by Laszlo Boross

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  • Welcome to my jazz-blues lesson . In this lesson I will show you what’s the difference between a tradicional blues circle and a jazz-blues circle, and in addition, how we can improvise in a jazz-blues.

    At the first step let's see the chord-progression. In the upper row can be seen a 12 bars traditional blues chord-progression and below it the jazz-blues chords. (NOTE H = B)

    / E7 / E7 / E7 / E7 / A7 / A7 / E7 / E7 / H7 / A7 / E7 / H7 /

    / E7/9 / A7 / E7/9 /Hm7E7/ A7 / A7alt / E7/9 / C#7alt / F#m9 / H7 / E7C#7 /F#m9H7/

    As we can see, in the jazz blues we use more chords and on some places we need to use some altered chords for the jazzier sounding. At improvisation however we have to use different scales than the blues pentatonic.

    In both circle we can play a simple e blues pentatonic scale, but if we would like our playing to be more interesting and more jazzy, we need to play other scales too.

    At the main chord that is the fifth degree dominant chord in this case, we always play the mixolydian scale, with some added chromatics. At the eight bar we play an C# altered scale to the C#7 chord.

    In the first bar to the E7 we’ll play an E mixolidian scale. At the next bar we will play the A7, A-mixolydian scale. The next two bars we will play E7 again, E-mixolydian scale combined with some chromatics. In the fifth and sixth

    bar we will use the A-mixolydian again. E-mixolydian in the seventh bar, then we use a C# altered scale with 9# 9b, 13# 13b in the eighth bar. In the last four bars we will play an E mixolydian scale with added chromatics again.

    This is an easy way to improvise to a jazz blues circle. And the most important thing is if you learn the solo, please try to improvise using these scales.

    Good practicing!


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