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Watch the Flanaganistan online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from 50 Jazz-Blues Licks You MUST Know

Jazz musicians have a whole different way of thinking about playing blues in a minor key, and at first, if you don’t know what they’re thinking, it can sound, to quote songwriter Richard Julian, like "that blind man played piano like he knew another key." But it’s basically a two-part matter to understand what’s going on.

First, you need to know what additional chords they’re swapping in or substituting for the basic I, IV and V you’re used to, and why that works harmonically. Then, you can look at what they’re doing melodically to make their solos *reflect* those more elaborate chord progressions. And really, if you get what’s been going on so far in terms of the occasional ii-V-I logic, some of the altered tones we’ve swapped in, and the idea behind the basic chromatic moves we’ve looked at, you’ll be able to navigate these minor moves as well. The best part is, it often sounds good to "imply" these more jazz-inflected chord changes even when the band isn’t, which means you can be grooving like Albert on "Born Under A Bad Sign" and make heads turn when you sneak a little chromatic, altered or secondary dominant action into your solo. Sweet.