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Solo Jazz Guitar: Combining Melody and Harmony for a Fuller Sound

Combining Melody and Harmony for a Fuller Sound

These chord/melody examples show a number of different ways of spelling out harmony. These are particularly useful when playing solo, or when backing a singer or other instrument. The first example shows a moving line against a sustained chord. Barney Kessel was master of this style, as in his recording of “Cry Me A River” with vocalist Julie London.

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The next example demonstrates the famous style of Joe Pass, which creates the impression of a walking bass line with chords as punctuation.

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Next up is a ballad-style introduction. This time it’s the inner voice that moves.

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The block chords in this example can be moved up a fourth to create an introductory sequence reminiscent of Tal Farlow’s pianistic style.

The final example is demonstrated twice, once with a pick and once with thumb and fingers. This is done partly because Wes Montgomery did not use a pick, so this results in a more authentic tone, and partly to demonstrate the difference in feel between pick and finger-style playing.

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This lesson comes from:

Crash Course on Jazz Voicings