Free Jazz Guitar Lessons with Chris Standring

Take That Scale And Shove It Further

If you refer back to a previous lesson (entitled "Take That Scale And Shove It!") I talked about improvising over a 2, 5, 1 chord sequence, shifting a minor pentatonic scale up a minor 3rd in order to play altered sounds on the dominant chord. Today I would like to take that concept further and discuss the idea of shifting the same scale up yet another minor 3rd to hit more altered dominant sounds.

O.K. Once again hit position 5 on your fretboard, the A minor pentatonic position. Play a line (this time let's use 16th notes to give a funky time-feel), then move to position 8 (C minor pentatonic) and play the line again, or variation thereof. Go up yet another minor 3rd to the Eb minor position in the same bar and continue your thematic line (welcome to the world of tritone substitution!). Finally, resolve your line down a 1/2 step to position 10 to G major 7 sounds.

Moving up to Eb minor pentatonic for chord 5 gives you b9, 3, b5, #5 and major 7. The major 7 (as opposed to b7) can be justified as a passing tone where resolution to D natural for the tonic chord works well. (Just for the record, Eb melodic minor at this position gives you all the altered dominant sounds!)

Take care resolving chord 1 at position 10. It's a little trickier as there is no pentatonic shape to visualize. Note resolutions to D, B, F# and A are strong.

Ex 1: Shows use of minor pentatonic movement.
Ex 2: Shows use of minor pentatonic movement until final resolution to chord 1. The F natural (9th of Eb minor) smooths out the line.
Ex 3: Pentatonics again. Resolves to the major 7 of G.
Ex 4: Introduction of dorian minor. Why not be creative?

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The Long Awaited Play What You Hear Volume Two Is Now Here!

It has been many years since the first edition of Play What You Hear (originally released in 2000). Now volume two is here with new ideas and concepts, complete with audio, video, traditional notation and TAB throughout. High resolution pdf available for printing the entire program. For intermediate and advanced players.

  • Part One: Melody

    Focuses on single note soloing. Learn how to effortlessly solo through complex chord changes.

  • Part Two: Harmony

    Focuses on chord melody. Learn new harmonic devices and understand chords in a whole new way.

  • Performances

    Study Chris Standring's six recorded solos, transcribed with audio and high def video.