.

Altered Scale Fingerings

After studying the theory behind the altered scale, you are now ready to learn a few fingerings in various positions of the fingerboard.

 

To begin, here is an in-position G altered scale:

Listen & Play Along:

Altered scale fingering 1

 

You can also learn a shifting position for this scale as you take a sliding up the neck approach to playing the G altered scale:

Listen & Play Along:

Altered scale fingering 2

 

You can also practice the altered scale starting from the 5th string root note, which you can see here as an in-position fingering from a G root note:

Listen & Play Along:

Altered scale fingering 3

 

Here is a 5th-string root G altered scale that uses a shift at the second octave in order to slide up to the second half of the scale:

Listen & Play Along:

Altered scale fingering 4

 

Altered Scale Licks

With some or all of these altered scale fingerings under your belt, you’re ready to move on to studying common altered scale vocabulary, beginning with short phrases that are played only over the 7alt chord itself.

Start by learning these short phrases, and integrating them into your soloing lines over backing tracks, before moving on to the longer ii-V-I phrases in the next section of the lesson.

 

Altered Scale Lick 1

To begin, here is a classic lick that is found in the playing of Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino, and other legendary players.

Notice the use of the AbmMaj7 arpeggio (G-Eb-B-Ab) in the second half of the phrase:

 

Abm/maj7 Arpeggio Ab Cb Eb G
Played over G7 b9 3 b13 1

 

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 5

 

Altered Scale Lick 2

Here is a commonly used altered scale technique, where you use the major triads from the b5 and b13 of the underlying scale (in this case Db and Eb over G7alt), to outline that 7alt chord in your lines:

 

Db Triad Db F Ab
Played over G7 b5 b7 b9

 

Eb Triad Eb G Bb
Played over G7 b13 1 #9

 

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 6

 

Altered Scale Lick 3

The final short altered phrase you’ll learn is called the “Cry Me a River Lick”, as it comes from a melody fragment found in this classic jazz standard.

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 7

 

When you have these three sample phrases under your fingers, try experimenting with the altered scale and coming up with three or more patterns of your own that you can use in your jazz guitar soloing lines and phrases.

 

Altered Scale ii-V-I Licks

Here are three ii-V-I licks that use the altered scale over the V7 chord in each progression.

Try putting on a backing track, such as a minor blues or a tune like Solar, and practice adding these licks into your soloing lines in a musical situation.

 

ii V I Altered Scale Lick 1

To begin, here is a short ii-V-I lick in the key of C minor that uses the G altered scale to outline the V7 chord in the second half of bar one in the phrase.

 

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 8

 

ii V I Altered Scale Lick 2

We’ll now move on to using the G altered scale to outline the V7 chord in a longer ii-V-I phrase in the key of C major.

 

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 9

 

ii V I Altered Scale Lick 3

This last lick uses the G altered scale over the V7 chord in a longer ii-V-I phase in the key of C major.

The altered scale is a great device for creating tension over the V7 chord in a major key, but just be careful that you resolve that tension either over the same V7 chord, or in the Imaj7 chord that follows so you don’t leave those tense notes hanging in your lines.

 

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 10

 

Altered Scale Solo Over C Minor Blues

Now that you know how to play the altered scale in four positions on the fretboard, as well as have studied classic altered vocabulary, you can take those ideas to a sample solo.

Here is a 12-bar solo written out over a C minor blues progression, with the altered scale being used to outline the chords in bars 4, 10, and 12.

Once you have learned this solo as written, try putting on a backing track and play this solo once, followed by an improvised solo in the second chorus, alternating back and forth as you begin to integrate these ideas into your improvisational repertoire.

 

Listen & Play Along:

Altered Scale 11

 

Do you have questions about the altered scale? Let us know in the comments below…

 

 

Band in a Box 2018

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Matt Warnock <![CDATA[Autumn Leaves Rootless Chords]]> https://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=7242 2018-04-13T19:58:32Z 2018-04-12T20:10:17Z Learning to play jazzy sounding chords is one of the most enjoyable and challenging parts of playing jazz guitar. While you may know where to start when learning jazz chords, after you know a handful of chords, it’s often tough to know where to go next. This is where adapting chords you…

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Learning to play jazzy sounding chords is one of the most enjoyable and challenging parts of playing jazz guitar. While you may know where to start when learning jazz chords, after you know a handful of chords, it’s often tough to know where to go next. This is where adapting chords you already know comes into play.

Rather than bog yourself down by learning all new chord shapes, you can adapt shapes you already know to create new sounds in your playing.

One of the most popular ways to do this is to remove the root note from any four-note chord you know. This gives you a three-note triad that outlines the chord and is easier to play than the four-note version. And, since the bass is covering the root note, you don’t lose anything by leaving out the root.

In this lesson, you learn how to remove the root from common chords to create triads in your playing. Then, you apply that knowledge to a jazz standard, Autumn Leaves, as you take these triads to a musical situation.

 

Jazz Standard Study Guides Volume 3

Rootless Chords – Triad Shapes

Before you dive into the chord study below, take a minute to learn about how you can remove the root note from common chord shapes to create rootless chords.

The only trouble with rootless chords is that there’s no root.

This means that you need to visualize the root but not play it.

Because of this, building rootless chords by removing the root from shapes you already know helps you visualize the root note even if you don’t play it.

Here are the formulas to determine which triad you use to create rootless versions of common jazz chords.

  • Maj7 = minor triad from 3rd
  • 7th = diminished triad from 3rd
  • m7 = major triad from b3rd
  • m7b5 = minor triad from b3rd
  • 7b9 = diminished triad from b7

 

Now that you know what triads are used to build rootless chords, here they are on the guitar to check out. These chords are taken from Autumn Leaves, starting with the first four bars, a ii V I IV progression in G major.

The first bar of each chord is a common chord shape, then the second bar has the root note removed.

The triad is written below each rootless chord so you can see which triads are produced when you remove the root from each of these chords.

 

Autumn Leaves 1.1

 

Here are the chords and rootless chords for the next four bars of Autumn Leaves, a ii V I in E minor.

Again, a common chord voicing is in the first bar, followed by the rootless chord and the name of that triad in the second bar.

Play through both of these examples to get a feel for how rootless chords sit and sound on the guitar. Then, when you’re ready, move on to the Autumn Leaves rootless chord study below.

 

Autumn Leaves 2

Autumn Leaves Rootless Chord Study

Now that you know how to build these rootless chords, and have played a few triad shapes, you’re ready to take them to a jazz standard.

Here, two or more triad shapes for each chord are used. Start by learning one shape in each bar and comping with those shapes over the backing track. Then, learn the rest of the shapes and comp with those grips over the backing track.

As you can see, the triads are written in a plain rhythm. Start by playing whole and half notes, keeping the rhythms simple as you work on these new chord shapes.

Then, once the shapes are comfortable, change the rhythms, break the chords up a bit, add in slides into and between chords, etc. Start with a simple, yet strong, foundation and build out from there.

If you want to take this exercise further, you can work in other triad shapes and string sets for each chord in the tune.

As well, you can treat each triad as an arpeggio and play them as single notes, adding these shapes to your soloing ideas in the process.

Triads are easy to play, sound good and give you everything you need to outline chords and progressions.

 

Backing Track

Listen and Play Along

 

Autumn Leaves 3

Autumn Leaves 3.2

 

Jazz Standard Study Guides Volume 3

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Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens <![CDATA[Miles Davis For Guitar]]> https://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=7177 2018-04-20T14:00:17Z 2018-04-05T16:50:27Z Miles Davis’ professional career spans 50 years during which he was on top of almost every important innovation in jazz. Miles Davis impressed by his performance, recordings, and also by his choice of sidemen. Though not a guitarist, studying Miles Davis’ lines can take your jazz guitar soloing chops and…

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Miles Davis’ professional career spans 50 years during which he was on top of almost every important innovation in jazz. Miles Davis impressed by his performance, recordings, and also by his choice of sidemen. Though not a guitarist, studying Miles Davis’ lines can take your jazz guitar soloing chops and creativity to the next level.

Miles began playing the trumpet when he was 13 and had his first professional gig when he was 17.  He was 19 when he played in Charlie Parker‘s band and at 23 he made his first influential album as a bandleader, Birth of the Cool. The list of following influential albums is simply too big to produce here.

Getting picked to play in a Miles Davis band was like putting a dose of steroids in your musical career. The list of guitarists who played with him speaks for itself: John Scofield, Mike Stern, John McLaughlin, and Robben Ford.

Recommended listening: Kind of Blue

 

Band in a Box 2018

 

Miles Davis – So What

Here is the theme of So What, from the Miles Davis album Kind of Blue.

This first-take, unrehearsed Miles Davis session from 1959 is a true masterpiece. It was the key recording of what became modal jazz, a music free of fixed harmonies and forms. If Kind of Blue is not part of your collection yet, don’t hesitate and get it, it’s the best-selling jazz album ever.

“The powerful thing with Kind of Blue is the space and information. There’s a lot of air in that record in the sense you don’t feel overloaded and you can take in each note. You don’t feel confronted with the music. You feel as if you’ve been invited into something very special.” -David Fricke

The band itself is extraordinary (proof of Miles Davis’s masterful casting skills), listing John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley on saxophones, Bill Evans on piano, and the crack rhythm unit of Paul Chambers on bass and Jimmy Cobb on drums.

 

So What is based on the D Dorian mode:

 

D Dorian mode diagram

The composition itself alternates between D minor and Eb minor. The chords that are being used are quartal voicings, a harmonic device made famous by Miles’ piano player Bill Evans.

The structure of So What looks like this: 2x 8 bars D minor, 1x 8 bars of Eb minor and 1x 8 bars of D minor.

 

Miles Davis - So What

Miles Davis – Autumn Leaves

Here are the first 16 bars of Miles Davis’ solo on Autumn Leaves (1958).

Miles Davis uses simple melodic phrases in his solo, all in the Bb major scale, except on the Gm6 in bar 7 and 15, where he switches to Bb Lydian (=G Dorian) and emphasizes the natural 6.

“Miles was the Picasso of jazz. He really knew how to use space just like a painter.” -Quincy Jones

Also notice his use of voice leading (the guide tone notes are circled in blue):

  • In the first 8 bars Miles starts on the D (the 9 of Cm7), which becomes the 3 of Bbmaj7, going to the C (the b3 of Am7b5).
  • In bars 9 to 16, he starts on the F (the 11 of Cm7), going to D (the 3 of Bbmaj7), to C (the b3 of Am7b5), to A (the 5 of D7), and finally to G (the 1 of Gm6).

 


Miles Davis - Autumn Leaves solo

Miles Davis – II V I Licks

II V I Lick 1

This ii V I Lick in Bb uses typical Miles techniques as it snakes its way through the underlying chord changes.

Check out the voice leading techniques that Miles uses:

  • Notice the b9 drop in bar one (from the Eb down to the D), which is a characteristic of Miles’ playing.
  • The use of the B (#11) to start the second bar, allowing for a half-step resolution of the C in the last beat of the first bar.
  • The Eb-D movement (b7 to 3rd) that connects the last two bars.

 


Miles Davis Lick 2

 

II V I Lick 2

The next line has a typical shape that you hear in many of Miles’ improvised solos:

  • The lick moves down an octave from D to Eb in the first bar,
  • Then back up to that same D halfway through bar two,
  • Before repeating this same up and down movement one more time to finish the line.

 


Miles Davis Lick 3

 

II V I Lick 3

Here is a typical bebop lick that comes from Miles Davis’ solo on Move, the first song on Birth of the Cool.

The lick starts on D Dorian in the first bar, going to an Am phrase on G7, to a Dm phrase on Cmaj7, delaying the resolution.

 


Miles Davis II V I lick

 

II V I Lick 4

This lick on a short II V in C minor comes from Miles’ solo on On Green Dolphin Street.

Notice the ghost notes in bar 2, producing some interesting phrasing which you can take out and use when practicing scales and arpeggios.

 


Miles Davis - On Green Dolphin Street Lick 2

 

II V I Lick 5

This lick on a series of II Vs going to Fmaj7 is from a Miles Davis solo on Boplicity.

 


Miles Davis - Boplicity lick

Miles Davis – Major Licks

Major Lick 1

This lick over Ebmaj7 is from Miles’ solo on On Green Dolphin Street and revolves around an Ebmaj9 arpeggio:

 

Ebmaj9 arpeggio diagram

 


Miles Davis - On Green Dolphin Street Lick 1

Miles Davis – Minor Licks

Minor Lick 1

Here is a Dm7 lick that uses a few chromatic notes (the A# lower neighbor and C#), hinting at D melodic minor to build tension during the phrase.

Here are two approaches that Miles liked to use in his minor 7th chord soloing ideas:

  • The use of the C triad to outline the b7-9-11 intervals over Dm7.
  • The line finishing on the 6th (B).

 


Miles Davis Lick 4

 

Minor Lick 2

In this Dm7 lick, you are only using the notes from the D Dorian Mode to create this snaking line over the underlying chord.

Notice the three 4-note groups in bar 2 and 3. These three groups are all classic Miles mini-licks that are worth exploring further:

  • 4 consecutive scale tones
  • 1-6-7-1
  • 2-4-3-2

 


Miles Davis Lick 5

 

Minor Lick 3

This minor lick is from Miles’ solo on Milestones and is built around a Gm7 arpeggio:

 

Gm7 arpeggio diagram

 


Miles Davis - Milestones lick 1

 

Minor Lick 4

This simple, but effective lick is also from Milestones and uses the same Gm7 arpeggio.

 


Miles Davis - Milestones lick 2

 

All the backing tracks of the examples in this lesson are made with Band in a Box, intelligent accompaniment software for your computer. Thanks to Band in a Box, you can practice guitar with a virtual band, making your practice routines more fun and effective. Check it out here…

 

Band in a Box 2018

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Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens <![CDATA[II V I Jazz Guitar Licks]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=7110 2018-04-02T12:41:47Z 2018-03-31T20:15:48Z   ii V I chord progressions are the bread and butter of jazz, making it important for any jazz musician to have a diverse vocabulary over II Vs. Because of this, working on outlining ii V Is is an essential part of any jazz guitarist’s practice routine, especially when first…

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The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar eBook Bundle

 

ii V I chord progressions are the bread and butter of jazz, making it important for any jazz musician to have a diverse vocabulary over II Vs. Because of this, working on outlining ii V Is is an essential part of any jazz guitarist’s practice routine, especially when first starting out on your journey to learning jazz guitar.

Learning licks is an important step in building a jazz vocabulary, and the licks on this page can quickly and easily add some great sounding bebop phrases to your arsenal.

II V I Lick 1

In this lick, there are two concepts that you can take out and explore further in the practice room:

The first is the lower-neighbor tone in bar one (between the notes D-C#-C), which is a common way of extending the length of a single note, by moving to a note one half-step lower and back again.

The second bar uses a G half-whole diminished scale, producing the b5, #9 and b9 intervals that create an element of tension in that bar, which is then resolved to the 5th of Cmaj7 on the downbeat of the third bar.

 

II V I Lick 1

II V I Lick 2

Two things to notice in this cool-sounding 2 5 1 lick.

The first is the use of Fm7b5 over the G7 chord in bar two, which outlines the b7-b9-3-#5 of the G7 chord:

 

Fm7b5 Arpeggio F Ab Cb Eb
Played over G7 b7 b9 3 #5

 

Playing a m7b5 arpeggio one tone below the root of a 7th chord is a great way to bring an altered sound to that chord, without simply running up and down the altered scale itself.

Also notice the use of the Lydian mode over the Cmaj7 chord in bar three, where the F# creates a bit of tension that is then resolved later in that same bar.

 

II V I Lick 2

II V I Lick 3

This 2 5 1 lick features a few chromatic passing notes in bar one, between the 4th and 5th as well as the b7 and root of the Dm7 chord.

In bar two, you will notice the diminished sound returning, as we saw in lick one, only this time there is a Bdim7 arpeggio over the second half of the G7 bar. Playing Bdim7 over a G7 chord outlines the 3-5-b7-b9 of that chord, which is why this technique is often referred to as the “3 to 9 arpeggio,” and is an important tool in any jazz guitarist’s tool belt.

Learn more about 3 to 9 arpeggios here…

 

II V I Lick 3

II V I Lick 4

This lick uses a famous bebop pattern in bar one, where you are starting on the #7 of the Dm7 chord, before running up the arpeggio with a triplet rhythm, and then resolving the b7 of Dm7 to the 3rd of G7.

This lick is worth taking outside of this larger pattern and working in 12 keys as it can be a highly effective way to bring jazz vocabulary to your solos.

There is also an enclosure in bar two (Ab-F#-G), around the root of the G7 chord, which is also an important bebop technique to get under your fingers and into your jazz guitar improvisations.

 

II V I Lick 4

II V I Lick 5

This lick outlines a I VI II V turnaround in the key of Bb and uses scale tones, as well as chromatic passing notes, to create a fun to play and interesting sounding phrase that you can quickly get under your fingers.

With a bebop flavor to it, this lick is inspired by players such as Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Johnny Smith and other bebop influenced jazz musicians.

When learning this lick, notice that the same pattern is played over the G7b9 and F7 chords, just moved to different notes to fit the root of each chord, and it gives both chords a b9 sound that creates a dissonance that is resolved later in the line.

 

I VI ii V Turnaround Lick in Bb

II V I Lick 6

The first bar of this lick uses a 3 to 9 arpeggio, as we saw earlier, only this time it is over the Dm7 chord:

 

Fmaj7 Arpeggio F A C E
Played over Dm7 b3 5 b7 9

 

When playing over m7 chords, a great way to outline the changes but avoid the root of the chord is to play a maj7 arpeggio from the 3rd of that chord (Fmaj7 over Dm7 in this instance).

As well, there is a slurred chromatic line in the second half of bar 2 that is reminiscent of Joe Pass and Pat Martino, who both use similar lines in their solos.

 

Listen & Play Along

II V I Lick 5

II V I Lick 7

This is a classic II V I lick in C major. The first bar starts with an A minor arpeggio, followed by a chromatic line in the next bar.

 


II V I lick 7

II V I Lick 8 – Arpeggio Pattern

One of the toughest changes to work out when learning how to play jazz guitar is the two-bar ii V I progression, such as you can see in the examples below.

To help you get your fingers and ears around these changes, as well as provide you with material that sounds musical, but also outlines the chords using proper voice leading, in this lesson you’ll learn a common jazz guitar arpeggio pattern that you can use when soloing over fast-moving ii V Is.

 

 

ii V I Arpeggio Pattern Fingerings

As you saw in the video lesson above, here is the ii V arpeggio pattern written out over various places on the fretboard that you can work on in order to get this pattern under your fingers no matter where you find yourself on the neck of the guitar.

 

ii V Arpeggio Pattern -png

 

ii V I Arpeggio Pattern Solo

To help you take this concept from the page to the fretboard, here is a sample solo written out over the first 8 bars of the classic Wes Montgomery tune Four on Six.

Here, you can see the pattern applied to the non-resolving ii Vs in the second four bars of the phrase, with the first four bars being built from common minor 7 lines.

When applying this ii V arpeggio pattern to your solos, altering the rhythm is a great way to make this idea as musical as possible and not sound repetitious. You will notice that I’ve altered the rhythm in every bar of the phrase, sometimes adding new rhythmic durations such as triplets, and other times leaving notes out of the phrase to create variations of the line that still outlines the voice leading, but doesn’t become predictable in nature.

 

ii V Arpeggio Pattern 1-png

 

 

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Dirk Laukens <![CDATA[Exotic Guitar Scales]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=7056 2018-04-04T20:21:59Z 2018-03-30T19:37:00Z   Exotic guitar scales are great to add some new flavor to your music. In this lesson, you will learn 11 scales from different parts of the world. You will also learn how to practice these scales and get an introduction to Indian music for guitar (ragas). Each scale is…

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The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar

 

Exotic guitar scales are great to add some new flavor to your music. In this lesson, you will learn 11 scales from different parts of the world. You will also learn how to practice these scales and get an introduction to Indian music for guitar (ragas). Each scale is in the key of A and comes with scale formulas and charts.

 

 

Arabian Guitar Scale

This Arabian scale is an octatonic minor scale (it has 8 notes). It is the same scale as the diminished scale.

 

A Arabian Scale A B C D Eb F Gb Ab
Formula 1 2 b3 4 #4 #5 6 7

 

Arabian guitar scale

 

Persian Guitar Scale

The Persian scale is a major scale with a b2, b5, and b6.

 

A Persian Scale A Bb C# D Eb F G#
Formula 1 b2 3 4 b5 b6 7

 

Persian guitar scale

 

Byzantine Guitar Scale

The Byzantine scale is a major scale with a b2 and b6.

 

A Byzantine Scale A Bb C# D E F G#
Formula 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 7

 

Byzantine guitar scale

 

Oriental Guitar Scale

The oriental scale is a dominant scale with a b2 and b5.

 

A Oriental Scale A Bb C# D Eb F# G
Formula 1 b2 3 4 b5 6 b7

 

Oriental guitar scale

 

Japanese Guitar Scale

This Japanese scale is pentatonic (this means it has 5 notes). It’s neither major or minor because the 3rd is not included.

 

A Japanese Scale A B D E F
Formula 1 2 4 5 b6

 

Japanese guitar scale

 

Indian Guitar Scale

This Indian music scale is called the Asavari scale or raga Asavari.

A raga is something between a scale and a composition: it is richer than a scale, but not as fixed as a composition. A raga is like a tonal framework for improvisation and composition, just as chord changes and standards are for a jazz musician.

Besides a particular scale, ragas also have a specific melodic movement, a hierarchy of tones, a specific intonation, ornamentation,  and duration. I’m not going into all the specifics of this raga, I’ll only tell you that it is played differently ascending and descending.

Descending, this scale is the same as the Phrygian scale, ascending it’s the Phrygian scale minus the b3 and b7.

 

Raga Asavari Ascending A Bb D E F
Formula 1 b2 4 5 b6

 

Indian guitar scale

 

Raga Asavari Descending A G F E D C Bb
Formula 1 b7 b6 5 4 b3 b2

 

Indian guitar scale 2

 

Hungarian Gypsy Minor Scale

This scale is the Hungarian gypsy scale (minor). Check out this video for a theme that uses the gypsy minor scale.

 

Hungarian Gypsy Scale A B C D# E F G#
Formula 1 2 b3 #4 5 b6 7

 

Hungarian minor scale

 

Romanian Guitar Scale

The Romanian scale is a minor scale with a #4.

 

Romanian Scale A B C D# E F# G
Formula 1 2 b3 #4 5 6 b7

 

Romanian guitar scale

 

Jewish Guitar Scale

The Jewish scale is a dominant scale that is also known as the Spanish gypsy scale. This scale is an inversion of the harmonic minor scale (on the 5th note):

A Jewish = A phrygian dominant = D harmonic minor.

The phrygian dominant scale is a common scale in jazz and is used to play over dominant chords that resolve to a minor chord.

 

Jewish Scale A Bb C# D E F G
Formula 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7

 

Jewish guitar scale

 

Playing Over a Drone

Written by by Mikko Karhula

A good way to practice these exotic guitar scales is playing over a drone. In this section, you’ll learn 6 exercises over a meditative drone with an E5 chord voicing. There are only two notes in the drone (e and b) so you can use different scales and chord types more freely.

It’s vital for any improvising guitarist to learn the relationship between chords and scales. However, sometimes it’s interesting to change ”scale-to-chord-thinking” to a more horizontal approach.

A good way of practicing this is playing over a backing track with a drone, note or chord that is continuously sounded. Playing with a drone leaves room for finding out how notes and harmonies work in constant chord harmony. That way you can concentrate on finding the best sounding tones or experiment with different colors or style elements within the chosen key.

 

 

Backing Track

 

Exercise 1 [starts at 0:03 in the video]

 
Guitar drone exercise 1

 

  • Bar 1 has an almost Celtic style ringing Emaj9(add4) chord with first and fourth finger spreads.
  • Bar 2’s first four notes imply an Eadd9 chord. The next four notes form a F#add9 chord (from the E Lydian scale), that resolves into a Badd9 chord.

 

Exercise 2 [starts at 0:17 in the video]

 
Guitar drone exercise 2

 

This example is influenced by bebop and gypsy jazz. Two important things to keep in mind to get clarity and speed in this example are alternate picking and rest-strokes. The Main color of this example is E dominant 7.

  • In the first beat there is a Bm7 arpeggio followed by some chromatism.
  • From the third beat on, the notes come from the E Lydian dominant scale (also know as Lydian b7 and overtone).
  • After that, there is an E11 sound in first beat, followed by E13(#11).

 

Exercise 3 [starts at 0:29 in the video]

 
Guitar drone exercise 3

 

This example is influenced by the lute music composed by Bach, but it moves forward to modern harmonies at the end of it.

  • The first four bars stay in the tonic E.
  • The fifth bar has a C#m7(b13) chord that is in this case a substitution for an Amaj9 chord.
  • The last two bars imply a B13 chord.

 

Exercise 4 [starts at 0:52 in the video]

 
Guitar drone exercise 4

 

The Idea in this example is to make a choral-like two-part canon.

  • The first and second bars are in B13b9(sus4) world.
  • Bar 3 contains an E7 and A7 chord.
  • The fourth bar has an A major and A minor chord
  • The fifth bar B7 and E minor.
  • Bar 6 is E major.
  • The Seventh bar is mostly B7b9(sus4).
  • Bar 8 has a turnaround: E5, Gsus4 and G, F#7 and B7.
  • The 9th bar: E7, A, Am6 and E.

 

Exercise 5 [starts at 1:20 in the video]

 
Guitar drone exercise 5

 

This example is mostly in the E dominant diminished scale and consists of intervallic jumps and string-skipping.
 

Exercise 6 [starts at 1:32 in the video]

 
Guitar drone exercise 6

 

This example consists of three-part voicings in the E major scale.

  • The first bar has an Emaj7 chord with melody-line.
  • Bar 2 voicings: E major , F#m, Emaj7, A major.
 

About The Author

Mikko Karhula (born in 1981) is a Finnish guitarist and teacher who is mainly focused on acoustic guitar. His primary style is ethno music like Balkan and gypsy jazz. Mikko works as a solo artist and is part of several bands and projects. He has composed music for Finnish artists in many different styles and composes for solo guitar from jazz to classical. Make sure you visit his YouTube channel for more videos and lessons!

 

An Introduction to Indian Classical Music for Guitar

Written by by Prakash Harry

This article gives an introduction to the Indian Music system and its core elements and provides insight into applying its grammar and technique on guitar.

Classical Indian music and jazz may sound very different but at least one factor is very important to both styles of music: improvisation.

 

The Indian Music System – Introduction

The Indian music system’s origins date back to the Vedic period (2000-6000 years ago). In this period, several literary texts and verses (Vedas) were sung in musical patterns which formed the base of the Indian music system.

In later years (14th -15th Century AD), Indian music got broadly classified into two classical forms of music:

  • Hindustani music (North India)
  • Carnatic music (South India)

This divide was mainly due to the difference in styles following the Persian/Mughal invasion of Northern India, which brought a lot of influence into Hindustani Music.

Though Hindustani and Carnatic Music share a lot of common aspects (phrasing techniques, similar ragas, etc.), each one has a distinct structure of its own. These systems have continued to live over the centuries and are still performed with traditional expertise, and at times also incorporating modern music elements into them.
 
 

Guitar Tuning: Western vs Indian Tuning

Although all examples of ragas discussed in this article will relate to the standard western tuning, this tuning is not the ideal guitar tuning for Indian music.

The ideal guitar tuning for classical Indian Music has alternate strings tuned to the tonic and the dominant (perfect 5th) notes. The Tonic is normally taken as D or E due to feasibility issues on the Guitar.

These 2 tunings are typical for Indian music:

Indian guitar tuning in D

Indian guitar tuning in E

In the first tuning, the first (highest) string on the guitar is omitted.

The reason to use this tuning is that the tonic and the dominant notes are the least difficult to play in a system that involves playing defined microtonal slides called Gamakas.

Gamakas are the main phrasing technique in Indian Music and it explains how different notes are phrased relative to each other for different ragas.

 
 

What Are Ragas and How are They Different From Scales?

Ragas form the basis of the classical Indian music system.

A raga may be defined as a specific collection of notes (semitonal values), played together with a specific grammar of Gamakas (microtonal slides).

Ragas and scales are quite common at the top level. In effect, both ragas and scales are merely a specific collection of musical notes played in a specific order, in ascent and descent. However the grammar of the Gamakas and its phrasing brings a completely different identity/texture to a raga and it cannot be musically compared to its equivalent scale, played as a collection of plain notes.

The raga is dependent on the specific Gamakas phrasing applied to it (which differs for each raga), in the absence of which it is merely a collection of notes aka a scale.
 

The Indian Equivalents for Western Notes

The following table relates the 12 semitones available in the Western tuning system to its Indian equivalent name references (Swaras).

The basic seven notes in the Indian musical system are Sa, Ri, Ga, Ma, Pa, Da, Ni with variations for each note. These variations are notated as a number from 1 to 3 (these work similar to b and # in Western music).

The manner in which they are named as (Ri/Ga) and (Da/Ni) for same values, depends on the relative notes occurring in the raga, and differs from case to case.

Before reading the table, you need to understand that Indian music notes are not absolute values like their western counterparts. They are all relative to the tonic note (Shadjam), which is fixed to a reference value (for example C or D or any other semitonal value).

Here we assume our tonic to be D, for easy reference while playing (in the video more below we also use the tonic D as Shadjam). This table classifies the 12 semitones of the Western tuning system to their relative Indian Swara names.

 

Semitones Indian Swara Equivalent Tone Value
D S – Shadjam (Sa)
D# R1 – Suddha Rishabham (Ri1)
E R2 – Chatusruthi Rishabham (Ri2) G1 – Suddha Gandharam (Ga1)
F R3 – Shatsruthi Rishabham (Ri3) G2 – Sadharana Gandharam (Ga2)
F# G3 – Anthara Gandharam (Ga3)
G M1 – Suddha Madhyamam (Ma1)
G# M2 – Prati Madhyamam (Ma2)
A P – Panchamam (Pa)
A# D1 – Suddha Dhaivatham (Da1)
B D2 – Chatusruthi Dhaivatham (Da2) N1 – Suddha Nishadham (Ni1)
C D3 – Shatsruthi Dhaivatham (Da3) N2 – Kaisiki Nishadham (Ni2)
C# N3 – Kakali Nishadham (Ni3)

 

Melody vs. Harmony

The beauty of the Indian Music system lies in its complex melodic structure, brought out with the well-defined phrasing technique of Gamakas.

In Western music, scales are built with a strong foundation in harmony. Carnatic music focuses on permutation of all available semitonal values (swaras). This gives rise to the foundation of the family of ragas, called the Melakartha System (in Carnatic Music).

The Melakartha system is a set of 72 parent ragas. Each of these ragas contain all seven notes (swaras) of the octave in both ascending and descending order. These 72 ragas (parent) along with their derived ragas (child) exhaust all possible melodic combinations available to us through all music forms across the world.

That brings to light the depth of the melodic structure in Carnatic Music. Hence it is important to understand that melody and phrasing of Carnatic music is very complex compared to the Western music system, which in turn shows its complexity in harmony of musical notes.
 

How to Play Indian-Style Pentatonic Scales (Carnatic)

In this section, we explore the possibility of playing the well known pentatonic scales, as equivalent Carnatic ragas. The Ragas we will take for reference are Suddha Dhanyasi and Mohanam.

Here are the swaras for Suddha Dhanyasi. You’ll notice the notes of the Suddha Dhanyasi are the same as those of the D minor pentatonic scale:

 

Suddha Dhanyasi Sa Ga2 Ma1 Pa Ni2
Western notes D F G A C

 

The video lesson below shows you how to play the runs in the ascent and descent, and some basic phrasing and improvisation for Suddha Dhanyasi and Mohanam. Try the phrase improvisation demonstrated in the lesson, after playing the notated ascent-descent run.

 

 

Below you can find the notation for these ragas. The tabs demonstrate the ascent and descent playing for Suddha Dhanyasi and Mohanam in order.

  • The ALL CAPS notes are the syllable of the swara played
  • The bold-italic notes are the notes to be plucked (on right hand)
  • The arrows depict the slide flow of notes from one to another (without plucking the string)
  • A point after a swara means one octave higher: Sa.

Let me give you the first line (ascent) in the notation below as an example:

  • Play an open D on the 4th strin
  • Then strike the open D again, and slide all the way up to G and come back to F on the same string (all in one flow), without plucking any more notes
  • Strike G and A on the same string
  • Strike A on the open-G 3rd string, and slide all the way up to D and come back to C on the same string
  • Strike D on the 3rd string again

Similarly try the descent approach, applying the same technique.
 

Suddha Dhanyasi Raga Ascent

 
Carnatic Notation:
SA     | Sa –> Ma –> GA  |  MA   |  PA   |  Pa –> Sa. –> NI | SA    |
Western Notation:
D      | d  –> g  –> F   |  G    |  A    |  a  –> d   –> C  | D     |

 

Suddha Dhanyasi Raga Descent

 
SA.    Sa –> NI        |  PA   |  MA   |  Ma –> GA  | Ga –> SA |

D      | d  –> C         |  A    |  G    |  g  –> F   | f –> D   |   

 

Mohanam Raga Ascent

 
SA     | Sa –> Ga –> RI  |  GA   |  PA   |  Pa –> Sa. –> DA |  SA.  |

D      | d  –> f# –> E   |  F#   |  A    |  a  –> d   –> B  |  D    |

 

Mohanam Raga Descent

 
SA.    Sa.–> DA  PA  | GA  | Ga –> RI  | Ga 3 –> Ri –> Ga2 –> SA |

D      | d  –> B   | A   | F#  | f# –> E   | f #  –> e  –> f   –> D  |

 

If you have any questions about this lesson, leave a comment below…

 

 
 
The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar

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Matt Warnock <![CDATA[John Coltrane For Guitar]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=6994 2018-03-30T09:32:35Z 2018-03-30T08:51:57Z   John Coltrane’s musical career only spans 12 year, between 1955 (the moment he first got noticed as a sideman), and 1967 (the year of his death). Despite his short-lived career, John Coltrane was one of the most influential improvisers in jazz and there’s a lot to be learned from…

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John Coltrane’s musical career only spans 12 year, between 1955 (the moment he first got noticed as a sideman), and 1967 (the year of his death). Despite his short-lived career, John Coltrane was one of the most influential improvisers in jazz and there’s a lot to be learned from his musical legacy, also by guitarists. In this lesson, you will learn some classic John Coltrane licks, as well as some typical chord substitutions over a blues.

Coltrane played in Miles Davis‘ band from 1955 to 1957. The second half of 1957 he played with Thelonious Monk, before joining Miles Davis’ band again in 1958. This time he stayed till 1960 and played on 2 important Miles Davis albums: Milestones and Kind of Blue. In that period he also recorded two influential albums of his own: Blue Train and Giant Steps.

After his time with Miles Davis, John Coltrane picked up the soprano saxophone and formed a quartet with pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones, with whom he recorded spiritually driven albums such as A Love Supreme. In this period he was influenced by the modal music of Miles Davis and the music of Ravi Shankar. In his last years, Coltrane got interested in the free jazz of Ornette Coleman.

Recommended listening: A Love Supreme

 

John Coltrane Licks

John Coltrane Lick 1

There are a few key items to take away from this first John Coltrane lick:

The first thing to notice is the half-step approaches to the G7 chord tones in the first bar of the lick. Each chord tone (F-D), is approached by a half-step above, creating the line B-Gb-F-Eb-D, and is something that you should apply to other arpeggios on the guitar.

The second item is the Em7 arpeggio outlined in the second half of the G7 chord, which hits the 1, 3, 5 and 13 of the underlying chord along the way:

 

Em7 Arpeggio E G B D
Played over G7 13 1 3 5

 

Listen & Play Along

John Coltrane Lick 1

 
 

John Coltrane Lick 2

In this John Coltrane inspired lick, you can see an Am7 arpeggio being used over Dm7, which produces  a Dm11 sound:

 

Am7 Arpeggio A C E G
Played over Dm7 5 b7 9 11

Playing a m7 arpeggio from the 5th of a minor chord is a great way to spice up these chords.

As well, there is a bebop scale being played in the second bar as there is an added passing tone between G and F over the G7 chord. The bebop scale is an important Coltrane technique to check out in order to bring a Trane vibe to your solos and lines.

 

Listen & Play Along

John Coltrane Lick 2
 
 

John Coltrane Lick 3

3 things to notice:

  • There is an ascending scale running from the E all the way to A above the staff over the first two bars of the lick.
  • The F triad used in bar 3 is something Trane liked to do, playing a second inversion of the triad, 5-R-3, instead of just running these chords tones in note order.
  • Playing 4-5-6-9-1 (the last 5 notes of the line), are a very characteristic sounding Trane idea that you can add to your jazz guitar playing.

 

Listen & Play Along

John Coltrane Lick 3
 
 

John Coltrane Lick 4

This lick uses chromatic notes to bring a tension-release vibe.

  • The 4ths that start bar 2 (D-G and G#-C#), are idiomatic to Trane’s lines as these outside notes then resolve to the A-C interval in the second half of that bar.
  • The Bb-Db-C enclosure in the 3rd bar of the lick is something that Trane loved to play and is a technique you can explore further in order to expand your knowledge of enclosures.

 

Listen & Play Along

John Coltrane Lick 4
 
 

John Coltrane Lick 5

This lick uses several superimposed chords to bring out different colors and tensions throughout the line.

The first is the Bbmaj7 chord over C7, which outlines a C13sus sound in that part of the lick:

 

Bbmaj7 Arpeggio Bb D F A
Played over C7 b7 9 4 13

 

The second superimposed chord is the B6 chord in the second half of the 3rd bar, which is a tritone away from the underlying root chord (Fmaj7).

 

Listen & Play Along

John Coltrane Lick 5

 

John Coltrane Blues Chord Substitutions

Jamming jazz blues tunes is something that many guitarists love to do. While soloing over the jazz blues changes can be fun and engaging for both performer and listener, there comes a point where we want to take our playing to the next level by adding in chord substitutions, creating a sense of tension and release in our lines and comping phrases.

This section will explore a chord substitution approach that many players use in their solos and chord work, and one that was a favorite of jazz sax legend John Coltrane.
 

Coltrane Chord Substitution 1 – Ascending Whole Steps

When soloing over a jazz blues chord progression, there is a lot of room to add chord subs in the first four measures, as they are often written as just the I7 chord, as in the F7 chord in this example:

 

Coltrane Blues Subs 1

 

As you can see, there’s not much going on harmonically in these measures, and so as a comper or soloist, you can use chord substitutions to raise the energy level and bring a deeper sense of harmonic interest to the first four bars of the blues.

One of the subs that John Coltrane liked to use was to ascend in whole steps from I7, to II7, to III7, to #IV7, before finally resolving to the IV7 chord in bar 5 of the tune.

Here is how that would look on paper to check out before we begin to explore this concept on the fretboard:

 

Coltrane Blues Subs 2

 

As you can see, each bar creates a stronger sense of tension as you rise up the chords, which are finally resolved to the Bb7 chord (IV7) in bar 5.

When applying these chord subs to your solos, you don’t want the rest of the band to follow you harmonically. If they do, you will lose the sense of tension that you build when running these subs over the blues.

So, when practicing these chord substitutions, use a backing track so that you get used to hearing F7-G7-A7-B7 played over a static F7 chord, which is probably what will happen in the real world.
 

Chord Substitution 1 – Arpeggios

Now that you understand the theory behind these chord subs, let’s take a look at an arpeggio exercise that you can use to get your fingers and ears around these subs.

Start by playing the exercise below as written at a slow tempo, and use a backing track rather than a metronome if possible so that you can hear how these subs sound against the original harmony. From there, start to improvise over the changes using these arpeggios as the basis for your lines, outlining the chords in your lines but with a greater sense of creativity than just running up and down each shape.

When you have these shapes under your fingers, try running other arpeggio shapes on the fretboard over these chords, as well as work 9th arpeggios, 11th and 13th arpeggios, and scales such as Mixolydian and dominant bebop over each chord in the progression.

 


Coltrane Blues Subs 3

 

Chord Substitution 1 – Motives

Once you’ve checked out arpeggios, scales, and other melodic patterns over these blues subs, you can also practice running motives across these changes.

To do so, you simply play a riff or lick over the F7 chord in bar one of the phrase. Then, you repeat this lick over each chord as you ascend the changes and resolve your phrase over the Bb7 chord in bar 5 of the tune.

Here is an example of that approach in action. Start by learning this pattern exactly as written, and then begin to change the rhythms as you ascend the chord changes to bring a bit of variety into the line.

 

Coltrane Blues Subs 4
 

Chord Substitution 1 – Chords

You can also apply these cool-sounding substitutions to your comping, especially when playing with familiar musicians that you know will hear what you are doing and react accordingly.

You can also try and bust out these subs when comping behind a soloist if you want to inspire them to take the energy up a notch or to add a bit of an “outside” sound to their solo if they are playing fairly diatonically.

As well, you can use these subs in your chord soloing and chord melody lines as you bring a bit of harmonic alteration to a chord soloing situation.

Here’s an example of a chord line that you could use over the first four bars of an F blues in either a comping or chord soloing situation:

 

Blues Subs 5

 

Coltrane Chord Substitution 2 – Descending Whole Steps

This second chord substitution is the opposite of what we did in chord substitution 1:

Descend in whole steps from I7, to bVII7, to bVI7, to #IV7, and eventually land on IV7.

Here is how those changes would look when applied to the first four bars of a blues in F progression:

 

Coltrane Blues Subs 2.2

 

As you can see, the further you go into the subs, the more tension you are creating over the original chord, which is then finally resolved into the IV7 chord in bar five of the tune.

For now, try playing these chords on the guitar with a backing track, to hear how they sound. Then, when you’ve got your head and ears around the basics of these subs, move on to the next section where you ‘ll learn some soloing ideas that you can use to outline these chords in your soloing ideas.
 
 

Chord Substitution 2 – Arpeggios

One of the most direct ways to outline and learn any new set of chord subs is to get to the heart of things and use arpeggios.

Here is an example of using ascending arpeggios to outline these subs over an F blues. Once you get the hang of this approach, try using any other arpeggio fingerings you know, alter the rhythm for more variation, and check out the arpeggio variations below.

  • Play each arpeggio ascending
  • Play each arpeggio descending
  • Play the first arpeggio ascending and the second descending
  • Play the first arpeggio descending and the second ascending

 

Coltrane Blues Subs 2.3
 

Chord Substitution 2 – Arpeggio Variation

If you want to dig a bit further into these subs (and the tempo dictates it), you can add in a V7 chord for each sub during these four bars. This was something Trane liked to do in his playing, but it can be tough as you are now playing two chords in each bar rather than one.

The concept is that you have F7-Eb7-Db7-B7 over those bars, then before each chord, you add in its V7 to form the following progression:

 

Chord Sub 2 F7 Eb7 Db7 B7
Chord Sub 2 Variation F7 Bb7 Eb7 Ab7 Db7 F#7 B7

 

Here is a sample of how you can use arpeggios to outline these chords. This is not something for beginners, but if you’re an intermediate player and looking for a challenge then check this out:

 

Coltrane Blues Subs 2.4

 
 

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Matt Warnock <![CDATA[Wes Montgomery Solo Organization Exercise]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=6739 2018-03-27T14:37:20Z 2018-03-27T14:35:06Z   When learning how to solo over jazz tunes, guitarists spend countless hours working scales, arpeggios, licks, and other melodic devices. But, while those items are important, you often spend much less time on how you organize these melodic devices in your playing. The result is that many jazz guitar…

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When learning how to solo over jazz tunes, guitarists spend countless hours working scales, arpeggios, licks, and other melodic devices. But, while those items are important, you often spend much less time on how you organize these melodic devices in your playing. The result is that many jazz guitar solos sound like run-on sentences, talking and never taking a breath when improvising.

One of the best soloists in regards to organization was Wes Montgomery.

Wes’ solos always sound organized, are easy to follow, and engage the listener in ways that note choices can’t accomplish.

In this lesson you look at an exercise that brings an element of Wes soloing form and organizing into your practice routine.

Wes Soloing Form Outline

One of the concepts that you can learn from Wes Montgomery, beyond his choice of notes, is how he organized his solos.

Though he didn’t always use this concept, Wes played with the following formula to create engaging and highly intense solos, often over a jazz blues tune.

The formula is as follows:

  • Bars 1-2 = Riff 1
  • Bars 3-4 = Repeat Riff 1
  • Bars 5-6 = Riff 1 Altered (rhythmically or melodically)
  • Bars 7-8 = Riff 1
  • Bars 9-12 = Anything else except the riff

 

By doing so, Wes was able to develop melodic ideas (the riff), as well as “cleanse the palette” of the listener before starting again at the top of the next chorus.

This formula can be shrunk down or expanded to fit other musical forms, such as 16 or 32-bar tunes. As long as you develop a riff for a good amount of time, then play something totally unrelated to that riff before moving on to the next riff, this concept works.

When Wes uses this concept in his solos, he plays with the timing of the riff and anything else lines.

When first learning how to organize your solos in this fashion it’s best to stick to a strict outline before branching out and moving beyond that outline in your playing.

Wes Form Exercise Sample Solo

Now that you know how this Wes concept works, you’ll learn a solo written in that style.

Work this solo with the audio example until you can play it from memory with the backing track.

From there, begin to create your own riffs in the first 8 bars, keeping the “anything else” line as is.

Then, keep the blues riff as written by you make up the “anything else” section.

This approach to practicing teaches you the solo, the form concept, and how to solo with this concept in your own playing.

 

Listen and Play

 

Wes Soloing Form 2

Wes Soloing Form Exercise

Now that you know how to construct a solo in the style of Wes Montgomery, and learned a sample solo, you take this concept a step further.

Below is a backing track and lead sheet for an F blues progression.

Under each bar there are instructions on what to play under each bar. The goal is to be able to follow that outline while soloing over the backing track in real time.

If that’s too difficult to do in the beginning, start by writing out a few solos using the Wes form outline as your guide. When that’s easy, return to the backing track and work on following the Wes formula in real time.

 

Backing Track

 

Wes Soloing Form 2

 

Don’t forget to check out our Wes celebration sale and get all of our best-selling eBooks 50% off…

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Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens <![CDATA[Chromaticism – How to Add Chromatic Notes to Scales and Arpeggios]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=6925 2018-03-30T20:18:30Z 2018-03-26T17:04:31Z Chromaticism is an important concept for any jazz guitarist to study and master in his playing. In this lesson, we’ll look at how you can take all of the scales and arpeggios you have learned over the years and turn them into “jazzy” sounding phrases by using chromatic approach notes.…

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Chromaticism is an important concept for any jazz guitarist to study and master in his playing. In this lesson, we’ll look at how you can take all of the scales and arpeggios you have learned over the years and turn them into “jazzy” sounding phrases by using chromatic approach notes. This is a big obstacle for a lot of people, but by working through the material in this lesson you will be able to hip up your lines.

A simplified explanation of chromaticism would be:

The notes that fall on the strong beats should be chord tones, the notes that fall between the strong beats should be scale tones or chromatic approach notes.

Even the shallowest exploration of the previous statement will find it to be untrue in many circumstances, but it is a useful starting point to help learn one of the most important concepts in bebop.

 

 

Examples 2 to 11 in this article will be written over a iim7 – V7 – I – VI7 chord progression in the key of C major:

Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 A7b9
ii V I VI

Example 1

Example 1 is a good exercise that combines scales and chromatic notes.

There are many ways to practice guitar scales, but this is a particularly good one because the chromatic notes give the scale an instant jazz sound.

The example below is in the B Dorian mode, make sure you use the same principle on other scales and positions.

B Dorian scale diagram

Here is what happens:

  • Start with the first note of the scale (B)
  • Olay the note that is a 3rd higher (D) (= skipping one note of the scale)
  • Approach the 2nd note of the scale (C#) chromatically from below (C)
  • Go to the next note (D) and repeat the pattern
  • Most of the time the chromatic notes come from below the target note, in some cases from above

 

Listen & Play Along

Chromatic scale exercise

 

Example 2

We will now take a look at four different ways to add chromatic notes to the major scale. All of these riffs will be two beats (four eighth notes) long in order to get them under our fingers quickly and transpose them easily.

The first bar of this example uses the dominant bebop scale, played over a major chord. The bebop scale is normally used over a dominant chord (G7 in this key), but it can also be used over any chord in the parent key.

The second bar outlines a very common chromatic passage. This is where we start on the third (in this case, E) of the major scale and then play #1, 2 and back to 3. Think of it as starting on the third and playing back to the third using a chromatic approach to the 2nd note (D) of the scale.

In the third and fourth bar, the same chromatic idea is applied to two different scale tones. The best way to approach these licks is to think of it as connecting the two half steps within the major scale:

  • In the third bar,  the 4th note (F) of the scale is connected to the 3rd note (E), by way of two chromatic approaches from below E.
  • The fourth bar has the same concept, only this time applied to the root (C) and the 7th (B).

 

Chromatics

 

Once you have these under your fingers in the key of C, you are ready to move on to example 3. You can practice punching them into scale fingerings you already know, or treat them as separate entities and think of them as individual units that you can move around to different chords.

Example 3

Here we have a bebop sounding line written in the key of C major using the patterns outlined above:

  • The first bar uses the 1st and 2nd line from example 1.
  • The second bar uses the 3rd and 4th line.
  • The third bar uses the 1st and 2nd lines.
  • The last bar uses the 3rd line.

You might notice that the line sounds like an exercise, and it should. At this point, we are trying to get these shapes under our fingers and these sounds into our ears. Once you have them down it will be easier to develop more creative and musical lines.

Listen & Play Along

Chromaticism tabs

 

Example 4

Now that you can apply these two beat ideas, you can add some basic harmonic substitutions to the chord progression.

The chords that we will be adding will be a half step (one fret), above the chord that follows.

In this example, we have added a Db7 that resolves to the Cmaj7 in the next bar (tritone substitution). For the purposes of this exercise, the line is written in eighth notes. Once you have this line down try changing the rhythm to gain more interest in the line.

Chromatics example 4

 

Example 5

In this line, we are now adding an Ab7 chord that resolves to the G7 chord (tritone substitution as well).

Even though we are stepping further “out” with this and the following lines, the fact that our two beat motives outline the harmony so well helps to keep the idea from falling apart.

 

Example 6

We are now at the limit of adding chromatic approach chords with the Bb7 resolving to the A7b9.

Once you have these substitutions under your fingers, you can choose which ones you want to use and when you want to use them.

Just because you know all of these cool harmonies does not mean that you have to saturate your lines with them. The biggest lesson to learn is that “out” lines only work when they are played after or in between “in” lines that give them their contrast.

Chromatics example 6

 

Example 7

Since the first four two note ideas have been highly chromatic and mostly descending in nature we can now look at three ways to play ascending and more “inside” the scale/chords.

  • The first pattern is what is commonly referred to as “1235“, where each chord is outlined using the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th note of the scale or mode that corresponds to it.
  • The second pattern is the arpeggio (1357) on each chord in the progression.
  • The last pattern is the arpeggio with a chromatic approach tone below the root.

Though these ideas have been written out over the chords in the progression, they can be used over any chord in the key we are playing in. For example: in this progression in the key of C, we can outline Cmaj7, Dm7, Em7, Fmaj7, G7, Am7 and Bm7b5 (all of the chords found in the key of C major).

Chromatic playing 7

 

Example 8

You will now apply these three ideas to the chord progression.

In this example, you start out with a mixture of the new and old ideas. Notice how each bar starts off sounding inside on the first two beats and then is led into a more chromatic sound in the last half of the bar before resolving on the downbeat of the following bar.

This helps create a tension and release element to the line and makes the major scale that we are basing our lines off of sound much more in the jazz idiom.

Guitar chromatics

 

Example 9

In the next line, you will add the chromatic approach chord leading into the Cmaj7 chord in bar 3.

This idea is similar to what we have already done but notice how the arpeggio in the first half of the 2nd bar sets up the substitution nicely.

Chromatic example 9

 

Example 10

Here you add a chromatic approach chord (Ab7) to the G7 chord in bar 2.

Chromatics 10

 

Example 11

In this last example, you add the Bb7 resolving to the A7b9 in bar four.

Chromatics example 11

 

Tune Up

Here is a solo written out over the chord changes of Tune Up, a famous Miles Davis standard.

Once you have these exercises under our fingers, try playing them in different keys and on different parts of the neck. Learning to play a line from memory is only the beginning of the process. Once we can manipulate a line by changing the rhythm, playing it in different octaves and different areas of the neck, we have truly ingrained the concept.

Tune Up

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Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens <![CDATA[Jim Hall Jazz Guitar Licks]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=6914 2018-03-26T12:50:18Z 2018-03-26T12:42:45Z   Jim Hall is known for his warm and subtle jazz guitar playing. Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell regularly drop his name as their greatest influence, and not without a reason. Jim Hall’s playing is harmonically advanced and full of surprises because he doesn’t rely on fixed patterns. His guitar…

The post Jim Hall Jazz Guitar Licks appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..

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Essential Jazz Guitar Lines eBooks

 

Jim Hall is known for his warm and subtle jazz guitar playing. Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell regularly drop his name as their greatest influence, and not without a reason. Jim Hall’s playing is harmonically advanced and full of surprises because he doesn’t rely on fixed patterns. His guitar tone is intimate and subtle, a good match for cool jazz players like Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond with whom he both played.

“I don’t really play fast, speed has never come easily for me. Little by little I pared down my playing to suit my personality.” – Jim Hall

 

 

Jim Hall Lick 1

This major scale lick works over an F pedal bass note and is basically a simple 6th interval pattern transposed down the scale, a typical Jim Hall technique that also inspired Pat Metheny, who uses similar kind of ideas.

 

Listen & Play Along

Jim Hall Guitar Lick 1

Jim Hall Lick 2

This major ii V I lick uses a common rhythmic device that is found in many of Jim Hall’s classic jazz guitar solos.

Here you will find a number of off-beat notes in the first two bars of the riff, that then resolve rhythmically into more straight 8th-notes in the last half of the lick.

Using displacement to start a line, and then ending the line with more static rhythms, is something that stands out in Jim’s playing, and gives him that rhythmic edginess that is characteristic of his soloing lines.

 

Listen & Play Along

Jim Hall Guitar Lick 2

Jim Hall Lick 3

One thing that Jim loves to do in his single-line solos is double up on notes, especially in 3rds.

In this example, you can see a line built with these ideas in mind, repeating notes that move around in diatonic 3rds over a ii V I chord progression in the key of D Major.

Also note that the pattern starts on the & of 1, something that Jim does a lot, which helps displace the pattern and make it sound more musical and less like a static pattern down a scale.

 

Listen & Play Along

Jim Hall Guitar Lick 3

Jim Hall Lick 4

In this minor ii-V-I lick, you can see some of Jim’s most commonly used techniques and concepts.

In the first two bars, you’ll find notes being slide down on one string, where they could have been played on two strings but Jim likes to use one string for multiple notes during his solos.

From there, you find a G melodic minor scale being used in bar 3, and a very Jim Hall-like riff in bar four where there is a double stop (C and D), leading into a chromatic, legato triplet.

 

Listen & Play Along

Jim Hall Guitar Lick 4

Jim Hall Licks 5

Here we have a chord lick in the style of Jim Hall, featuring characteristic voicings and a chord sub that Jim loves to use over minor ii-V-I progressions.

In the first bar, Jim often uses an A7alt chord instead of Am7b5, creating a V/V to V to Im7 progression in place of the normal ii-V-I chords you are used to seeing. This is a fun and relatively easy way to spice up any minor ii V I phrase that you are playing, using chord and/or single-notes to outline that sub.

 

Listen & Play Along

Jim Hall Guitar Lick 5

Jim Hall Documentary – A Life in Progress

To finish, here’s a great video documentary (1999) about Jim Hall with interviews with the man himself, Pat Metheny, Chico Hamilton and more.

 

 
Jim Hall was a master improviser, and working on his licks in the woodshed is a great way to expand your vocabulary and get into the head of one of the instrument’s greatest improvisors at the same time.

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Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens <![CDATA[Joe Pass Jazz Guitar Licks]]> http://www.jazzguitar.be/blog/?p=6892 2018-03-26T12:49:38Z 2018-03-26T11:12:23Z   Joe Pass is undoubtedly one of the greatest jazz guitarists to ever play the instrument. He could play single-line solo, chord soloing phrases, perform in a trio, duo or solo setting with the best of them, and always be instantly recognizable by his tone and approach to the melodic…

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Essential Jazz Guitar Lines eBooks

 

Joe Pass is undoubtedly one of the greatest jazz guitarists to ever play the instrument. He could play single-line solo, chord soloing phrases, perform in a trio, duo or solo setting with the best of them, and always be instantly recognizable by his tone and approach to the melodic and harmonic sides of jazz guitar playing.

Joe Pass started playing guitar when he was 9 and he was already playing at weddings when he was 14. In his 20’s he moved to New York, where Joe Pass got captured by the sound of bebop, but unfortunately, he also picked up a habit well known to jazz musicians of that time: heroin.

The next decade was wasted for Joe Pass, spending time in jails, until he entered Synanon, a drug rehabilitation center. In the center, he formed a band with other patients and recorded the album Sounds of Synanon, which was very well received by the jazz critics.

After 3 years in the center, he was cured of his addiction and he could move on with his musical career. He started playing in Los Angeles and got involved in the studio scene. In 1973 he recorded Virtuoso, an album that made him famous for solo jazz guitar playing.

Joe Pass recorded a duo album with Ella Fitzgerald and played with a lot of famous jazz musicians like Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Oscar Peterson.

Joe Pass died from cancer in 1994.

Recommended listening: Guitar Virtuoso

 

In this lesson, we’ll be digging into 6 classic Joe Pass sounding licks.

After learning these lick in the given key, at a number of different tempos, check out the practice tips below to take this idea further in the woodshed and properly integrate it into your jazz guitar phrases and solos.

 

 

How to Practice These Licks?

To help you take this lick further in your jazz guitar practice routine, here are some of my favorite ways to practice licks:

  1. Learn licks in at least 2 octaves on the neck.
  2. Learn licks starting on each fret-hand finger in two octaves on the neck.
  3. Sing the roots of each chord as you play a lick on the guitar.
  4. Play the chords on the guitar while singing the notes to a lick.
  5. Repeat the above exercises in all 12 keys.
  6. Repeat the above exercises in a number of different tempos, from ballad to burning.

Joe Pass Lick 1

In this lick, a Db diminished scale is played over the C7 chord. To create a diminished scale, alternate between whole steps and half steps.

The diminished scale is a symmetrical scale, what means that it comes back every minor third:

Db diminished = E diminished = G diminished = Bb diminished.

This results in the following sounds over C7:

 

Db Diminished Scale Db D# E F# G A Bb C
Played over C7 b9 #9 3 b5 5 13 b7 1

 

A great way to create tension on the dominant chord: play a diminished scale that is a half step higher than the root of the dominant chord.

 

Listen & Play Along

Joe Pass lick 1

 

Joe Pass Lick 2

Here, a D minor triad arpeggio with an added 9 is played over the Bm7b5 chord, resulting in the following sounds:

 

Dm Add9 D F A E
Played over Bm7b5 b3 4 b5 b7

 

On the E7 an A harmonic minor scale is played:

 

A Harmonic Minor A B C D E F G#
Played over E7 4 5 b13 b7 1 b9 3

 

The harmonic minor scale is the first choice to play over dominant chords that resolve to a minor chord.

Listen & Play Along

Joe Pass lick 2

 

Joe Pass Lick 3

A nice ii V I lick starting with a pattern and then going to a Bbm7 arpeggio over the Db7 (sounds like Db13):

 

Bbm7 Arpeggio Bb Db F Ab
Played over Db7 13 1 3 5

 

Listen & Play Along

Joe Pass lick 3

 

Joe Pass Lick 4

In this Joe Pass inspired chord lick, you can hear many of the idiomatic sounds that make up many of Joe’s solo guitar licks and phrases.

For this lick, try breaking it down into the mini phrases that make up each bar, that way you will be able to extract these ideas and use them in different combinations when coming up with your own solo jazz guitar lines.

 

Listen & Play Along

Joe Pass lick 4

 

Joe Pass Lick 5

This chord lick uses a favorite rhythm from Joe’s solo guitar work, you can hear a similar idea during his version of Have You Met Miss Jones.

The idea is that you break up the chord into the bass note and the top 3 notes of the shape, alternating back and forth until you get to the chromatic approach notes in the last two 8th notes of each bar.

Try accenting the chords only, not the bass notes, to bring an added Joe sound to the mix with this line.

 

Listen & Play Along

Joe Pass lick 5

 

Joe Pass Lick 6

This last lick is a bluesy phrase with double stops that works great over ii V Is.

 

Listen & Play Along

Joe Pass lick 6

 

Here are a couple of important things that you can notice and take away from this lick, besides learning the lick itself.

Try bringing these larger concepts into your practice routine as you apply these ideas to soloing over ii v I chords, other progressions and full tunes in your daily practice routine:

  1. The rhythm used in the first half of the Gm7 bar, which is a common jazz rhythm used by many great players over the years, an 8th-note rest followed by an 8th-note and then an 8th-note triplet.
  2. The bluesy double-stops and Ab-A (blues note), in the second half of the first bar of the lick.
  3. Joe’s use of an enclosure, B-A-Bb, around the b7 (Bb) of the C7 chord in the second bar.
  4. The octave displacement between the last note of the enclosure, Bb, and the next note, A an octave higher than expected.
  5. Joe’s voice-leading between the last note of the C7 chord, F, and the first note, E, of the Fmaj7 chord, resulting in a smooth, half-step movement between those two chords.

 

Joe Pass was a true legend and probably the best all-around jazz guitarist who ever lived. Learning his lines can help you get into the ears, hands, and thought-process of this legendary player.

 

 

Essential Jazz Guitar Lines eBooks

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