Jam To The Blues
Jam Along Blues Materials for Fun and Learning
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The Jam Along Blues CD features eleven tracks of shuffle-style blues progressions. Each of these tracks presents new challenges for blues beginners, including students and instrumentalists new to improvisation. More experienced players can enjoy long, uninterupted solos, allowing time for working on new ideas, techniques and sounds.
This page contains links to PDF documents that accompany the Jam Along Blues CD tracks. Here anyone can find all they need to play along with the blues shuffles provided on the disc.
Jam Along CDs are easy to use
Simply play the CD in any standard audio CD player or computer CD drive, and jam along. There are no solos, vocals or melodies, just background tracks, and each track lasts at least five or six minutes. Jam Along Blues CDs can be used in private lessons, and teachers can provide materials for their students to use for home practice.
Jam Along Blues Materials
The materials to play along with the Jam Along Blues CD are presented below in PDF format. They are files showing standard musical notation of rhythm section parts, chord progressions and arrangements (where applicable), and scales and arpeggios for use in developing and applying improvisational techniques.
Guitar Moveable Chord Forms are also included for the most common block forms used in the Blues.
The PDF documents will open into a new browser window. You can then save a copy to your hard drive, or work with them directly from the web site. Adobe provides the Acrobat Reader for free. It is available as a download from the internet.
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Rhythm Section Parts
Jam Along Blues CD Rhythm Section Parts
Sample Guitar Part (Notated Barrelhouse)
Left Hand Piano Chords (9th Chord Voicing)
Sample Bass Part (Boogie Shuffle)
This PDF file shows one measure of sample rhythm section parts for each seventh chord in the cycle of fifths, starting on B. [B - E - A - D - G - C - F - Bb - Eb - Ab - Db/C# - Gb/F#]. Beginners should play each measure over and over again, which is called looping, until a feeling of relaxation and flow is attained. Once this is done, play each two-measure group over and over until the transition is easy.
Each of these one-measure ideas can be used to fill in the charts provided for each tune. When a chord only lasts for half of the measure, the first two beats of each chord can be used, covering the first and second beats, or the third and fourth beats. After becoming familiar with these parts, and with listening to blues played by other musicians, variations will become easier to achieve.
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The Harmonized Bass-Line Turnaround is a variation of the simple turnaround used in track two (E Bump/Turnaround) and track four (A Bump/Turnaround). This chord sequence is used in track five (A Worried Life Blues) and track six (A Shotgun Blues).
Turnarounds occur at the end of chord progressions that are repetitive, such as the 12 Bar Blues. They create movement, a kind of harmonic instability, that helps direct the progression back to the beginning of the cycle. The blues and jazz both use turnarounds as a regular harmonic device.
This turnaround is motivated by the movement of the bassline, which ascends by half-step from the third of the I chord, beginning on beat two of the eleventh measure (typically). The turnaround takes two measures to complete, and ends on the dominant (V7) chord of the key.
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Diminished seventh chords are chords of movement in harmony. In American Music they are used in the blues, jazz and gospel styles, as well as New Orleans and Dixieland progressions.
Each diminished chord has a function, described by its place in the key. This is identified with a Roman Numeral which corresponds to a simple scale degree (between 1 and 7, with chromatic tones between 1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 5-6, and 6-7). The diminished seventh chord most common in the blues is the #IVo7 chord, which usually occurs in bar six of a 12 Bar Blues progression.
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The guitar chords used in the blues include a type of chord called a Ninth or 9th Chord. These are usually played with a Moveable Chord Form. The PDF document offers two choices of forms which can be placed in the appropriate location on the guitar neck to play the correct chord.
Blues progressions occassionally have Diminished Seventh or o7 Chords. Quite often these occur in bar six of a 12 Bar Blues. Two progressions on the Jam Along Blues CDs use this type of Diminished Seventh chord, track five (A Worried Life Blues) and track six (A Shotgun Blues).
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Track by Track Materials List
Includes Chord Progression and Solo Materials for Each Track
All Materials in Concert Pitch (C), Bb (Tenor Sax, Trumpet, Bb Clarinet), and Eb (Alto Sax, Baritone Sax)
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The Directory contains a key-by-key list of all available solo material, including By Key scales and By Chords scales and arpeggios.
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Jam Along Blues CD:
More fun than a metronome!
©2006-2009 Frank Singer, Naked Kitty Productions, First Art Records, 1 Grizzly Cat Place Studios
All Rights Reserved