Sussex Jazz Guitar School, PREP 11/1/14

Sussex Jazz Guitar School prep is here!  Happy new year!  As you know, we will be looking at the harmonic minor scale, it’s most important modes and arpeggios.

Ever struggled on how to improvise complex yet meaningful lines over a minor 2,5,1 ?  Well I was stumped for years.  I first tried using three melodic minor modes and diminished stuff but I could never improvise fluidly over this progression.  I investigated harmonic minor scale devices and this was groundbreaking for me, and will be for you as well!  We will be looking at other approaches (melodic minor etc) in future classes.

We will be using this to improvise over altered dominant chords, minor 2,5,1 progressions and to create a varying palette of colours to make our playing sound more exotic.  We will look at ways of how to incorporate passing notes and use twists and turns within the scale linking it to arpeggios.  So our jazz guitar lines will sound jazzy, hip and fresh!  So no more running up and down the scale producing a “Carry on follow that camel” sound.  We will be looking at jazz guitar practise techniques and also how to link our single note lines with block chords.  These ideas will open up many possibilities for soloing over a tune like “Caravan”!  Also tunes like “Minor Swing” and “Spain”.

First of all, for C harmonic minor
The scale degrees are;

1.  C
2.  D  (natural 2nd)
3.  Eb (minor 3rd)
4.  F   (Perfect 4th)
5.  G   (Pefect 5th)
6.  Ab  (flat 6th)
7.  B    (natural 7th)

In the guitar class, we will be learning the tricks and examples in this given position on the guitar neck.  It’s in 3rd position.  First in this video, I demonstrate the scale from root to root then I play all the available notes in that given position.  If you are not already familiar with this scale on the guitar, learn this scale and memorize it. (you may have to refresh this page after each view to watch the same video again)


If you like and have time you can compare the notes of this scale to the notes of the Cmajor scale in the same area of the guitar neck.  For a reminder, here is the video of the major scales and the scale position is the first one demonstrated.

And remember, in the key of C major, the chords we superimpose over a G7 chord are;
G7 from the root – G7 pure and simple!
Bm7b5 from the 3rd  – Giving 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th
Dm7 from the 5th  –   5th, 7th, 9th, 11th
Fmaj7 from the flat 7  –  7th, 9th, 11th, 13th

If you are fluent with C harmonic minor in the given position then learn all the other fingerings.  You can go through the major scales and drop the E to an Eb and A to an Ab.

This class should get us off to a good start to the new year with our jazz guitar voyage.  The following classes will be packed full of useful new information, applications, practise techniques and also looking at breaking out of positions and learning how to master the guitar neck.

Remember!  All ability levels are catered for!  I will provide basic, easy to understand activities from the start of the concept and build on those with each student working at their own pace.

There are spaces left for 11th Jan class, but as always they get taken up leading up to the class.  We had 16 at the last session, so I’m limiting numbers, so book now to secure your place!  Contact me if you’ve forgotten the sign up details.  See on the 11th!

Next three classes 11th Jan, 22nd Feb, 22nd March.


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