It's time to move past the blues scale.



  • Learn how to use diminished and altered sounds over a IV chord.
  • Develop a better sense of voice leading.
  • Understand the basics of connecting guide tones.
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Let's talk about momentum. It's an essential part of any great solo, and when you're ripping over a 12-bar blues, the first spot to really demonstrate your mastery of the harmony is when the IV chord pops up. In this lesson, I'll demonstrate how to create some … fourward momentum … in your next solo.

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Since the early days of Bob Wills swinging away in Texas dance halls, this genre has combined elements of blues, jazz, country, and more. Here’s how to nail its timeless sound.

Chops: Intermediate
Theory: Intermediate
Lesson Overview:
• Combine elements of jazz, blues, and country into a swing-based style.
• Learn how to target chord tones in your solos.
• Understand how to use chord inversions to create movement in your rhythm parts.
Click here to download a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.

From the Texas dance halls of the 1930s, the home of the legendary Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys, to the modern-day swing of the Hot Club of Cowtown, Western swing has remained a gem of country music. In this infectious genre, twin fiddles, bouncing double bass, driving guitar solos, and singing lap steel are all married to a beat that’s designed for dancing. It’s a blend of country, swing, jazz, and blues that is sure to put a smile on the face of any music aficionado.

Throughout this lesson, we’ll explore some of the traditional idioms from recordings of the ’30s and ’40s, as well as more modern sounds being played today by such torchbearers as Whit Smith (the Hot Club of Cowtown), Dave Biller (Wayne Hancock, the Lucky Stars), and Jeremy Wakefield (the Lucky Stars).

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