Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Advanced jazz blues Improv Part 2

Like us on: FB or Follow on Twitter & Instagram

 How and where to outline chord substitutions within the blues form

  In the last lesson blog we talked about using some of the most common scales, arpeggios and minor pentatonic scales that  can be used over  a basic  B flat jazz blues.https://guitartipsandtrix.blogspot.com/2019/06/how-to-solo-over-basic-jazz-blues-part-1.html In this lesson we will talk about how we can spice up the blues by implying chord substitution and what scales we can use over these substitutions. Most of the substitute chord changes will either take place at the last measure or the last 2 measures of each line. Keep in mind that these soloing ideas will work over the basic changes or the advanced chord changes of the blues (Charlie Parker style blues or Bird Blues). Even if the rhythm guitar, piano or bass player does not play these subs they should still sound good. It will create some tension and release, it should give your lines a more sophisticated jazz sound. Have and fun and happy practicing.

Step 1: Simplify your thinking by simplifying the chord changes. The picture below will demonstrate on how you should think. Less thinking means you get to concentrate on the creative side of the brain. For more on drawing from the creative side of the brain read my article: The Right Brain Effect Will Help You Improvise With Ease

Step 3: Start learning some of the scales ideas and inserting them in measures 4, 8 or 12. Start of off by implying the simple harmony and by the 2nd or 3rd chorus you can start employing some of the substitution ideas into your lines.  Use them sparingly going back and forth from simple to advanced lines.  You will have a variety of ideas to choose from and it will give your playing style a more sophisticated sound. 

Review the last lesson before you move on to the ideas below:

When comping you can play the 1 chord in measure 4, the 6 chord in measure 8 and the V chord in measure 12. Or you can experiment with replacing it with the tritone substitute which are the chords in brackets. 
  In the last blog we talked about the basic scales, minor petatonics and arpeggios that we can place within the jazz blues form when improvising. The list below is a guide of what scales you can insert in measures 4, 8 

Soloing ideas: Measure 8= Bb7 F melodic minor= Bb Lydian b7 for the #11sound, B melodic minor= Bb Altered scale for the b9, #9 and #5 sound

E7 Tritone sub= B melodic minor for the= E lydian b7, F melodic minor= E7 altered for the b9 #9 #5 sound. Notice how B melodic minor and F melodic minor work over both Bb7 and E7

 Minor pentatonic ideas:Db minor pentatonic works over Bb7 it gives you the altered sound.  On E7 it gives you the 13th, root,9th,3rd and 5th

 Tip: add the 3rd of Bb7 D to the Db minor pent. I find it outlines the chord and sounds better

 1/2 whole diminished ideas: use the Bb 1/2 whole diminished scale:  it gives you the b9 #9, #11, natural 5 and 13th
Arpeggios: Bo7,Do7, Fo7 and Ab07
Dominant 7 arpeggios: Bb7, Db7, E7 and G7  

Soloing ideas: Measure 8= G7 Ab melodic minor= G altered for the b9 #9 and #5 sound, D melodic minor= G lydian b7 for the #11 sound
Minor pentatonic ideas: Bb minor pentatonic works over the G7 It gives you the altered sound. On Db7 it give you the 13th, root, 9th and 5th Tip: add the 3rd of G7 B to the Bb minor pent. I find it outlines the chord and sounds better

1/2 wholle diminished ideas: use the G 1/2 whole diminished scale: It gives you the b9 #9 #11, natural 5 and13th sound 
Arpeggios: Abo7, Cbo7, Ebbo7 (Do7), Fo7
 Dominant 7 Arpeggios: G7, Bb7, Db7, E7
 Note:All these scale ideas also work over the tritone Sub Db7

 Soloing ideas: Measure 12= F7 C melodic minor= F Lydian b7 for the #11 sound,  Gb melodic minor = Gb altered scale for the b9 #9 and #5 sound

 Minor pentatonic ideas: Ab minor pentatonic works over F7: it gives the altered sound. On B7 it give you the 13th, root,9th and 5th
Tip: add the 3rd of F7  A to the Ab minor pent. I find it outlines the chord and sounds better

 1/2 whole diminsihed ideas: use F 1/2 whole diminished scale: It give yous the b9 #9 #11, natural 5 and 13th sound

 Arpeggios: Ao7, Co7, Eb07, F#o7    Dominant 7 arpeggios: F7, Ab7, Cb7, D7
Note:All these scale ideas also work over the tritone Sub B7

 Note: when using melodic minor scales in jazz keep the notes the same ascending and descending. The scale is not to be played using the classical method.

Here is an example of how you might use the scales:
The Diagram and video below illustrates my thought process when soloing over a Bb Jazz blues.

The Guitar Trix & Tips Blog is associated with Guitar 6 School of Music
and is a amazon associate.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

How to solo over a Basic jazz Blues Part 1

How to solo over a Basic jazz Blues
Part 1

Here is a guide on how to get started on improvising over a Bb jazz blues for beginners. Click on the images to view the examples of the the types of scales I use when improvising over a Bb jazz blues.

Thought Process
Here is a sample of how you can mix and use these diffent Scales
over a basic Bb Jazz Blues:

Watch my Instagram video to see how I put these ideas to use:

If you need the tabs to any of these scales please email me and I will send you the tabs to the some of the scale patterns that I use. Visit my website link below to send me a message:

Thursday, May 23, 2019

My Thoughts on Learning How to Sight Read on the Guitar

My Thoughts on Learning How to Sight Read on the Guitar

  Like us on: FB or Follow on Twitter & Instagram

  Usually when you are jamming at the rehearsal studio, the guitar player is the loudest in the room which can even overpower the drummer at times. With all of our pedals and the distortion, whaling away on the guitar can be a distraction or annoying to other members in the band. Especially if you are trying to lock in and listen to the rhythm section. We all heard of the joke that the best way to silence the guitarist is to put some sheet music in front of his eyes and ask him to sight read what's on the paper. When you mention the word sight reading for most guitarists they shy away and a feeling of fright and nervousness will start to come over them. I once had a piano player friend who can sight read any style of music from classical, jazz, rock and gospel music, say to me why are so many guitar players terrible readers? I think there are a few answers to that question and the most obvious answer is that number one it is boring.  It is boring because most method books start off by teaching you how to read simple children's songs like Mary had a little Lamb or Row Row Your Boat. A typical teenager would probably want to learn how to shred or rock out by learning one of their favorite Metallica songs. They would get turned off very quickly by practicing that kind of material. The second reason is that the guitar is a difficult instrument to sight read on because of all the different possibilities of positions and fingerings one can use to sight read with on the guitar neck. With that in mind it can become a daunting task and an overwhelming experience for a beginner or intermediate guitarist. Also to top it all off you have to memorize those little black dots on the music staff which are called musical notes. All of this makes learning to read music on the guitar a mundane and laborious task which is why most guitarists prefer to learn on how to read tablature instead.  Learning how to read tabs can be useful for learning how to get the notes under your fingers quickly.  It can be limiting in terms of not being able to understand the rhythms that the musical phrase is based on and in music rhythm is King. So the knowledge of being able to read will help you develop your melodic and rhythmic capabilities. Learning how to read the the rhythms and note values is where you will benefit the most.

Tips on how to make learning how to read music on the guitar more interesting & fun:

- If the student is going through a  beginner guitar method book make sure to supplement it with a  book that has some familiar songs that he or she (the student) is familiar with. Learning to read the melodies of a pop or rock song that the student is familiar with will keep boredom from setting in. Hopefully this will keep the student motivated to stick with their reading studies and not give up on it so quickly.

Here are some book recommendations that the beginner guitarist can use in conjunction with their regular reading studies or method books.

1. Easy Pop Melodies for guitar book 1

2. More Easy Pop Melodies book 2

3. Even More Easy Pop Melodies book 3

Image courtesy of https: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/

 The advance stage of sight reading on the guitar:
Reading in Positions on the Guitar Fret Board
  Once the guitar student has mastered to read in open position on all 6 strings, it's time to move on and start to learn how to read on the other parts of the neck. This will be known as reading in a position or a certain part of the neck such as the 7th or 12th fret. Reading in positions on the guitar neck will have no open strings. Learning to read in different postions of the neck is also a great way to learn the names of the notes on the fret board.

Some advice if you are just starting to advance in this area with your reading abilities:

- Don't go crazy and try to read every position on the neck when you are staring out. 3 or 4 positions will do. The positions that I started out with were the 5th, 7th and 12th positions. After you get proficient enough with reading the notes in those positions you can move on to master other positions. (Tip: remember the 1st finger determines the position you will be reading in) So for example, if you are reading in A major in the 2nd position your pinky will start on the 5th fret of the 6th string. If you look at the tab below you can see the 1st finger will strike all the notes on the 2nd fret. So the rule is wherever your 1st finger hits 90 to 100 percent of the time will determine what position you are sight reading in. Sometimes you will have to accommodate a note that is not in the position by stretching out of position with either your 1st or 4th finger.  In the tab below the 4th finger in brackets is on the 4th string of the 6th fret which indicates the 4th finger will be stretching out of position.

 An excellent book that I highly recommend is:
Reading Studies for Guitar: Positions One Through Seven and Multi-Position Studies in All Keys By: William Leavitt
  It has studies and exercises that will help you get familiar with the first 7 positions on the neck. Once you get the hang of the first 7 positions, you should be able to figure out the 8th position and up on your own. I highly recommend this book because it's an excellent book that will help you improve reading and your ability to read in any of those 1st 7 positions on the guitar.

   Once you have mastered and learned how to read in a few positions on the neck it is time to move on to the next step: Learning how to read melodically with a variety of syncopated rhythms. This will help you with many styles of music and learning how to read these types of rhythms should benefit your improvising skills also. Another book that will aid you in your development is: Melodic Rhythms for Guitar. This book is also written by Willam Leavitt. Don't forget to supplement your melodic and rhythmic development by finding other material to read. Sight reading jazz standards, Bossa Nova's, Latin and funk heads are other styles of  musical material that can help improve your reading. For metal or rock players you might want sight read violin studies which doesn't have much syncopated rhythms, but is great for learning how to read long eighth note lines and great for speed and technique.

   Hopefully this article will shed some light on how to get started with learning how to read on the guitar. The key thing you should take away from this is to make it interesting and fun. Try practicing your reading 15 to 30 minutes a day. Every few months try to introduce new material to keep boredom from setting.

The Guitar Trix & Tips Blog is associated with Guitar 6 School of Music

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Build your Fingner strength for guitar with these 3 exercises

Subscribe to our Newsletter            Like us on: FB or Follow on Twitter & Instagram

Finger strength exercises for guitar

Strengthen your fingers with these 3 Basic Exercises Beginner, (intermediate and advanced guitar lesson) 

Whether you are a seasoned guitarist or a beginner starting from scratch, you always need to keep working with finger strength and build up dexterity with both left hand and right hand technique, especially left hand fingering. If you want to be proficient and execute lines with proficiency you need to exercise your fingers the same way an athlete or a marathon runner that works out to keep in shape. You work out to maintain or build muscle. The same goes for your left hand fingers, you need to practice and warm up with etudes and chromatic exercises that will do that for you. The newbie guitarist can definitely benefit from performing these studies and the intermediate and advanced player can use them to keep their technique and finger strength in check. It is important to try to play them every day or at least 5 days a week. You can take 2 days off and give your fingers a rest, but any more than that, can set you back to the beginning and you lose your speed that you built up with the metronome. Even if you neglect these exercises for a month because you don’t have time to practice or you need to work on other aspects of your guitar playing. It shouldn’t take you long to build up to where you once were. If you internalized and memorized the exercise studies all you have to worry about finger muscle memory. Not having to relearn the pattern allows you to get right back into it and they are fairly easy to memorize. Start with a slow warm up tempo then gradually work your way up to a faster tempo and stay there for a while until you can bring the exercise up to an even faster pace. Even if you haven’t practiced the exercise for a month you should be able to recall the correct passage of notes from memory. If you can’t do this, please try to commit it to memory, it will make life easier for you. This way you can concentrate on playing in time and at the correct tempo. If you are thinking about the notes or looking at sheet music you are giving your mind extra work. Not having to think about the notes will relieve the mind of any mental stresses and allow you to work and concentrate on the task at hand, (speed and technique).

Guitar Tips and Trix On Medium  
Guitar 6 school of music is now associated with Amazon.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Peavey Captain America 3/4 Rockmaster Electric Guitar for that someone special This Christmas

Marvel Electric Guitars Christmas Gift Ideas
on our
Amazon Associates links


  Christmas will soon be here and I 'm sure the kiddies wouldn't mind some sort of memorabilia from the world of Disney's Marvel comics. How about Peaveys Captain America 3/4 Rockmaster Electric Guitar. Peavey has a nice line of guitars with Marvel characters painted on to their solid body electric guitars. The video clip below is a demonstration of the Spiderman 3/4 guitar and the sound quality I must is say not bad for a lower end model guitar.

   Normally when you think of guitars with cartoon charters or superheroes on it you immediately think of plastic or toy guitars. Not these guitars they are real instruments and are well worth the price. The price range is in the $400's and I'm sure it is well worth the price than paying for a plastic fisher price model. The usual price for beginner guitars is between $150 and $200. Obviously $400 is a little bit more, but keep in mind you are paying for the artwork and the Marvel identity. I'm sure Peavey won’t keep these in circulation for long or mass produce them, which is good news for comic collectors. This will only mean that in the future 50 years from now you could probably sell one of these babies on EBay for $20000 and upwards because there weren't that many produced.  For a beginner model my rating would be 8 out of 10. The rating is based on the overall sound of the guitar. The artwork and look is definitely a 10 out of 10. I’m going to buy a couple guitars for myself. One of them I will keep locked away as a collector’s item just in case it’s worth something in the future. The second model I will probably customize it and soup it up with high end pickups and put some Sperzel tuning machines in the head stock.

I’m sure if you decide to buy one of these for someone who loves the Marvel Universe and who loves electric guitars they will end up being very happy about your gift of choice. Especially on Christmas morning or even as birthday gift you can’t go wrong. The list below are some of the other choices of Marvel charters to choose from. Below are all the Marvel guitars are available on our Amazon associates links.
Subscribe to our Newsletter            Like us on: FB or Follow on Twitter & Instagram