Tag Archives: Playing outside

Synthetic Jazz Scales and How You Can Make New Personal Scales and Sounds for Your Solos!

In this video I am going to show you how you can take any chord and easily make a completely new scale for it that you can use when you improvise. With some really cool (but also a bit strange) sounds.
The method will work for any chord and I will also discuss some of the ways that you can use Synthetic Jazz Scales to improvise including a few outside jazz licks using the scale.


0:00 Intro Solo with a Synthetic 8-note Scale

0:15 Construct a scale for any chord

0:43 The Scale construction principle – From analyzing C major

1:26 A basic construction for a Cmaj7 chord

1:43 Go for Out There or Re-make the major scale?

2:03 First example of an 8 note scale for Cmaj7

2:32 The Scale and some thoughts on diatonic harmony

2:46 Improvise with this scale – Approach no 1

3:03 Some Diatonic harmony: triads

3:39 This is like Barry Harris 6th diminished scales!

3:52 Why this is not ideal for Cmaj7

4:30 Improvise with this scale – Approach no 2

4:45 Shifting between the colors

4:58 Synthetic Lick No 1

5:46 Synthetic Lick No 2 – Opening up and mixing the chords

6:18 How to develop the 2nd approach and how it works better for the chord.

6:48 Digging into find more structures in the scale

7:24 A 7 note example from music I have played

7:51 A new perspective on Double Harmonic Major

8:19 Dbmaj7(#9#11b14)

8:26 Where I learned about this: John Ruocco

8:56 When to use this scales and why.

9:28 Do you work with creating your own scales? Are you a mad music scientist? (Am I?)

10:25 Like the lesson? Check out my Patreon Page!


II V What?! – How not to resolve a II V I (on purpose) – Modern Jazz Guitar Lesson

Probably you know a lot of choices dominant scales in a II V I, but no matter what you do it will always be the same old II V I chord progression that sounds predictable.
In this video I will go over how you can break up that pattern by suspending the resolution of the I chord. Our ear really expects the dominant to resolve so going somewhere else is one of the most powerful reharmonization techniques.
The video covers how you can get started playing outside by insering IV minor, diminished chords or altered dominant ideas on places where your ear expects resolution not tension. I demonstrate how I use chord substitution in this context with both comping and soloing. The video also discusses how and where you can use this in a reharmonization of a jazz standard. Some of the songs I mention are Stella By Starlight, I Love You and Fly Me To The Moon.


List of contents

0:42 What is a Cadence
1:12 How can we use that to surprise the listener
1:46 #IV diminished Solo
2:03 #IV dim What it does and how it works
3:30 Using this in arranging or comping
3:58 Song example: I Love You
4:34 Song example: Stella By Starlight
5:04 Using Dim suspension when comping
5:36 Song example: Misty
6:30 IV minor Solo
6:48 How IV minor works in a solo context
8:04 Other Iv minor sounds than Melodic minor
8:58 Songs with a IV minor suspension in the melody
9:53 When can you use this suspension on the melody
11:07 Maj7#5 solo
11:24 Maj#5 as a suspension – Using chords to practice
12:59 solo ideas
13:15 In Comping or Reharmonizations
14:06 Song example: Stella By Starlight
14:48 Altered Dominant suspension
15:06 What Altered Dom7th suspension is
16:30 Where this often works the best – Relating it to the form
18:00 VImaj7 solo
18:18 How it works and how I use it.
20:55 Resolve the Maj7 sound and playing difficult modern changes
22:03 Using it to reharmonize standards
23:04 Using Common Progressions in Funny places
23:50 This ReHarmonization series and reinterpreting chords
24:53 Don’t think in scales think in chords and sounds
25:26 Using Standards as reharmonization exercises

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

Vlog: Outside Reharmonization – The Solo skill you need to check out! 💥

Outside Reharmonization

In this video I want to demonstrate how I use reharmonization to go outside and still play good melodies. I find that this approach is a great way to use your skills with playing inside to play outside!

It is also a great way to use the skills you already have playing over changes to get some very exciting possibilities in your solo vocabulary.



Whole-tone scale for outside playing

The whole tone scale is a nice tool to get some shifting outside ideas on a minor chord and has been used for this by quite a few people since the 60’s. In this lesson I am going to go over how you connect a whole tone scale to a tonic minor chord and demonstrate how you can use it to get some great spacey outside sounds.

When you are staying on Tonic minor chords for a longer period in a song it can be nice to  have some ways of create some tension and a bit of movement. The whole tone scale can be a good choice for this. Among other things because you can create a shifting sound that goes in and out of the tonality.

The examples in this lesson are thought from a melodic minor or tonic minor chord, but you can of course also use it on other types of minor chords if you can make it fit.

Tonic minor: Melodic minor

All the examples I am going to go over are in the key of G minor and are using the melodic minor scale in the 8th position as shown in example 1


The idea is to look at the top part of the chord in bar 2 of example 1. This is a GmMaj7 chord and the top triad is a Bb augmented triad. If we let that augmented triad “lead its own life” we could see it as half of a Bb wholetone scale as shown in example 2:


Some lines shifting back an forth

The form of all the examples are all 1 bar GmMaj7 one bar wholetone and then resolving back to the GmMaj7. The Whole tone sound that I am going over here is shifting back and forth between in and outside which is a nice quite subtle way to play outside. Most other ways are more clashing with the original harmony as in my lesson on Side Slipping

When you work on using outside stuff you are better of paying attention to that you get in to the outside sound and more important out of it in a sensible melodic way. It probably won’t work too well if you have completely separate ideas from in to outside.

Another thing is that you should be aware that simple melodic ideas often work better for outside than complex ones.  This is because if you for example use a lot of chromatic passing notes in your outside line then those chromatic passing notes are in fact probably the inside notes of the original chord sound. For that reason it’s good to keep the outside lines a bit basic.

The first example is actually a quote from Wes. He uses this licks in a few of the Four on Six solos. I start out with a GmMaj7 chord and then a GmMaj arpeggio where the top triad moves up from Bb to C to D where it is of course back home and resolves to the  9th of GmMaj7


In the second example the first part of the line is based around a stack of 4ths spelling out a Gm6/9 chord. This is followed by a scale run. Then it transitions into a whole tone idea. Again using the different triads to sort of shift in and out of the chord sound. In this example I am mixing up how I connect the lines. so that it is less like a triad voiceleading through the scale. When I hit the high D  I resolve to a Gm6/9 (using the first stack of 4ths under it as a voicing)


The last example starts with a Gm(add9) arpeggio idea that then continues to some parallel major 3rds. Moving around these symmetrical chord constructions is very easy in the whole tone scale and you could do it with complete augmented triads as well. I really like the 3rd intervals. That is what I use in the intro video of the lesson as well.


I hope you can use the ideas I went over hear to add some new lines and ideas to your tonic minor vocabulary. There is a lot of experimentation possible with this idea.

If you want some more insight into how I improvise then you can check out this lesson on a solo on how high the moon that covers some other ideas to use over the harmony and some poly rhythmic phrasing ideas as well!

How High The Moon – Solo Etude

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


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.

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