TrueFire's Guitar Blog

Jazz Up Your Blues with These 4 Free Guitar Lessons from Frank Vignola

Blues gave birth to jazz, yet making the connection between the two might be hard for some players who aren’t experienced in playing jazz harmonies and melodic approaches. Frank Vignola aims to bridge the gap in his new TrueFire course, Jazzin’ the Blues Vol. 1, which takes standard I-IV-V blues progressions, and adds in jazz phrasing and tonality.

Frank will take you through four different blues progressions here, each one showcasing a different scale or mode that will exemplify how to add in the sounds of jazz. Let’s get to it!

Bebop Scale: Chorus 2 – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this lesson on TrueFire.

Bebop Scale: Chorus 2 – Breakdown

In this set, we add the bebop scale to the blues. The bebop scale is a Mixolydian scale with a major 7th in between the root and the flatted 7th. The major 7th is used as a passing tone and is a very cool sound.

We’re using a classic A blues. Notice the F9 to E9 towards the end. In the second chorus, I mix up the bebop scale with the blues.


Mixolydian Mode: Chorus 2 – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this lesson on TrueFire.

Mixolydian Mode: Chorus 2 – Breakdown

In this set, we explore the Mixolydian mode adding it to the blues. A shuffle blues is used for this study. For this chorus, I’m using more scalar Mixolydian patterns.


Super Locrian Mode: Chorus 2 – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this lesson on TrueFire.

Super Locrian Mode: Chorus 2 – Breakdown

In this set, we introduce the super Locrian mode to the blues. The super Locrian mode mixes the diminished and whole tone sound.

We’re using a G blues here. In this chorus, we mix up the Locrian mode with the blues.


Diminished Scale: Chorus 2 – Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this lesson on TrueFire.

Diminished Scale: Chorus 2 – Breakdown

In this set, we’re going to mix the diminished tonality with some classic blues riffs. This one is in the key of D with a classic blues progression. Here I mix classic blues licks with diminished.


Make sure to check out the rest of the course on TrueFire if you want more ways to jazz up a blues progression. There you’ll find 16 more choruses that show off different ways of adding jazz harmony and melodic approaches in. As always, each progression also includes tab, notation, and jam tracks to play along with on your own. Check it out now!