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Using Scale Notes To Solo

 

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Joe Pass Style Series 4

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The second approach we will take is to play scale degrees over the chords. Played in a swing 1/8th note rhythm, this results in jazzy linear lines! We are again going to play the extend tones as well. This time we we also alter the scale as necessary to match the chords. We also include many chromatic notes. This is frequently done in jazz in order to get a more ornamental sound that approaches the scale notes instead of just staying right on top of them.

Notice that we start with the basic C major scale. But by adding the minor 7th note, the B-flat, we get what is called the Bebop Scale (or more precisely, the "Bebop dominant scale"). This is from the players of the jazz Bebop era like jazz saxophone bebop legend Charlie "Bird" Parker. Joe Pass stated in numerous interviews that his solo lead lines were highly influenced by Charlie Parker. It is interesting that Pass was probably more influenced by a non-guitarist, than by any guitarist!

Notice also that the placement of the some notes rhythmically makes a non-chord tones happen on a downbeat (the 1, 2, 3, 4 counts) and instead fall on the upbeats (the "and" between the 1, 2, 3, 4 counts).

This use of strategically placed chromatic notes that alter the major scale is an important reason why jazz sounds the way it does and why it sounds distinctly different from other styles of music. This is also why sometime other styles of music can have a "jazzy" sound; because they use some of these notes and chords, but not all the way through the music.

The same chords are used, but we play linear scale lines over them instead of just arpeggio chord tones. Notice also that I include many chromatic notes to fill in the gaps between chord and scale tones. Notice also that this is a convenient way to play all the extended chord tones as well.

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