Tag Archives: coltrane patterns guitar

Coltrane Patterns -Why They Are Amazing

What are Coltrane Patterns? Small 4 note fragments that you can use in your solos, and they are amazing because for each chord you solo over there are a lot and they are very easy to play. And this makes them great building blocks for jazz lines of pretty much any kind. What is not to love?

What are Coltrane Patterns

Two basic types: Major: 1 2 3 5 and minor: 1 b3 4 5.

In C major that would, for example, give us a C major: C D E G and an Am A C D E

You could create more but I just want to keep it simple, which is more efficient.

How to not study Coltrane Patterns

It’s funny because my introduction to Coltrane Patterns was to try to solo only using that. This was when I was just starting out and that didn’t get me anywhere. It wasn’t until a year later when I started to transcribe solos that I realized that these melodies were everywhere, the trick was to not try to only use that in a solo.

How to Find Them For A Chord

Figuring out which Coltrane Patterns are useful is about looking at the ones you have and relating them to the chord.

The context here is a scale, so let’s take a Cmaj7 chord and a Cmaj7 scale.


We have two types of Patterns, the major and the minor.

In C major the possible Major options are C, F and G. You can look at that from the Major triad, there are 3 major triads and you can make a Major Coltrane pattern for each:




and in the same way, the minor ones that are available are A, D and E, following the minor triads in the scale.





Of these Coltrane patterns then we can leave out the ones that include an F which leaves us with 4 Coltrane Patterns that all work: C, G, Am and Em.

The next thing to check out is then how to use these patterns in some lines.

Combining with Arpeggios

Combining the patterns with arpeggios is a great way to start and also a fairly easy way to get into your vocabulary. As you will see it is also a way to use the Coltrane Patterns as an alternative to arpeggios that is a lot easier to play.

Before an arpeggio, demonstrates that it is a very easy melody to make licks with and you can easily put it together with some arpeggios on a Cmaj7

Here is an example that is a little less clear but still a great melody:

The first example was a bit square and you can easily use them like that, but the 2nd example is freer and a little less using 4 note blocks on the heavy beats.

More Melodies & Combining Different Coltrane Patterns

It is also useful to check out how to combine different Coltrane Patterns and also trying to play them in different ways, not only ascending and descending.

Here is first the basic ascending/descending melodies

And you can explore lots of other patterns as well to get a lot more out of these 4 notes. Here are a few examples:

Kurt Rosenwinkel uses the first melody quite a lot, it is in one of the examples in the lesson I did on his I’ll Remember April solo.

Using these other melodies in a lick on a Cmaj7 could sound like this:

Pat Martino’s Dominant trick

Another use that I come across from time to time, but which I associate with Pat Martino is this example of using an E Coltrane pattern over an Am7 chord. It works as either a melodic minor sound or as a sort of chromatic enclosure. That is a little up to how you hear it.

When I was preparing this video I tried to figure out which solo I had this from because it is really something that I connect with Martino, but I couldn’t find it anymore. Let me know if you know a place where he plays it, I am pretty sure I have it from one of his solos.

Using Coltrane Patterns for Chromatic and Outside Things

Since the Coltrane Patterns are really easy to play they are also very useful for shifting in and out of the tonality.

Below is a Cmaj7 example that uses an Em Coltrane Pattern and then shifts this down to an Ebm pattern to create an outside sound before resolving back in the 2nd half of the 2nd bar.

This also works great on a II V I. Below is an example on a II V I in G major. Here I am using a Db major coltrane pattern to slide out of the key and resolve it back into G major on the D7 chord by playing a C major Coltrane Pattern.

Notice how I use the same fingering and phrasing for the melody which gives it a cascading sound.

Coltrane Patterns on Standards

Coltrane Patterns are closely related to pentatonic scales, and are also really a part of that sound. If you want to get better at using Pentatonic scales in your jazz playing then a great place to start is this lesson:

Lady Bird – Arpeggios & Pentatonic Scales


Get the PDF and GuitarPro on Patreon:

You can get the PDF and GuitarPro files on Patreon here:    


Get a free E-book

If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

Sign up for my newsletter – Get the II V I Ebook

Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group

Join 6000+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for topics then, please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram, Twitter Google+, or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts, and releases. 

How to Play and Use Coltrane Patterns – Easy and Useful

Coltrane Patterns are amazing melodic patterns to have in your vocabulary. They are probably mostly connected to the Giant Steps solos on that Coltrane Album, but are actually very common melodies.

The fact that they are easy to play and map onto a major scale makes them ideal for adding to your vocabulary as useful and flexible melodic fragments.

This video will cover how you construct a major and a minor Coltrane Pattern. How you can make diatonic versions. Different ways of playing them using different techniques. I will also discuss how you can choose different Coltrane Patterns for chords.

Finally I also have two examples of how you use them for superimposing strong melodies on top of other chords like altered dominants.


0:00 Intro – Coltrane Patterns

0:35 Solo with Coltrane Patterns

0:45 The Giant Steps connection and why they are great

1:07 What is a Coltrane Pattern, Major and Minor versions

1:22 Major Variation

1:40 Minor Variation

2:18 Three ways to play the Coltrane Pattern in several octaves

2:41 2-2 version

2:44 3-1 version

3:02 1-2-1 version

3:32 Simple ways of making melodies with the notes

3:46 Combining this with a major scale – Diatonic to each step in the scale

5:05 Applying the Patterns to a II V I in G major

5:20 Which pattern for which chord

5:50 Example Lick with an Am7 using Em Coltrane Pattern

6:02 Example Lick with an Am Coltrane Pattern on a D7

6:43 How it isn’t really a “Coltrane” Pattern

7:06 Super-imposing Coltrane Patterns

7:32 Lydian Augmented example

8:00 Short solo example on a Cmaj7 Shell-voicing

8:13 Altered Dominant example

8:42 Ab7alt line with an E Coltrane Pattern

9:17 How do you use or practice Coltrane Patterns?

9:58 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!