Like “the Monster” (am. Jazz slang for “the Superior player”) in a jazz band playing a blues
it is important to find the right scales for the chords before the solo / improvisation. And with the right feeling for just that phase the blues or solo is in at the moment. It can also be good, sometimes, to play something unexpected to capture the interest of the listeners. To be able to ornament and vary their licks and motifs. Think it’s stupid to exclude scales and possibilities but there are still the obvious options. Here are some suggestions on how to look or get an appointment for antique items in the blues. They are there to give the Monster a palette to freely use for their expressions in a blues solo. To take with you in his “Jacky’s Bag of Tricks”. Be resourceful and creative in your use of scales.
There are a number of different scales to use for “Bluesseventh´s”
The choice of scale depends on the desired effect.
Try these options separately and listen to the sound and pay attention to the impression each of these scales gives played to a chord or over a progression. Remember that, as pointed out in the blog’s first post, a blues consists of a static part and a dynamic part, the turnaround.
Altered scales provide excitement and are usually used over V7 chords that are dynamic as they strive to be solved. The harmonic scale, the dominant-Lydian, is most often used for static chords and over tritonus substitutions.
Remember that an ii-VI in minor is “borrowed” through Modal Interchange (MI) from the harmonics of the Harmonic minor scale (diatonic chords). In major it is played according to the harmonies of the Ionic scale. This always applies (!!), regardless of which other chord scale the other progression is based on.
Listen to the colorings, an m6 or m13 indicates a Doric scale as the tone 6 is a character tone for that particular scale. An m7b5 # 9 flags for the Blues scale while for example a G7b9 suggests the Super-Lokric scale as it is an alteration.
Now to the scales;
How to use major or minor pentane requires no presentation.
In Blues, of course, the most common use of the Blues scale or major Blues scale (Blues scale 2; a mode) depends on. Of course, it is also possible to use one of the blues scale’s 3 other modes. The blues scale is excellent for playing over a regular blues 12; a.
If you want a more fusion-emphasized sound, you use the Mixolydic scale. But then you are forced to change before each change of chords.
Since we are discussing jazz blues, the Bebop scales must be mentioned and understood.
Bebop (1940) and Hardbop (1950) revolutionized with faster beats and chord changes. The swing era was now over. And from the Bebop era, sus chords were considered to need no dissolution in tonic and the modified new scales managed to be played over more advanced progressions. This music forms the basis of the later Rock Jazz Fusion genre. Bebop progressions are often built, reharmonized, from a regular blues 12th. Even if they are almost unrecognizable if you do not know about it.
Bebop dominant scale is the Mixolydic scale with a chromatic passing tone between the 7th and the root. Used over dominant 7 chords and over extended dominants.
Works over ii-VI progressions in major key.
Bebop Doric scale is the Doric scale with a passing tone between the 3rd and p4. There are 5 modes of Bebop dominant and work over the same chords and progressions, as well as m6 chords as the 6 is a character tone for Doric scale.
Bebop major is the Ionic scale with a passing tone between the 5th and 6th. Works over May6 and May7 chords and over the ii-VI progression in both major and minor.
Is an alternative scale selection over m7b5 chords (starting with two semitones below the root of the m7b5 chord.) And for V7 chords one quarter up or one fifth down.
Bebop Melodic minor is the jazz scale (Melodic minor in ascending motion) and has its chromatic pass tone between the 5th and 6th notes. Works for m6 chords.
Bebop Harmonic minor is of course the Harmonic minor scale with a passing tone added, a b7, between its 6th and 7th tones. Works over ii-VI progression in minor.
Thus, it is also an option for shell selection over m7b5 chords and in such a situation two semitones are played below the root of the current m7b5 chord. So also to V7 and V7b9 a quarter up or a fifth down.
Bebop Harmonic minor is a mode of Bebop major and is listed by Levine as Bebop natural minor.
Some people talk about Bebop dim and it is listed on one of my favorite sites but I personally choose to consider it as a mistake and my own construction. As far as I know, none of the big ones play like that, nor do I find it mentioned in the reference literature.
In any case, these scales provide alternatives to scale solutions for m7b5 chords that are fully sufficient.
Characteristically, however, the passingtone is placed in the Bebop scales so that if you start playing 8 parts to 4/4, R, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 end up right on the beat, downbeats, and the other notes that are on upbeat are perceived as passingtones. The scale should, like “Boppa” appear. This cannot be applied to a fog scale as you understand as that scale already contains 8 tones. I know some sites and musicians present Bebop dim scale but I maintain.
The notes that are on the beats, downbeats, can also be perceived as a complete arpeggio, I have encountered the dubious expression modal arpeggio as well.
For a more altered, more jazzy sound, you can, for example, use the Super-Lokriska (Mel.moll 7th mode) scale over the parts where the chords are meant to be dynamic. In the static (first part of the blues12) part, the Lydisk-Dominant scale (Mel.moll; 4th mode) can be an option in if the blues is in major. For minor, then, Melodic minor is an alternative. The most common, however, is to use the Doric scale for minor blues.
For the ii-V progression last in the JazzBlues 12, I think that the Spanish Flamenco scale (Harm.moll 5th mode) is nice and gives effect. Of course, harmonic minor also works. Gary Moore used Harmonic minor scale in “I Still Got the Blues”
If the V7 chord is altered, the Super-Lokrisk scale is the natural choice for that particular chord (V7 alt.). Also works for regular blues events that are meant to be dynamic, such as the last V7 chord in the turnaround.
It is excellent to use both dim and full tone scale over “blues events”. The most common of these options is the fog scale. The whole-tone scale of “bluesseventh´s” gives a sound that is usually described as “a dangerous sound”. The Lokric scale also works it, over dominant 7 chords / blues events.
The technique “sidesteppin”, “sideslippin” or “playin outside (the house) means that you play the notes that are outside the scale of the chord. When playing” bluesseventh´s “it is easiest to simply play the minor pentane starting with a semitone lower than the basic tone of the chord.A must be known in jazz music.
You can play the Ionic scale over “Bluessevenths” as well.
Many famous musicians successfully mix the Ionic, Mixolydic or Doric scale with the Blues scale.
The “extended blues scale” reads;
C, D, bE, E, F, # F, G, A, bB and C
The scale gives both large and small ters, which may seem a little strange but it works fine and sounds good over “bluesseventh´s”
Exotic scales are popular. Prometheus scale, by the composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin (+1915) is a scale that has become a kind of legendary scale among blues musicians. Its tones, however, are covered by the Dominant-Lydian scale, which is also easier to use over static blues events.
Hungarian Gypsy minor scale works over a trad bluestovla. In eg a Cdurblues, switch to the parallel key Am and play Hungarian Gypsy minor instead of the minor scale. A, B, C, #D, E, F and G. Or use it in an Am blues for example.
Two alternatives, occurring in the blues come from the East. If we continue with the Am blues example so
Kumoi (in 5th mode), A, C, D, bE, G and Ritusen A, B, D, E #F are popular Japanese scales that also work throughout the blues 12; an.
Ordinary Kumoi A, B, C, E and #F are also used, but this particular scale does not fit as in the example an A blues. As you can see, however, it is excellent to apply in a B blues.
My favorite among exotic scales is called Thaichikicho and is a trad. Japanese scale with 9 tones. I sometimes use it instead of the Ionic scale as I want a sound that gives a “smooth jazz” impression. The formula for the scale is C, D, E, F, #F, G, A, #A and B.
As you can see, the two scales offer extended Blues scale and Thaichikicho a little chromatic.
Playing a day, “a day”, jazz slang for the chromatic scale, can work if you pay attention to which notes you land on. You should land on one of the chord notes, have them as target notes.
Which brings us into arpeggio;
Arpeggios are useful, preferably 4,5 and 6 are used.
But also the upper arpeggio ie 7.9, 11 and 13 sounds good over “bluessevenths´.
m7b5 arpeggiot is popular in jazz and it uses two whole notes above the “bluesseventh” chord in question. Use 4,5 and 6 or the upper arpeggio.
When the bass handles the basic tones and the basic tone is removed from the chord of the accompaniment, which gives a more airy sound image, these give the arpeggio effect.
They also do not “collide” with either the notes of the bass or the chord too much, while at the same time they work in a very “smooth” way in harmony with the chord. I think they sound better and give a stronger impression of the musician’s skills and know-how than using the obvious notes 1,3 and 5 in their arpeggios.