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Maroon 5 Release New Album, Red Pill Blues

Ernie Ball Music Man - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 22:19

Ernie Ball Music Man artists, James Valentine and Adam Levine, along with the rest of the critically-acclaimed band, Maroon 5, released Red Pill Blues today, the band’s sixth studio album. The 10-track album features already released collaborations with SZA (“What Lovers Do“), A$AP Rocky (“Whiskey“) and Julia Michaels (“Help Me Out“). The band previously shared the Snapchat-themed album artwork on its own account, while frontman Levine promoted it on his account, too — hinting that the cover is simply just a sign of the times.

“We all use Snapchat, and the Filters have become a huge part of the culture,” Levine told Billboard. “We thought it would be funny to take some more straight-ahead band photos and sprinkle in a little fun.”

Get it now here or stream it on Spotify and watch a recent performance of “What Lovers Do” from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon below.

Album Art


As we’ve previously reported, both Adam and James can be seen playing their Ernie Ball Music Man guitars on stage when out on tour. Adam has been playing custom colored Ernie Ball Music Man Axis guitars. James is of course sporting his signature Valentine model, which was awarded “Best in Show” when is debuted at NAMM in 2016.

Track List

1. “Best 4 U”
2. “What Lovers Do” feat. SZA
3. “Wait”
4. “Lips on You”
5. “Bet My Heart”
6. “Help Me Out” with Julia Michaels
7. “Who I Am” feat. LunchMoney Lewis
8. “Whiskey” feat. A$AP Rocky
9. “Girls Like You”
10. “Closure”

“Red Pill Blues” Tour Dates

To support the album release, the band will be back out on tour beginning December 30th. Check out the dates below and visit their website to get more info on tickets.

DEC 30-31, 2017
MAR 03, 2018
MAY 30, 2018
JUN 01, 2018
JUN 02, 2018
JUN 04, 2018
JUN 07, 2018
JUN 09, 2018
JUN 10, 2018
JUN 12, 2018
JUN 14, 2018
JUN 16, 2018
JUN 17, 2018
SEP 07, 2018
SEP 09, 2018
SEP 11, 2018
SEP 13, 2018
SEP 14, 2018
SEP 16, 2018
SEP 18, 2018
SEP 20, 2018
SEP 22, 2018
SEP 23, 2018
SEP 25, 2018
SEP 27, 2018
SEP 29, 2018
SEP 30, 2018
OCT 02, 2018
OCT 04, 2018
OCT 06, 2018
OCT 07, 2018
OCT 10, 2018
OCT 12, 2018
OCT 14-15, 2018

Bonus Material

Watch James Valentine discuss the creation of his signature Ernie Ball Music Man model below and check out our round-up of fan-sightings of the model here.


Bourgeois Aged Tone Guitars: Creating A Vintage Sound In Modern Acoustics

Eddie's Guitars - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:14
If you are like many guitar enthusiasts, it doesn’t get much better than the pre-war Martins of the late ’30s and early ’40s – decades of playing create an incredibly unique sound with quick response, increased volume and warmer tones. However, as incredible as those guitars sound, there have certainly been some production advancements in modern guitars that have improved over the decades. But what if you could blend that unmistakable vintage tones with the quality control of a contemporary acoustic? Enter the Bourgeois Aged Tone Guitar line. Torrefaction Mimics Decades Of Age Using a similar heat-treating process to what was initially designed as...
Categories: General Interest

Mesa/Boogie Amp Rig Simulation

Sonic State - Amped - Mon, 10/30/2017 - 03:20
Mercuriall's ReAxis models Triaxis preamp with power amps, cabs and FX

Jackson King V Review (KVXMG)

Electric Herald - Fri, 10/27/2017 - 14:28

The Jackson King V X-series KVXMG is one of the coolest electric guitars around, with its classic EMG 81/85 & Floyd Rose combo and through-body neck design.

The post Jackson King V Review (KVXMG) appeared first on Electric Herald.

Categories: General Interest

Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…)

The Guitar Journal - Wed, 10/25/2017 - 12:07

The oft-overlooked, but so-essential guitar gear: the guitar stool.

Or maybe you call it a “guitar throne” if: a) you happen to feel awesome today, or b) you’ve been hanging out with drummers lately (they insist on calling their stool a “throne”).

So Why Get a Special Guitar Stool?

Having a well-suited guitar stool helps you as a guitarist in a number of ways:

  • It makes it easier to hold the guitar in a playable position.
  • It’s more comfortable to play for longer periods.
  • You’re able to interact with a recording studio desk or other gear.
  • It physically lifts your body, freeing your diaphragm for better singing technique while you play.

Just Two Requirements

The main two things you want to avoid in a guitar stool are:

  • Arms. Obviously, chair arms get in the way.
  • Too low. Anything that decreases your knee angle below 90deg (your butt is below your knees) is going to make it difficult to play well, especially with an acoustic guitar.

Other than that, it’s really about preference and knowing the environment you’ll be playing in.

So here are the top 7 best guitar stools (or at least stool “types”, since there’s any number of Task Chairs out there like the Amazon selection below).

The Guitar Stools List




Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - Amazon Basic

AmazonBasics Low-Back Task Chair

Product Description:

  • Comfortable task chair upholstered in black fabric
  • Padded seat and back for all-day comfort and support
  • Pneumatic seat-height adjustment; 360-degree swivel; smooth-rolling casters
  • 250-pound maximum weight capacity; assembly instructions included
  • Measures 25.2 by 18.7 by 34.6 to 37.8 inches (LxWxH); 1-year limited warranty


The basic office chair. Comfortable, inexpensive. Well-suited to situations where you’re recording and switching between playing guitar, the computer, keyboard, etc.

View on Amazon >>


Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - Bar stool

Torin TRP6185 Swivel Seat Shop/Bar Stool, Black

Product Description:

The Torin Big Red Swivel Stool features include a padded black vinyl swivel seat, a polished chrome plated heavy duty tubular steel base and a comfortable footrest.

  • Black vinyl swivel seat, swivels 360 degrees for easy and efficient movement
  • Chrome plated heavy duty steel frame
  • Large 14 1/2 inch diameter cushioned seat is made of high density foam padding
  • All four legs come with anti-slip protective caps
  • Easy to assemble


The classic bar stool with cushion top. Always in style, always comfortable.

View on Amazon>>


Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - seat and stand

Gator Frameworks Combination Guitar Performance Seat and Single Guitar Stand (GFW-GTR-SEAT)

Product Description:

The Gator Frameworks GFW-GTR-SEAT combination guitar seat and single guitar stand provides a place to sit comfortably for you and your guitar. This heavy-duty combination boasts a 300-pound weight capacity and is a perfect height for any musician. The seat furnishes soft support with a durable, thick padded cushion and removable ergonomic backrest. A built-in safety pin ensures stability while the rubber no-slip feet keep you grounded. When actively playing, and using the seat the guitar stand on the bottom front legs neatly folds up and secures out of the way of your toe-tapping feet.

When it’s time to take a break, fold out the guitar stand and slip your guitar on to the finish friendly, rubberized arms and rest the neck against the soft micro-suede patch on the cushion. Removable, red safety rings are provided on the feet to reduce the Risk of tripping in dark venues or on shadowy stages. The collapsible, compact design makes it easy to pack up and store. For tighter storage areas simply remove the backrest to break down the seat even further. When traveling local or abroad consolidating equipment is always a challenge and the Gator Frameworks combination guitar seat and single guitar stand offers a winning combination.

  • Guitar performance seat with built-in Guitar stand. Holds Acoustic, Electric and Bass Guitars
  • Collapsible design with quick release pin for compact storage
  • Durable, padded seat cushion with removable ergonomic backrest
  • 300lb weight capacity
  • Some assembly required, Hardware included


Nice combination stand and seat, ideal for farmer’s markets, etc.

View on Amazon>>


Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - Taylor

Taylor 24″ Logo Barstool – Brown

Product Description:

The Taylor Barstool is a 24″ stool sports a padded swivel seat with a Taylor Guitars logo. The foot ring lets you get your leg into the perfect playing position. Spruce up your studio and add some cool and useable furniture with the Taylor Barstool.

  • Barstool 24 inch
  • The Taylor Barstool fully supports you and your music
  • The classic design features a comfy, padded swivel seat in a black matte, vinyl finish with a gray Taylor logo
  • A foot ring adds to your playing comfort
  • 24 inch


When you want your acoustic guitar man cave to FEEL like an acoustic guitar man cave, this is the one.

View on Amazon>>


Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - wooden stool

Kitchen Counter Stool, 25″ counter stool, kitchen island stool, tiger maple, garny:

Product Description:

This is a 25″ high stool, designed for kitchen counters, kitchen island, playing an instrument or use it on stage. Hand carved from solid tiger maple wood following the anatomical curves of the human body. No pressure points, the whole surface of the stool will support the upper body.

  • Legs are supported with traditional mortis and tenon joints with walnut wedge.
  • The seat is a solid tiger maple 2″ thick and dyed with vintage orange.
  • Legs and stretchers are ash, painted with black milk paint. Footrest is also tiger maple.
  • Finished, first with multiple coats of tung oil and then carnauba – bees wax blend, so surface scratches can be buffed off.
  • Height: 25″
  • Sitting surface: width 17″, front to back: 15″


A really beautiful, wooden, hand-made stool for those with money to burn.

View on Etsy>>



Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - so nice

Guitar Stool/ Guitar Stand by Todd Fillingham

Product Description:

A stool that holds your guitar when you are not playing it. Your guitar is always ready even if you only have a few minutes to sit, relax and play a few chords before getting on with your day. Hardwood surfaces (walnut and ash) are finished with a custom, hand rubbed finish that improves with age and use. The pads are natural felt and cork and will not damage your guitar’s finish. Stability is enhanced with a counter weight under the front of the seat. Works best as a stand for hollow body guitars.

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: wood, walnut, ash, felt, cork, yacht braid


A TRULY beautiful, wooden, hand-made stool and stand combination. For those with even more money to burn.

View on Etsy>>


Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) - curved

Curvy & Swervy in Cherry-n-Walnut Bar Stools:

Product Description:

These handsome and sturdy stools can be customized for you in any height, wood(s), or stain color. The curvy seats are comfortable and composed of walnut and the base is solid cherry. The standard height, ready-to-ship immediately is 31″ from floor to base of the seat but we can size them for you quickly! The stools include no-scuff feet for hard floors and they include heavy duty swivels for years and years of smooth operation. These stools include heavy duty swivels for years and years of twirling in your seat! The seats are a VERY comfortable 18″ wide.

  • Handmade item
  • Materials: Wood, Walnut, Cherry, Maple


A curvey chair for those who want that. Decent cost, decent quality.

View on Etsy>>


Interested in more acoustic gear recommendations? Check out the Gear page or look at my own simple rig for acoustic guitar.

Do you have another guitar stool you love?  Let us know in the comments below!

The post Top 7 Best Guitar Stools (or “Guitar Throne”, if you’re feeling awesome…) appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

Categories: General Interest

StingRay Bass Buying Guide

Ernie Ball Music Man - Mon, 10/23/2017 - 14:19

Since 1976 the StingRay bass has served as the gold standard of active electronic basses. With its famously punchy sound the StingRay defined the sound of slap bass that began exploding in funk and rock music in the mid-to-late-70’s onward. Over the course of its life the StingRay has become the soul of a whole line of basses with different electronics, woods, and configurations, some of which may seem difficult to sort out to the uninitiated. So we created this buying guide to help you choose what StingRay is right for you:

The StingRay:

This is the bass that started it all. Originally designed by Leo Fender and one of his closest collaborators Tom Walker, and beta tested by Sterling Ball, the StingRay bass features a uniquely powerful bridge position humbucker pickup, a 3-band EQ, an ash body, and a maple neck that is available with either maple or rosewood fingerboard. In single humbucker format StingRay Basses also have the option to come in a 2-band EQ variety. The StingRay is also one of the few EBMM basses that is available in left handed configuration (single humbucker 3-band EQ only)

Buy this if:

You love slap bass, comfortable bodies with iconic looks, superior craftsmanship, and the history of the first production active electronics bass.

Stingray HS/HH:

For years and years StingRay fans clamored for a bass offering with multiple pickups, so in 2005 the StingRay HS and HH models answered the long standing demands of bass players. Not only did these basses offer new tonal varieties due to the extra pickup, but EBMM offered unique switching capabilities not usually found on two humbucker basses such as coil split single coil sounds.


Buy this if:

You are a fan of StingRay Basses but require extra tonal versatility from neck position pickups.

Stingray Classic:

The Stingray Classic series took everything that people loved about the first production StingRay basses from the 70’s through the early 80’s. They feature strings through the body construction, a 2-band EQ similar to those found on first run StingRays which still allows for a versatile range of tone sculpting. The Classic series Stingray features a lacquered neck, a 6-bolt neck, and small profile nickel frets.


Buy this if:

You love everything about the StingRay but want extra resonance and sustain, and excellent upper fret access.

StingRay Neck Through:

The StingRay Neck Through design takes all of the great tone of the standard StingRay and pushes it further with the added sustain and upper fret access of a neck through design. Rather than following the set tradition of bolting a neck onto a body blank as StingRays had been designed since the beginning, the Stingray Neck Through takes a whole instrument length neck piece that runs from the top of the headstock all the way to the end of the body, and has two Ash wings that are affixed to the sides to complete the body shape.

Buy this if:

You want the comfort of enhanced upper fret access as well as limitless sustain, all in a visually pleasing package that provides potent punch.

Old Smoothie:

If you’re looking for a piece of StingRay history look no further. The StingRay 40th Anniversary model AKA “Old Smoothie” is a meticulous reproduction of the eponymous bass given to Sterling Ball by Leo Fender. Old Smoothie was the 26th prototype model of the StingRay that was being beta tested by Sterling at the time. Initially the StingRay was far too hot for most amps to handle, so in pragmatic Leo Fender fashion he decided to create a 10 pole humbucker that would set the magnets between the strings rather than underneath the strings. That bass became known as Old Smoothie, now 40+ years later EBMM is paying homage to the bass that started it all by providing a reproduction model as a way for the fans to get their hands on thee Old Smoothie.



Buy this if:

You want to go back to the bass that started it all. Old Smoothie’s unique 10 pole humbucker provides its namesake smooth sound and houses construction elements like the original “skunk stripe” neck and truss rod design, strings through the body, and a mute kit equipped bridge.

The StingRay bass has become the basis for a host of other instruments that either take from its history or move it forward into the future. The best players play StingRay basses, find yours today.

StingRay Bass Technical Specs and Comparison:

StingRay13-1/2" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
StingRay Classic13-1/2" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
StingRay Neck Through13-1/2" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
Old Smoothie13-1/2" wide x 1-5/8" thick x 44-7/8" long (34.3 cm wide, 4.1 cm thick, 114.0 cm long)
StingRay9 lbs, 5 oz (4.22 kg) - varies slightly
StingRay Classic10lbs, 4 oz (4.65 kg) - varies slightly
StingRay Neck Through10 lbs, 0 oz (4.54 kg) - varies slightly
Old Smoothie9 lbs, 8 oz. (4.31 kg) - varies slightly
Body Wood
StingRay ClassicAsh
StingRay Neck ThroughAsh with maple through neck
Old SmoothieAlder
Body Finish
StingRayHigh gloss polyester
StingRay ClassicHigh gloss polyester
StingRay Neck ThroughHigh gloss polyester (Stealth Black is a matte finish)
Old SmoothieHigh gloss polyester
StingRayStandard - Music Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles (Stealth Black finish features matte black hardware)
StingRay ClassicMusic Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with "Classic" stainless steel saddles and adjustable mute pads
StingRay Neck ThroughStandard - Music Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with stainless steel saddles (Stealth Black finish features matte black hardware)
Old SmoothieMusic Man® chrome plated, hardened steel bridge plate with vintage stainless steel saddles and adjustable mute pads
StingRayStandard - Black or White; Optional - Shell
StingRay ClassicStandard - Black or White; Optional - Shell
StingRay Neck ThroughStandard - Black or White; Optional - Shell
Old SmoothieWhite
Scale Length
StingRay34" (86.4 cm)
StingRay Classic34" (86.4 cm)
StingRay Neck Through34" (86.4 cm)
Old Smoothie34" (86.4 cm)
Neck Radius
StingRay11" (27.9 cm)
StingRay Classic7.5" (19.1 cm)
StingRay Neck Through11" (27.9 cm)
Old Smoothie7.5" (19.1 cm)
Headstock Size
StingRayOnly 8-3/4" (22.2 cm) long
StingRay ClassicOnly 8-1/4" (21.0 cm) long
StingRay Neck ThroughOnly 8-3/4" (22.2 cm) long
Old SmoothieOnly 8-3/4" (22.2 cm) long
StingRay21 - High profile, wide
StingRay Classic21 - High profile, narrow width
StingRay Neck Through21 - High profile, wide
Old Smoothie21 - Low profile, narrow width
Neck Width
StingRay1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret; SLO Special -1-1/2" (38.1 mm) at nut, 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
StingRay Classic1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
StingRay Neck Through1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
Old Smoothie1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut 2-1/2" (63.5 mm) at last fret
Neck Wood
StingRaySelect maple neck
StingRay ClassicFigured maple
StingRay Neck ThroughSelect maple neck
Old SmoothieSelect maple neck
StingRayFretted - maple or rosewood; Fretless - Pau Ferro with or without inlaid fretlines; Stealth Black - Ebony
StingRay ClassicFretted - maple or rosewood
StingRay Neck ThroughRosewood; (Ebony on Stealth Black Package)
Old SmoothieSelect maple
Neck Finish
StingRayGunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend (Ultra-light satin polyurethane finish for Stealth Black)
StingRay ClassicHigh-gloss finish
StingRay Neck ThroughHigh gloss polyester (Stealth Black is a matte finish)
Old SmoothieHigh gloss polyester
Neck Colors
StingRayStandard - Natural; Optional - Matching painted headstock
StingRay ClassicNatural aged yellow finish
StingRay Neck ThroughColor matches body
Old SmoothieNatural aged light yellow finish
Tuning Machines
StingRaySchaller BM, with tapered string posts
StingRay ClassicSchaller BM, with tapered string posts
StingRay Neck ThroughSchaller BM, with tapered string posts
Old SmoothieSchaller BM, with tapered string posts
Truss Rod
StingRayAdjustable - no component or string removal
StingRay ClassicAdjustable - no component or string removal
StingRay Neck ThroughAdjustable - no component or string removal
Old SmoothieRear mounted adjustable - no component or string removal
Neck Attachment
StingRay6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
StingRay Classic6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
StingRay Neck ThroughThrough neck design
Old Smoothie6 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting
Electronic Shielding
StingRayChrome plated brass control cover
StingRay ClassicChrome plated brass control cover
StingRay Neck ThroughChrome plated brass control cover
Old SmoothieChrome plated brass control cover
StingRaySingle Pickup, 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass; Dual Pickup, 3-band active preamp; vol, treble, mid, bass
StingRay ClassicSingle Pickup, 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass
StingRay Neck ThroughSingle Pickup, 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass; Dual Pickup, 3-band active preamp; vol, treble, mid, bass
Old SmoothieCustom "Old Smoothie" 2-band active preamp; vol, treble, bass
StingRaySingle Pickup - N/A; Dual Pickup - 5-way lever pickup selector
StingRay ClassicSingle Pickup - N/A
StingRay Neck ThroughSingle Pickup - N/A; Dual Pickup - 5-way lever pickup selector
Old SmoothieSingle Pickup - N/A
StingRayStandard - Music Man® humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Dual Humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Humbucking/Single coil with Alnico magnets
StingRay ClassicStandard - Music Man® humbucking with Alnico magnets
StingRay Neck ThroughStandard - Music Man® humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Dual Humbucking with Alnico magnets; Optional - Humbucking/Single coil with Alnico magnets
Old SmoothieCustom "Old Smoothie" humbucking with 10 elongated Alnico magnets and split cover
Left Handed
StingRay ClassicNo
StingRay Neck ThroughNo
Old SmoothieNo
StingRay45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)
StingRay Classic45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)
StingRay Neck Through45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)
Old Smoothie45w-65w-80w-100w (Super Slinky Bass #2834)


Oceans Ate Alaska – “Covert” Guitar Playthrough Premiere

Ernie Ball Music Man - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 10:01

Ernie Ball is proud to premiere a guitar play-through video from progressive metal quintet Oceans Ate Alaska.

Hailing from Birmingham, UK, James Kennedy and Adam Zytkiewicz came armed with their Music Man JP15 and JP16 model guitars to rip through their song “Covert” off their latest album, Hikari.

Watch as James and Adam take turns blending layers of their signature rhythmic dissonant runs with melodic leads, displaying both beautiful and heavy hitting themes.

Check out the play-through video for “Covert” below:

Oceans Ate Alaska’s album Hikari is out now via Fearless Records and you can get yours here.
You can also catch the guys and their guitars on tour starting November 1st. Grab tickets and other concert packages here.

Guitars & Strings:

James Kennedy and Adam Zytkiewicz play the Music Man John Petrucci guitar models, JP15 in Sahara Burst Quilt Top finish and a JP16 in Black Lava finish. They also play custom 12-68 and 13-72 gauge single string sets which you can find on our website via the Electric Single Strings page.

Guitar Arpeggios For Beginners

Jazz Guitar Online - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 05:42

The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar Arpeggios


In this lesson you’ll learn how to play guitar arpeggios, how to use arpeggios to improvise over chord changes and jazz standards, as well as the music theory involved. Just like scales, arpeggios are an essential building block of the jazz player’s vocabulary and give your solos that instant “jazzy” flavor (if done right). That’s why understanding, practicing and mastering arpeggios is a necessity for all jazz guitarists.


What Are Guitar Arpeggios and How Do They Work?

Here is the definition of the word arpeggio:

An arpeggio is a broken chord, where the notes of the chord are played in succession instead of simultaneously.

Arpeggios are used in all genres of music, such as jazz, blues, rock, metal, classical music, pop, etc. In jazz (and metal) arpeggios are used differently compared to other genres of music.

In pop music for example, an arpeggio on guitar is usually used for accompaniment. Instead of playing or strumming the notes of a chord simultaneously, the individual notes of the chord are played in succession by applying a finger picking pattern, usually on acoustic guitar.

Here’s an example of how an Am arpeggio can be used in pop music. The base of this arpeggio is a basic Am chord shape and the notes of the chord are not muted after they are played, but ring together.


Am arpeggio


In jazz (and blues, metal, etc), arpeggios are used for soloing instead of accompaniment. In contrast to arpeggios used in other genres of music, the notes of a jazz guitar arpeggio are usually played with a plectrum (unless you play fingerstyle) and muted after they are played, so they don’t ring together. Another contrast is that these arpeggios are not based on a chord shape.

Here’s an example of how an Am arpeggio would be played in jazz:


Am7 arpeggio


In this tutorial we will be focusing on the jazz-type of arpeggios.

What Are Arpeggios Used For?

Why learn guitar and practice guitar arpeggios? Because arpeggios are a great tool to improvise over chord progressions and jazz standards:

  • Playing arpeggios in your guitar solo will outline the harmony of the tune (contrary to scales). This gives your improvisation a sense of direction, making it more interesting to listen to.
  • Arpeggios make it easier to improvise a nice voice leading, making your solos more melodic.
  • You can use arpeggios to add color and complexity to your solos by using substitutions.

How To Start Using Arpeggios

Now, which arpeggios should you learn?

Every jazz guitarists needs to know how to play the arpeggios of all chord types in all positions of the guitar neck.

This may not seem a simple task, but with a good practice routine, you will be able to play all arpeggios without thinking in a relative short period of time.

So, before learning how to use arpeggios in guitar solos, let’s get started by learning the basic positions.

Basic Arpeggio Shapes: Minor, Dominant and Major

We’re going to learn the basic arpeggio shapes (aka grips) by looking at the most common chord progression in jazz, the 2 5 1 (II V I).

In this example we’ll be working with a 2 5 1 progression in the key of G major:

Am7 D7 Gmaj7 %
ii V I


To play over this kind of chord progression, you need 3 types of arpeggios: minor, dominant and major.


The Minor Arpeggio

Here are the arpeggio notes of the Am7 chord:

Am7 Arpeggio A C E G
1 b3 5 b7


And here is the guitar arpeggio shape for the Am7 chord:

Guitar root note red dots represent the root or 1 of the guitar chord.

Guitar noteblack dots represent the other chord notes. The letters are the note names.


Minor arpeggio diagram


Here is the same arpeggio in relation to its scale (A Dorian) and chord (Am7):

 Am7 arpeggio vs A Dorian scale                                       Am7 arpeggio vs Am7 chord

Am7 arpeggio, scale and chord


Am7 Arpeggio Exercise #1: practice the A minor arpeggio as notated on the tabs below (until it flows naturally):

Listen & Play:


Minor arpeggio tabs


Am7 Arpeggio Exercise #2: you can also practice by playing the chord before the arpeggio, a good exercise for your ears.

Listen & Play:


Minor arpeggio tab


Arpeggio Patterns

Here are 2 arpeggio patterns that are a little more technically advanced, practicing these is optional, but a good exercise to get the arpeggio shapes under your fingers. I’ve written out these patterns for Am7 only, but you can use the same pattern on all arpeggios, including the dominant and major arpeggios that follow.


Am7 Arpeggio Pattern #1: This first pattern plays the arpeggio in 5th and 4th intervals, achieved by skipping notes:

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio pattern 1


Am7 Arpeggio Pattern #2: this pattern divides the arpeggio in groups of 3 notes:

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio pattern 2




The Dominant Arpeggio

We go on to the notes and formula of the D7 chord:

D7 Arpeggio D F# A C
1 3 5 b7


Dominant guitar arpeggio diagram


Here is the same arpeggio in relation to its scale (D Mixolydian) and chord (D7):

 D7 arpeggio vs D Mixolydian scale                                    D7 arpeggio vs D7 chord

D7 arpeggio, chord and scale


D7 Arpeggio Exercise #1: Get this dominant arpeggio in your fingers by practicing like you did for the Am7 chord:

Listen & Play:


Dominant arpeggio tabs


D7 Arpeggio Exercise #2: Similar to the minor arpeggio examples, you can also play the chord before the arpeggio:

Listen & Play:


Dominant arpeggio tab


The Major Arpeggio

And then we arrive at the last chord of the chord progression, the Gmaj7 chord:

Gmaj7 Arpeggio G B D F#
1 3 5 7


Major arpeggio diagram


Here is the same arpeggio in relation to its scale (G Major aka G Ionian Scale) and chord (Gmaj7):

Gmaj7 arpeggio vs G major scale                                       Gmaj7 arpeggio vs Gmaj7 chord

Gmaj7 arpeggio, chord and scale


Gmaj7 Arpeggio Exercise #1: Practice this major arpeggio the way we did for the minor and dominant arpeggio:

Listen & Play:


Major arpeggio tabs


Gmaj7 Arpeggio Exercise #2: And with the Gmaj7 chord in front of the arpeggio:

Listen & Play:



Movable Shapes

One thing you need to know: all arpeggio shapes are movable. If you know the arpeggio for Am7 you can use that same ‘shape’ to find the arpeggios for other minor chords.

For example: let’s say you want to find the arpeggio for Gm7. All we have to do is slide the Am7 arpeggio shape 2 frets down. Instead of starting on the 5th fret (in case of Am7), we start on the 3rd fret for Gm7. You move the root of the arpeggio and play the shape from there, like this:


Movable arpeggio shapes


Combining The 3 Basic Arpeggio Shapes

We know the basic positions for the arpeggios, now we’re going to combine them so the arpeggios follow the 251 chord progression.


Exercise #1 – Ascending
The first thing we’ll practice is playing the arpeggios ascending, starting from the root. This exercise is not very musical and you will never use them like this for improvisation, but it’s a necessary step in learning how to play arpeggios.

Listen & Play:


ii V I arpeggios ascending


Exercise #2 – Descending
Next, we’ll play the arpeggios descending:

Listen & Play:


ii V I Arpeggios descending


Exercise #3 – Alternating
The next step is alternating the arpeggios. We do this by playing the first arpeggio (Am7) for 1 bar and then switch to the nearest note of the second arpeggio (D7) in the second bar. The same happens when we switch to the third arpeggio (Gmaj7).

Listen & Play:


ii V I guitar arpeggio example


Exercise #4 – Alternating Variation

Let’s have a look at another alternating example, starting from a different location of the guitar neck. Instead of starting the Am7 arpeggio on the low E-string, we will start it on the high E-string:

Listen & Play:


ii V I arpeggio example


When you’ve got these basic arpeggio shapes under your fingers, the following (important) step is to start improvising using these shapes. Practicing arpeggios starting from the root in streams of 1/8 notes is an important step in the learning process, but not very musical. Once you got this step under your fingers, it’s important to get creative so you don’t end up sounding like a robot on stage…

Arpeggios can be started on any note and played in any order. You can mix notes, skip notes and use any rhythm you can think of. Be creative!


Arpeggio Lick #1
Here’s a more musical example, using the same arpeggio shapes over the same 251 chord progression, but with a variety in rhythm and note order:

Listen & Play:


ii V I arpeggio combination tabs


Now start to improvise yourself, using only the basic shapes you learned so far. Use the backing track to make sure you make the arpeggio change at the right time.

Arpeggio Charts

So far in this tutorial we worked with arpeggio shapes that have their root on the E-string (Am7 and Gmaj7) or on the A-string (D7). There are of course a lot of other positions these arpeggios can be played.

The following charts in the list below are an overview of arpeggio positions for the most common chord types. The big diagram shows all the notes of the arpeggio over the entire neck, the smaller diagrams beneath it show the individual arpeggio grips.

All 22 grips below need to be memorized and practiced so you can play them fluently and without hesitation…


Major Arpeggios (Gmaj7)


Major guitar arpeggio chart



Those of you familiar with the CAGED system, will recognize that the 5 Gmaj7 arpeggio shapes above correspond with the 5 basic chord shapes (C A G E D):

Guitar arpeggios caged system



Minor Arpeggios (Am7)


Minor guitar arpeggio chart


Dominant Arpeggios (D7)


Dominant guitar arpeggio chart


Half-Diminished Arpeggios (Bm7b5)


Half diminished guitar arpeggio chart


Diminished Arpeggios (B°7 = D°7 = F°7 = Ab°7)

Only 2 grips for diminished chords because diminished chords are symmetrical (learn more about diminished chords here).


Diminished guitar arpeggio chart

Arpeggios of the C Major Scale

A good exercise to practice the arpeggio shapes above is to play the arpeggios of the chords of the C major scale in 1 position.

Here are the diatonic chords in the key of C (if you’re not sure where these chords come from, have a look at our Chord Tutorial):

Cmaj7 Dm7 Em7 Fmaj7 G7 Am7 Bm7b5


C Major Scale Arpeggios Exercise #1
In this exercise we play every chord arpeggio for the length of 1 bar, while staying in the 7th position (more about guitar positions).

Listen & Play:


C major scale arpeggios exercise


C Major Scale Arpeggios Exercise #2
This is the same exercise as above, but this time starting in 2nd position:

Listen & Play:


C major scale arpeggios exercise


Practice this exercise in all positions of the guitar neck.

Spicing It Up – Approach Notes

Arpeggios relate directly to the chord you’re soloing over, but they can sound a bit plain, as they offer nothing new to that chord. To help you avoid this in your solos, you’ll have a look at some common chromatic techniques over arpeggios.

The first arpeggio concept is called approach notes, where you approach any note in an arpeggio by one fret below. When doing so, you create a tension and release sound in your lines.

The only rule is that you can’t resolve to the chromatic notes. So, if you play an approach note, you then have to play a chord tone afterwards.


Here’s an example of this technique in action, as you approach each note in an Am7 arpeggio from a fret below. The approach notes are in blue so you can easily see them on the fretboard. After you’ve worked this exercise over Am7, take it to other keys and arpeggio types in your solos:

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio approach notes 1


Here’s the reverse of the previous exercise as you now descend an Am7 arpeggio with approach notes.

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio approach notes 2


Here’s a lick that uses arpeggios and approach notes as you bring this concept to a musical situation. Learn this lick in the given key, then take it to other keys if you can. From there, write out a few licks of your own over this progression.

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio approach notes 3

Spicing It Up: Enclosures

The next bebop technique uses two chromatic notes for each arpeggio note, as you encircle chord tones in your lines.

When playing enclosures, you play one fret above, then one fret below, then the chord tone.

There are a number of enclosures that you can use in your solos, but this is the best one to start with as it’s the most commonly used.


Here’s an example of an enclosure as applied at an Am7 arpeggio, ascending a two-octave version of that arpeggio. Work this exercise with a metronome in as many keys as you can, and then take it to other arpeggio shapes.

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio enclosures 1


The next exercise reverses the previous one, as you now descend an Am7 arpeggio with enclosures.

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio enclosures 2


Here’s a lick that uses arpeggio enclosures over a ii V I vi progression in G major. After you learn this lick, write out 2-3 of your own that use arpeggios and enclosures in its construction.

Listen & Play:


Arpeggio enclosures 3

Autumn Leaves Arpeggio Study

To complete our arpeggio tutorial, we will learn how to use arpeggios in a song. To get you started applying arpeggios over chord changes, here is a solo over Autumn Leaves that uses arpeggios and concepts from this section.

Work the solo one phrase at a time until you can put everything together to form the solo as a whole. From there, you can play it along with the audio example, as well as solo over the backing track as you create your own arpeggio solos over this tune.


Listen & Play:


Autumn Leaves arpeggio study page 1


Autumn Leaves arpeggio study page 2


This lesson is available as a printable PDF (a part of our Beginner’s Guide to Jazz Guitar) for our newsletter subscribers. If you are not subscribed to our free newsletter, fill out the form below and download your PDF:

PDF download


Now you have learned the basics of arpeggios. If you want to progress and learn more about how to use arpeggios in your soloing, check out our step-by-step eBook, The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar Arpeggios


The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar Arpeggios

The post Guitar Arpeggios For Beginners appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..

Doll Skin Premiere New Music Video for “Daughter”

Ernie Ball Music Man - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 16:09

Today our friends at Alternative Press premiered “Daughter”, the latest music video from Doll Skin. The main character in Doll Skin’s new video could be any of us: She rocks out a Slayer T-shirt and carries Green Day and My Chemical Romance CDs around in her backpack. “Daughter” is the second single from the band’s sophomore full-length album released in June. They had previously released a music video for “Puncha Nazi” that featured live shots of the band. Watch the music video for “Daughter” below:

The track, off the band’s latest album Manic Pixie Dream Girl, features Ernie Ball Music Man bassist Nicole Rich rocking on her custom pink Caprice passive bass.The Caprice, another welcome newcomer to the Modern Classic family of instruments is a bold new statement in passive design. A workhorse bass that is capable of blending two distinct pickup voicings offering a variety of tones suitable for any musical environment. This compact offset design provides a body shape that is comfortable and balanced along with a slim neck profile that makes this bass a pleasure to play. The top-loading bridge is made from hardened steel and complemented by a newly designed oversized headstock with the familiar 3+1 tuner arrangement. As with the Cutlass, the Caprice is a sleek modern bass with vintage features that stays true to its Music Man heritage.

Doll Skin is on tour with One-Eyed Doll this fall; catch all the dates below.

10/13 – Pittsburgh, PA @ The Funhouse at Mr. Smalls
10/14 – Baltimore, MD @ Fish Head Cantina
10/15 – Clifton, NJ @ Dingbatz
10/18 – Richmond, VA @ Canal Club
10/19 – Spartanburg, SC @ Ground Zero
10/20 – Jacksonville, FL @ Jackrabbits Live
10/21 – Tampa, FL @ Brass Mug
10/22 – Tallahassee, FL @ The Warrior *
10/24 – Mobile, AL @ Alchemy Tavern *
10/25 – Lafayette, LA @ The District
10/26 – San Antonio, TX @ The Rock Box ^
10/27 – Austin, TX @ Dirty Dog Bar ^
10/28 – Houston, TX @ BFE Rock Club ^
10/29 – Dallas, TX @ Trees ^
10/31 – Phoenix, AZ @ Club Red ^
11/01 – Hollywood, CA @ Whisky A Go Go ^
12/02 – Los Angeles, CA @ Emo Nite
12/04 – Flagstaff, AZ @ Flagstaff’s Green Room

* Doll Skin headline
^ with Co-Op

Teye’s Artisan Guitars – Balanced & Beautiful

Electric Herald - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 09:25

Unique guitars, crafted with precision and pure artistry. See why musicians like Joan Jett, Billy Gibbons, and Cliff Williams own Teye artisan guitars.

The post Teye’s Artisan Guitars – Balanced & Beautiful appeared first on Electric Herald.

Categories: General Interest

Where to Build Your Own Guitar Online

Electric Herald - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 17:03

If you're looking to simplify the process of designing your own guitar, you'll be pleased to learn that you can do it entirely online with these sites.

The post Where to Build Your Own Guitar Online appeared first on Electric Herald.

Categories: General Interest

How To Use A Guitar Capo…In 97 Seconds

The Guitar Journal - Fri, 10/06/2017 - 12:28

A guitar capo is essentially a clamp for the guitar neck, which depresses all (or some) of the strings at a given fret. The guitar capo is usually just called a “capo”, short for capo d’astro (Italian) – “the head of the fretboard”.

The main advantage of a capo is that it shortens the playable length of the guitar string, raising the “open” tuning of the guitar. The result is that the player can now use normal “open” chord shapes in a new key, yielding the big, beautiful, resonant sounding chords that we’re used to in standard open position.

Why Use a Capo?

Basically…because they make chords sound better. And they make life easier. Especially on acoustic guitars. And, truly, capos are used mostly on acoustic guitars. That’s for two reasons:

  1. Capos allow you to play open chords in different keys on the neck then normal. The sonic benefit of this – bigger sounding chords, ringing pedal tones, creative voicings, the overtones and resonance – is most beneficial on acoustic guitar.
  2. The ability to finger big open chord positions is more difficult on an acoustic than an electric due to the higher action and thicker strings (usually). So the physical benefit to the guitar player is greatest on an acoustic guitar.

    For example, playing a full B Major barre chord at the 7th position is fine on an electric, but can be tiring on an acoustic. Much better just to put the capo at the 5th fret and play the shape of a regular “E Major” chord, right?

How Do Capos Work?

How to use a guitar capo - front

As stated, a guitar capo is a clamp that is place on the neck of the guitar. Almost all capos cover all strings at a given fret when they’re applied. And they can be moved to any fret desired (until you run into the body of the guitar up past the 12th fret).

When you apply the capo and strum the open strings, you’re no longer strumming E – A – D – G – B – E as in normal standard tuning. You’re strumming the note values at the new fret where you place the capo.

For example, if you place it at the 5th fret, the open strings are now A – D – G – C – E – A.

This is the reason for the name: capo d’astro. You’ve artificially moved the “head of the fretboard” up to a new position.

What Chords Do I Play?

The trick to using a guitar capo is picturing your open chords (G, C, E, D, A) as shapes instead of unique chords with a set value. You’ve probably done this already – you keep your fingers in the open “G” chord shape, but move it up the neck to, say…the 7th fret. What does it sound like? Probably not that good. The notes that you’re fretting sound fine, but the open strings in the middle are now the wrong open strings (unless you’re messing with alternate tunings, but nevermind that for now).

This is where the capo comes in. If you move that “G” chord shape up to the 7th fret, and apply the capo where the nut of the guitar WOULD have been in your original position, voila! You’ve reproduced the entire “G” shape at the 7th fret. Its sounds amazing.

But what is that chords name, now? It looks like a G, but it sounds like a concert pitch B. That is to say, it would be the same as a B chord on a piano.

How Do You Figure Out What The New Chord Actually Is?

How to use guitar capo - piano keys

You need to know a tiny bit of theory, and a bit about the fretboard.

  1. The Theory: The building blocks Western music are semi-tones. A semi-tone is essentially one key on the piano. If you move to the right or left on the piano, to the closest white or black key, you’ve moved one semi-tone. And the next key is one more. Chords and scales are created by choosing to play certain semi-tones at specific intervals, and skipping the ones in between.
  2. The Fretboard: Each fret on your guitar equals one semi-tone. Going up one fret on a string is like moving to the next key on the piano.

What does this mean? It means that in order to get the new value of your capo-ed chord you have to count how many semi-tones you’ve moved the capo up the neck.

If you put the capo at the 5th fret, you can still play an “E” shape there. But since you’ve moved the capo up 5 frets (semi-tones) from normal open position, the value of the “E” shape has moved up 5 semi-tones as well. You can do this in your head, or you can sit at a piano for a second and just plunk it out. E… F….F#….G…G#….A! The E shape at the 5th fret is 5 semi-tones up from E, it’s an A chord.

Once you’ve worked out this logic for a given key, it becomes intuitive to transpose entire songs. If you’re going to start with one key, I would work on moving the chords shapes in the key of “G” around (G, C, D, Em). There’s a ton of folk and country tunes that use these chord shapes to create a cool sound.

Note: Capos Are Not Cheating

How to use a guitar capo - jazz

There’s a school of thought, particularly from a jazz backbround, that capos are cheating. This line of thinking says, You should be able to play in any key, anywhere on the neck, at any time.

But this isn’t true. Well, at least it isn’t true outside of jazz.

Sure, in jazz a single song may go through a half dozen keys (I’m looking at you, Giant Steps), so capos don’t make sense. But in many other styles, capos are simply another tool of the trade to make excellent sounding music. And in certain styles, especially folk and country, capos are neccessary to capturing the unique “sound” of the genre.


Recommended Capo:

How to use a guitar capo - shubb


The Shubb Deluxe Series GC-30 is your best bet. It’s only a few dollars (approx. $15) more than the spring-loaded competition, but it gives you better intonation by evenly applying pressure to all the strings.

View on Amazon >>

Watch Video Lessons:

Let Trace Bundy help you have fun with capos. Her video lesson series will help you see and hear how it all works.

View Lessons >>

A Nice Song Example:

Check out If I Had A Boat by Lyle Lovett. He puts the capo up at the 9th fret, and uses “G” shape chords to play this pretty song in the key of E.

Link to Tab >>

…Why 97 seconds?

Because it was how long it took me to read through this article when publishing it : )


Thoughts? Questions? Let us know in the comments below!

The post How To Use A Guitar Capo…In 97 Seconds appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

Categories: General Interest

Top 20: Best Electric Guitar Kits

Electric Herald - Wed, 10/04/2017 - 12:34

Tired of the same Strat kits? We've assembled the best group of unique, high quality electric guitar kits available with all specs listed.

The post Top 20: Best Electric Guitar Kits appeared first on Electric Herald.

Categories: General Interest

How to Fix Fret Buzz (the right way)

Electric Herald - Sun, 10/01/2017 - 16:49

Learn how to diagnose and repair electric guitar fret buzz. This guide walks you through a failsafe method to rid yourself of buzzing in any scenario.

The post How to Fix Fret Buzz (the right way) appeared first on Electric Herald.

Categories: General Interest

Writing Guitar Tabs? Seven Serious Software Options

The Guitar Journal - Thu, 09/28/2017 - 09:49

Writing guitar tabs? There are a lot of tools that can help you do this – some are better than others. Here is a quick overview of several, popular software tools for writing guitar tabs.

Keep in mind, there are a few basic goals you should identify before choosing one:

  1. Are you only working from guitar, or do you want a more comprehensive tool?  If you’re a guitarist working mostly from that instrument, check out the first batch of options.  If you’re multi-instrumentalist, pianist, composer who is looking to write some parts for a guitarist BUT also do a lot of other stuff, you’ll probably be more interested in the second batch of options.
  2. Are you looking to write professional level scores, or just jot down some riffs?  For professional scores, you’ll need a robust software tool and probably need to pay a few more dollars.  These are serious options designed for both guitarists and general musicians.  But if you just want to jot down quick riffs, you might look at the Tabd software app.


Guitarist-Oriented Software

These software tools are designed with the guitarist in mind first.  That means they do standard musical notation and other things, but are primarily set up for writing guitar tabs, composing, and generally working within a guitarists mindset.


Guitar Pro 7

Guitar Pro 7 is a professional tab and notation system with loads of features for guitarists who want to literally write music.  Truly a “best in class” piece of software specifically for guitarists.

Learn More >>

See Our Review Here >>



Tabd is an iOS (and soon Android) app aimed at another type of guitar player: the guitarist who wants to do light tab notation, and that’s it.  For jotting down riffs, sending them to friends, keeping a library of tab on your phone, it can’t be beat.
Note: there’s no desktop version of this.

Learn More >>

See Our Review Here >>



Progression is another powerful software for guitarists, guitarists, and drummers to notate music.  One advantage of Progression is the interface for entering music through a visual fretboard, keyboard, and drum pad.  Another is the real music sampling done by folks like Victor Wooten, so you can play back your tab in style.

Learn More >>



Check out TuxGuitar if you’re looking for free and open source solution.  It provides the ability to write scores with tab or standard notation.
Fair warning: at the time of this writing, last release was January 2016.

Learn More >>


General Scoring Software with Tab functionality

These software tools are designed for the general musician to create standard musical notation.  This often means that they are designed for a piano-based workflow.  Guitar tab options are present, but often incorporated as a second, derivative option.



The gold standard of music notation software. Finale has long been the ‘go to’ solution for notating music in any genre and for any instrument. It’s a powerful software that takes some time to learn, sort of like Photoshop.  But once you do, you can create anything you want.

Learn More >>



Sibelius is the other ‘go to’ solution for music notation software.  Like Coke and Pepsi, Ford and Chevy, Macs and PCs – there are just different groups of people who are strongly committed to either brand.  In the end, you get the same high horsepower from Sibelius in terms of notation, scoring, and features.

Learn More >>


MagicScore Maestro

MagicScore Maestro aims to be a full service music notation software, but at a lower price.  If you want to work with traditional scoring and music notation but are budget-constrained, this may be something to check out.

Learn More >

Have a software recommendation?  Let us know in the comments below!

The post Writing Guitar Tabs? Seven Serious Software Options appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

Categories: General Interest

Introduction to Gypsy Jazz Blues Guitar

Jazz Guitar Online - Tue, 09/26/2017 - 10:55

Gypsy jazz blues guitar video course


The first thing I learned to play on guitar was the blues, and I guess that’s the case for the majority of guitar players. Blues has it all, it has a very expressive form and sound and is the best place to master the core elements of jazz playing, such as keeping the form, giving each chord its own sound and the use of substitutes.

One of the difficulties I had during my early years of guitar playing was transitioning from playing the minor pentatonic scale over the entire blues form to giving each chord its own sound and making the blues sound jazzy.

In this free lesson I’ll show you how I started this transition from playing a “bluesy” blues to a more “jazzy” blues.

Here’s what you will learn in this lesson:

  • WHY blues is your ticket to jazz.
  • HOW to make the transition from playing blues with one pentatonic scale to playing jazz, giving each chord its own sound.
  • WHAT the best sounding substitutes for the I-VI-II-V progression of the turnaround are.

Introduction to Gypsy Jazz Blues Guitar Video


Gypsy Jazz Blues Soloing [Starting at 1:49 in the video]

Here’s the basic blues chord progression (in the key of G), together with the chord voicings and scales we are going to use:


Gypsy jazz blues chord progression and scales


To give each chord its own sound, we’ll start with 2 scales, the G major blues scale (to play over the G13) and the G minor blues scale (to play over C9 and D9).


The G Major Blues Scale [3:56 in the video]

The G major blues scale has the same notes as the G major pentatonic scale, but with an added blue note. This blue note is the b3 of the scale (Bb in G):


G Major Blues Scale G A Bb B D E
1 2 b3 3 5 6


Here’s the scale diagram of the G major blues scale with the root on the 6th string:


G major blues scale diagram


The G Minor Blues Scale

The G minor blues scale has the same notes as the G minor pentatonic scale, but with an added blue note. The blue note for the minor scale is different compared to the major scale blue note, it is the b5 of the scale (Db in G):


G Minor Blues Scale G Bb C Db D F
1 b3 4 b5 5 b7


Here’s the scale diagram for the G minor blues scale with the root on the 6th string:


G minor blues scale diagram

The Gypsy Blues Progression [Starting at 8:08 in the video]

Next, we’ll move away from the basic blues progression and add some variation. This is the blues chord progression that is commonly used in gypsy jazz (in the key of C):


Gypsy jazz blues chord progression in C

The Turnaround (I-vi-ii-V) and Its Substitutes [Starting at 10:19 in the video]

You might have noticed that the turnaround chord progression (the last 4 bars of the previous blues progression) doesn’t sound very bluesy. To remedy that, we’ll have a look at some common chord substitutions for the I-vi-ii-V turnaround progression.


Substitute #1 – The Secondary Dominant [11:10 in the video]

The secondary dominant is a dominant chord that leads into any chord in the song other than the 1st degree.

The primary dominant of a blues in C is G7, which you’ll find in bars 10 and 12. The secondary dominant is a dominant chord that leads to any other degree in the scale. You will always find the secondary dominant on the 5th degree of the chord you want to lead to.

In the following example we replace:

  1. Am7 with A7: A7 is a secondary dominant chord that will lead to the target chord Dm7 (A is the 5th degree of D).
  2. Dm7 with D7: D7 is the secondary dominant chord of G7 (D is the 5th degree of G).


Blues secondary dominant chords

If you’re not familiar with the roman notation of chords, check out our chord analysis tutorial, it’s an essential skill if you’re serious about playing jazz.


Substitute #2 – Tritone Substitution [12:54 in the video]

Tritone substitution (aka sub 5 or substitute dominant) is replacing a dominant chord with another dominant chord a tritone (three whole steps) away from the original dominant chord.

That means we can replace any dom7 chord with another dom7 chord, a tritone above or below it.

In roman numerals, tritone substitutions can either be notated as bII7 or as subV.

In the following example we:

  1. First replace the A7 chord with its sub5 Eb7.
  2. In the second step we replace G7 with its sub5 Db7


Tritone substitution


In the next example with create a descending chromatic chord progression:

  1. We replace the D7 with its sub5 Ab7.
  2. Then we replace C7 with the secondary dominant E7 of target chord A7.
  3. Which in the next step will be replaced with its sub5 Bb7


Blues chord substitution


Learn everything you need to know about blues and jazz-blues playing and check out Yaakov Hoter’s new comprehensive video course called Blues- The Ticket to Jazz. Learn to play the blues as it is played today by Gypsy and jazz guitarists, with a consistent, methodical and enjoyable learning process…


Gypsy jazz blues guitar video course

The post Introduction to Gypsy Jazz Blues Guitar appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..

The Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Modes and Scales

Jazz Guitar Online - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:14

Understanding guitar modes isn’t as hard as many people believe it to be. The theory can be a bit confusing, but once you get a hold of the basic concepts, it’s actually quite easy to use modes on the guitar. In this lesson you’ll learn what the modes are, how they look on the guitar and how you can use modes in your solos and improvisation.

What Are Guitar Modes?

Scale Modes are nothing new, the modes as we use them today were formalized around 1675. Modes are not limited to jazz, but used in a wide variety of genres. They are not limited to guitar either, but used on most melodic instruments.


Modes are scales derived from a parent scale. All 7 modes have the same notes as the parent scale, but start on a different note, which defines the tonal center.

What is the difference between a scale and a mode? While the words mode and scale are used interchangeably, there is a difference between the two. Modes are inversions of a scale. For example, the 7 modes on this page are inversions of the major scale. Every mode is a scale, but not every scale is a mode (the melodic minor scale or the blues scale for example are not modes).

Why should you learn and use guitar modes?  Being able to play and use guitar modes is an important skill for any guitarist to have because each mode has a unique feel and sound that you can use to make your improvisation more colorful and interesting. Studying modes helps you to navigate the guitar neck and helps you to understand the relationship between scales and chords.

In this lesson we’ll concentrate on the modes of the major scale (the major scale being the parent scale in this case). There are other parent scales as well, such as the harmonic minor scale and the melodic minor scale.

Guitar Modes Chart

Here’s a chart containing the 7 modes of the C major scale. It shows the most common position for each mode, but each mode can be played over the entire guitar neck and should be practiced that way.

Make sure to read on and play the exercises below the chart to understand how these modes work on the guitar.


Guitar modes chart

Guitar Modes Explained – Music Theory

The first step in understanding guitar modes is defining the parent scale.

You probably have played modes on the guitar before, probably without realizing you were playing them. Can you play a C major scale? Then you know the first mode (out of 7), the Ionian mode…

In the following examples, the C major scale is the parent scale. The C major scale runs from C to C and has no sharps or flats. The C major scale is also our first mode, the Ionian mode.

Here’s a list of all 7 modes of the C major scale in order:

  1. C Ionian mode
  2. D Dorian mode
  3. E Phrygian mode
  4. F Lydian mode
  5. G Mixolydian mode
  6. A Aeolian mode
  7. B Locrian mode


Let’s go back to our parent scale, the C major scale (aka C Ionian mode). In music theory, we number each note of the scale, going from 1 to 7. This is called the scale formula.


C Major Scale (= C Ionian Mode) C D E F G A B
 Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 7


Let’s play the C major scale starting from the second note (D). This is the second mode, called the Dorian mode. The 3rd and 7th note are a half step lower compared to the Ionian mode, that’s why we put a ‘b’ before 3 and 7. Here are the notes of the D Dorian mode:


D Dorian Mode D E F G A B C
 Formula 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7


Now let’s play the C major scale starting from the third note (E). This is the third mode, the Phrygian mode. The 2nd, 3rd and 7th note are a half step lower compared to the Ionian mode. Here are the notes of the E Phrygian mode:


E Phrygian Mode E F G A B C D
 Formula 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7


We can continue this for the other notes of the major scale, but I guess you get the picture by now. If you scroll down a bit you’ll find a list with all 7 modes.

Each mode has its own unique sound. This sound depends on how the intervals are mapped across the scale. Although the notes in both scales are exactly the same, the sound of the scale is completely different because the tonal center has changed. In the C Ionian mode, the tonal center is C. In the D Dorian mode, the tonal center is D.

Each mode has a related chord. We can find that chord by stacking thirds on the first note of the mode. We’ll only touch briefly on this subject here. If you’re not familiar with this essential part of music theory, head over to this lesson: Jazz Guitar Chord Theory.

Let’s do this for the C Ionian mode: C E G B. The result is a Cmaj7 chord:

1 3 5 7


If you build a chord on the first note of the D Dorian mode you get D F A C, a Dm7 chord:

1 b3 5 b7


Here’s an overview of the 7 modes of the C major scale, their formula and corresponding chord:

I C Ionian (Cmaj7) C D E F G A B
Ionian Scale Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
II D Dorian (Dm7) D E F G A B C
Dorian Scale Formula 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
III E Phrygian (Em7) E F G A B C D
Phrygian Scale Formula 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
IV F Lydian (Fmaj7) F G A B C D E
Lydian Scale Formula 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
V G Mixolydian (G7) G A B C D E F
Mixolydian Scale Formula 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
VI A Aeolian (Am7) A B C D E F G
Aeolian Scale Formula 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
VII B Locrian (Bm7b5) B C D E F G A
Locrian Scale Formula 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7


How to memorize guitar modes?

You should memorize the names of the modes + the formula. Here’s a mnemonic trick to help you remember the names (the letters in bold correspondent to the first letters of the modes):

I Don’t Play Like My Aunt Lucy.

Which modes are major, which modes are minor? Here are the 7 modes grouped according to chord quality:

Chord Quality Mode
Major Ionian, Lydian
Minor Dorian, Aeolian, Phrygian
Dominant Mixolydian
Half Diminished Locrian

How to Use Modes on the Guitar + Examples

Next, you’ll learn how modes are played on the guitar. We’ll also have a look at some typical examples (there is a sample lick included with each mode so you can hear how guitar modes are used).

Use all your senses when learning guitar scales: use your ears (most important), your eyes (recognize the pattern on the fret board), your brains (memorize the guitar scale formulas) and your fingers’ muscle memory.


 Root  represents the root or 1 of the guitar scale. The letter inside the box is the note name.

 Note  represents a guitar scale note.

The grey numbers below the music notation is the fingering (1=index finger, 2=middle finger, 3=ring finger, 4=pinky finger).



1. C Ionian Mode

The Ionian mode is also known as the major scale.

  • Formula: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  • Use: on major chords (Imaj7)
  • Related chord: Cmaj7
  • Characteristic notes: 3 (e) and 7 (b)
  • The 4 (f) is what is called an avoid note over major chords. For example, the f (4) played over a Cmaj7 chord will sound dissonant because it’s a half step higher than the chord note e (3), creating a b9 interval. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use the f in your lines. You can play the f (like I do in the example lick below), but I wouldn’t keep it hanging for too long, unless you really like that sound.


Listen & Play:


C Ionian mode diagram


Ionian mode guitar fingering


The following example lick only uses notes of the C Ionian scale. It starts with an 1235 pattern on the 5th, followed by an enclosure of the 3rd and finishes with a descending scale run.

There is also a longer Ionian scale study more below in this lesson.

Backing Track


Listen & Play:


Ionian mode guitar lick


2. D Dorian Mode

The Dorian mode is almost identical to the Aeolian mode (or natural minor scale), except for the 6th note.

  • Formula: 1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
  • Use: on minor chords (the ii of a ii V I), on minor modal tunes such as So What.
  • Related chord: Dm7
  • Characteristic notes: 6 and 9


Listen & Play:


D Dorian mode diagram


Dorian mode guitar fingering


The following lick only uses notes of the D Dorian scale and puts emphasis on the 6 and the 9, 2 characteristic notes of the Dorian mode.

There is a longer Dorian scale study more below in this lesson.

Backing Track


Listen & Play:


Dorian mode guitar lick


3. E Phrygian Mode

  • Formula: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
  • Use: on minor chords (iiim7). Played on a Im7, the Phrygian mode has a Spanish flavor (one of the guitar scales frequently used in flamenco).
  • Related chord: Em7
  • Characteristic notes: b9 and b6


Listen & Play:


E Phrygian mode diagram


Phrygian mode guitar fingering


The following example only uses notes of the E Phrygian scale, and puts emphasis on the b9 and b13, two characteristic notes of the Phrygian mode.

Backing Track


Listen & Play



Phrygian mode guitar lick


4. F Lydian Mode

The Lydian mode is almost identical to the major scale, except for the 4th note (#4).

  • Formula: 1 2 3 #4 5 6 7
  • Use: on major chords (IVmaj7)
  • Related chord: Fmaj7
  • Characteristic notes: 7 and #11


Listen & Play:


F Lydian mode diagram


Lydian mode guitar fingering


The following example only uses notes of the F Lydian scale, and puts emphasis on the 7 and #11, two characteristic notes of the Lydian mode.

Backing Track


Listen & Play:


Lydian mode guitar lick


5. G Mixolydian Mode

The Mixolydian mode is almost identical to the major scale (or Ionian mode), except for the last note (b7).

  • Formula: 1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
  • Use: on dominant chords (V7). The Mixolydian scale is often used in blues (on I7).
  • Related chord: G7
  • Characteristic notes: 6 and b7


Listen & Play:


G Mixolydian mode diagram


Mixolydian mode guitar fingering


This next lick is based on the G Mixolydian scale.

Backing Track


Listen & Play:


Mixolydian mode guitar lick


6. A Aeolian Mode

The Aeolian mode is the same scale as the natural minor scale.

  • Formula: 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
  • Use: on minor chords (vim7)
  • Related chord: Am7
  • Characteristic note: b6


Listen & Play:


A Aeolian mode diagram


Aeolian mode guitar fingering


This lick is based on the A Aeolian scale and focuses on the characteristic note (b6) of the Aeolian mode. By emphasising this note, you outline the sound of the mode in your lines, differentiating it from other minor modes such as the Dorian mode, which has a major 6.

Backing Track


Listen & Play:


Aeolian Mode Guitar Lick


7. B Locrian Mode

  • Formula: 1 b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7
  • Use: on half diminished chords (the iim7b5 on a minor ii V I)
  • Related chord: Bm7b5
  • Characteristic note: b5


Listen & Play:


B Locrian mode diagram


Locrian mode guitar fingering


The following example only uses notes of the B Locrian scale. I emphasize the 11 in this lick because it adds a nice color played over m7b5 chords.

Backing Track


Listen & Play:


Locrian mode guitar lick

Using Guitar Modes Over Modal Standards

What is modal music?

A modal standard is a standard that uses modes instead of chord progressions as its harmonic basis.

The most famous modal compositions are So What (Miles Davis) and Impressions (John Coltrane).

Both standards use the same AABA form:

  • A1: 8 bars of Dm7 (D Dorian scale)
  • A2: 8 bars of Dm7 (D Dorian scale)
  • B: 8 bars of Ebm7 (Eb Dorian scale)
  • A3: 8 bars of Dm7 (D Dorian scale)

In the following solo over So What (or Impressions) I play only notes of the D Dorian scale over the A sections, and the Eb Dorian scale over the B sections:

D Dorian Scale (A sections)

D Dorian Scale Diagram

Eb Dorian Scale (B section)

Eb Dorian Scale

In bar 26, you’ll notice I switch to another position on the guitar neck. On that part I play the A Aeolian scale shape, which might be confusing for those that just started studying modes. This is because a lot of guitarist think in shapes rather than in notes.

D Dorian has the same notes as A Aeolian (both come from the C major scale), they just start on a different note. Because the harmonic background of this tune is D minor, the A Aeolian shape will sound like D Dorian.

You can also play all the other mode shapes of the C major scale over So What (C Ionian, E Phrygian, etc). They will all sound like D Dorian because the tonal center of the tune is D.

The diagram below shows you a D Dorian scale that looks like the A Aeolian scale shape. Notice how the red root note is D, not A:

A Aeolian Scale

D Dorian = A Aeolian. Although it is ok to visualize scale shapes as you improvise, realize that they are just a set of 7 notes that depend on the tonal center of the tune you are playing. The A Aeolian shape played over D minor, will not sound Aeolian, but Dorian (confusing, I know).

Backing Track


Listen & Play


So What guitar solo page 1

So What guitar solo page 2

So What guitar solo page 3

Using Modes over Chord Progressions (Guitar Modes Made Easy)

Next, you’ll learn how to apply modes over chord progressions, a ii V I vi (C major) in this case.

Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 Am7
iim7 V7 Imaj7 vim7


Theoretically, you play a different scale over each chord:

  • Dm7 (ii): the D Dorian scale.
  • G7 (V): the G Mixolydian scale.
  • Cmaj7 (I): the C Ionian scale.
  • Am7 (vi): the A Aeolian scale.

In practice we don’t think like that because it’s too hard to switch scales on each chord.

If we have a look at the 4 modes of these chords, you’ll notice they all have the same notes:


D Dorian Scale D E F G A B C
1 2 b3 4 5 6 b7
G Mixolydian Scale G A B C D E F
1 2 3 4 5 6 b7
C Ionian Scale C D E F G A B
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
A Aeolian Scale A B C D E F G
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7


So, these 4 modes all have the same 7 notes: C D E F G A B

This means we can play one scale (the scale of the Imaj7 chord for example), and use that scale to play over all chords (as long as the chords don’t modulate).

  • The C Ionian scale played over the Dm7 chord will sound like the D Dorian scale.
  • The C Ionian scale played over the G7 chord will sound like the G Mixolydian scale.
  • The C Ionian scale played over the Am7 chord will sound like the A Aeolian scale.


In the following example I use the C Ionian scale over a ii V I vi chord progression:

Backing Track


Listen & Play


Guitar modes over a chord progression page 1


Guitar modes over a chord progression page 2


Here finishes our introduction to guitar modes. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post them in the comment section below.

What to learn after guitar modes? The best tool for improvisation are arpeggios.  Learn all about them in our Introduction to Guitar Arpeggios.


PDF DownloadThe Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Modes PDF


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The post The Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Modes and Scales appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..

Guitar Pro 7 Review

The Guitar Journal - Thu, 09/14/2017 - 13:49

Guitar Pro 7 is a tab/notation software that aims to handle the entire compose-to-share cycle.

The goal is to help serious musicians notate, practice, arrange, and export guitar tab and scores. And, true to their goal, Arobas Music delivers a powerful piece of software that is not short of bells and whistles.

In addition, Arobas Music provides “MySongBook” – an online catalogue of guitar tabs and scores that can be played in Guitar Pro 7 (or in a free “light” player).

A Quick Feature Breakdown

  1. Read Music Score and Tabs – Tab, Standard Notation, Slash Rythym
  2. Music Score Edition – Customize layout, multitrack scores, notation and effects
  3. Tools for Composing Music – Tools for Chords, Scales, Lyric input, Tuner, and Virtual Instruments
  4. Print and Share Your Files – Formats listed below, also includes a LOCK feature Lock/Unlock a file with a password.
    • .gpx Guitar Pro Import/Export
    • .midi MIDI Import/Export
    • .musicxml MusicXML Import/Export
    • .pdf PDF Export
    • .ptb PowerTab/TablEdit Import
    • .ascii ASCII Import/Export
    • .audio MP3, WAV, FLAC, Ogg and AIFF Export
    • .png PNG Export
  5. Languages – Available in English, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish.
  6. Multi-Install – The purchased license gives you the right to install the software on a maximum of 5 computer or operating systems at the same time.

As you can see, Guitar Pro 7 has a lot of horsepower. If you want to write, compose, or arrange written music, it has the tools you need.

Purchasing Guitar Pro 7

Price is $75 for a new license, or $37.50 to upgrade an old license.

You can purchase the software directly here.

They also provide a 30-day trial.


If you’re looking for a simple Tab storage and editing software, you might look at Tabd. Not nearly the same amount of features, but a better fit for casual players who just need a place to save their tabs.

For heavy users, a serious alternative to Guitar Pro 7 is Finale by MakeMusic, a long-standing industry software for writing music. It is not tailored for guitar, but instead is aimed at the entire music industry.

Guitar Pro 7 Review - Create A Track


  • Guitar Pro 7 has all the features you want. It’s highly unlikely that you will ever say, “too bad it doesn’t do x”.
  • The MySongBook companion library gives you a ready supply of tabs to learn, experiment with, and test.
  • The virtual sounds are great, a huge advancement over previous generations midi-sounding score playbacks
  • Guitar Pro 7 can import and export lots of file types.
  • They also have special packages available for education folks.


  • There’s a learning curve. As with all powerful software, it takes a while to learn how to do even (seemingly) small tasks. As mentioned, Tabd would be a better solution for guitarists unable to invest time in learning a dense piece of software.
  • iOS and Android apps are an additional charge (iOS – $6.99 and Android – $5.49) with limited functionality in editing and writing. So don’t expect a 100% seamless experience from laptop to handheld.

Final Opinion

Guitar Pro 7 is great. If you want to do some real work.

If you want to write professional looking tabs and sheet music, compose multiple parts, and share music with other serious musicians – than this is an excellent software for you.

If you just want to download and play tabs that other people have written, you should go with Arobas Music’s MySongBook. The local player software is free, and you just pay per tab download.

Finally, if pro quality isn’t an issue, and you just want access to popular tabs (and maybe jot down a few riffs yourself), I would recommend Ultimate Guitar’s site and app, and Tabd.


The post Guitar Pro 7 Review appeared first on The Guitar Journal.

Categories: General Interest

Ampeg Bass Amps For Amplitube

Sonic State - Amped - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 00:20
IK Multimedia and Ampeg release Ampeg SVX 2 amp and cab collection for Mac and PC

How to Analyze a Jazz Standard Using Roman Numerals

Jazz Guitar Online - Sun, 08/27/2017 - 10:37

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When studying jazz guitar, you quickly learn that analyzing chord progressions and transposing chords are two essential skills you need to have down. But, while you know that analyzing and transposing is important, you might not know the quickest and easiest way to accomplish these goals. This is where Roman numerals come into play.

Roman numerals are used in music to analyze diatonic and non-diatonic chords as well as make transposing any chord or progression much easier on the guitar.

In this lesson you learn what Roman numerals are, how they’re used in jazz analysis, and how to transpose chords with these numbers.

Diatonic Chords With Roman Numerals

To begin your study of Roman numerals and their use in analysis and transposition, we’ll look at diatonic chords with Roman numerals.

Here are the notes in the key of C major, written on a single string, with the number of each note below the staff.

Arabic numbers are used to identify single-notes in jazz, like scale and arpeggio notes, while Roman numerals identify chords and progression.

This makes it easier to understand a written analysis of any line or progression, as you won’t be confused if you see 1 vs. I in an analysis.


Roman Numerals 1


Now you add chords on top of each of those C major scale notes to form the chords in the key of C major.

Here are those chords with the Roman numerals written underneath each chord to see how they line up in the key.

Notice that the Roman numerals are the same as the Arabic numbers, 1 is I, 2 is ii, etc., as each scale note gets a chord in the key.


Roman Numerals 2


Once you know the notes in a key, and their related chords, you can use that to analyze chord progressions.

Here’s an example of a common jazz chord progression with Roman numerals below each chord, from the key of C major.

Minor chords are written in lowercase roman numerals, while major and dominant chords are written in uppercase roman numerals.


Roman Numerals 3


Now that you know how to use Roman numerals to identify chords in a key, open your Real Book and analyze diatonic chords in any song you flip to.

If you can’t identify a chord in the key, then leave it for now until you study non-diatonic chords in the next section.

Secondary Dominant Chords

As well as seeing diatonic chords when using Roman numerals for analysis, you’ll also see non-diatonic chords.

In this lesson we’ll look at two types of non-diatonic chords and how to analyze them with Roman numerals. These aren’t the only non-diatonic chords you’ll see when analyzing tunes, but they’re the most popular, so are essential to know.

The first non-diatonic chord is called a secondary dominant chord.

This is a V7 chord that isn’t the V7 of the key you’re in, such as V7 of V7, V7 of iim7, V7 of vim7, etc.

When writing secondary dominant chords, you can write them as V7/V7 or V7/iim7, if you like.

Or, you can use a shortcut such as II7 for V7/V7 or VI7 for V7/iim7, as both are commonly used in modern analysis.

I prefer to keep things close to the key, so I prefer II7 and VI7 for example, but try both and see which makes the most sense to you.

Here’s an example of a VI7 chord in the key of C major.


Roman Numerals 5


And here’s an example of a II7 chord in the key of C major.


Roman Numerals 6


Now that you know what secondary dominant chords are, grab a Real Book and identify secondary dominant chords in full tunes.

Secondary ii V Chords

As well as seeing secondary dominant chords, you also see secondary ii V chords in jazz progressions and tunes.

Secondary ii Vs function the same as secondary dominant chords, except you use a ii V leading to a diatonic chord rather than just a V7.

Here’s an example of a secondary ii V that leads to the iim7 in the key of C major, meaning Em7b5-A7b13 leading to Dm7.


Roman Numerals 7


Notice that the song doesn’t modulate to D minor, the secondary ii V is used to highlight the Dm7 chord, but not change to the full key of D minor.

Here’s another common example of a secondary ii V that Charlie Parker used a lot in his tunes.

In this example, the secondary ii V is used to highlight the vim7 chord (Am7), as well as acting as a transition bar between Imaj7 and vim7.


Roman Numerals 8


Now that you know what secondary ii V chords are, grab a fake book and identify secondary ii V chords in full tunes.

Take the A Train Analysis

Now that you know what Roman numerals are, and their common usage in jazz, you can look at them over an entire tune.

Here’s the chord progression to Take the A Train with Roman numerals below each chord in the tune.

Notice that I used the II7 rather than V7/V7 in bars 3 and 4 of the A section (D7). You can use either analysis, but I prefer to relate Roman numerals to the key if possible to make it easier to transpose later on if needed.

Check out these changes, it’s a very diatonic progression with the exception of the D7 (V7/V7 (II7)) and the Gm7-C7 (iim7/IV and V7/IV).


Roman Numerals 9

Summertime Analysis

You can also use Roman numerals in minor keys, such as when analyzing and learning a song like Summertime, which is in D minor.

When using Roman numerals in minor keys all the same rules apply that you learned in major keys, with one exception.

Normally minor chords are written with a lowercase Roman numeral (iim7 for example), but in minor keys the tonic chord uses a capital letter (Im7). This is to signify that the tonic chord is special, it’s the resolution chord of the key, and therefore we use a capital letter to reflect that.

Here’s the Roman numeral analysis of Summertime.

Notice that there are three main chords in the song, Im7 (Dm7), ivm7 (Gm7), and Fmaj7 (bIIImaj7).

The rest of the chords are just ii V’s that lead to those chords, so one diatonic ii V and two secondary ii V chords.


Roman Numerals 10

Transposing With Roman Numerals

Besides using Roman numerals to analyze and understand chord progressions, you also use them to make transposing easier on and off the guitar.

Here’s the chord progression for the first A section of Take the A Train, in the original key with Roman numerals underneath.


Roman Numerals 11


Now, to transpose this progression to another key, we’ll use F major as an example, you just need to know the Roman numerals and notes in the new key.

The notes in the key of F are F G A Bb C D E F, so all you do is move the Roman numerals from C to F and you have the same progression in a new key.

Here are the chords in F, notice that the Roman numerals remain the same, but you’ve changed the chord symbols to be in the new key of F.


Roman Numerals 12


After you look at this example, see if you can write out the chords to the first A section of Take the A Train in other keys using the same approach.

Transposing chords on guitar is an essential skill to have, and Roman numerals make this skill easier to learn and quicker to apply in your playing.


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The post How to Analyze a Jazz Standard Using Roman Numerals appeared first on Jazz Guitar Online | Free Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks, Tips & Tricks..


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