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Guitar Essentials

Part 17 - Playing Jazz Style

Lyle: In the past few lessons I've covered several styles of music that can be played on the guitar. It's important to be able to know a little bit about the different styles of music and at least be able to play a little something from the many styles of music out there.

Lyle: In the past few lessons we covered rock, blues, country, classical, and Latin styles. Tonight's topic is Jazz. As in all topics, there is so much cover. I just want to show you a chord progression and a riff or two in the style so you can impress your friends.

Lyle: One of the main chord progressions used in Jazz is called the 2 - 5 - 1 progression:

Lyle: Here's a looping jam track for this progression:

Lyle: These chords are all in the key of G major. The Am7 is the ii chord, the D9 is the V (dominant) chord. GMaj7 is the 1 chord.

Zz: Should we use our pick? or pluck the four strings together?

Lyle: If you use your pick you need to mute the unplayed strings. If you use your thumb and 3 fingers to pluck the chords, you get an interesting sound, much like a piano player striking a chord.

Zz: I like the thumb four finger thing......feels jazzy

Lyle: Me too.

Lyle: Good scale to use over this is the G major scale since all three chords are related to the key of G.

Lyle: Here's a basic riff made from this scale. Rake the strings at the beginning of the riff to create a sweep picking arpeggio.

Lyle: Let's try the same thing in the key of Bb. Here's the same progression in the key of Bb major:

johnH: but that jam track is way to fast for me!

Support: you can use the "tempo" button to slow it down

Lyle: this is your lucky day

johnH: ok, that's better :)

Lyle: The Bb major scale is what you can use over this progression in Bb:

Lyle: Here's a little riff built over the Bb major scale:

Zz: why can we use Bb flat over a G progression? or is that another lesson:)

Lyle: Bb over the Bb progression, G over the G progression.

KevinB: Isn't the majority of jazz inn the minor scale realm?

Lyle: Let's change to the key of Db. This will be the same 2 - 5 - 1 progression but this time starting on the A string for the root, so your chord shapes will be different:

johnH: he's changing up on us again :)

Lyle: Kevin, the majority of jazz is not major or minor or dominant. It can be anything.

Lyle: One more key, E major:

Zz: all these licks are tying together nice

Lyle: In the Jazz style it's not uncommon to switch from one key to the next. Here's all 4 keys that you just worked on in a row:

Zz: can you explain why these keys sound good together? or is that another lesson

Lyle: Here's a jam track for all 4 keys:

Lyle: Here's all 4 riffs you just learned all in a row:

Lyle: Zz, there are 12 keys in music. I made 4 chord progressions to work on. I did use a pattern.

Lyle: I went every 3 frets.

Lyle: 4 x 3 = 12

Lyle: That is how I came up with what progressions to use.

Lyle: Starting with G I went up a minor 3rd (3 frets).

adam: that makes sense to me 12 / 3 = 4 keys

Lyle: Then from Bb up a minor 3rd to Db, then up a minor 3rd to E, then up a final minor 3rd brings us back to G.

Zz: simple math but we make it so complex in our heads:)

Lyle: Music is a combination of math, language and something else.

Lyle: Art!

Lyle: That's all for this lesson. I think next week is metal rock style.

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