Archive for the Jazz Guitar Category

Melodic Minor over min7b5

Posted in Guitar Playing, Jazz Guitar on March 4, 2010 by Staff Writer

Considering a minor ii V I such as Dmin7b5 | G7 | Cmin, a melodic minor (in this case F) gives a nice flavour. I got it from here – Jack Zucker (who hangs at The Gear Page a lot). I spent about 20 mins jamming over this.


Have Lapstick will travel – Los Angeles

Posted in Jazz Guitar on November 20, 2009 by Staff Writer

Well, there’s not much to do in Downtown L.A. so after an early dinner I settled down with the guitar and tried to make the most of the free time I had before my jet lag kicked in.

Through TGP I found this great video with accompanying charts that homes in on learning some of the most useful chord shapes (48 shapes in all that would pretty much cover most of your regular) plus how to connect them with walking bass lines.

Spent about two hours getting some of the fingerings down.  You can find the original chord charts here courtesy of MattRod.

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Lesson 32: Various

Posted in Jazz Guitar on November 5, 2009 by Staff Writer

We talked a lot about modes of the Melodic Minor during this lesson as I brought along my Mark Levine Jazz Theory Book to ask Master for some clarification. Specifically I was trying to understand the harmonization of each scale degree in the ascending Melodic Minor and why we ended up (in C) with chords such as Dmin7b9 (instead of Dm) this and Emaj7#5 that. This digression highlighted some weird properties of the Melodic Minor. Example – when harmonizing the Altered Scale (Super Locrian or 7th mode of the MM) you end up using the 1st and 4th and not the first and 3rd as in ‘normal’ harmony, i.e. you skip the b9 and #9.  still trying to understand this.

Following on from this, we jammed to a progression with the following MM-derived chords and playing C Melodic Minor lines over it. Groovy.


Master also showed me basic chords to Summertime and we will delve into this at our next lesson.

Lesson 30

Posted in Jazz Guitar on October 19, 2009 by Staff Writer

Another awesome digression with Master yesterday as we talked through the bridge changes of GFI. Too much for me to type out. Plenty of nice voice leading chord changes with 9s and 13s and drop-2 voicings on middle set of strings. A lot for me to practice.

More Autumn Leaves

Posted in Jazz Guitar on October 14, 2009 by Staff Writer

Spent an hour or so playing through numerous variations of chord voicings and walking bass augmentations of the Autum Leaves progression. Getting to know that song pretty well now – just need to work with Master to make my soloing over it less dorky.

Lesson 29

Posted in Guitar Playing, Jazz Guitar on October 14, 2009 by Staff Writer

Worked more on Girl from Ipanema. Master corrected some of my chord fingerings and helped me hone the melody. We did a bit of jamming improv over the the A section and I have been trying this since.

We then had some general discussion/mentorship and he talked about different approaches to improv. At one point he mentioned a quote from George Russell which (paraphrased) went something along the lines of ‘improvising of a tune is like a boat trip up the Mississippi – you can can sail directly there, or you can stop at all the little towns on the way.’ The analogy was supposed to be related to how do we approach some chord changes. For example a ii V I in any given key – let’s say C. Do we just play C over the whole thing? Do we think D Dorian, G Mix , C Ionian at each chord? Do we treat each chord as a vertical slice and think of all the different harmonizations possible?

He also showed me a mod for a Maj7 chord, i.e. the #4 or #11 which implies the Lydian mode, e.g. Cmaj7#11 (I prefer this name as opposed to the #4 though my internal jury is still out).


Lesson 27 – more on the Melodic Minor

Posted in Guitar Playing, Jazz Guitar, music theory on June 2, 2009 by Staff Writer

Master went over some revision of how/when to use the Melodic Minor and what it looks like when harmonized. One of the key points to note is that the min/maj 7 chord built off the 1st degree is an important chord for getting the Melodic Minor/Lydian Dominant/Super Locrian sound out of the scale.