Jam tracks tips
1. Slow Blues in E
Here we have a slow blues in E at just 55bpm, which you can approach in a variety of ways. The good old E Minor Pentatonic scale (E G A B D) will work – and so will E Major Pentatonic (E F# G# B C#), although the latter works best on the I chord (E9) and V chord (B9). Try mixing in some E Mixolydian mode (E F# G# A B C# D) – this works perfectly for the I chord (E9).
2. Rockout in G
Here’s a fun uptempo rock track in G. You can use G Minor Pentatonic (G Bb C D F) and G Minor Blues scale (G Bb C C# D F) as a starting point, but the track works well with quite a few more colourful scales. The chord progression is: G-Bbmaj7Cadd9-Abmaj7. Try using G Mixolydian (G A B C D E F) on G chords, G Dorian (G A Bb C D E F) on Bbmaj7 and Cadd9 and finally G Phrygian (G Ab Bb C D Eb F) on the final Abmaj7 chord.
3. 7/8 Groove in F#m
Count the subdivisions of this 7/8 groove track as 2-3-2 (meaning 1-2-1-2-3-1-2). It’s in F#m, but harmonically speaking it’s quite open, so I suggest playing around with a variety of scales. Try F# Dorian (F# G# A B C# D# E), F# Minor scale (F# G# A B C# D E), F# Phrygian (F# G A B C# D E) and even F# Mixolydian (F# G# A# B C# D# E). Of course F# Minor Pentatonic and F# Blues scale also work great!
4. C Jazz Blues – Medium Swing
Here’s a standard jazz blues in C. Try mixing C Major Pentatonic (C D E G A) with C Minor Pentatonic (C Eb F G Bb) for a start. One additional jazzy colour to catch is the A7 in bar 8 of the 12-bar blues cycle. Perhaps have a go at outlining an A7 arpeggio here (A C# E G), or use the D Harmonic Minor scale (D E F G A Bb C#), which also works perfectly. Additionally, see if you can whip out an F# Diminished arpeggio (F# A C Eb) in bar 6 of the cycle for the F# diminished chord.