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May 2014

Premier Clinic - Jazz

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Another Spicy 12-Bar Solo
from Mark Stefani’s Jazzed Blues Assembly Lines

This month’s 12-bar blues chorus opens with more funky, major blues moves influenced by Benson, then transitions into a cool, chromatic jazz lick that takes you to the F7 chord at bar five. Next, you’ll recognize a major blues repetition, followed by the C minor blues licks echoed across two octaves. After that, we’re back to the C7 chord for another dose of funky blues phrasing to set up the chords in bars nine and ten. Dominant blues licks over both the G7 and F7, plus some additional double-stops complete this chorus.

Over the first C7, the solo pulls ideas from previous lessons, starting with the juxtaposition of the 6 against the 7 in the first measure before moving on to a more familiar major pentatonic phrase in measure 2. Measure 3 features some cool 16th note triplets on the way up to a chromatic run on the high E string in the following measure. Measure 5 features a nice repeating phrase over the IV chord – F7 – a common jazz move, while the next measure continues to outline the F7 while walking back down to the 8th fret position with a tasteful, sliding lick to usher the I chord back in. This sets up some anticipation for the chord change, a technique used again in the upcoming turnaround in measures 9 through 12.

In measure 9, while still over the G7, the notes begin to outline the upcoming V chord with the last two notes. It isn’t implicit, but the change is suggested, adding additional tension. The stacked fifth double-stops in measure 11 add a different flavor to the solo before moving into more traditional double-stops to outline the root chord. The final measure features a jazz-approved slide against a tonic riff to finish things out.

Dig in and study what’s going on here – try to apply these techniques to your own playing. Have fun with the new challenges, and we’ll see you next month.

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