Sussex Jazz Guitar School, PREP 23/11

Hope all is well in Jazz guitar land with all the practising!  As mentioned, we will be looking at more in depth ways to get through changes, create long flowing yet “concise” lines and develop an understanding of how to get through difficult chord changes in a jazz standard tune.  This work is of real help in lead up to the January and February classes (Next three classes after this one are 11th Jan, 22nd Feb, 22nd March).  In the January class we will focus on the harmonic minor/ Spanish Phrygian to play over minor II,V,I chord progressions and also static dominant chords found on the jazz tune caravan or even more contemporary tunes such as Chick Corea’s “Spain” which is also widely played in Flamenco fusion bands.  We’ll be employed the use of bebop scales fused with the Spanish Phrygian!  We will then go further and look at contrasting approaches using modes of the melodic minor scale!  There is lots of scope here for advanced students and also beginners who wish to give their playing a different flavor as there will be easily broken down exercises for differing ability levels.  These classes will apply the same movements we are going to cover in this class, where we will thoroughly examine the bebop scales and arpegios to create interesting melodic cells from specific various points in the bar.  You’ll soon be playing “authentic?” (for want of a better word) lines, weaving in and out of chord changes like a whirling dervish or Tasmanian Devil.  We’ll take some jazz standards with key changes and look how to use this info in a real life jazz situation!

Right!  Many of you will be familiar with bebop scales but not the structured process we will use to create meaningful lines with them.  Again, it’s the same old thing when I was starting out – “What can I play over G7?” Answer “G dominant bebop scale!”  Well thanks a lot, you’ve answered all my questions!  I used to think “so what” its just a scale with an added note.  It wasn’t until about 10 years later through detailed study of in depth approaches including the work of legend Jazz pianist Barry Harris brought to my attention through a few lessons with jazz trumpet virtuoso Gary Kavanagh who studied with Barry Harris.  We need to know WHAT to do with the scale and HOW to use it!

1.  Dominant bebop scale.  Take all positions of the Cmajor scale and play the fifth mode G mixolydian.  Now add an extra note an F# which is a major 7.

G  A  B  C  D  E  F#  F

Run up and down this scale in all positions.

2.  Revise the facts the the arps contained in G7 are..  G7, Bm7b5, Dm7, Fmaj7

3.  Major Bebop scale.  Add the note Aflat which is a flat 6th.  Even just adding this note will make the scale sound “jazzier” even before we look at how to use it.

C  D  E  F  G  Ab  A  B

Run up and down in all positions.  Again revise the arps built off each degree of the chord.

This shouldn’t really be a lot of work but is good to look at before I show you all the material employing these scales.  Feel free to plough through all the previous prep work blogs which will have.

The next classes are  11th Jan, 22nd Feb, 22nd March so this is the last class of the year with a rather large break before the January class!

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