Blues soloing part 5, The Bebop dominant scale

In Blues soloing part 3, we looked at the mixolydian mode of the major scale in the context of improvising over unaltered dominant chords. Because chords tend to change on the first and third beats of the bar, placing chord tones on these beats really helps to outline the chord progression in [...]
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Melodic minor scale construction

The melodic minor scale is one of the most commonly used in jazz. Constructing it is easy if you already know the major scale or the dorian mode. The C major scale is comprised of the following notes C D E F G A B. The melodic minor has the [...]
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Blues soloing part 4

In our last installment we looked at the mixolydian mode, the fifth mode of the major scale and applied it to our I, IV, AND V chords. This time, we’re going to apply arpeggios to the three chords in our progression. The G7 arpeggio contains the notes G B D F. The [...]
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Classic Gypsy Jazz diminished lick

This is a classic must know lick that sounds great when played with dominant 7 type chords. Guaranteed to confer an instant Gypsy sound to your solo.  It employs a technique known as sweep picking, where the pick moves in one direction across the strings. The picking is up, down, [...]
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Bored with Arpeggios? Try this.

Here is a chart showing all the inversions of a 7th arpeggio. The column on the left starts on the root of the arpeggio, the second column starts on the 3rd, the third column starts on the 5th, and the fourth column starts on the 7th.  There are 24 inversions [...]
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Blues soloing part 3

In blues soloing part 2 we looked at alternative pentatonic scales to play over unaltered dominant 7 chords.  This time we take a look at the mixolydian mode, the fifth mode of the major scale. Here’s our basic G blues progression again.   Even though we’re in the key of [...]
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Blues Soloing part 2

In our first blues soloing post we looked at the minor pentatonic and blues scales. These scales work well over the whole basic 3 chord progression, but if we want to address the chords more specifically as they change we need to look at other options. The IV chord C7 [...]
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Blues soloing part 1

Here is the basic blues chord progression in the key of G. The two scales in this post will work for the whole progression. The first option is to use the G minor pentatonic scale.  The chart below shows the five positions of the scale . The second is to use the G [...]
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Diatonic 7th Arpeggios

Arpeggios are the  notes of a chord played one after another rather than ringing out together. The great advantage of using arpeggios in your improvisations is that you can directly spell out the chord changes (and always sound good), or add more colour by superimposing an arpeggio over a different [...]
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