Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns

One of the most common chord progressions in jazz is the blues progression. A “straight” 12-bar blues usually has three 7th chords (I IV V). In jazz, we add more chords to this progression, such as II V I progressions and a more complicated turnaround. Jazz blues also features a different kind of phrasing and melodic language, which is the focus of this lesson.

Soloing over a straight 12-bar blues progression relies heavily on pentatonic and blues scales.

While you can certainly use these over a jazz blues progression as well, you will need more tools such as arpeggios, scales, and chromatic phrasing to avoid sounding repetitive.

In this lesson, you will learn 8 jazz guitar patterns over a jazz blues in F that come out of the bebop language.

These melodic cells and clichés can be found in the solos of jazz players such as Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Herb Ellis, and Joe Pass.



F Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns – Video & Sheet Music/Guitar Tabs

Jazz Blues Guitar Soloing - 8 Jazz Guitar Patterns for a Jazz Blues in F


Backing Track

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Listen & Play-Along

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F Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns 1

F Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns 2

F Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns 3

F Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns 4

F Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns 5


Jazz Guitar Patterns

Jazz Guitar Pattern 1 (bar 0 and 7 in the study above)

This simple pattern has a dominant, minor, and major variant and emphasizes the b7 (dominant), b3 (minor), or 3 (major) of the chord.



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Pattern 1 Dominant

Pattern 1 Dominant Variation



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Pattern 1 Minor

Pattern 1 Minor Variation



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Pattern 1 Major

Pattern 1 Major Variation


Pattern 1 Exercise

Here is an exercise over a series of II V I progressions to get pattern 1 under your fingers.


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Pattern 1 Exercise 1

Pattern 1 Exercise 2

Pattern 1 Exercise 3


Jazz Guitar Pattern 2 (bar 1, 14, and 20)

Pattern 2 features a b6 interval, a device that is typical for the blues sound.


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 2


Jazz Guitar Pattern 3 (bar 3 and 24)

Pattern 3 features a chromatic line going from the 3rd to the 5th of a dominant chord.


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 3


Jazz Guitar Pattern 4 (bar 5)

The following pattern uses a common substitution for dominant chords: a half-diminished arpeggio starting from the 3rd of the dominant chord.

Playing a half-diminished arpeggio from the 3rd of a dominant chord brings out the 9 sound.
For example: Dm7b5 over Bb7.


Dm7b5 arpeggio D F Ab C
Played over Bb7 3 5 b7 9


Here are two variations of this pattern:


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 4


Jazz Guitar Pattern 5 (bar 8 and 16)

This minor II V I is a typical bebop lick.


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 5


Jazz Guitar Pattern 6 (bar 9 and 21)

Pattern 6 uses another common substitution for minor chords: a maj7 arpeggio starting from the 3rd of the minor chord.

Playing a maj7 arpeggio from the 3rd of a minor chord brings out the 9 sound.
For example: Bbmaj7 over Gm7.


Bbmaj7 arpeggio Bb D F A
Played over Gm7 b3 5 b7 9


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 6


Jazz Guitar Pattern 7 (bar 15)

Pattern 7 is a simple dominant arpeggio with the last two chord tones reversed.


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 7


Pattern 7 Exercise

Here is an exercise over a blues in F to get pattern 7 under your fingers.


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 7 exercise


Jazz Guitar Pattern 8 (bar 22)

Pattern 8 is called the Cry Me a River motif, named after the opening melody of the famous jazz standard.

This pattern uses a Dbm(add 9) arpeggio over a C7 chord:


Dbm(add 9) arpeggio diagram


Dbm(add 9) arpeggio Db Eb Fb Ab
Played over C7 b9 #9 E #5


In this lick over a II V I in F major, you will find pattern 8 in bar 2.


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Jazz Guitar Pattern 8


Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns Guitar Pro FileGuitar Pro File



F Jazz Blues Band in a Box FileBand in a Box file


Band in a Box 2022

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31 thoughts on “Jazz Blues Guitar Patterns”

  1. Roberto Márquez

    Excelent article, as always, Dirk. May I ask how to open and print gp extension archives?. I can’t find the way. Thanks a lot!!

  2. Anonymous

    Veel dank, Dirk. Deze les heeft mij zoveel inzicht gegeven.

    Hartelijke groet,

    Maarten Meester

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Fijn om te horen Maarten!

  3. Anonymous

    Great lesson Dirk! Thank you very much. Dirk, I purchased Jazz Guitar Patterns and Phrases, that includes Pattern 7 and Pattern 9 with examples of blues in F. So with three exercises of blues in F, it’s hard to remember how each one starts. Trying to use the intros to jog my memory, I see that this one starts with an eighth rest followed by three eighth notes, so to me it seems that time equal to a half rest is missing. Please school me. I’m not very adept at reading notes and prefer tabs, but with 3 blues exercises in F, the ability to read notes helps in discerning between them. Thanks!

    1. Anonymous

      Tolle Lektion Dirk! Vielen Dank.

  4. Nikos

    Great lesson Dirk ! Many thanks !

  5. John

    I am adding these to my vocabulary. Thanks for a practical and useful lesson.

  6. Anonymous

    Hi Dirk,

    in bar 6 you use a chord with B, A, D and G, it sounds great but it is not the Bdim7 I expected to find, can you explain ?

    best regards

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Wilf, that’s a pretty common diminished voicing. If you have to put a name on it, that would be Bdim7(b13).

  7. Pedro Noleto

    A really awesome, generous master class. Very well produced. Thanks a lot.

  8. Salvador

    Excelente lección. Muchas gracias maestro.

  9. Ray Thaw

    Great lesson using the “Patterns” formula from the course.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hey Ray, thanks for buying our course!

  10. Timo

    thx for your great work. I have all of your Books…

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Thanks for buying our eBooks, Timo!

  11. Antonio Carvalho

    Great lesson…thanks

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Antonio, you’re welcome!

  12. Anonymous

    Great Lesson…Thanks so mutch

  13. Mike

    Fantastic stuff, thanks! Is this in the “Jazz Guitar Patterns & Phrases Volume 1” course?

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Mike, this study in particular is not, but there are other blues studies in the course, as well as a lot of other standards.

  14. Diego Lana

    Thanks !!! Great it class

  15. Anonymous

    Great stuff !! Thank you!!

    1. Stefano Brenzini

      Gran bella lezione, bel materiale, grazie Dirk, complimenti.

    1. Dirk Laukens

      Hi Dan, thanks for the feedback!

  16. Alsoran

    Thanks. This was a great solo, and a great lesson!

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