Minor Blues is a must-know form in Jazz. It is also a form that bridges hardbop and modal improvisation. This lesson is exploring how to improvise on this form. The main part of the lesson is a 7 chorus solo that I improvised and that is included as a transcription. The performance is in a friendly and groovy medium swing tempo and the key is C minor, just like Mr PC.
The Minor Blues Solo
The solo has two main parts, the first 3 choruses are improvised only using the basic arpeggios on the Minor Blues. This is a great way to build a very strong foundation for soloing over the form and really know how the harmony sounds. The second half is more free and demonstrating some different approaches and sounds on especially the tonic chord.
7 Chorus solo + Annotated Transcription
The 7 chorus solo transcription is my take on a swinging solo that really digs into the groove and also clearly demonstrates the harmony. The solo and transcription serves as a way to start soloing on the Minor Blues. The analysis of the solo in the annotated transcription also offers some general info on connecting phrases and making a longer story out of your improvisation. This is immediately applicable to the Minor Blues but of course also to solos in general. To me these skills are as important as being able to follow the chord changes since it is the way to make a solo great and not only a bunch of “right notes” over the chords.
Exercises and Analysis
The transcription is provided as a basic transcription in PDF and GuitarPro 7. In addition to this I have included an annotated transcription. With notes and remarks in the sheet music this clearly illustrates the different phrases with what is played and also how phrases interact with each other.
Topics Discussed in The A-Train Lesson
- Arpeggios used in the solo
- How to Solo with Arpeggios
- Different Tonic Minor Sounds
- Melodic Minor
- Solo Energy and Intensity over the form
- Motifs, Call/Response
- Development of the solo
- Video performance
- Annotated Transcription
- 7 chorus Transcription PDF/GuitarPro7
- Exercises, scales and arpeggios
- Performance mp3
- Backing track mp3