Tag Archives: Jazz Blues

Blues With Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

This is a duo with Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert a French/American Jazz guitarist living in San Francisco.

I came across one of his videos and we decided to make thsi small collaboration.

I hope you like it! Check out:

Hope you like it!

Jazz Blues Analysis – The Variations you need to know

The 12 bar Blues is probably the most common song structure or chord progression in music! In this video I am going to analyze some of the common variations of the Jazz Blues and cover what you need to know to make have a strong chord progression adn chord substitution vocabulary for playing over a jazz blues.

I am going to talk about how the jazz blues can contain IVm progressions, #IV dim chords and also some other parallel II V options.

Hope you like it!

0:00 Intro – Jazz Blues – the most common progression in Western Music

0:34 Example: The Basic Jazz Blues form

0:57 The Main Structure and parts of the form

1:35 Analysis of the harmony

2:20 A bit of history of the Blues Harmony since Charlie Parker

3:50 The options for altered dominants and Tritone II V’s in various places

4:07 Examples of possible cadence to IV

5:25 It’s all about the subdominant!

5:40 #IV dim chord

5:50 Example: Blues with a #IV dim chord in bar 6

6:18 Scale choices for the #IV in the blues

7:07 Blues themes with #IV in the progression

7:20 #IV bonus: The Blue note!

9:02 The IVm chord

9:34 Scale options for IVm or bVII 10:24 IV in Blues themes

11:21 Cadence to II chord

11:56 the chromatic II V chain

12:22 example with the Chromatic II V’s

12:45 How to deal with the parallel motion in a solo

14:21 Tritone sub for the II chord

15:00 Do you know any great Blues Progression harmonizations?

17:00 Like the video? Then check out my Patreon page!

Guitar Solo With Only Triads – Jazz Blues

The triad is one of the strongest melodies that we have. It is a part of so many famous songs that it makes sense to work on using triads when playing a jazz guitar solo. 

In this lesson I will go over the triads you can use for all the chords in a 12 bar Jazz Blues in the key of F. I also will talk about how I use some of these triads in a solo that I played and transcribed. At the end of the lesson I will also go over some exercises that are useful if you want to be more flexible when using triad based improvisation.

Getting started with Triads

The first thing we need to do is to find some triads for each of the chords in the 12 bar blues.

The chord progression is shown here below:

In this next part of the lesson I will quickly go over the different triads that we have available.

Finding triads for the I and the IV chord

In the blues the I and the IV chord, in this case F7 and Bb7, are more or less identical. They are both mixolydian sounding dominant chords.

The triads that we have available are found on the root, 3rd, 5th and 6th of the scale:

F7: F major, A dim, C minor and D minor

Bb7: B major, D dim, F minor and G minor

Using Harmonic minor to pull to the IV

On the F7 in bar 4 I have an F7(b9) which is there to pull even stronger to Bb7 in bar 5. The scale I am using on this chord is F mixolydian b9,b13, also known as Bb harmonic minor.

The triads we get from this scale are:

F7: F major, A dim, Cdim and Edim

Triads for the #IV dim chord

On the #IV dim in bar 6 I use the C harmonic minor scale. This scale is both close to the F7 chord and contain the  B diminished chord.

Bdim: B dim, D dim, F dim, Ab dim

A secondary dominant resolving to minor

The D7 in bar 8 is an auxiliary dom7th chord used to take us to the Gm7 in the final cadence of the blues.

Since it is a dom7th chord resolving to a minor chord the scale that fits on this chord is a harmonic minor scale. In this case the G harmonic minor scale.

D7: D major, F# dim, Adim and Cdim

The II Chord in a major cadence

On the II chord I have three triads. Just the basic triads found on the root, 3rd and 5th:

Gm7: Gm, Bb, Dm

The Altered Dominant

The C7 in bar 10 is an altered dominant. The C7 altered scale is the same as Db melodic minor and the triads we can find here are a little different than those on the other chords:

C7alt: Dbm, Eaug, Gb, Bbdim

Guitar Solo with only triads

The solo is written out here below. In most of the bars I am only using one triad so it should be fairly easy to follow.

The first bar is using the basic F major triad in 1st inversion. On a blues you can easily use the triad on the root, and in fact this is a very good triad to get the blues sound across.

On the Bb7 in bar 2 the triad used is again 1st inversion. Here I use the triad found on the 3rd of Bb7: D dim.

Returning to the F7 the triad used is Dm. The Dm in bar 3 is “voice-lead” into an Eb dim triad in bar 4. The Eb dim triad is a great to get the F7b9 sound across.

In the Bb7, Bdim F7 section in bars 5-7 I have an alternative progression that makes sense in another way that the chords move under it. The triads use are F minor, F dim, and F major.

On the D7b9 the triad used is an F# dim.

In the final cadence in bars 9 and 10 I start to use more triads per bar. On the Gm7 it is a combination of a Bb major and a G minor triad. The C7 alt combines Gb major and E augmented triads.

The two triads on the C7 altered chord actually form a triad pair because they don’t have common notes. You can look up more of my lessons on triad pairs here: Triad Pairs

Getting more rhythms down

A bonus feature with using the triads like this is that you only have three notes. The fact that you only have three notes will force you to be more creative with the rhythms and I actually think that this is a good enough reason on it’s own to start working on this!

I will probably make a video on this approach at some time, let me know if you are interested.

 

Getting more flexible and opening up your abilities with the triads

As you can probably see I don’t only play the triads in root position from the root to the 5th, and there are a lot more ways to make melodies with them.

To get more options when using the triads I have included a few exercises that you can work on.

This first exercise is to just simply play the diatonic triads through the scale. This is important to be able to find the different triads for the chord and of course also to be able to play them in the context of the scale where the underlying chord is found.

To build a bigger overview I would recommend that you also check out the other inversions as well. Here are the 1st inversions of the diatonic triads

and the 2nd inversion:

Besides having the overview of the diatonic triads in a position it can also be very practical to know the triad in this position as shown here below.

Another useful exercise would be to play the position version of the triad  in inversions.

Exploring more melodies

A final idea is to mix up the order of the notes. If you think of a triad as 1,3 and 5, then you can also make a lot of other melodies by changing the order of the notes. The example here below is showing the diatonic triads played in a 3 1 5 pattern through the scale.

Adding the triads to your vocabulary!

Of course the example solo in this lesson is a bit radical in the sense that while it can be useful as an experiment to work like this and see what you can come up with. In the end you want to work on the process of finding the triads and you also want to try get used to make “alternative” chord progressions that you can use for solos.

Get a Free Ebook

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

 

Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Guitar Solo With Only Triads – Jazz Blues

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.

Modern Approaches to a Jazz Blues – Rethinking the Chord Progression

Reharmonizing and interpreting chord progressions like a 12 bar jazz blues is a very important part of improvising in jazz. In this video I will take a Bb Jazz Blues and go over a few fairly simple ways to get other sounds on the first 4 bars. It should open some new ideas and widen your knowledge of jazz harmony and jazz theory.

I discuss how I come up with the ideas and how I both improvise and comp with the “new” sound. Often making the chord progression more modal gives you a lot of interesting choices in terms of reharmonization and scale choices.

List of contents

0:32 Overview of what is covered in the video
0:44 Comping and Soloing with alternative changes and sounds

1:10 Standard Blues Changes solo for Reference
1:48 Making the Blues modal

2:12 Lydian b7 as a “different sound”
2:45 Lydian b7 Guitar Solo example
3:36 Structures used for Lydian b7
3:50 Triad Pairs: Bb + C
4:03 Ab Augmented and Bb
5:02 Gm and Ab Augmented
5:08 Bb7(b5) Arpeggio
5:21 FmMaj7 Arpeggio

5:41 Bb Phrygian Guitar Solo
6:32 Bb Phrygian as a Sound on a Bb Blues
6:43 Bmaj7(b5) chord as a Bb7sus4(b9) chord
7:09 Fm7b5 voicing
7:14 Db7 voicings
7:49 Coloring Blues Phrases with Phrygian chords
8:28 Using the Bmaj7(b5) arpeggio

8:43 Whole step dom7th Guitar Solo
9:31 The thinking behind the reharmonization
9:58 Playing Coltrane Changes on a Bb Blues
10:15 Explaining how the chords work
11:05 Comping Description
11:46 Soloing Description, target notes
12:20 Reharmonization in solos and interaction

12:54 Modal Altered Scale Guitar Solo
13:43 The Altered dom7th and extending it to 4 bars
14:26 Voicings (E7/Bb7alt)
14:53 Soloing: Important clear target notes
15:28 The Mysterious Triad
15:56 Dmaj7(#5) arpeggio

16:47 Taking these examples further.
17:12 Using the chord voicings to learn to solo
17:30 Thoughts on soloing with superimposed changes
17:48 Other Reharmonizations and modal sounds
18:10 How to come up with reharmonizations

19:04 Outro

Quartal Harmony on a Jazz Blues

Using Quartal Harmony on the guitar is a great way to tap in to the modern jazz chords. In this video I am going to show you how you can use quartal voicings on guitar to get a more modern jazz blues. First going over all the voicings available for each of the chords in the blues chord progression.

The Stacks of fourths are especially connected to way McCoy Tyner played piano with John Coltrane

As a bonus I have also added a few extra turnarounds to explore and see how you might use this in a context with more moving harmony.

The F blues

Since I am using a twelve bar blues in F as an example it might be good to just have that chord progression:

The F7

To get started using these chords on a blues in F we need a set of voicings for each of the chords. The F7 chords are found by harmonizing an F mixolydian or Bb major scale in 4ths.

For the middle string set this is shown in example 1:

In the video I also demonstrate how this chords might sound as F voicings over an F pedal.

The general idea is that not all the voicings are complete F7 voicings, but the picture you create by using several voicings will still convey the sound of the F7. The specific sound of these voicings is inn this case also important because the quartal voicings are in themselves a bit unclear.

The Bb7

The next chord is the Bb7 in bar 2. You can construct the chords by harmonizing a Bb mixolydian or Eb major scale in 3 part stacks of 4ths.

The F7alt

The F7 alt voicings are coming out of the F altered or Gb melodic minor scale. In this context the chords all include a lot of notes that are not in the F7 sound.  This means that it is somehow easier to hear the F7alt, as you can probably hear in the video.

The Bdim

In the style of jazz that makes extensive use of quartal voicings (mid 60’s and on) it is very common to use the diminished scale on both dim chords and dominant chords. In this case we can use the single stack fourths for the Bdim(b6): B Ab D G. Here the top three notes are a stack of 4ths and we can move that through the scale as shown in example 4:

The D7alt

TheD7alt voicings are coming out of the D altered or Eb melodic minor scale. We can treat these voicings exactly the same as the F7alt chord. This wil get us the chord voicings shown in example 5:

The II chord: Gm7

The cadence in an F Jazz blues is a II V I in F: Gm7 C7 F. The voicings for the Gm7 are found by building stacks of 4ths in an F major scale.

Note that again for the period where these voicings became common it also became much more common to play unclear II chords with a m13 voicing. Usually the II chord was there to suspend the V so the 13 could not be included. From McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock on it became quite common to play m13 voicings for the II chord.

You can check out more on m13 chords here:  The Minor Chord You Never Use

The C7alt

The dominant is an altered dominant, again to fit the style and sound associated with this sound.

The F blues with Quartal voicings

The 1 chorus example shown below is an F blues played entirely with Stacks of 4ths.

The first chord is a stack of 4ths from Eb that you might recognize as an F13. This is a complete F dominant sound and we start by giving a complete picture of what is being played. From there the chords are walking up through the scale to the same type of chord voicing on Bb7. 

In the end of the Bb7 bar the voicing is also moving up step wise and this makes it possible to descend down to an F7 voicing chromatically. From that voicing the melody skips down to again walk up and approach an F7alt voicing. Note that the context makes this clear even though the voicing does not contain an A or an Eb.

Via the F7#9 voicing we can move down a half step to get to the Bb7. With step wise descending movement the melody continues down to a Bdim voicing and repeats this voicing before resolving back up to an F7 voicing. The melody of the F7 and the Am7(b5) are really using the same set of voicings. On the D7alt the chord is an D7(#9) voicing.

Gm7 is played with a Gm13 voicing and the melody can again move up in a step wise motion to reach the C7alt chord. On the C7alt, the chords are encircling the F7 voicing that it resolves to in bar 11.

The turnaround uses this voicing and the D7(#9) voicing, The Gm7 voicing is in fact more of a Gsus4 or Dm7 type voicing but in the context it comes across as a Gm and it makes it possible to move up to the C7 voicings with an ascending half step. As in the cadence the two C7 alt voicings encircle the final F voicing.

A few extra turnarounds

I decided that it might be useful to demonstrate how more dense progressions sound if you go through them only using the quartal voicings.

Turnaround 1

The first example is starting out in the same way the last part of the blues did. From the D7(#9) voicing I use a vocing that i can move up a whole step to get a Gm13 voicing on the II chord. In this turnaround the C7alt is first a clear C7(#9) and then a stack of 4ths that only contains alterations. Thes alterations can then be resolved a half step down to F7 and I end on the F13 voicing. 

Turnaround 2

In the 2nd turnaround I am now starting on the same F7 but then moving up stepwise on the D7alt. By moving up further it lands on a complete Gm7(11) voicing. The C7alt voicings are also just moving up in scale steps. The line ends with the same voicings of turnaround 1 but an octave higher.

Turnaround 3

The last turnaround is again starting with the same F6/9 voicing as the previous versions. The D7 alt voicings are now reached by moving to the closest voicing below the F chord. From here the melody continues  in steps dwon to Gm13 and continues to the closest C7alt voicings before it resolves to F13.

Conclusion

As you can hear in the examples there is a very charateristic sound to the quartal voicings. When using them in the way that I am doing on the blues in F in this lesson it works really well even if all voicings are complete. 

The way you want to work on this is probably to work on your diatonic stacks of 4ths. Then try to comp through progressions you are very familiar. Since you know them you can tell if the solutions you come up with are working in the context.

Get a Free Ebook

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

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Quartal Harmony on a Jazz Blues

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.

5 Jazz Blues Licks in F

Mixing Blues phrasing and melodies with Jazz chromaticism and harmony  can give you some really great dom7th lines. In this lesson I am going to go over 5 examples and some exercises to help you get started exploring this.

 Scales and Arpeggios for Jazz Blues

All the examples in this lesson are on an F7 chord. I also kept the material in the position around the 6th fret.

To be able to mix Jazz and Blues we of course need to have the material to play both Jazz and Blues in this position. For that we need an overview of the essential scales and arpeggios. Since we are mixing two genres we need to get the tools to play each of them. 

In the Licks I can then easier explain where we are pulling the different parts from.

On the Jazz side of things we need is a scale for the F7 chord. Since F7 is the dominant of Bb major that would be a Bb major scale:

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-1

And then it is also important to know the chord tones of the F7 chord, in other words: The Arpeggio:

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-2

For the blues we can get away with one simple scale, namely the minor pentatonic scale:

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-3

This position for the pentatonic scale is not the most common, but still has some great blues options!

The Jazz Blues Licks

From Bar to bar

In the first example the opening phrase, and in fact the entire first bar, is minor pentatonic scale with an added blue note (B).  The second bar is coming more from the mixolydian sound but then using slides to keep the bluesy feel.

What is often the case with these more bluesy sounding lines is that they tend to make less use of extensions and rely more on resting or resolving to the notes of the basic triad.

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-4

Is it blues or passing notes?

The second example is direcly going in to the mix and we don’t get a part that is clearly on thing or the other. The first part of the lick also uses the Blue note, but now as a more jazzy row of chormatic passing notes. It then continues with somthing that in this context sounds like F7 arpeggio material.

In the second bar we get a descending scale run from D to A with a lower passing note added before the A. The phrase concludes with a diatonic 6h skip up to the root. A melody that is very common to Blues and Country.

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-5

Bluesey triplets

Triplets and triplet phrasing are part of shuffle and blues phrasing. Much more so than most bop language. In the 3rd Lick I am starting with a triplet phrase that is using the leading note to the 3rd and then continuing with a melody outlining an A dim triad. From there it descends down an F7 arpeggio with an added passing note between the root and the 7th. This is a bebop cliché that some people have even made scales out of.

In the second bar we have a variation of the 6th interval, this time from the b7 to the 5th and from there the scale moves down the triad to end on the root.

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-6

Double stops

The first part of example four could be interpreted as F major pentatonic but you could also think of it as a Dm7 arpeggio.

The second bar is a phrase constructed from a repeated double stop idea. Double stops are an integral part of blues repertoire(Think Chuck Berry). This phrase is somewhat reminiscent of a Wes Montgomery phrase from Smokin’ at the Half note.

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-7

In the last example the phrase starts with an arpeggio run that ends on and emphasizes the 7th of the chord. It continues in the second bar with another double stop and a descending pentatonic scale run that is resolved to the major 3rd and then skips up to the root.

Very often in Jazz Blues phrasing you will find that the blues phrases are resolved. Since Ab and Bb both are notes with some tension over an F7 it often works better in a jazz context to resolve them (mostly to the 3rd(A))

5-f-jazz-blues-licks-ex-8

I hope you can use the 5 examples and some of the thoughts on how to mix the two genres that I presented here. I think it is important that you quickly start to practice 

Take it a bit further

If you want to explore more of what I do when soloing and how I mix jazz and blues you can check out this WebStore lesson. It contains a transcription and analysis of a 4 chorus solo and explain how the melodies are written and what melodic or harmonic devices are used.

Bb Jazz Blues Lesson 1

If you want to study the examples I went over in the lesson you can of course also download them as a pdf here:

5-f-jazz-blues-licks

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.

 

 

C Jazz Blues with triad voicings

Playing chords on a jazz progression can be quite complicated, and the voice leading, the extensions and alterations makes us forget about making music. Using triads for chords is a very practical and easy way to play full chords and still have a lot of flexibility to interact with the rest of the band. This lesson is going over how you find triad voicings for a C jazz blues and also demonstrating what you can do with the voicings you find using melodies and inversions.

Basic triad voicings

To demonstrate how easily you can use the triads as chords in a blues I have written out a chorus of voicings in example 1. I play the chorus in the videos, and you should notice that I don’t use the simple rhythm that I’ve written, but interpret that freely. I am however only using the voicings in example 1.

C Jazz Blues with triad voicings - ex 1

The way I find the triad voicings is quite simple and an approach that is almost always coming back in both comping and improvisation lessons:

A C7 chord consists of the notes C E G Bb. If we take away the C we are left with the notes E G and Bb which spell out an E diminished triad.  This way of looking at the diatonic triad found on the 3rd of the chord is how I find most of the triads.

The only exception in this lesson is the dom7th(b9) chords. Here I take an common C7(b9) voicing: C E Bb Db and if we take the C away we are left with the notes E Bb Db, which is infact an inversion of a Bb diminished triad. The conclusion is that we can use the diminished triad found on the 7th for dom7th(b9) chords.

I have written out the reasoning on the guitar with first a C7 and then a C7(b9) voicing in example 2

C Jazz Blues with triad voicings - ex 2

So now that we can find triads for all the chords we can of course also invert them.

In this lesson I have kept everything on the middle string set (D,G,B) just to keep it simple and also because that is the place where they are the most effective.

In example 3 I have written out the chords with inversions:

C7 – Edim

F7 – Adim

Dm7 – Fmajor

G7 – Bdim

F#dim – Ebdim 

C7(b9) –  Bbdim

G7(b9) – Fdim

Em7(b5) – Gm

C Jazz Blues with triad voicings - ex 3

The only one that takes a little explaining is the Ebdim triad over the F#dim(7) chord. Since F# dim is F# A C Eb the one note that is in both the chord before and the chord following it is the C, so I leave that out and have: F# A Eb Which is an inversion of and Ebdim triad.

I left the A7 and the Gm7 voicings for you to figure out by yourself, it’s a good exercise!

Adding melody to the triads

Now that we have triad voicings for all the chords we can start working on adding melodies. I think my approach to this is really simple, for each of the triad inversions we can use the voicing and also use the neighbouring notes in the scale to make melodies. If you look at the first bar of example 4 you can see that I am using an E dim triad over the C7 but then changing the melody from G to Bb and A. A similar idea is used over the F7 where the A top note is replaced with a G in a melodic movement.

To work this out you need to be able to work out what scale fits the chord and you need to be able to play that scale on the B string.

To list some examples of which scales I use:

C7 – Fmajor (or C mixolydian if that works better for you)

F7 – Bbmajor

Gm7 – Fmajor

C7b9 – F harmonic minor.

F#dim – G harmonic minor

Em7(b5) – Fmajor

A7 – D harmonic minor

The final example is a blues chorus with some rhythmical and melodic variations added. If you work your way through it you should be able to figure it out without too much trouble.

C Jazz Blues with triad voicings - ex 4

I think the chorus in example 4 is so busy that it is almost a solo, but it will work as a comp example, and it also demonstrates a lot of the options available with this approach.

I hope you can use the material I went over here to get some flexible and effective voicings into your vocabulary. If you want to check out more on triad voicings you can check out my lesson : III VI II V I with triads

If you want to check out some mote chords and learn some drop2 voicings you can also check out my WebStore lesson:

F Blues Comping Etude #1

 

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

C Jazz Blues with triad voicings

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 them 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 releases.

 

Bb Jazz Blues – The Basics

When playing over a progression like the Bb jazz blues you need to be aware of certain things and be able to play different things so that you have the material you need to really improvise following the harmony of the blues: The Chords, the Scales and the Arpeggios. I have also added a transcription of a chorus of me soloing over the blues as an example of using the material covered.

In this lesson I have made 4 choruses of exercises: The chords, the scales that go with the chords. The arpeggios that are the melodic version of the chords and finally a solo chorus which demonstrates how you might use the other exercises when playing over the Bb blues.

To keep it simple I have kept all exercises in one position so that if you go through the exercises you should begin to have a tool set to improvise over the Bb blues in that position.

The chord voicings

To improvise over a song you probably need to be able to play the chords so you can hear the harony and how it moves. In the following example I have written out a set of voicings to play the Bb Blues.

Bb Jazz Blues - The Basics ex 1

You’ll notice that I in general don’t write out which extensions I use, so I write out the basic type of chord and if whoever is playing a chord he can fill in extensions to his own taste. This is common practice in Jazz in general.

The Scales

In the 2nd example I added a scale to each chord. The way I am playing the scales is that I start on the root and run up to the 7th, this gives you a bit of time to switch to the next chord. This way of applying scales to a progression is the same as you’ll find in Barry Harris exercises. It is a nice way to add the scale in a musical way so that you hear how they spell out the harmony.

Bb Jazz Blues - The Basics ex 2

The Bb7,Eb7,Cm7 and F7 are easily understood in terms of where they sit in the key, since it is all mixolydian or dorian.

The E dim scale is in fact an F harmonic minor from E to E. You can see how I arrive by this by looking at it from the Bb7 scale:

Bb C D Eb F G Ab Bb

If I need to fit an E dim in there then an easy way to do that is to replace the D with a Db and the Eb with an E:

Bb C Db E F G Ab Bb which you can write out from F to recognize that it as an F harmonic minor scale.

For the G7(b9) you need to look at it as a dominant resolving to Cm, which tells us that we should use a Cm scale for it. In this context the (actually in most contexts) that means using the C harmonic minor scale. You can use this approach to determine what scale you should use for any auxiliary dominant.

The Arpeggios

When playing over changing harmony the best way to really follow the chords is of course to use the notes of the chords in your solo. Therefore it is very important to be able to play the chords of the progression as arpeggios. In example 3 I have written out the arpeggios in this position.

To make it easier to connect the different arpeggios I have written them out in a similar range which means that I don’t always start on the root of each chord.

You should practice the arpeggios like I’ve written them out, but you would get a lot from also improvising over the progression just using the arpeggios.

Bb Jazz Blues - The Basics ex 3

When you solo over the progression the target notes you choose to make lines that clearly reflects the harmony.

The solo

As an example of how you can use the material I have written out a short improvised solo on a Bb blues.

Bb Jazz Blues - The Basics ex 4

I hope you can use the exercises and the materials to get started improvising over a Jazz Blues progression. You can check out some of my other lessons on Blues, arpeggios and target notes for more ideas.

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

Bb Jazz Blues – The Basics

You can also check out my Bb blues solo lesson with a 4 chorus transcription + lesson:

Bb Jazz Blues Lesson 1

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 them 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 releases.

 

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks

Blues and Jazz are two genres that share the same roots and have a lot of things in common. You can make some really great lines by mixing things from Blues and Jazz.In this lesson I am going to look at 5 licks that do that and talk a bit about how they are constructed and how you can make lines like that.

The Key, the Chord and the Blues scale

The core of this lesson is of course the 5 licks that contain some of the characteristic melodies, phrasing and techniques found in Blues mixed with arpeggios, extensions and chromatic passing notes that you find in Jazz. The result are lines that will fit in both a Jazz and a Blues context, and you can probably put them to use in a lot of jazz standards as well.

All the examples are in the key of Bb, so they are thought from the Bb7 chord. Bb is a very common key for a Jazz Blues, there are numerous famous jazz blues themes in Bb, think Tenor Madness or Blue Monk.

The backdrop of the Bb7 is the Bb mixolydian or Eb major scale:

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 1

Since we are using the basic Bb7 chord then the arpeggio of that is also useful:

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 2

But since we are playing blues the Bb minor pentatonic is also a useful place to look for melodies.

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 3

In this lesson I am assuming that you know what a BB7 is and how to play over it and is somewhat familiar with arpeggios, chord tones and a minor pentatonic scale.

The 5 Jazz Blues licks

We are going to look at some licks that make use of Blues phrasing and scale and some jazz lines. In general blues lines can be both in the chord (so mixolydian) or strictly blues from the minor pentatonic scale. Blues with also contain leading notes, but the melodies tend to be based more on the basic chord notes (the triad maybe the 7th) than extensions which gives them a more rooted sound.

In the first example I am walking up the arpeggio from the 5th to the root and from there we get a typical blues cliche that is using an Eb/Bb like suspension with double stops. From there the line continues with a jazz line that starts on the 5th(F) and skips up to the 9th(C) from where it descends adding a chromatic passing note and finally comes to ret on the 5th.

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 4

Leading notes are a part of the Blues language aswell as jazz, even though it is used a bit differently. The 2nd example starts out with leading notes to the 3rd(D) and uses that before it resolves to the root. From there it continues with a melody taken from the Bb blues scale, which is the minor pentatonic scale with an added b5(E). The minor pentatonic line is finally resolved to a 3rd and from there we get a small line ending the melody on the b7(Ab)

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 5

The third example is a line derived from the good old Chuck Berry Boogie Woogie pattern, but not used as a melody an octave higher. It then continues down the arpeggio in bar 2 and ends with an encircling of the 3rd and a 6th skip up to the root.

The melodies that skips a 6th up or down are very common to the blues. Usually the melody will skip between chord notes. If a melody skips like this in Jazz it is much more likely to be resolved in stepwise motion in the other direction. This is somewhat a type of melody that is much more common or even specific to Blues.

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 6

Patterns of 3 notes are common in both styles, but the repeating 3 note pattern idea is much more common in Blues (think  Chuck Berry again). In the 4th line I start out with a 3 note motief that is played twice befor the line continues down the minor pentatonic scale to the root. From there it goes on with a leading note line connectinfg the 9th to the 3rd and the the first 3 note motief that now resolves to the 5th of Bb.

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 7

In the last example I am starting of with a line that is basically a jazz line that is played with blues phrasing. First half of bar 1 is a D dim triad and from there the line continues with a part of an F minor pentatonic scale. The 2nd haf of the line is again using double stops and using the cliche chromatic movement of a minor 3rd interval from the 3rd and 5th to the b7 and 5th.

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks - ex 8

I hope you can use my examples to get started making your own Jazz Blues lines and explore that way of playing in your own improvisations!

The best way to work on the material I went over here is to take the examples and trying to make them into my own lines. One way is to start with a part of one of the examples and make a different ending. Another approach would be to take a part of a line and compose 10 new lines that use that part.

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

5 Bb Jazz Blues licks

You can also check out my Bb blues solo lesson with a 4 chorus transcription + lesson:

Bb Jazz Blues Lesson 1

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 them 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 releases.