Mr. PC (John Coltrane)

Mr. PC is a popular minor blues in C, written and recorded by John Coltrane in 1959 for his album Giant Steps. In this guitar lesson, you will learn how to play the melody and how to improvise a solo over its chord changes.

In case you were wondering, the initials P.C. stand for Paul Chambers, who has been John Coltrane‘s bass player for a long time.

Mr. PC is a standard 12-bar minor blues in C.

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Video

Mr PC – Melody

Here are the lead sheet and guitar tabs for Mr PC’s melody.

The melody until bar 7 uses the C natural minor scale, also known as the C Aeolian mode, one of the guitar modes.

The rest of the melody uses the C minor blues scale.

The last bar is the pickup bar for the solo.

 

Backing Track

Listen & Play-Along

Mr PC Melody Guitar Tabs

 

Mr PC Backing Track Video

Here is a backing track video you can use to practice the scales and solo below.

 

Mr PC – Scale Choice

The base scale to improvise over Mr. PC is the C natural minor scale (aka C Aeolian mode).

Another good choice over the entire chord progression is the C minor blues scale or the C minor pentatonic scale.

Using only these scales will get boring after a while though, below are some more options.

 

Cm7 (Bar 1)

Besides the C Aeolian mode and the blues scale, you can also play the C Dorian mode here.

The difference between C Dorian and Aeolian lies in the 6th: A in C Dorian, Ab in C Aeolian.

Playing Dorian is a nice way to differentiate between the Cm7 and the Fm7 because the A of the C Dorian mode becomes an Ab on the Fm7 chord.

 

Fm7 (Bar 5)

The scale for the Fm7 chord is F Dorian, which has the same notes as C Aeolian.

 

Ab7 (Bar 9)

The Ab7 is a tritone substitution of D7, the V of G7.

The scale of choice here is the Ab Lydian dominant scale, which you can see as either the Mixolydian mode with a #11 or the fourth mode of the melodic minor scale.

 

G7 (Bar 10)

Here are two great choices to play over the G7:

 

Mr. PC – Jazz Guitar Patterns

The guitar solo contains four common jazz guitar patterns that are worth memorizing.

 

Pattern #1 (Bar 16) – Dominant

This dominant pattern is a C7 arpeggio with a chromatic note between 1 and b7.

The same chromatic movement comes back in bars 20, 22, 33, and 44.

 

Dominant jazz guitar pattern 1

 

Pattern #2 (Bar 26) – Minor

This minor pattern is built around an Ebmaj7 arpeggio and can also be used over an Ebmaj7.

 

Minor jazz guitar pattern

 

Pattern #3 (Bar 33) – Dominant

Another dominant pattern with a chromatic movement between the 1 and b7.

 

Dominant jazz guitar pattern 3

 

Pattern #4 (Bar 40) – Dominant

This altered dominant line starts on the #9 and continues with a C augmented triad, forming a typical bebop pattern.

 

Dominant jazz guitar pattern 2

 

Mr. PC – Guitar Solo

Here are the tabs and notation for the guitar solo.

Listen & Play-Along

Mr. PC guitar solo page 1

Mr. PC guitar solo page 2

 

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