Tag Archives: dom7th

How To Make Mixolydian Mode Licks – 5 New Useful Ideas

The dominant chord is a very common chord both in jazz chord progressions and in more modal settings as the Mixolydian Mode. It is important to have a vocabulary of ideas for improvising over it.

In this lesson I am going to focus on a G7 chord and give you 5 examples of licks over that chord. Each introducing a scale or arpeggio idea that you can use in your own licks.

The Mixolydian Mode

In most cases that you improvise over a dominant chord it is found in a chord progression and not really in a setting where it is modal. But outside jazz having static dominant chords is a lot more common. Thinking more about Funk, Rock and Fusion genres.

#1 Dominant Arpeggio Sequences

The first phrase is starting with a leading note to the 3rd(B) of G7. From there it starts a skipping pattern using the G7 arpeggio ending up on the 9th(A). The second bar is first a scale run with an added chromatic passing note and then finishing the line with a skip between the 3rd and the 5th.

Using Arpeggio sequences is a great way to come up with new material. The skipping pattern that I am using in this example you can practice on a G7 like this. Of course you can experiment with this sequence on all your arpeggios.

#2 Dm Pentatonic Scale 

Using Pentatonic scales is a very common device in modern jazz and fusion. In this lick I am using the Dm pentatonic scale over the G7 chord. The scale we use on G7 is G mixolydian or C major:

G A B C D E F

and Dm pentatonic is a part of that G A B C  D E

Which is Dm pentatonic: D F G A C

The lick is playing descending 4 note melodies first from the E string then B and then G. The final part of the lick is a chromatic phrase connecting the 3rd and the 5th. The lick ends by skipping up to the root and then down to the b7.

The Dm pentatonic scale position I am using in this example is shown here below. 

#3 Em Blues Scale

A closely related option is the Em Blues Scale. The Em pentatonic scale or G major pentatonic scale is of course a good fit for a G major chord, even though you don’t have the b7 in there.

The Blues scale adds an extra chromatic note as well, namely the A# (or Bb)

The line starts with a chromatic enclosure of the 3rd G. From there the melody is really just simple melodies within the blues scale. Again using the A# as a chromatic passing note.

You can use this position to practice the Em blues scale which is also the position I used in the lick above.

#4 Quartal Arpeggios

One of my favourite things to use when improvising is the quartal arpeggios. Having a structure that is not based on stacks of 3rds is a refreshing melodic idea to throw in there.

The beginning of the lick is an Fmaj7 arpeggio. The maj7 arpeggio from the b7 of the chord is another great choice when improvising. From there the line continues with an Am pentatonic scale run before going into a few quartal arpeggios

The quartal arpeggios I use here are actually coming out of an Em pentatonic scale. If you play a pentatonic scale in “diatonic chords” then you end up with a lot of quartal arpeggios.

The lick ends with an Em pentatonic melody.

The easiest way to start practicing quartal arpeggios is probably to start playing them on a string set through a scale. It does pay off to do this for all string sets of course, but below I have written out the C major or G mixolydian scale on the middle string set which is the most common range for the quartal arpeggios.

#5 Spread Triads – Large Intervals

One of the greatest way to add some large intervals to your playing is to use Spread Triads or Open-voiced triads. These are becoming more and more common in modern jazz, but you can also hear people like Eric Johnson and Steve Morse use them in their playing.

In the example below I am combing spread triads with quartal arpeggios and also a normal G major triad.

The first part of the line is using a “mirror” effect on the guitar neck. The beginning is a quartal arpeggio from F and this arpeggio mirrors into a G major triad (you can see clearly it in the video).

From there the lick continues into a G root position spread triad that takes us from G all the way up to B an octave higher. This ascending movement is resolved melodically by a descending scale run and the line ends on the 13th of the chord via a Dm triad.

If you want to practice the Spread Triads then a good place to start is to learn the inversions. I have a few videos on this that you can check out. A basic version

Check out more on Dom7th Chords

If you want to Check out more options for Dominant Chords and getting some ideas on how this works in the setting of a 12 bar blues then have a look at this WebStore Lesson with some exercises and a solo transcription on an F blues:

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

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4 Dominants on one Chord! – You’ll never need another arpeggio

There are really easy ways to create some strong interesting lines on Dominant chords. In fact using the diminished scale allows us to use 4 different Dominant arpeggios over one chord. In this video I will demonstrate how and give you some examples! 

Diminished scale on dominants

The diminished scale is very useful for improvising over a dom7th chords that resolve. In Example 1 you have the octatonic or diminished scale that is associated with G7.

The chord you’d typically hear that fits this sound would be a G7(13b9)

Constructing the 4 dom7th arpeggios

As you may or may not know the diminished scale is constructed by two diminished arpeggios a half step apart. In this case: Bb and B dim.

If we take the B dim and play that in inversions we get the first line of example 2. For each inversion we can take the first note and lower it a half step. This gives us for dominant chords: Bb7, Db7, E7 and G7.

Practicing the arpeggios.

Since we are going to be using these arpeggios to make lines it makes sense to practice them together. One way of doing this is to spend time playing the arpeggios and going from one to the next and using inversions. 

One way of working a bit free form on this is doing an exercise like I do in the video. Here I am just improvising in 8th note and connecting the arpeggios in inversion to help associate them with one another. This makes it a lot easier to come up with lines.

For me it is important to get used to thinking of these arpeggios as something I use over a chord, so I don’t think of them as substitutions, but just as arpeggios that fit over the chord.

II V I line examples in the key of C

I have chosen to use the simplest possible form in my examples so I won’t use any extensions or mix the arpeggio. I think it is a great way to demonstrate how it works.

The first example is using the Bb7 and the E7 arpeggio. First the Dm7 line is a basic line built around an Fmaj7 arpeggio. The G7 line is first just a straight Bb7 root position arpeggio followed by an E7 arpeggio that is mixed up a bit more.

In the 2nd II V I the Dm7 line is  build on an Fmaj7 drop2 voicing that I use as an arpeggio. On the G7 I am using a tritone pair of dominants, which is first a Db7 from the 5th down to the 7th. The same idea is then played on a G7 which fit’s nicely in the melody.

The final example starts with an Fmaj7(9) arpeggio and then has a G7 line that mixes the Db7 and Bb7 arpeggios.

Conclusion

The main idea with the exercises here is to get started using some of these arpeggios when playing over a dom7th chord using the diminished scale. You can always expand on the ideas by starting to add extensions or using some of the other arpeggios from the scale.

I hope you can use the concept for some new melodic ideas in your playing.

If you want to check out my playing where I use the diminished scale on dominants then you could check out this lesson:

There is no greater love – solo transcription

 

If you want to download a PDF of the examples you can do so here:

4 Dominants over One Chord

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better 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.

 

10 arpeggios over a Dom7th chord

When you improvise over a chord arpegggios are one of the  buiding blocks you use to make the lines. One good source of material is to start looking for different types of arpeggios that you can find in the scale that is used over the chord. The more arpeggios you know the more options you have to make melodies over that chord.

In this lesson I will take a plain old C7 as you find it in the F major scale and go over 10 different arpeggios and try to give you some ideas for making lines with them. I will also talk a bit about how you find arpeggios that fit a chord.

How to find good arpeggios for a chord

When you need to find arpeggios for in a situation like this the best place to start is probably to look at the different types of arpeggios you know from the notes of the basic chord. Since this lesson is about a C7 that means checking out the arpeggios found on the  C, E, G and Bb. The reason for this is that the arpeggio will then in some way be related to the chord and therefore make sense as a strong melody.

The examples

All the examples in the lesson are on a C7 dominant chord. For each example I present a simple version of the arpeggio and then a one bar phrase that shows how you might use it. You could use the examples over both the V I cadence that I use here or over a static C7 vamp.

1. C7 Arpeggio

Obviously the best place to start in terms of arpeggios is the arpeggio of the chord itself. The only thing you might want to take away from this (since I am sure you could have figured this out as well) is that you can also make melodies by playing a sequence, inversions or other patterns.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 1

2. Em7b5 arpeggio

The next place you want to try is also fairly well know: Use the diatonic arpeggio found on the 3rd of the chord. Since this arpeggio will share most of the notes with the chord. In my opinion this is one of the arpeggios that you need to have in your vocabulary for any chord.

The line is using the arpeggio and following it up with a bebop cliché chromatic phrase on a C7.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 2

3. C triad

Since a C7 also contains a C major triad, this is a good arpeggio as well. You can use it for lines that are more bluesy or basic in terms of harmonic content. A varied solo will not only be up in the extensions all the time, it is just as important to connect with the basic chord sound.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 3

4. Edim triad

Of course the triad found on the 3rd of the chord is a good subset of the basic arpeggio, and since triads are anyway some of the strongest melodies you have at your disposal.

You can check out more ideas for using triads in this lesson: How to use triads in solos Where I also go over some more ideas on using inversions etc.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 4

5. Bb Maj7b5 arpeggio

The BbMaj7b5 arpeggio is not really a diatonic chord in the F major scale since it isn’t a stack of thirds in the scale (Bbmaj7 is). There are a few good arpeggios that you can find looking in the non diatonic arpeggios like the sus4(7) chords and it can be a worthwhile place to look for new sounds.

I did a lesson on Maj7b5 which covers some of the many places you can use this:  Maj7b5 Chords and Arpeggios – a powerful tool for superimposition

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 5

6. Em7b5 Shell Voicing

Another great place to start looking for new melodies is to use different types of voicings (that you anyway use while comping) and turn them into arpeggios so that you have a new melody with the same notes and with some larger intervals (most voicings we play are not 3rds based but are drop voicings where the notes are spread out over a larger range). The Em7b5 voicing (which doesn’t contain a 5 since it is a shell voicing) is again using the thinking that we can use an arpeggio from the 3rd of the chord to stay close to the sound of the chord.

I did a lesson on using shell voicings here:  Shell Voicings as Arpeggios

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 6

7. Stack of 4ths from Bb

Quartal harmony is one of the first places you want to look if you want to use arpeggios that don’t sound thirds based since it is completely based on another interval: 4ths. In this example I took the top part of a C7(13) drop3 voicing which happens to be a stack of diatonic 4ths from Bb. Since it contains both 3rd and 7th it will work very well as an arpeggio and the combination with the 13 highlights that extension.

If you want to check out more stuff on using quartal harmony in lines: Quartal Harmony in Solo lines

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 7

8. Em7b5 Drop2 Voicing

Another place that you can start looking if you want to use arpeggios with a larger range is to start using drop2 voicings as arpeggios. The Drop2 voicing in example 8 is an Em7b5 which will work really well in terms of the notes and as you can tell in the line also works well as a melody. The difficult part of using Drop2 voicings is probably that the way we use them as chords make them 4 note arpeggios with one note per string, but with a bit of practice and some Steve Morse etudes it is do-able in my experience.

You can check out my lesson on using drop2 voicings as arpeggios here: Drop2 Voicings as Arpeggios

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 8

9. Stack of 4ths from E

To really spell out some extensions you can also choose a stack of 4ths like the one I am using in example 9. You could look at this arpeggio as a stack of 4ths from the 3rd(E) of C or as a 2nd inversion of an Asus4 triad. The arpeggio contains the 3rd,13th and 9th of the C7 chord so it will work well in spelling out the upper structure of the chord.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 9

10. Stack of 5ths from G

Since we can make melodies with the stacked 4ths in the scale we can of course also start to stack 5ths since these are the same note groups as the stacked 4ths. You could view them as sus4 derived I guess.

The arpeggio I am using in example 10 is a stack of 5ths from the G which gives us the 5th(G), 9th(D) and 13th(A) over the C7.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 10

I hope you can use this list as a source of inspiration to find some new things to mess around with when working on lines. The way to go about this is probably to work on them one at a time and see what you can make out of it before trying to insert that into your playing.

As you can also tell from the description of each example there are a lot more possibilites than just the 10 I went over here and you can easily start looking at other variations of the arppegio choices and in that way find your own favourites and maybe your own sound?

If you want to download a PDF of the examples I went over here for later study you can do so here:  10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make thme fit what you want to hear.

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

 

 

Jazz Chord Essentials – 3 note 7th chords part 1

In this lesson I want to introduce a type of chords that I use a lot which are a versatile and practical way to play chords with 2nd intervals in them which is often difficult on guitar, but has a very nice and interesting sound.

 

I had quite a hard time coming up for a name for this kind of chord as you might have noticed on social media, but I think the name that I have now is a good description and it is of course also more or less the same as what people tell me it is called in literature (though there is not one single name in use).

In this first part of the two lessons I’ll focus on the chords that are constructed of 3rds and 2nds. There is another version possible that consists of 2nds and 5ths or 4ths which I’ll cover in the next lesson.

The Voicings

Let’s first go over the voicings. The first one is a diatonic 3rd followed by a diatonic 2nd, so from C that would give us C E F (in the key of C major), which is the 4th chord in example 1.

Example on is that construc through a C major scale on the middle strings. I find that with voicings like this I prefer to have the 2nd placed on the D,G or G,B strings. Probably because it does not get muddy but also because it is practical.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 1

The 2nd example is the version that has a 2nd followed by a 3rd through the C major scale. From C (the 4th chord in example 2) C D F

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 2

 How to use the voicings

As the name suggests the chords are derived from 4 note chords with one note left out. Even if you could try to rationalize how you would use the chord I think that I mostly just look at the notes it contains and listen to check if it makes sense in the context I am playing.

In the examples that follow I<ll try to explain why I chose this voicing, but if you play the example you can probably also hear how the voices lead from one chord to the next.

For all of these examples I am using the voicings from example 1 and 2 for the chords diatonic to C major (Dm7 and Cmaj7) and I am using the same construction from the Abm Melodic or G altered scale for the voicings on the G7alt.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 3

In this first example I am using a chord consisting of F E and C fro the Dm7 which gives me a fairly clear Dm7 sound. The G7 altered is using a voicing that consists of b13, 3 and #9 so it lacks the 7th but in the context of the II V I it works quite clearly as an altered dominant. The C chord is using the same sort of voicing as the G7, but moved up a half step so. On that chord that is in fact a 3rd,root and 7th so a complete chord.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 4

The 2nd example use the same voicing for Dm7 but now the chord is moving to the G7alt by lowering the C and the E to B and Eb yielding a G7b13. I also use m 4th finger to add a Db on top. One of the advantages to using 3 note voicings is the freedom to add and alter notes above and below the chord. The G7 is resolved to a Cmaj7(9) which is infact an Drop2 E minor voicing.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 5

In the 3rd example I am using inner voice movement which is a way to have small simple melodies moving within the chords. It can be a nice way to add details to a chord progression. In this example the inner voice movement is on the 3rd string on both the Dm and the G7 chords. The Dm7 is using another voicing containing the C, D and F, which then via the inner voice movement becomes a C E, F voicing of the first two examples. On the G7alt I am using the fact that the sound of the altered notes are enough to get the sound of the chord in this context, so the chord consists of Eb, G and Ab which means that it has no 3rd or 7th, Cmaj7 is a voicing consisting of D, E and G.

The 4th example is also demonstrating inner voice movement, on the Dm7 the chord contains A F and E, but again in the context the C is not really missed. The E moves to D. On the G7 the chord is the same as in the 3rd example except that it is turned around and the movement is in the other direction from F to G in the middle voice. The voicing on Cmaj7 is again the C(9) sound used in example 3.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 6

In the last example I try to show how you might connect these voicings to other kinds of voicings since in the end you’d want to combine them all as a natural whole. On the Dm7 chord I use the same as in the first example but now add the 4th finger to play a high D on the E string. I then voice lead that into a G7 alt drop2 voicing which resolves to a CMaj7, where the voicing used for the C is a G triad over a C note.

Jazz Chord Essentials - 3 note 7th chords part 1 ex 7

I hope you can use these examples as a way to get an idea about how I use voicings like these, and then make it part of your own playing.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here:

Jazz Chord Essentials – 3 note 7th chords part 1

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

 

Harmonic Minor Dominant Lines

In this lesson I want to show how I might use harmonic minor on the dominant in a II V I resolving to a major tonic. This is a very useful way to apply this scale to get a surprising sound on the dominant in a major cadence.

The II V I cadence

Let’s first look at the cadence. In this lesson I am using a II V I in the key of G major, so the chrods are Am7 D7 Gmaj7.

For the Am7 and Gmaj7 chord I use the G major scale which in the 10th position would be this.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 1

For the dominant, D7, I play that as if I was in the key of G minor, so I use the G harmonic minor scale which in the 10th fret would be this:

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 2

You’ll notice that the G minor harmonic scale is the G major with a flatted 3rd and 6th degree, giving us the b9(Eb) and b13(Bb) on the D7.

The lines

The first example uses a trill and a scale fragment on the Am7. On the D7 the line is base around an Eb minor triad. The Ebminor triad is not really diatonic to G harmonic minor, but since you have both a G and an F# you can construct it.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 3

The line ascends up the triad and then resolves to the 3rd(B) of Gmaj7

The next example uses the diminished arpeggio which, to me, is the stereotype sound or a D7 from G harmonic minor.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 4

The line on the Am7 is a Cmaj7 arpeggio followed by a stack of fourths from A. The line on the D7 consists of an F# dim arpeggio followed by a chromatic encircling that resolves to the 3rd of GMaj7.

Another very useful device in the D7(b9b13) repertoire is the augmented triad. In the scale the triad is found on the 3rd of the scale which in the key of G would be a Bb. SInce I mostly use it on a D7 I guess I tend to think of it as a D augmented triad. Of course it is that too since the augmented triad is symmetrical.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 5

On the Am7 I start out with an encircling of the root which is then followed by a Cmaj7 arpeggio.  The line on the D7 is build from the Bb augmented triad followed by a scale run that resolves to the 5th(D) of G.

A good way to create interesting lines is to combine triads in pairs. I have written a few articles about this subject they can be found on the list here: Online lessons

In this case I am using the D and Eb major triads which give you a good set of notes to convey the D7(b9b13) sound.
Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 6

The line on the Am7 is a combination of two arpeggios. Am7 followed by an Em7 arpeggio. The D7 line connects the Eb and D triads and resolves via the b9 and b7 to the 5th of G.

The last example makes use of the diatonic chord on the 3rd degree of the scale, so in this case a BbMaj7#5.

Harmonic minor dominant lines ex 7

The Am7 line is a combination of a C major triad and an Asus4 triad, both good devices for that sound. On the D7 I start of with a melodic fragment that to me sounds like a dim chord (I don’t actually have a name for it though) and then I descend down the BbMaj7#5 arpeggio and resolve to the 3rd of G.

I hope that you can use the material I presented hear in you own improvisations and that you get some new ideas and melodic devices to use over a b9b13 dominant chord.

As always you can download a PDF of the examples here:

Harmonic minor dominant lines

If you have any questions or comments then feel free to leave them here or on the video. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, Google+ or Twitter to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.