John Scofield guitar transcriptions | Altered lines | "Wee" Bridge

Wee - Rhythm changes

Wee (a.k.a Allen's Alley) is a fast bebop tune composed by Denzil Dacosta Best, an American jazz drummer, percussionist and composer. This is a "rhythm changes" chord progression in the key of Bb, 32 bars AABA form.

Basic rhythm changes form :

A section

| Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7  | Bbmaj7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Fm7    Bb7 | Ebmaj7 Ebm7 | Dm7  G7 | Cm7 F7 |

| I   VI  |  II  V  |  I   VI  |  II  V  | 
| II   V  |  I  IV  |  III   VI  |  II    V |

II-V-I in Eb major on bars five and sixth.

B section

The bridge is based on a dominant cycle progression (cycle of fourth) that gives a III-VI-II-V chord progression :

D7 | % | G7 | % | C7 | % | F7 | % |

Wee ryhthme changes progression :

If we refer to the real book :

A

| Bb6   Gm7 | Cm7  F7 | Dm7 G7 | Cm7 F7 |
| Bb6   Bb7  |  Eb6  E°7 | F  F7 |  Bb6    |

B

D7 | % | G7 | % | C7 | % | F7 | % |

Altered lines on "Wee" bridge | Part 1

The aim of this lesson is not to detail the "rhythme changes", indeed we will focus on John Scofield's approach over this 8 bars progression called bridge. This lick is from the album "En route" which is a live album with Steve Swallow on bass and Bill Stewart on drums, recorded at The Blue Note, New York in December 2003. You can listen to this line at 1:04 in the originale recording.

  • Bar 1 : Sco plays only three notes, C, Eb and A. C is the minor seventh, Eb the flat ninth and A the fifth of D.
  • Bar 2 : Gb diminished seventh arpeggio (Gb-A-C-Eb).
  • Bar 3 : D diminished triad ( D-F-Ab)
  • Bar 5 : Minor third (E), fifth (G), minor sixth (A) of C7.
  • Bar 7 & 8 : B major sixth arpeggio (B-E-Gb-Ab), tritone substitution of D7 that brings interesting colors.

Scofield jazz guitar lesson with tabs - Wee

 

 

Altered lines on "Wee" bridge | Part 2

In this second transcription John Scofield highlights the raised ninth and the raised fourth corresponding to each dominant 7th chord to bring tension in his playing:

  • Raised ninth (F) and raised fourth (Ab) of D7 in measures 1 & 2.
  • Raised ninth (Bb) and raised fourth (Gb) of G7 in bars 3 & 4.
  • Raised ninth (Gb) and raised fourth (Eb) of C7 in bars 5 & 6.
  • On bars 7 & 8 he plays fourth intervals from the F whole tone scale. The whole tone scale is a symmetric scale that contains six notes including a raised fourth and a raised fifth. It is easy to play and easy to remember because each note is separeted by a whole-step interval, hence the name.
F Whole tone scale F G A B C# D#
Formula 1 2 3 #4  #5 b7

 

The original chord progression is D7 | % | G7 | % | C7 | % | F7 | % | Taking to account this jazz line you may play this : D7alt | % | G7alt | % | C7alt | % | F7alt | % | . The original lick is listenable at 2:12 in the original track.

Scofield jazz guitar lick transcription with tabs

 

 

Altered lines on "Wee" bridge | Part 3

This is the part 3 of the "Wee" bridge solo transcription. You can listen to it at 2:46 in the original recording.

G minor pentatonic scale (G-Bb-C-D-F) over D7 and G7 in bars 1,2,3 and 4.

C Mixolydian mode (C-D-E-F-G-A-Bb) including minor third (Eb) as a chromatic passing tone to approach the major third (E).

C altered scale (C-Db-C#-E-Gb-G#-Bb) scale in bar 6

Descending B augmented triad (G-Eb-B) in bar 7.

A diminished 7th arpeggio in measure 8.

John Scofield jazz guitar lick with tab

 
 
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Last edited: 06/03/2017

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