Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, Scott Henderson, and Oz Noy are just a few examples of top notch guitarists who are widely respected for jazzing up their blues improvisations with jazz phrasing and tonalities. On the other end of the scale, most students of blues guitar struggle when it comes to jazzing up their blues lines because they haven’t yet been exposed to jazz harmonies and melodic approaches.
In this first volume of Jazzin’ the Blues, Frank Vignola jump starts your jazzed blues skills by guiding you through 20 performance studies, each focused on a specific jazz harmonic concept.
”Blues gave birth to jazz. Yet, a lot of blues players are challenged when it comes to jazzing up their blues lines. I’ve prepared 20 studies to help students get up to speed by applying a range of jazz harmonies to what they already know. We’ll start as simple as adding a single tone to the pentatonic scale and then progress to integrating more sophisticated tonalities in their lines. Throughout the course, we'll be working exclusively with standard 1-4-5 blues progressions, in a variety of keys and feels.”
Frank organized the course into 10 sets of lessons. Each set focuses on a specific jazz harmonic approach and each features two solo performance studies. Frank will first perform the soloing performance study and then break it down note-for-note explaining the underlying harmonic approach.
You’ll learn how to “jazz up your blues” by playing your way through the course — no tedious theory or boring exercises to struggle through.
SET 1: The Major 6th - ”In this set, we're going to add the major 6th to the pentatonic scale. I first heard Charlie Christian add the major 6th to his blues, and what a great and unique sound. This is a blues in A. Notice the F9 to the E9 at the end of this progression. In the first solo, I use a riff-based approach and in the second solo I use a more melodic approach.”
SET 2: Diminished Scale - ”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. In both solos, I mix classic blues licks with diminished.”
SET 3: Bluesy Diminished - ”In this set, we take a more in depth look at how to incorporate the diminished sound into the blues over a classic D blues progression. In the first solo, I use a simplistic approach to adding the diminished sound to the blues. In the second solo, I mix it with some Charlie Parker style licks.”
SET 4: Bebop Scale - ”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 first solo, I stick strictly with the bebop scale as related to each chord. In the second solo, I mix it up with the blues.”
SET 5: Whole Tone Scale - ”In this set, we add the whole tone scale to the blues. The whole tone scale is a hexatonic scale, therefore only two whole tone scales exist servicing all 12 keys. This is also referred to as the "augmented sound”. Here we're using a G shuffle blues. In the first solo, I mix the whole tone sound and the blues, and in the second solo, I extend the whole tone phrases.”
SET 6: Octaves - ”In this set, we use octaves á la Wes Montgomery. We use an F# minor one chord groove using bluesy octaves licks for both solos.”
SET 7: The Major 2nd - ”In this set, we add the major 2nd to the blues pentatonic scale. We use a Bb min blues progression for this one. I stay scalar and melodic using the 2nd. In the second solos, I use a flourish and some double stops. This one note addition to the blues scale can help you become more melodic in your blues playing.”
SET 8: Mixolydian Mode - ”In this set, we explore the Mixolydian mode adding it to the blues. A shuffle blues is used for this study. In the first chorus, I use Mixolydian patterns, and in the second chorus I use more scalar Mixolydian patterns.”
SET 9: Bluesy Mixolydian - ”In this set, we mix up classic blues licks and the Mixolydian sound. We're in the key of A once again. In the first solo, I start with blues and use Mixolydian, and in the second solo, I start with Mixolydian and then use blues.”
SET 10: Super Locrian Mode - ”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 the first solo, we use mostly super Locrian mode through the changes, and in the second solo we mix it up with the blues.”
All of the performance studies are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can play, loop and/or slow down the tab and notation as you work through the lessons. Plus, Frank includes all of the backing tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your guitar and let’s jazz up our blues with Frank Vignola!