Lead Guitar Styles|
|What you learn:
Hi. Thanks for dropping in for our Jazz Soloing lesson. This we look at soloing over a
progression similar to the Blues Lead Lesson's '12-Bar Blues'
progression. But more changes, more of a jazz
player's perspective. Still 12 bars, but a 'Jazz Blues'.
Progression in Bb
sr: I'm working on these chords for
Storm: Please do. You should always know the
chord progression and melody of the song you are soloing on. Also notice the
underlying rhythm of the jam track and the licks. Work on the lesson
examples using this 'swing' feel. Now by listening and comparing notes you
can identify the central note to this chord progression as
'Bb'. You will be most 'satisfied' by ending
on the Bb chord. In tonal center theory you would call
the 'Bb' by the number '1'. And you would call the 'Bb' chord by the
number 'I'. Other chords would be named by their
letter distance to the I chord letter. Here is the Jazz Blues progression
expressed in these terms.
Jazz Blues - Transposable
Storm: Now our first scale of the
The tab indicates the 'Bb' major pentatonic fingering. The highlighted dots create the major
pentatonic blues flavor with the addition of the 'b3'. USE THIS AS AN INTUITIVE APPROACH TO
JAZZ BLUES. It's a mistake to think that jazz
players improvise intellectually. A lot of listening and practicing leads
to a very comfortable and intuitive approach that takes the theory and puts them
'into your fingers' and 'into your ear'. Start developing a 'jazz-ear' by using
the major pentatonic scale as your foundation improvising tool in jazz
This is a fingering for the IV9 chord,
Eb9. Notice that the 'b7' of this chord, the
highlighted dot, is the same note as the highlighted note in the major
pentatonic pattern sent before. There it would be called 'b3'. The Eb9
chord thus provides an ideal opportunity to emphasize the b3 addition to the
Paul: It seems like there are hundreds of chords in
jazz. Are there just a few that will get you most of what you
Storm: This is a great progression to work on
jazz chords. The three fundamental 'families' of
chords are major, minor, and dominant. There a many substitions and extensions
within each. The jazz blues uses all
three. So it is a great progression to work on
new voicings. Try the tab sent at the beginning for some fundamental 'jazz'
This is the 'Bb' minor pentatonic blues scale. This is another effective way to address
the 'b3' quality that the Eb chord brings to the Bb tonal
center. Notice that the highlighted dots create
a b9 effect when numbered from the chord center of Eb. This is a powerful tool because your ear
and fingers are used to it and can control it.
Over a major chord, like the opening Bbmaj7, a couple of common scale
This is the Ionian Mode, commonly known as the major
scale. Looking at the theory of this
progression the Bb, F9, Cm7 and Gm7 are all in the family of Bb
major. So Bb Ionian works over all but bars 4-6
of this progression. Bb7 is from the key of Eb major, and Eb9
is from the Ab major. These major scales can be used during their chords,
The Lydian Mode is a favored choice of jazz players over major
Note that Lydian is only one note different from the major scale. The scale
diagram shows the changed note as 'b5'. More correct to think of this note as a
This tab shows a visualization and fingering pattern for an E diminished arpeggio. The non-highlighted dots complete this diagram to create an E
scale. Notice that the lowest note is a Bb
(same as the blues tonal center). Think of this as a Bb diminished arpeggio for
convenience. Eo7 = E diminished. The chord in bar 6
of the progression.
paul2: Was that a typo?
Storm: No. Eo7 means E diminished
7. Diminished is another 'quality' of
chord. Like minor or major, just not as
used. Diminished arpeggios, the notes of the
diminished chord played in single note patterns, can be used to create a slight
and effective tension.
paul2: I was thinking dominant, which would be E7
Storm: You got it.
Playing a diminished chord up a half-step from the root of a dominant chord
actually includes three of the four notes of that dominant
chord. The additional note, the 'b9' thinking
in relation to the dominant chord, is a great 'tension'
note. The dominant chords in this progression
would be a prime place for a jazz player to go 'outside'. Outside, meaning notes
that add tension. The 'jazzier' sound comes from using notes that have some
dissonance to the chord being played over. But hopefully 'resolved' into the next
chord change. The diminished scale, and arpeggios,
are a jazz favorite for adding
tension. The notes that provide this tension are
called the 'altered' tones. In relation to the chord these would be the 'b9',
the '#9', the 'b5' and the '#5'.
This is one of the more complex scales that has developed as a way to achieve altered tension against the dominant V chord. It has three common
names. Depending on what you think of as the
number '1'. All three scales end up accessing the b9,#9,b5,and #5 altered tones
against the F dominant.
If F is thought of as the '1' the scale is called the 'F altered' scale. Play at
the chord root. It the Gb is thought of as '1' then it
is called Gb melodic minor. Played 1/2 step above chord
root. If the Cb is thought of as the '1' call
it 'Cb Lydian b7'. Played off the b5 of the chord. Let me send a couple more
Octave shapes are a nice 'jazzy' sound. Trademark of jazz great Wes Montgomery
and often strummed with the thumb rather than the pick for Wes' sound. A video
of the same lick follows.
And finally lets look at an arpeggio phrase. Playing through a jazz progression
using only arpeggios is great way to open your ears to the 'strong' notes as you
move through the progression.
Storm: Well, that's it. Thanks for joining me
for these lessons. And check us out on the web for more
<< load notation from left
<< load audio from left
<< load audio from left