TIM LERCH Video Master­class

In the fi­nal in­stal­ment of his video master­class se­ries, Tim Lerch presents more great ideas for a 12-bar jazz-blues. With Mil­ton Mer­mikides.

Guitar Techniques - - CONTENTS -

In the fi­nal in­stal­ment of this three-part se­ries, Tim of­fers up more ideas for a 12 bar blues. Mil­ton Mer­mikides is your guide.

Welcome to the fi­nal part of Tim Lerch’s video master­class se­ries. Tim is a Seat­tle-based jazz and blues gui­tarist and a fan­tas­tic player and teacher. In this se­ries Tim has pre­sented many ex­cel­lent har­monic ideas in the con­text of a 12-bar jazz blues, so do check out the first two parts as they are a great foun­da­tion in this style of play­ing and you’ll want to be se­cure with the ba­sic 12-bars jazz-blues form when go­ing through this month’s les­son. The pro­gres­sion is pre­sented in be­low, although be aware that this ba­sic har­monic skele­ton is of­ten elab­o­rated and var­ied in per­for­mance, as we will con­tinue to see. We’ll call it Fig 1. Bb7 Eb7 Bb7

| | | | Eb7 Bb7 | Edim7| | (G7) |

Bb7 Cm7 | F7 | G7 | Cm7 F7 | In this les­son Tim plays over two cho­ruses of the se­quence (Ex­am­ple 1), then goes on to ex­plain many of the con­cepts used (Ex­am­ples 2-6). Fi­nally he plays an outro solo (Ex 7), which is a freer im­pro­vi­sa­tion us­ing con­cepts from all three in­stal­ments in the se­ries.

The main con­cept to­day is that of walk­ing basslines. Th­ese are re­ally ef­fec­tive on the gui­tar when com­bined with up­per chords (played ei­ther hy­brid or fin­ger­style). In order to cre­ate an in­ter­est­ing walk­ing bassline on the gui­tar, you have to know how to choose al­ter­na­tives to the root chord. Tim’s four ap­proaches of­fer count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties.

1) In­ver­sions. A 7th chord con­tains four unique notes and any one of th­ese can be in

Bb7 Bb9 the bass. So for ex­am­ple (or etc.) can

Bb7/D Bb7/F be voiced as (first in­ver­sion),

Bb7/Ab (sec­ond in­ver­sion) or (third in­ver­sion). See chord boxes op­po­site.

2) Di­a­tonic sub­sti­tu­tion. This is the use of a chord from the same key in place of your ba­sic

Bb, chord. For ex­am­ple in the key of the chords Cm7 and Dm7 are formed on the 2nd and 3rd de­grees re­spec­tively. This usu­ally hap­pens on the ‘weaker’ beats (2, 4 and some­times 3). So

Bb7 Bb7-Cm7-Dm7, for, say, you can play which cre­ates a sat­is­fy­ing bassline but doesn’t ‘break’ the har­mony.

3) Pass­ing di­min­ished chords. Di­min­ished 7th chords have har­monic sta­bil­ity, and a ten­dency to re­solve up­wards or down­wards by a semi­tone, so they can be used to ap­proach any chord. For ex­am­ple, th­ese first three

Bb7 de­vices can turn into a nice as­cend­ing

Bb7-Cm7-C#dim7-Bb/D. fig­ure of Di­min­ished 7ths also have the prop­erty that they can be shifted up or down in mi­nor 3rds while main­tain­ing their chord qual­ity (in­ver­sions are the same shape). Take a look at bar 6 of Ex­am­ple 1, where mu­sic is cre­ated when an b3rd Edim7 is shifted up a to Gdim7 (iden­ti­cal to Gdim7/G Edim7/G).

4) Chro­matic ap­proach. Fi­nally, any chord can be ap­proached by any chord of the same type from a semi­tone above or be­low. This ‘par­al­lel’ mo­tion is chal­leng­ing on the pi­ano, but great on the gui­tar where you sim­ply ap­proach a chord from a fret above or be­low.

Tim uses th­ese ap­proaches in Ex­am­ples 1-6, while the outro solo com­bines th­ese con­cepts with some from GT257 and 258 - cre­ative fuel for your jazz-blues play­ing. Thanks to Tim for shar­ing his knowl­edge, pas­sion and unique mu­si­cal in­sight.

Tim Lerch: ideas for a 12-bar blues

Tim Lerch cre­ates a mas­ter­ful blend of classy jazz and moody bluesi­ness

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