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As for the chords themselves, you’ll notice that some of them have been reused in different places in the form. The trick here is to keep chords with natural tensions natural (best if not resolving to their I chord), and keep chords with altered tensions altered (best if resolving to their I chord). So in our example, G7(13) can also be played as G9, while G7(b13) can also be played as G7(b9). It is this sort of choice making that can point the way to melody awareness. That is the fertile ground from which chord solos begin to sprout.
You will have successfully recycled this material when it starts turning up in your playing naturally, whether it’s in a blues or a standard 32-bar form, a ballad, or a burning Latin rocker.
Jane Miller is a guitarist, composer, and arranger with roots in both jazz and folk. In addition to leading her own jazz instrumental quartet, she is in a working chamber jazz trio with saxophonist Cercie Miller and bassist David Clark. The Jane Miller Group has released three CDs on Jane’s label, Pink Bubble Records. Jane joined the Guitar Department faculty at Berklee College of Music in 1994.