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Style Guide: Soul Jazz

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Style Guide: Soul Jazz

Fig. 9 shows one possibility of using all four three-note patterns over a chorus of blues. But remember, don’t just practice my examples, experiment with different combinations to make this idea your own. Initially you should practice this example with the given articulations. Once you feel comfortable, try varying your right- and left-hand phrasing. One possible way to vary the articulation is to pick every note rather than using hammer-ons and slides.



Fig. 10
and Fig. 11 illustrate double-stop ideas that an organist might play in the soul jazz genre. Hammond B-3 players are able to sustain one top note in their right hand while improvising counter lines with their left hand. Since we only have the capability of using our left hand on the fretboard (at least when using traditional techniques), I have adjusted the concept to work on the guitar. Play through both examples while focusing on sustaining the top note. Pat Martino uses the lick in Fig. 11 during his improvised solo on “A Blues for Mickey-O.”







Fig. 12 illustrates the use of both of these ideas over a blues progression. The first chorus uses Fig. 10 extensively, and the second chorus employs the idea in Fig. 11. In the first chorus I have taken the idea and adjusted the placement to fit over the changing harmonic motion. I would suggest extra practice time on the first chorus, as it is more involved.




Now we are really getting somewhere! Before proceeding to the next idea, I would strongly suggest exploring each of the previous patterns over the provided play-along tracks. Both tracks are Bb blues progressions at a relaxed tempo, and they’ll allow you to really dig in and investigate your own amalgamations of these patterns.


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