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
It can be difficult to come up with new ideas for your solos, but this video talks about how you can use all of the diatonic triads, arpeggios, pentatonic scales etc and find the right ones to the chord you are playing over. Not only playing just with the arpeggio, but also how to mix it with the other material.
The video has a lot of examples and explanations and also a lot of philosphy on playing over changes, superimposing arpeggios and other things like developing a personal sound and taste.
A great way to write better chord progressions is to check out reharmonization techniques and chord substitution. You can build your jazz theory or jazz harmony vocabulary like your solo vocabulary.
In this video I am going to take a I VI II V and go over 30 different ways of playing this progression. Some of the very common ones and also a lot that are more advanced or modern. Hopefully you can use the chord progressions to get some new ideas and techniques for reharmonization or for your own compositions!
0:00 Writing better chord progressions 1:24 The basic turnaround and some variations 4:22 The I I7 IV V 5:34 The Radiohead turnaround 6:09#IVdim in the standard turnaround 7:12 The Ladybird Turnaround 8:43 Getting less functional and more substitutions 9:55 Reinterpreting other chords in the progression 11:04 The “Inner Urge” idea 11:49 Major 3rd tonalities 12:23#IV instead of the V 14:42 Same interval in the root movement 16:31 More Poppy sound without dom7th chords 16:45 Same melody note 17:42 IVm type chords instead of V 19:09 Upper-structure resolving passing chords 19:54 How to use the vamps and the exercises
Reharmonization is a great tool to add some interesting sounds or surprises to you Jazz Standards or Covers. This video will take the jazz standard Body and Soul, analyze the harmony of the A part and go over some of the more subtle but effective things you can do with reharmonizing the chords.
The video covers different reharmonization techniques and offers some options for an arrangement of this jazz ballad.
In this video I will go over 3 Music Theory Ideas that I use all the time in my own playing!
Why learn Music Theory?
Learning music theory is of course a part of learning guitar. Jazz Guitar especially is often considered theory heavy, but in fact you can really easily start using some of your theory to make music. If you apply the things you learn you will remember them better and get more out of them so that is certainly something you should consider in your Jazz Guitar Practice.
In this video I will go over 3 theoretical ideas and then show you how you can directly turn them into music and hopefully it will give you some more ideas that you can add to your jazz guitar improvisation or compositions.
The Key and the Chords
All the examples I will use in this lesson are in the key of C major and I will demonstrate each idea on both a Dm7 and a Cmaj7 to give you some material to work with,
1. The Arpeggio from the 3rd of the Chord
So the first thing we can look at is how to come up with some more arpeggios to use over any chord that we have to solo over. In most cases the arpeggio from the 3rd will work as a great sound on top of the chord.
The Dm7 chord and it’s 3rd
In Example 1 I’ve written out a Dm7 and an Fmaj7 arpeggio. As you may know F is the 3rd of a Dm chord.
If you compare the Dm7 and the Fmaj7 arpeggio you get this:
And as you can see the two arpeggios have the same notes except we are playing an E (which is the 9th ) instead of the root.
A lick using the Fmaj7 arpeggio over a Dm7 chord might be something like this:
The Cmaj7 and the Em7 arpeggio
In a similar way we have an Em7 on the 3rd of Cmaj7
Again we can look at how these compare:
An example of a guitar lick with this idea is shown below in example 4.
Notice how I use both Cmaj7 and Em7 arpeggios in the line. It is important to combine new ideas with the vocabulary you already have!
2. If m7 Then Minor Pentatonic
The second idea is that whenever we have a m7 chord then we can use a minor pentatonic scale to solo over it.
The Dm and the Dm pentatonic
The m7 arepggio is almost the same as a minor pentatonic scale as you can see in the table here below:
This is probably also easy to see from this comparison:
Since the difference is only the G, which is the 11th of D and sounds great over the Dm chord then we can use this idea to make pretty modern jazz licks like example 6:
The Cmaj7 and which pentatonic?
Cmaj7 is of course not a m7 chord, but we do have a m7 on the 3rd of the chord: Em7.
This gives us the pentatonic scale shown below:
The E minor pentatonic scale is 3 5 6 7 9 if you relate the E G A B D to a C root. All great sounds over a Cmaj7.
A guitar lick using this idea could be something like example 8:
3. Adding Chromatic Leading notes
The third idea is to add chromatic leading notes to the arpeggio. Since the chromatic notes are resolved to a chord tone immediately this is something that we can easily apply to a melody.
The Dm7 and some leading notes
In example 9 I have written out a Dm7 arpeggio in one octave and then in the next bar the same arpeggio but now with a chromatic leading note before each note.
I would not recommend that you use all of the leading notes all the time. It is easier to use one or two to get a more smooth lick.
A guitar lick with this concept is shown in example 10. Notice how I don’t add that many leading notes, and one of them is also diatonic so you almost miss it!
The Cmaj7 can be lead on as well
If we try to do the same with the Cmaj7 then we get the arpeggio followed by the arpeggio with leading notes as shown in example 11:
Applying this to a line is shown in example 12:
In the example above you can see how I am combining all of the three ideas: Leading notes, Arpeggio from the 3rd and Pentatonic scales. As I mentioned above it is important to combine as many things in your playing as possible, and especially to combine new ideas with the things you already know so that you can use it in your jazz improvisations.
Turn Your Theory in to Practice!
As you can tell there are great ways to directly turn theory knowledge into lines and by understanding the basics of chords and scales you can already do so! I hope this lesson gives you some ideas to dig a bit further in exploring the possibilities from the theory you know!
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:
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.
If you are writing a chord progression or making reharmonization then you want to check out what options you have available in jazz harmony. This video is going through 60 chords and talk about how they are related to C major key and show jazz chord progressions that contain them.
I am also referencing chord progressions of jazz standards very often.
The chords that we find in a chord progression in almost any genre will more often than not contain chords that are not diatonic to the scale of the key. So the amount of chords in a key is bigger than the diatonic chords found in the scale, but how big?
Taking chord voicings that you already know and invert them is a very great way to look for new chords. You can work on this from a more guitar oriented approach and not only music theory. That is the approach I will cover in this lesson.
Besides learning new voicings this is also a good exercise in knowing what notes are in the chords and once you start making inversions you will train you fretboard knowledge and ability to solve riddles with making the inversions playable.
Inversions on a string set
The approach that I suggest you use in the beginning when making inversions is maybe a bit more guitar oriented and not too theoretical. Often the process of making inversions from a theoretical point of view stops us from actually playing the chords.
This mostly applies to voicings that we have learned that are not already in a system like Drop2 or Drop3, since you start working on those in all inversions from the first go anyway.
The idea is really quite simple. In Ex 1 I have written out a Cmaj7(9) chord. If we look at the notes separately as in bar 2 we can order them so that they are in one octave by shifting down the high D one octave. In bar 3 we have converted the notes of the voicing to a “scale” where in order of pitch. In this case that would be the notes C D E B
If you stay on the same string set then then you can lean the figure out the scale on each string which will eventually be a map of the inversions.
To go over this in detail for the Cmaj7(9) chord: In example 2 the first chord is the basic voicing we already know. The next inversion will be the one where for each note in the chord we move it up one step in the “scale”.
From Bar 1 to Bar 2 in example 2: Low to high: C becomes D, E becomes B, B becomes C and D becomes E.
This continues from Bar2 to 3: D becomes E, B becomes C, C becomes D and E becomes B.
So in this way we are making the inversion on the same string set directly on the guitar.
Now that we have this system let’s try it out on a few more chords:
D/G is a good voicing for Gmaj7, A7sus4, and Em7 type chords. Since it is a triad over a bass note it is not a construction that we would qucikly think to make inversions of.
In example 3 you have 4 inversions of the chord. As you can see bar 3 and 4 are very difficult to play, but 4 is doable if you add an artificial harmonic to raise the F# an octave. A trick I picked up from Lenny Breau.
Another voicing that we can invert is a 4 note stack of 4ths as shown in Example 4. What this shows is that the voicing is realted to an E7sus4 drop 2 voicing (especially visible in bar3).
What is also useful about this is that we use the first chord as a voicing for Gmaj7, E7sus4, D6/9 or Cmaj7, and they are then related to E7sus4 which could give you a new perspective on where to look for voicings for the other types of chords.
A few progressions with the new inversions
Just to demonstrate how you can take some of these voicings and use them in a context I made 3 examples of II V I cadences with the voicings. I am also using some other chord voicings that I came up with from inversions so it will also be an example of some of the other things you can create with this technique.
In example 5 I am using the Cmaj7(9) voicing found in bar 3 of example 2. You can see that the voicings preceding it are a Drop2,4 Dm7(11) voicing and a Drop2 G7alt voicing.
Example 6 is starting with an Am7(9) Drop2 voicing and continuing with a D7alt voicing that you could also hear or think of as an D7 chord from the whole tone scale since it does not contain a 9 but does contain both b5 and b13. The last chord is the 2nd bar of example 3, but then with a fingering that is a bit more playable.
The final example is a II V I in C, and here we are using the drop2 E7sus4 voicing from bar 3 of example 4. The first Dm7 voicing is a n in inversion of a Dm7(9) voicing that you probably already know. The G7 alt voicing is an incomplete chord since it does contain the 3rd but not the 7th. The overal sound of the altered dominant comes across in context because it for the rest contains b9,b5 and b13. The G7alt voicing resolves very smoothly to the Cmaj7 voicing in bar 3.
I hope that you can use the material that I went over here to get some new ideas and learn some new chords and maybe expand your view on how different voicing types are related to each other.
If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:
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.