Giant Steps is one of those tunes in jazz that sends a bolt of fear through a lot of young or even experienced jazz musicians. It certainly does that to me anyway! The fast harmonic rhythm and the seemingly distant relationships between the chords means it is a very daunting challenge.
However, there is a very cool and simple way of practicing navigating through these changes and it involves using 3 different pentatonic scales.
Learning and playing scales can be an important part of any guitarist’s practise regime. By playing scales in a variety of ways we can develop our familiarity with the fretboard beyond simply going up and down scales. In this tutorial we will look at combining two different scale patterns by shifting between them on various strings. For this we are going to use two patterns of an Eb Melodic minor scale, patterns 2 and 3. The Melodic minor scale consists of the intervals R 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (R is for the Root note).
Why Jazz Guitarists Should Study The CAGED Method
When I first joined my high school jazz band, it was a humbling experience. I knew my major scales and modes, but only with the roots on the E and/or A string. This worked fine for playing pop music, but the way jazz progressions were always changing chords with each measure, my hands were constantly getting lost. If I was playing a C major line in eighth position, how did I switch to a Bb mixolydian scale without jumping my hand up or down and making the improvisational idea totally disjointed ? I could never understand how jazz guitarists could keep their ideas going as the chords changed from moment to moment. And how did players like Joe Pass know how to run an improvised line right into a chord voicing? Additionally, as I progressed to the higher registers of the guitar, I could never tell where I was in the scale anymore. It seemed impossible!
The minor pentatonic scale is by far the most used scale in the world all styles taken together (jazz, blues, rock, reggae, pop, country). One of the explanation is given by the structure, indeed there are no semi-tones in it. It is easy to play on the guitar and it can be used in a whole lot of very different contexts. This lesson will show you 8 ways to use the minor pentatonic scale over a dominant 7 chord. The principle is easy to understand, this consists to play the minor pentatonic scale starting on each tone of the mixolydian scale (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7). This method helps to highlight certain notes and brings interesting colors to your jazz guitar lines depending on you want to play outside or inside.
When you want to master the jazz language, one of the first thing to do is to learn scales and modes. Memorize the fingerings on the fretboard. Memorize their names, their compositions. Make the difference between a major, a minor, an augmented or a diminished scale. How many tones in this one, how many half-tones in this other one. Knowing which scales work with which chords. In the long run the practice of scales can be confusing and seems a never ending. Here are some tricks and tips to work out on scales while developing your musical ear, your guitar technique and your theoretical knowledges.
The first thing to know before starting exploring the twelve different scales shown in this lesson is how to build a basic dominant 7th chord and what its role is.
Dominant 7th chords are made up of a root / tonic (1), a major third (3), a perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). It is the most versatile of any chord. It is considered as a major chord because of its major third (3), indeed the 3rd tell us if the chord is minor or major. The minor seventh (b7) indicates whether the sound wants to move or not (resolve) to another chord. Usually dominant chords tend to resolve to a chord down a prefect fifth (or a chord up a perfect fourth).
C dominant 7th chord C E G Bb Intervals 1 3 5 b7 Related Arpeggio 1 3 5 b7
Wes Montgomery was an american guitar jazz player, considered as one of the greatest jazz guitarist of all time. He has influenced and influence again a lot of jazz guitarists. His playing is characterized by the use of his thumb instead of a pick with incredible dexterity. His guitar solos are gold mines for jazz guitar students.
He often approached his guitar solos by following the same chords progression in three ways and in the same order:
- In single note lines using arpeggios, scales and modes.
- By playing octaves.
- By playing block chords.
Wes Montgomery played almost exclusively on a Gibson L-5 CES plugged most of the time into Fender amps (super reverb, twin reverb, deluxe). He also played on Gibson L-7, Gibson L-4, Es-175, ES-125D.
You will find in this free jazz guitar lesson 10 easy dominant 7th jazz guitar licks with tabs transcribed from "West coast blues". They are all in the key of Bb and time signature is 3/4.
A new printable PDF eBook dedicated to soul jazz guitar licks is now available for download.
Soul jazz (sometimes called "jazz-funk) is a form of jazz commonly associated with hard bop. It has strong influences from blues, rhythm & blues and gospel. You can also go listen to Lou Donaldson, Big John Patton, Jimmy "Hammond" Smith, to soak up this style.
All these licks are two bars licks in the key of Bb7 and inspired by great guitarists as Grant Green, Melvin sparks, Wes Montgomery or Kenny Burrell. They are essentially built with notes from the minor, major pentatonic and minor blues scale.
As usual each lick is analysed and accompanied by a quality audio file. A backing track is also included in the package.
Why all these licks are in the same key ?
To simplify learning, it's easier to memorize them, then you can make the connection between each lick to built longer guitar solos. Once you have learnt these licks, the aim is to play them in different keys, add notes and fret hand techniques (bends, hammer-on, pull-off, slides) vary the rhythm...
Package details :
- 1 printable PDF eBook with 25 soul jazz guitar licks in Bb7 with tabs, scales charts, guitar fretboard diagrams (5 boxes for each scales) and analysis.
- 1 soul jazz backing track (Quality mp3 audio file).
- 25 soul jazz guitar licks audio files (Quality mp3 audio files).