Free Jazz Guitar Lessons

007th Chords
By Laurence Juber

Bond, James Bond
As a kid one of my favorite reading activities was to see how fast I could finish the latest Ian Fleming ‘James Bond’ novel while listening to my favourite band, the Shadows. With the release of ‘Dr No’ in 1962, Monty Norman’s ‘Bond’ theme, with its twangy guitar riff arranged by John Barry, became an instant classic.

Later, when I started taking guitar lessons I was intrigued by the ‘adult’ musical vocabulary of this style of music, which seemed so much more sophisticated, than most of the pop or classic jazz that I was hearing on the BBC - although there were some pretty advanced voicings in some of George Harrison’s Beatle parts.

Minor, Melodic Minor
The text-book melodic minor scale suggests a rivalry between the ascending major 6th and major 7th versus the descending minor 6th and 7th, when in practice, these alternates coexist. The fun begins when it is harmonized with triads and upper partials. Compared with the major scale, the number of possible chords is effectively doubled and, other than the tonic, each scale tone is available in two different flavours.

The scale also allows for the dominant minor V chord ex 1

The ii-V(or v)-i progression, for example, exists in four versions, the ascending, descending and the hybrids i.e. b6 #7 and #6 b7. ex 2

Seventh, Major Seventh

Take the tonic chord in E minor for example. There are two kinds of 7th , the minor and the major. Add a ninth and you get the ‘007’ flavored Em9(maj7). In the case of the dominant B7, the D natural (#9) can comfortably sit above the D#. ex 3 A further step is to add the bluesy Lydian #4, which supplies the minor 7th on the b6 chord – in E minor, the C7 chord. ex 4

Include the #1 and the maj 3rd as chromatic passing tones to the 2 and 4 respectively ex 5, and you end up with a ‘super-melodic’ minor which includes the whole chromatic scale. This excerpt from my composition ‘Private Dick’* treats all the intervals as equally available, with some cool harmonic results, including some ‘thickened line’ parallel harmonies. ex 6

Strummed, not stirred
The postscript to my Bond obsession occurred in 1977, when I arrived at CTS studios in Wembley, North London, for a session that turned out to be for "The Spy Who Loved Me"– Marvin Hamlisch’s debut as a Bond composer. I got to add my twang to this Oscar-nominated part of Bond repertoire. Then the next year I joined Wings and playing “Live And Let Die” fused my Beatles and Bond obsessions.

* Appears on the Laurence Juber Collection from Solid Air Records

About the author
Laurence Juber has been playing guitar for close to 40 years, and was the lead guitarist in Paul McCartney's band, Wings, winning a "Best Rock Instrumental" Grammy for the song, "Rockestra". However, Laurence, best known to his fans as "LJ", has since established himself as an artist in his own right, and has recently extended his catalog to TEN acoustic guitar instrumental cd's, all featuring his unique fingerstyle technique and extensive use of alternate tunings. A favorite amongst fans is his CD, "LJ Plays the Beatles", featuring Laurence's arrangements of Beatle songs.

Laurence's most recent release is "Different Times", a collection of 11 original tunes, as well as Laurence's cover versions of the classic "My Girl", and McCartney's "My Love". Some songs are solo acoustic, while others feature a light background ensemble.

Laurence also enjoys continued success as a studio guitarist. He co-wrote and played all the music on the NBC hit, "Three Sisters". He has also worked on scores for television shows, (Home Improvement, Boy Meets World, and 7th Heaven), films (Academy Award Winning Good Will Hunting, Angel Eyes, Dirty Dancing, Pocahontas, Snow Day), and record albums (including Ringo Starr, Alan Parsons, Paul Williams, Al Stewart, Belinda Carlisle, Barry Manilow, The Monkees, and Lou Rawls), as well as several Disney productions, including music heard at theme parks!

LJ tours extensively in support of these releases with concert and clinic dates in the United States and Europe. He is also featured in collaboration with the unique guitar stylist, Preston Reed, on Groovemasters, Volume 1, and with singer-songwriter Al Stewart on "Between the Wars". Visit his website at


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