Welcome to episode 146 of the LJS Podcast where today we are covering 3 awesome strategies for improvising over a jazz blues. The blues is an important song form in jazz that every aspiring jazz musician needs to be proficient at. These strategies will help set a strong foundation for improvising freely over the blues. Listen in!
Listen to episode 146
Regardless of whether you are a beginner jazz musician or an advanced jazz musician, the blues is a song form you need to have complete control of.
The jazz blues insinuates a variation on the standard 12-bar blues form that has been defined in music pedagogy. In jazz, we generally add more chord changes to the harmony.
While there are many variations and harmonizations of a jazz blues, the basic jazz blues uses I7-IV7-I7-IV7-#ivdim7-I7-VI7-ii-V7-I7.
In this episode, I cover 3 strategies for improvising over the blues. These strategies are more conceptual ideas. They shouldn’t be used by themselves, and you should also be learning licks and pieces of language by ear in addition.
Here is what I talk about in today’s episode:
1. The basic jazz blues form
2. Strategy #1: Chord tones
3. Strategy #2: Major and minor pentatonic scales
4. Strategy #3: Mixolydian and Dorian modes
My challenge for you is to take one of these 3 strategies and spend some time practicing them this week. Try to figure out how you can make them musical.
When you think about each strategy, you realize that each one offers their own ingredients to add to the improv cocktail. If you start combining these approaches, you’ll start to get some foundational elements of playing a great jazz blues solo.