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Jazz Guitar Lessons • Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Variations • Chords, Charts, Theory, Videos

Updated on May 25, 2016
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Starts at the beginning and breaks the blues down in a well articulated way. It exponentially grows from there. Doesn't keep it safe but goes for that blues-jazzy feel throughout. Not your average blues book!
Starts at the beginning and breaks the blues down in a well articulated way. It exponentially grows from there. Doesn't keep it safe but goes for that blues-jazzy feel throughout. Not your average blues book! | Source

Learning Blues Guitar

I have been teaching guitar professionally since 1992, when Don’t Fret Guitar Instruction was established. Over the years, I have taught countless students (beginners to advanced) how to play or improve their chops. Past students include four members of PROTEST THE HERO.

With this book, my goal is to relate the scales with chords and rhythms as opposed to just learning solos or licks and having no idea how to apply them. Good rhythm playing and knowledge is crucial to good soloing and vice versa. This comes through understanding the relationship between chords and scales. This book provides that important foundation.

The book is unique in the fact that each chapter is based around a different key signature and an open (contains unfretted notes), pattern of the pentatonic scale. There are five chapters covering the key signatures of E, A, D, G and C, and the five open ‘box patterns’ (scale patterns) of the pentatonic scale. Eventually all the box patterns are covered, from the open strings to the fifteenth fret.

There is no endless scale practice or useless licks to learn. Instead, each chapter begins with a chord progression, moves into various rhythm patterns derived from the chord progression, and then culminates with solos based on the scale and key covered. These solos tie in with the chord progression and rhythm patterns to form a complete lesson for each chapter.

The book is progressive. Upon completion, the student will have a solid foundation in blues guitar, and will understand the rhythm, lead connection.

The book is best studied from beginning to end, without slighting any material. All theory is explained in the simplest terms. There are fretboard diagrams for the scales, chord grids, and photos of hand positions as well as videos posted on YouTube to aid in the learning process.

It is best, but not necessary, to have a knowledge of barre and open chord shapes before beginning this course. All the chords have fretboard grids associated with them.

Good luck and have fun. Music is a celebration. Enjoy!

Lorne K. Hemmerling

Progression One

Below is a standard 12 bar, 3 chord blues progression in G. The simplest form of this is: the I (one) chord for 4 bars the IV (four) chord for 2, back to the I for 2 bars, the V (five) chord for 1, the IV chord for one, then the turnaround (the last 2 bars of the progression). This progression contains 'the quick change', that is, the chords move from the I shape to the IV shape in the second bar. The turnaround is simply the I chord to the V chord. The movement is always to the V chord, if you are 'turning around' and going back to the start. If you are at the end, the turnaround returns to the I chord. Normally, as in this example, the chords are all 7ths. Use Gm Pentatonic to improvise over this.

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Progression Two

With embellishment, we can give the progression more of an 'uptown sound'. The 7ths have been replaced by 9ths and 13ths. The 'quick change' is still in place and the turnaround has been elaborated to I to IV, back to I then to V. As long as there is no altered chords,( that is, the chords contain no sharps or flats), this progression can be played over top of the above progression and the same scale (Gm Pentatonic) can be used for the entire piece.

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Progression Three

Finally, this is a complete overhaul of the standard chords. I have substituted Gm7 and Gm6 for the original C7, and Am7 and Am6 for the D7. This is a standard jazz substitution for the IV and V chord and sounds great! The G7 in bars 7 and 8 have been replaced by another standard jazz progression found in many songs: GMaj7, Am7, Bm7, Bbm7. For these chords switch to the G major scale (or more precisely, G Ionian), but be careful with the Bbm7 if the tempo is slow. I usually move into an arpeggio at this point. Try Gm Pentatonic over the first 6 bars, move into G Ionian or G Major Pentatonic for the next 3 then back to Gm or G Dorian for the next bar. For the turnaround, return to G Ionian or G Major Pentatonic. Or better yet, arpeggiate the chords.

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Jazz Turnarounds In G Major

Here is eight common turnarounds in the key of G Major. Each one has it's own unique sound and can be plugged into the last two measures of progression number three. Learn each one (watch the video for the correct fingering and voicings), and then insert them into the progression. Play the entire pattern with each new turnaround. Also, try transposing them to different keys (flat keys are great, since many jazz tunes are written in these keys to accommodate the horns). Eg: play the entire progression with each new turnaround one fret higher, and you are in the key of A flat Major. Also, I am playing these on the video with the 'grab' technique (with my fingers), also try strumming them. Mute out the unwanted strings with your fret hand. This all takes quite a bit of practice!

Common Jazz Chord Voicings

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions. | Source

Jazz Turnarounds In G Major

Stormy Monday • Standard Progression

This is the standard chord progression to one the most covered blues songs: Stormy Monday. This version is closer to the Allman Brothers version, than the original by T Bone Walker. It seems when anyone covers this song, this is the progression they use. Measures one and two are standard, with the 'quick change' in place. In measure three, the G7 moves into a G♯7, then resolves back to the G7 chord. This creates tension in this part of the song, a very nice touch! Chromatic movement is used in jazz and blues quite often. The same formula is applied in measures nine and ten, when the normal movement from the dominant D7 (one measure), to the subdominant C7 (one measure), is replaced by one measure of D7, modulating into D♯7 then resolving back to D7 before the turnaround in measures eleven and twelve. The last chord of the turnaround is a D augmented. Augmented chords are spelled: root, third, sharp fifth (in this case: D, F♯, A♯, D). Augmented chords are used much the same way as diminished chords, as passing chords connecting two others.

T Bone Walker

Stormy Monday • Standard Progession

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Stormy Monday • Standard Chord Progression

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution One

All the seventh chords in the standard progression have been substituted with ninth chords. Dominant ninth chords must be built on the dominant seventh chord, in this way, they are just an extension of the seventh chord. Chord spelling is: root, third, fifth, flat seventh, ninth. In some voicings, different intervals are omitted in order to form the chords on guitar. For instance, the G9 does not even contain a root (G). Chord spelling for this shape is: B (third), F (minor seventh), A (ninth) and D (fifth). When I play this voicing, I think of the root as being the G on the the first string, right next to my fourth finger. This tends to make the position easier to visualize. As in progression number two above, the ninth chords lend more of an 'uptown' sound. They are a bit grittier than the seventh chords. Once again, none of these progressions contain altered chords, meaning that they can be played over or in place of the standard progression. Layering chords like this adds more interest to the sound.

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution One

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution One

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution Two

This version features two chords per measure and a mixture of dominant chords: sevenths, ninths and thirteenths. As in chord substitution one, the top voice of the chords (the highest note) is always on the second string. In this way, I have created a melody along that string to give the chords more continuity and to make them flow, instead of just random voicings. It should be noted here, that I have not given much thought to bass movement in the progressions, focusing more on the upper melody. There are still no alterations (chords with sharps or flats). This also means that one scale can be used to improvise over this progression (Gm Pentatonic, still would be the first choice, although you may want to move into G Major Pentatonic for measures seven and eight: G, Am7, Bm7, B♭minor 7. This lends a very pleasant sound to your improvisation for this section. I have used the 'grabbing the chords' technique for this video.

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution Two

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution Two

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution Three

This version is a challenge! One chord per beat, four chords per measure. I have broken the progression into two measures per line, to make it easier to read. Once again the melody is all along the second string and there are no altered chords. I have substituted minor sevenths and sixths for the dominant D7 and D sharp 7 movement in measures nine and ten. This is explained in Progression Three above. The Am7 and Am6 are very similar in sound to the D9 and D7 chords (the structure is almost identical, in fact the Am6 is a D9, without the root D, while the Am7 lends a suspended sound to the dominant D7). The D augmented chord at the end of the turnaround is identical in shape to the one in beat three, just a different voicing. Like diminished chords, they repeat every certain number of frets. Chord spelling for the shape on beat four is: F sharp, A sharp, D, F sharp. Once again, I am 'grabbing the chords'. I have also substituted some alternate fingerings (using a third finger barre) for some of the chords on the video. This tempo is closer to the real recording.

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution Three

Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.
Jazz Chord Substitution Part One • Stormy Monday Chord Substitutions.

Stormy Monday • Chord Substitution Three

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    • profile image

      Cathie 6 years ago

      Great lesson!!!!!

    • jtyler profile image

      jtyler 5 years ago

      Cool article. Interesting ideas here.

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image
      Author

      Lorne Hemmerling 5 years ago from Oshawa

      Thank you , jtyler and Cathie

    • profile image

      Gene Hilbert 5 years ago

      Well Done

    • profile image

      Lorne Hemmerling 5 years ago

      Thanks so much Gene!

    • profile image

      Brian Turner 5 years ago

      Great as always. Good job!

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image
      Author

      Lorne Hemmerling 5 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks very much, Brian!

    • motv profile image

      Ivan Lima 2 years ago from U.S

      This was an intense, but great lesson!

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile image
      Author

      Lorne Hemmerling 2 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks! It is would fall into the intermediate to advanced category. Thanks for the feedback.

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