Tag Archives: jazz guitar

Allan Holdsworth – What he plays in a solo

This Allan Holdsworth Solo Lesson takes a look at the scales and arpeggios he is using in a few phrases from the Sixteen Men Of Tain solo. I love Holdsworths playing and it is really interesting to try to figure out what is going on because his melodic language is pretty much unique. 

The video breaks down 4 phrases and talks about how they are constructed using different scales sounds such as Lydian Augmented and 2 different Messiaen Modes.

Of course this is an interpretation and an analysis based on what I know about him and what I think he is playing, but if you don’t agree then feel free to leave a comment!

The entire solo is transcribed here on the #11 channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJacBhd3-Kc (They are worth checking out if you are into jazz!)

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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:

F Jazz Blues Arpeggio Workout

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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.

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How To Solo Over Fast Moving Chord Changes – Jazz Guitar

It is difficult to Solo Over Chord Changes, and especially if you are also playing a song with a lot of chord changes and a high tempo.

In this video I am going to discuss 4 things to keep in mind and how to practice so that you get better at improvising over chord changes. These are all important things that you need if you want to know how to solo over chord changes and play more difficult songs like Rhythm Changes, Giant Steps, Very Early etc.

Table Of Contents

0:00 Intro – Improvising over Fast Chord Changes

0:42 Splitting it up into smaller goals or topics

1:15 #1 – Technique

1:48 The Double Time Mistake

2:09 Practice Technique towards playing fast

3:02 #2 Know The Song Extremely Well

3:43 Checking if you do and working out the problems

3:56 #3 The Right Way To Practice

4:20 The right Tempo and the right type of playing

5:19 #4 Think Ahead

5:49 A Solid Method to work with this: Target Notes

6:21 Other Approaches to Train Thinking Ahead

7:09 Want to learn Giant Steps?

7:17 Like The Video? Check out my Patreon Page

Lage Lund – Favourite Voicing and Solid licks!

In this Lage Lund Lesson I am taking a look at three licks from a live solo with the OWL Trio. The three examples are demonstrating things that Lage does very well in his playing. Making strong melodies with basic arpeggios. A great chord voicing and also an example of a more modern sounding Lage Lund Lick.

I also discuss some of the many ways the chord voicing can be put to use and that you can actually use it to play the entire song Green Dolphin Street.

Satin Doll – Easy Jazz Chords (and a little beyond)

The Ellington/Strayhorn tune Satin Doll is a standard that you need to have in your repertoire. It is also a great standard if you want to work on some easy jazz chords and playing II V progressions, since the progression is mostly made up of one bar II Vs.

In this lesson I am going to go over two sets of easy jazz chords that you can use to comp Satin Doll, namely two versions of shell-voicings. They work really well for Freddie Green rhythm guitar, but are also a great place to start and something that you can build a lot on. This is what I demonstrate with an example at the end of the video adding a lot more color and melodic material to the way I comp it.

The Song and the Form

When learning a song like Satin Doll it is extremely useful to also take the form into consideration. In this case Satin Doll is a 32 bar AABA form.

If you realize that it is an AABA then you also realize that you only need to know the A and the B parts by heart to know the entire progression.

A II V is one unit

Another thing that is very practical is to think of the II V progressions as one thing. Most of the progressions in Satin Doll are one bar II V progressions and by thinking of those as one progression you make it a lot easier to both play and remember.

Shell Voicings for Satin Doll

A Shell voicing is a chord voicing containing the root, 3rd and 7th of the chord.

In Jazz harmony this is enough to spell out the color and the function of the chord most of the time and is a great way to play the basic progression.

Shell voicings are also very useful as a starting point where you can add more melodic material on top in terms of other chord tones or extensions.

In example 1 I have written out the first A part played with shell voicings around fret 10:

First A – Shell Voicings

Notice that there are two different sets of II V voicings used: One with the m7 root on the 6th string and the other with the m7 root on the 5th string.

The Bridge in the same position

Now that we have an A-part covered then the next thing to sort out is the bridge:

The 2nd set of voicings

A good way to expand the options is to take a look at what the A-part might be with the other II V set. 

This is shown in example 3:

For practical reasons I have the same chords in use in the turnaround. After all music is not an exact science…

Adding Variation and Melody chords

The next step is to start expanding the voicings. The way I am going to do that is by taking a shell-voicing and add extensions on top of it.

For the Dm7 and G7 voicings in the 10th fret this would be:

For the other II V set we have these options

Putting the variations to use

To get used to improvising with this material it can be a good idea to first just improvise some melodies using a single II V as I do in the video.

After this you can also start making exercises such as this:

Here I am playing the chords on 1 and 3 and then adding an extra melody note in between. The goal is to add a strong melody on top of the chords.

Shell-voicings for Chord Melody

If you want to use this material in chord melody arrangements then you can check out this WebStore lesson on Chord Melody arranging:

Chord Melody Survival Kit

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Download the PDF

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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.

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F Jazz Blues – Study Guide

This study guide will give you a row of lessons to check out how to solo on an F Jazz Blues. The material will cover basic and advanced chords and voicings, arpeggios, scales and also some of the things to check out if you want to work on being able to play better melodies in your solos.

The 12 bar blues is an essential part of the Jazz Repertoire. The F Jazz Blues is probably the most common key. Famous pieces like Straight No Chaser, Billie’s Bounce and Au Privave are most know themes played in F. 

Your Feedback is very valuable

Remember that the guides are here to help you so if you have suggestions for this or other guides then let me know! I might have missed something or you have another idea for something that is important to check out! Feel free to send me an e-mail or message via social media.

I have also collected the videos in a Playlist on Youtube if you prefer that:

Playlist: F Jazz Blues YouTube Playlist

The Jazz Blues Survival Kit: Basic Scales and Chords + an Etude

The first three lessons deal with a basic chord vocabulary and how to use it when playing important chord progressions and jazz standards

Expanding your chord vocabulary

Where the basic clear voicings are presented in the previous section you can move on to a higher level by checking out these two lessons. 

The first is directly continuing with the material from the Survival kit and the second is introducing Drop2 voicings.

Arpeggios and Soloing

The best place to begin with soloing and expanding on it when approaching the blues from a bebop perspective is probably to check out the arpeggios. Being able to play the harmony is very important and a very solid foundation to build on.

The Blues in Jazz also has a specific language that is worth checking out. Adding this on top or next to your bop vocabulary is very useful. This video goes over 5 examples of lines mixing these two traditions.

Developing Phrasing for both chords and solos

Playing Chords does require more than just knowing what chord to play where. Some of the other parts of phrasing chords on a blues are dealt with in this lesson. The lesson is not using an F blues as an example, but the information in it will greatly help you get a good hard-bop blues vibe.

More Modern sounds

There are also more modern approaches that you can apply to an F Blues. Quartal Harmony and Pentatonic sounds are very common devices in Modern Jazz.

Chord Solos

Chord Solos is a must in mainstream jazz and this lesson goes over how to work on playing chord solos on an F blues by demonstrating a chorus and giving some exercises to develop your own chord vocabulary that is aimed at playing chord solos

Chord Solos

Backing Track

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More Resources

If you want to have more resources available then you can also check out these lessons from my webstore with longer examples, exercises and analysis of material on an F Jazz Blues

Pat Metheny Is Not About The Notes, Are You?

This is not only a Pat Metheny Lesson. It is also a short discussion and a practical example of how most things that we hear in great solos are not complicated scales or concepts, but much more masterful and melodic improvisations with basic scales and arpeggios.

In the solo I go over some fragments from the Pat Metheny How Insensitive live from the Secret Story live dvd. It is a fantastic solo.

The solo can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9SPR9eUIbk

And a transcription is available here: https://kupdf.net/download/pat-metheny-how-insensitive_598dfa35dc0d60e927300d1a_pdf

Table of Contents:

0:00 Intro

0:17 No Magic Just Playing The Song

0:40 Getting lost in Theory and Scale Choice

1:21 Pat Mehteny – The How Insensitive Solo

1:49 Why Pat Metheny is a great example for this

2:05 Not only The Lick

2:17 How much do scales really matter?

3:18 Example using Locrian Nat. 2

3:30 Example Using Locrian

3:50 Example Bringing out the Locrian Nat 2 sound

4:19 Solo Fragment 1

4:27 Playing Dm blues or Playing the Changes?

5:19 Solo Fragment 2

5:28 Scale Sequences and Triad Groupings

6:01 Breaking down the line

7:52 What makes this a great solo?

8:15 Keeping the Melody and the key in mind

8:47 Melodic Ideas

9:08 Dm Pentatonic scale?

9:57 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Very Early Guitar Solo – Fake Fake Fake B – Excerpt from a Jam

Here’s a part of a jam session with two friends. We are playing Bill Evans’ fantastic Jazz Waltz: Very Early – Guitar solo and then out theme..

As you can tell by the ending this is a jam session and not a rehearsal or a real band, but I really liked how it sounded and thought the ending was funny.

Top Dog Live Solo – Jens Larsen

Here’s a short excerpt from my solo on Top Dog.

The clip is from a concert during a Traeben tour two years ago. I am always having fun playing with these guys!

Traeben:

Haye Jellema – Drums

Olaf Meijer – Doublebass

Søren Ballegaard – Sax

Jens Larsen – Guitar Top Dog (J.Larsen)

How To Use The Augmented Triad In A Jazz Blues Solo

The augmented triad is a great and very distinct sound to add to your playing. In this video I am going show you a solo on a 12 bar blues where I am using this triad on most of the chords. I am going to analyze it and talk about where I am using it and what kind of sound the augmented triad adds to the chords.

Having many sounds and ideas is really important to create solos that don’t always sound the same and using the augmented triad is a great way to do that. You will find that a lot of players like Kurt Rosenwinkel and Sonny Rollins often use this triad in their playing.

The Augmented Triad

The augmented triad is a major triad with a raised 5th, so if you look at a Bb augemented triad:

Bb major: Bb D F,

Bb augmented: Bb D F#

Augmented triad symmetry

The triad is a stack of major thirds: Bb-D and D-F#. F#-Bb would be another major third. This is really useful because symmetrical arpeggios can easily be transposed and will be have the same fingering along the neck.

If you want to practice the Bb augmented triads then these two positions will already get you pretty far.

Augmented Triads in the Diatonic Triads

Since the main example in this lesson is a blues chorus in the key of Bb, then it probably makes the most sense to use Bb lydian b7 or F melodic minor as an example of a scale that contains an augmented triad.

Here is an overview of the diatonic triads in F melodic minor:

Fm,Gm,Abaug,Bb,C,Ddim,Edim

7 ways to use an Augmented Triad – The Bb Blues Example

The example below is a one chorus blues solo where I use the augmented triad in different ways through out the chorus.

The first two bars are just there to state the changes and the blues. playing clear lines.

The line in bars 3-4 starts with a triad pair with an augmented triad. The sound is a Bb7(#11) or Bb lydian b7. The triad pair I am using is Abaug and Bb triads. The triad pairs with the augmented triads are really colorful and a great sound on a dom7th chord.

In bar 4 I am changing the chord to an altered dominant. This means using B melodic minor, which contains the D augmented triad. Here it is used in the 1st inversion.

The next example of an augmented triad is in bar 6 on the Ab7 chord. Here the scale sound is Eb minor melodic and the triad used is a Gb augmented triad. 

The G7alt pointing towards the Cm7 in bar 9 also makes use of an augmented triad. Here it is a B augmented triad out of the G altered or Ab melodic minor.

A little Dorian Hack

Even though the Cm7 in the II V I in Bb does not really have a scale with an augmented triad you can still use one in the way that I am doing here. The idea is to use the G augmented triad as a sort of leading note structure, almost like a G7. 

The F7alt has an A augmented triad, diatonic to F altered or Gb melodic minor. Here I am playing it from the F.

Whole-tone scale

The final turnaround is here a bar of Bb7 followed by a bar of F7. The F7 is in this case an F7 from the whole tone scale. The entire lick in bar 12 is based on moving  triads up in whole steps. The triads are displaced a bit to make them sound a little more interesting.

If you want more ideas for soloing on a Bb jazz blues then check out this lesson:

Bb Jazz Blues Lesson 1

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Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

How to Use augmented triads in a jazz blues solo

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.