A lot of guitar players I’ve met feel a little intimidated when they see anything more than a normal set of Major, Minor or Seventh chords. What I’ve done in this article is create a simple exercise to help train the ear a little more for dealing with chords which have additional notes. The chords I have chosen to work with are ones which often turn up in a lot of jazz tunes. They are Em7b5, that’s an E minor 7th chord with a flattened (one note lower) 5th. An A7b9, an A7 chord with the 9th note of the A scale flattened one semi-tone. And a D minor. Any additional notes mentioned in the chord names are slight variations. I like Joe Pass’s , great jazz player, he always broke it down to the fundamentals, Minors, Majors and Sevenths. But really you’ve got to use the right things over the top, otherwise it sounds awful.
I’ve added a simple midi file to give you an idea of the sound. I’ve used a midi file because the file size is tiny. Midi files as you may know, use the sounds embedded in your sound card, it’s not real audio. Click to hear Em7b5-A7b9-Dm.mid
How To Improvise on Guitar
Printable version in Adobe PDF format – Click How To Improvise on Guitar
Practice slowly and then once your ear gets used to the sound, gradually speed up and then look at ways of working with the chords and notes, changing the the phrasing and order of the notes.
More Very Cool Guitar Improvisation Tutorials to Help you navigate through some chord changes.
Amaj to Dmaj7 Improvisation for Guitar
Here’s Part 3 of How to Improvise on guitar. The TAB and Guitar Music Notation above relates to soloing over two simple chords an A Major 7 to a D Major 7 chord.
- These chords are common and they fall into the key of A.
- The key of A has 3 sharp notes (one note higher) .
- The sharp notes are F# G# and C #.
- The A major 7 chord consists of A C# E and G#
- The D major 7 chord consists of D F# A and C#
The simple improvisation which I have done is totally within the key of A, it has a certain jazziness about it but I I’ll tell you what, if you nail this stuff and have it in your musical toolbox, it could open your playing up a little instead of just playing Pentatonic (5 note) scales or Blues scales. If you want a blues scale to play over this , use F# Blues, it’ll sit beautifully over it.
To download the printable version click on the link Guitar Improvisation Amaj7_to_Dmaj7
DO YOU WANT A LITTLE EXTRA BLUES GUITAR SKILLS?
Try the following tutorial, add something new every day and you’ll feel better about your guitar playing.
A Blues for Guitar
Here is my second post in the series of How to Improvise on Guitar. Although it is designed for players who can already play a little, you don’t have to necessarily be able to read music notation to be able to work through it. Basic Guitar TAB reading skills are enough to get you through.
What I have done is written a reasonably simple improvisation on how to solo over a basic blues in in A, it’s a standard twelve bar blues sequence. Play it slowly at an even pace. The phrasing of the improvisation is not really set in stone, so long as you are in time with yourself and change to the next chord on the beat. But, if you really want to get a lot out of this, playe really really slow with feeling. I have intentionally NOT played a straight blues scale, what I have written is more around the chords, although you’ll notice immediately that I have used a blues scale in A. The last two bars are a classic Blues turnaround. Even if you only took one thing from this article, at least take the turnaround and add it to your toolkit.
To download the printable version of the TAB and Notation in this article click A_Blues for Guitar
Do you want some Blues Scales for Guitar, Clck on the link Blues Scales
A lot of guitar players get a little stuck when they go it improvise. They’ll play scales for hours to get the fingers going but it oesn’t sound musical. About 30 years ago I really got stuck into all the modes and scales and became a very fast player, but in the end, that’s what I was, a fast guitar player.
What I’ve done is scrible down some TABS and Guitar Music Notation some simple lines to play over a very common chord pattern. As you work through it you’ll notice that I have broken out of the standard musical cliques of playing straight scales, if you listen closely you’ll hear a mix of jazz and country/bluegrass in the lines. There are a milion things you could play over these chords; I’ve stuck to a straight melodic pattern but have used a combo of fretted and a few open notes and the occassional partial chord. If you play this very slowly you’ll get a lot from it.
How to Improvise on Guitar
Click the Link to download the printable version of How to Improvise on Guitar Chords