Playing over changes for beginners-Part #2

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by garytelecastor, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 5, 2006
    On the Bayou in da Tundra
    Okay, we’ve gone through a lot of material here. As with any other skill it is vital to learn the basics before we move on to the usage of their individual elements.

    So far, we’ve worked on the 12 tone Western Tonal scale, and the 7 tone Major scale. We learned how to construct the Major scale, and how to number the notes so that we can transpose the procedure we are working with to any key.

    We learned how to build Major, minor, and dim chords with their 1, 3, 5, tones of the Major scale and how we produce other chords by altering the 1,3, 5 to sharp or flat the tones.

    We also looked into the idea that there are three basic structures for the playing of major chords-the E structure; the A structure; and the C structure.

    By learning these structures and the location of the different chords in each of the structures we found that we could play a 1, 4, 5 progression without having to dance all over the neck.

    Now we are going to move to the way in which we can use this knowledge to help us play over the top of changes. The fundamental knowledge of the Blues scale is where we are going to begin.

    When the blues began they were just that-men and women singing about feeling bad or having the blues. This melancholy mood led to certain notes that worked well with the songs and others that didn’t unless used in a given manner (I know that sounds confusing but I will explain it in a little bit).

    First let’s talk about the blues and blues progressions. The men and women who developed this music were largely African’s who had been brought over here as slaves. As slaves on the Plantations the owner of the plantation would force new and old slaves to go to Christian churches in the hope that by reading the Bible, the slaves would develop a passive attitude toward their plight. The great thing about it was that it backfired and the Africans began to use the lyrics of the songs to start a sub-language in which they planned and carried out rebellion. The old Negro Spirituals were in reality a code to help slaves to escape to the north. Rather than send a written message to each other telling on which night a slave was going to escape, the day of the escape they would sing the appropriate song, while working, for the escape route. If the river wasn’t safe:

    “I looked o’er the Jordan and what did I see? Comin’ for to carry me home, a band of angels riding after me….” In other words, don’t go by the river. In the south much of the retrieval of slaves was done by an organization that often dressed all in white.

    If the escape should be done by water or by following the river:

    “I looked by the Jordan and I saw children dressed in red, God’s gonna trouble the waters. Must be the children that Moses led, God’s gonna trouble the waters.”
    When Moses led Isreal out of the land of Egypt he took them by way of the Red Sea. Pharaoh and his entire Army was hot on their trail, and they ended up at the Red Sea with the water in front of them, and the Army behind them. God parted the water and saved the Isrealites from being led back into slavery and He gave them freedom.

    They were not allowed-except in secret-to have a very extensive education and therefore they worked mainly with the I, IV, V or the I, vi, ii, V chords. It wasn’t until decades later that players like Scott Joplin, Satchmo, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Budley, Tom Turpin, and W. C. Handy began to meld the rhythms of Africa-particularly Cape Town Jazz drumming-with the blues. This led to stretching the genre of the blues to include focus on the 7th and the shift between major and minor, and to use the entire contextual pallet of the 12 note scale and altered chords.

    The music was originally referred to as Ragtime, and then, that which was being played in New Orleans was called “Cape Town Jazz”, eventually shortened to Jazz.

    This led to the concept of following the keys and chord structures for improvisation. They started most of this with:

    Stave 1:

    Key of A







    So to start with, let’s spend a week getting this scale memorized and practiced as much as possible.
    The root note, in this case A is underlined and in bold in the scale. Don't forget the 3rd for A is C#; the third for D is F#; and the third for E is G#. Next week we are going to start using the concept of b3-M3-root; also, we are going to see that just starting out we can use this scale over the 1,4,5 and all we have to do is change position. We will work these scales coming out of the 5th fret, 6th string; 5 fret, 5th string, and 7th fret 5th string.

    Remember that changes are played over the chords and their places or purpose in the song. So all the work you can do to learn the positions and scale we talked about in #1 will be a huge help in applying what is to come.

    As always, any questions or anything I can do-or others here on the forums that are light years ahead of me in this stuff can do to help-are not only welcome, but encouraged. Have fun.-gt
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    Zercado, callasabra and AlabamaOutlaw like this.
  2. garytelecastor

    garytelecastor Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 5, 2006
    On the Bayou in da Tundra

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