This time we check out the playing style of someone Jeff Beck once referred to as the greatest guitarist ever – Django Reinhardt. There’s nothing too taxing here except for all the position shifts. As usual, play through the piece very slowly until you can perform it without having to think too much. One of the students asked me to explain the theories and techniques behind gypsy jazz-guitar playing and also how to go about writing and playing in that style. I thought about it for a bit and came up with this little dittie inspired by old recordings that I’d heard of the gypsy genius Django Reinhardt. (more…)
Jazz up the Dorian scale by flattening its second note. This progression is designed to feature the Dorian flat scale, however, it’s possible to seek harmonic ‘sanctuary’ within the minor pentatonic scale as this is a five note framework that exists within Dorian flat 2.
Last time we looked at the basics of the melodic minor scale – a scale that can be thought of as being a major scale with a minor third – and examined how it could be usefully applied in a jazz context:
As most guitar players aren’t familiar with the melodic minor scale, this lesson concentrates on the basics – establishing the various patterns for this scale over a backing track that stays in one key. This time we get jazzy with the melodic minor scale. It’s the first lesson of series of guitar modes lessons. The fact that music is awash with minor scales comes as quite a shock to the average student. But, simply put, the melodic minor scale can be thought of as being exactly the same as a major scale – but with a minor third:
Down to Bedrock for a little prehistoric jazz with Fred and Wilma… A fairly slow tempo and very few speedy runs puts this transcription within reach of a lot of players. Believe it or not, this lesson continues our look at rhythm changes, which we’ve been covering for the past couple of articles. In those articles, we ‘saw how the chord arrangement to Gershwin’s I Got Rhythm has become a jazz staple and how many other tunes share its basic harmonic point of view. In order to illustrate this fact to its fullest extent, we came up with what is possibly the least likely contender for jazz treatment, the theme to The Flintstones. Yes, Fred and Wilma’s signature tune shares its chord arrangement with I Got Rhythm – there’s a fact you can bring up at your next dinner party! (more…)
In the part two of this rhythm changes lesson, we’re speaking about soloing ideas. The easy tempo keeps this within range of most players. In previous lesson, we looked at one of the more common chord arrangements in jazz. To recap, it all started with Charlie Parker’s fascination with the Gershwin song ‘I Got Rhythm’. He enjoyed playing over the changes so much that he based several of his own compositions on the same series of chords. In this way, this set of chord changes has entered jazz lore to almost the same extent as I-IV-V changes have entered rock’n’roll and blues. I suppose we’re operating a buy-one-get-one-free policy here: learn these changes and you’ll be able to play over loads of jazz tunes. (more…)
One of the most common chord sequences in jazz laid bare for your elucidation! The chord shapes for the second example here require a certain amount of fretboard athleticism, although the concept is straightforward enough. Many of the different music styles have adopted a kind of standard chord sequence. Take the blues, for example: where would we be without the C, F, G or I IV V chord sequence? It’s a thing that has become standardised and, as such, is invaluable for anyone learning to play. If you can play over basic I IV V changes in blues, you know that you can cope with a great amount of the material you’ll be confronted with in that style. (more…)