Lesson: Walk that bass (G blues) first chorus


This week a chorus of walking bass under a G blues. This is playable with a pick as well as fingerstyle.

The following chord changes are used as the basis:

|| G 7 | C 7| G7 | % | C7 | % | G7 | E7 | Am7 | D7 | G7 E7 | Am7 D7 ||

The chords used here are so called drop two chords, consisting of the third and the seventh of each chord. They represent the complete functionality of the chord: an approach that will be part of another lesson soon.

Here we go
G bLues chorus 1 1-4

In bar one the bass follows the major triad tones and chromatically walks back to land on the C root in the second bar. A chromatic approached is used to walk from the E note (third of C chord) via F and F# back to G. In bar four a chord sequence is applied on the bass notes. G7, Am, Bb dim,  B min. 

G bLues chorus 1 5-8

Bar 5 uses the C 7 drop two chord in position VIII, the bass consists of the chord tones. Bar 6 is a chord sequence C7, Bb6, Am7, G#7. The G#7 or Ab7 is the chromatic option that comes from replacing a  D7 dominant chord resolving to G with its so called tri-tone substitution. In bar the bass line chromatically ascends to E on the last beat. Similarly a chromatic descending last beat note is found in bar 8 which resolves to the Am7

G bLues chorus 1 9-12

In bar 9 the Eb note on beat four descends chromatically to D7, just like in bar 9 the G# (Ab) descends to G. Bar 11 and 12 are a so called turn around. Notice how the tritones are used for chromatic purposes in bar 11 and 12 on the fourth beat.

A pdf file is availble here >>>

Have fun.

I’m off to Smalls in New York without leaving my home in New Zealand

What a glorious day today and listening to a cool session at Smalls in New York at night while enjoying the sunshiny day here in Christchurch. 

Smalls was created in 1993 by jazz impresario Mitch Borden, a former nurse and the son of an art-gallery owner. The original Smalls was a raw basement space that quickly became the late-night hangout numerous established and upcoming  jazz musicians to play and shared their musical legacy with an eager and dedicated younger crowd. Many of the well-known musicians of the current jazz scene cut their teeth at Smalls during this period. The list of musicians who played at Smalls at that time is enormous and includes such luminaries as: Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Josh Redman, Brian Blade, Sam Yahel, Roy Hargrove, Peter Bernstein, Mark Turner, Omer Avital, Jason Linder, Sasha Perry, Chris Byars, Ari Roland, Ned Goold, William Ash, Zaid Nasser, Spike Wilner, Grant Stewart, Larry Goldings, Joe Magnarelli, Guillermo Klein and Norah Jones among many, many others.

After September 11th, Smalls wastemporarily forced to close. However in February of 2007, musicians Spike Wilner and Lee Kostrinsky partnered with Mitch Borden with the goal of restoring Smalls. The club has been renovated and a full bar is now in service. The comfort and feeling of the club is amenable to after-hours hangs and the music again goes all night.

What’s better, through life stream you can watch the music live there and enjoy established and young musos doing their thing.

I suggest you checck it out as well here>>> or go ond see what’s happening at the moment via the live stream here >>>


Van Baalen vanderValk Bergman

I personally think it is good to promote your good friends and fellow musicians and Coen and I go way back to my high school days (pff that is actually quite a long time ago).

It was with great pleasure that I heard the trio on West Radio.


The trio’s newly released album Port 010 is now available at i-Tunes. The album moves very eloquently from blues to almost ECM like atmospheric music offering the listener a new experience every time.

I suggest you go check it out and if you like what you hear buy some of the tunes or the whole album.

Autumn Leaves chord melody

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves or by the original French title Les Feuilles Mortes is by now a jazz standard that has been played by countless artists. The chord melody arrangement below is suitable for beginners. The song itself is a great one to practice playing major and minor II V I progressions.

Download Autumn Leaves here >>>

Have fun !

Polkadots and Moonbeams new chord-melody arrangement

Last year I uploaded an arrangement of Polkadots and moonbeams, a well known jazz standard. You are hereby invited to try out the new arrangement which replaces the old one that can still be found here >>>

The new improved arrangement can be downloaded by following this link to the song Polkadots and Moonbeams.

Let me know what you think and have fun

A Salute to my Master: Klaus Flenter

By accident I stumbled upon some information about my teacher from back than: Klaus Flenter, one of the greats when it comes to chord melody jazz guitar playing in the Netherlands and beyond.The first video is a trio version of the song Green Dolphin Street.

If anything I will always remember Klaus as the one that solidified my love for chord melody guitar playing and what a joy to see my old teacher going on like this and like on the next video where the trio plays Misty.

Klaus, my old master, thanks for all the great stuff you taught me over the years at the Conservatory in Rotterdam and even now when looking at these videos.

Free Lesson: Spice it up with your minor pentatonic scale

If there is one thing that is clear it seems to me that almost all guitar players interested in lead guitar use the minor pentatonic scale. There are others that will point out that they also use the major pentatonic scale but for now I will go from the premise that any major pentatonic scale will have its minor replacement, similar to what happens in modes.

As an example: some people will use the C major pentatonic scale for playing on either a C chord, C maj7  chord or a C7 chord.

When we look at the C major pentatonic scale we see it has the following notes: C D E G A.
When you start on the A note however, it will make A C D E G.

There is a reason however why I choose to approach this from the minor pentatonic perspective throughout, and that is because a.) Many guitar players start with this scale when experimenting with their blues solos and because it is so closely related to the other well used scale: the blues scale.

As beginning guitar players we will all have gone through licks like this:

Now in the following examples I have used different pentatonic scales to play over the chord sequence D min7 – G7 -Cmaj7 which is for those with a but of a theoretical background a II – V – I chord progression. In its most basic form we would be using the following minor pentatonic scales:

D minor 7 —>  D minor pentatonic scale

G7 —> E minor pentatonic scale / G blues scale or G minor pentatonic scale

C maj7 —> A minor pentatonic scale

You will find that when you play these scales over thew chord progression it sounds a bit dull.

Personally what I find attractive about the minor pentatonic scales is that they are useful to create patterns or certain repeatable fragments. If we combine that given with the idea that we may be able to use different minor pentatonic scales on different chords all of a sudden a wide array of possibilities opens up to spice up your solos. By the way I could go into all kinds of theory here but I will just say I usually use the minor pentatonic and blues scales as interchangeable. (the notes in between brackets are the additional note to the pentatonic scale to make it into a blues scale.  I am aware that more options exist but these give you a nice start.

D minor 7 (D F A C)

  • D minor pentatonic: D F G (G#/Ab) A C
  • E minor pentatonic E G A (A#/Bb) B D
    The B in this scale  makes for a nice emphasis of the dorian character of the chord (IIm7 chord) while the blue note  (Bb) provides for a nice natural minor sound.
  • A minor pentatonic A C D (D#/Eb) E G.

G7 (G B D F)

  • E minor pentatonic: E G A (Bb) B D
  • F minor pentatonic: F Ab Bb C (C#/Db) Eb
  • G minor pentatonic: G Bb C (C#/Db) D F
  • Bb minor pentatonic: Bb Db Eb (E) F Ab

C maj7 (C E G B)

  • A minor pentatonic: A C D (D#/Eb) E G
  • B minor pentatonic: B D E (F) F# A this scale produces a lydian airy kind of sound
  • E minor pentatonic: E G A (A#/Bb) B

Some Examples

Example 1

In this example only the A minor pentatonic and Bb minor pentatonic scale were used to create chromatic tension and and at the same time resolution. The A minor pentatonic over the C maj7 chord creates a 6 or 13 sound.

Example 2

I this second example we move up position by position and end up in the lydian sounding b minor pentatonic over the C maj7 chord.
The F# note suggests a Cmaj7 #11 chord.

Example 3

In this third example we have an gone from D minor pentatonic to E and F minor pentatonic so we would at least have the B note in the G7 chord. Try to avoid over emphasis of the C note in the F minor pentatonic as against G that suggest a sus chord, while at the same time chromoatically it sounds nice and we resolve this back to E minor pentatonic goes to B minor pentatonic goes to A minor pentatonic.

Cycling around for practice

I you would like to come up with other ideas and practice it us actually nice if you have a cycle that you can let go on continuously. That can be one by playing ||       Dmin7     |      G7     |      Cmaj7     |       A7 ||

Below I will list the different pentatonic scales you could use in a format that makes it easier to see how you can create nice patterns with them.

I guess you can see for yourself now that there are some good options to connect different minor pentatonic scales and keep on going round and round. Have fun!