Fundamentals

The main concept of this lesson series is creating line contour within our basic scale positions in order to add melodic structure to our practicing of common scale shapes and sounds.

Generally we will introduce ‘bebop’ type ideas into our scale lines – this is where the scale tones skip around, zig-zag or chromatisize (move towards a destination tone by a half step) – rather than just playing our scales consecutively up and down, or using mathematically based patterns. These lessons are aimed at guitarists who can already play basic scale shapes ascending and descending fluently. They are all based around the C Major scale, in the ‘E’ position as taken from our CAGED shapes. This is found on frets 7 to 10, with an approximate fingering of ‘one finger per fret’ with your left or neck hand – so the 1stfinger plays any notes found on the 7th fret out of the C Major scale (with notes C, D, E, F, G, A and B or the white notes on a piano), the 2nd finger plays any notes that fall on the 8th fret, and so on. Occasionally I slide into notes for articulation effect but generally I use this rule.

It is important you learn this pattern first and learn it well (see lesson 1 of our Core series). Do this and these 5 lines will make sense a lot more quickly. We’re not dealing with expert level stuff here – these fundamentals lessons are designed so that you can understand how to go about creating your own lines and how to make scalar practice more organic and less position or pattern based.

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Lesson 1: Jazz Lines and Chord Comps [FL1]

The Line: Playing melodic lines is easy if you keep one simple rule in mind – STRONG TONES; STRONG BEATS. That is the 1, 3, 5 and 7 of any applied scale fall on any of the strong beats or down beats of the groove. To examine this in detail please see our core lessons on playing the changes (Core…

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Lesson 2: Jazz Lines and Chord Comps [FL2]

The Line Again with the STRONG TONES – STRONG BEATS formula – lots of accenting, stressing and placing- on the-beat of our guide tones – the 3 and 7 – and also the tonic and perfect 5th tones. Also in this lesson we focus on line extension – lengthening our phrases with consecutive…

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Lesson 3: Jazz Lines and Chord Comps [FL3]

The Line In this video we introduce a couple of ideas – the use of the triplet 8th on beat two where the notes G, B and D (a G major triad) are ‘arpeggiated’ (see Core lessons on triad and 7th chord arps). We’re using higher tones in the scale shape (a B above the leger line) and…

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Lesson 4: Jazz Lines and Chord Comps [FL4]

  The Line New concepts for this video: repeated notes made melodic – using rhythmic syncopation to introduce repetitive pitches in a line which are not commonly written as it is difficult to play repeated notes legato on brass / horns. Also, use of anticipation again, catching the last…

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Lesson 5: Jazz Lines and Chord Comps [FL5]

The Line Here we have interesting direction in our line contour and also the use of a chromatic tone in the line ‘pivot’ (or direction change) – see bar 2 where the notes B - A# - B are played. Note that the chromatic tone, the A#, is on an OFFBEAT – or a weak beat, which is common…

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Lesson 6: Jazz Blues Lines [FL6]

This lesson focuses on the Ami pentatonic scale, with a simple figure in two parts; the ‘glissando’ part which is tonic to flat 3rd, then restated on the5th and flat 7th in an ascending line; then an answering phrase using descending pentatonic notes from the flat 3rd (C), again with a small…

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Lesson 7: Jazz Blues Lines [FL7]

Again we see a consequent and antecedent phrase here – sometimes referred to as ‘question and answer’ or if played between musicians, a ‘call and response’. That is: the first phrase leads (asks a question) and the second phrase concludes (answers the question). Phrase one descends…

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Lesson 8: Jazz Blues Lines [FL8]

Further use of consequent and antecedent phrases based along the blues scale; phrase one has a descending structure with some repetitive rhythmic elements; phrase two is short and sweet with a resolution to the flattened 3rd of the scale. Be careful when playing this slightly more complex figure…

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Lesson 9: Jazz Blues Lines [FL9]

There are two contrasting phrases covered here; the first is based on a classic rock blues ‘licks’ bend lick with some trills, the second utilizes an altered scale tone (the G#) as taken from the 7th mode of the melodic minor with the root note on the E (E altered scale). It also uses chromatic…

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Lesson 10: Jazz Blues Lines [FL10]

Played the second time on the video with a slight embellishment, these two question and answer phrases deal much more with jazz scales, introducing a tension tone at the end of the first phrase which outlines the Bmi7(b5) chord and then some more altered scale tones over the E7(#9) chord used…

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Lesson 11: JGL Chord Compendium 1 – Major Chord Voicings [FL11]

In this lesson, the first in our series of ‘Chord Compendiums’ we examine the Major Chord with common voicings for the major triad, ma7, ma6, ma9, ma13, ma7(#11) as well as a brief section on add 2 and add 9 voicings. As these are only beginner chord types, we will be introducing increasingly…

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Lesson 12: JGL Chord Compendium 2 – Minor Chord Voicings [FL12]

In this lesson, the second in our series of ‘Chord Compendiums’ we examine the Minor Chord with common minor triad, mi7, mi6, mi9, mi11, mi13, mi7(b6) and mi7(#5) voicings. FINGERING: In terms of fingering, I will occasionally use my neck-hand thumb to play lower notes (most often the…

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Lesson 13: JGL Chord Compendium 3 – Suspended Chord Voicings [FL13]

In this lesson, the third in our series of ‘Chord Compendiums’ we examine the Suspended Chord with common sus4, sus7, sus9, 11, 11(b9) and sus13(b9) voicing. FINGERING: In terms of fingering, I will occasionally use my neck-hand thumb to play lower notes (most often the root) in order to…

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Lesson 14: Chord Compendium 4, Dominant 7th Chords [FL14]

Chord Compendium Video 4 Dominant 7th Chord…

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Lesson 15: Chord Compendium 5, Dominant 7th Chords Altered [FL15]

Chord Compendium Video 4 Dominant 7th Altered Chord…

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Lesson 16: Chord Compendium 6, Minor 7th Flat 5 Chords [FL16]

Chord Compendium Video 5 Minor 7th Flat 5 Chord…

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Lesson 17: Chord Compendium 7, Diminished 7th Chords [FL17]

Chord Compendium Video 6 Diminished 7th Chord…

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Lesson 18: Chord Compendium 9, Minor Major 7th Chords [FL18]

Chord Compendium Video 7 Minor Major 7th Chord…

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Lesson 19: Chord Compendium, Major 7th Sharp 5 Chords [FL19]

Chord Compendium Video 8 Major 7th Sharp 5 Chord…

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