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John Knowles ‘Lenny Breau’ Guitar Tip

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Jazz guitarist John Knowles shares something he learned from hanging out with Lenny Breau.

John Knowles: I remember him saying, “Man, it’s like agame I play. It’s a challenge I give myself.”Here’s how it works. I choose a key… C, anda chord progression… C, Am7, Dm7, G7… theBlue Moon progression… 1, 6, 2, 5. Then I play aC scale going up.

Now I’m going to play that progression andfor each chord, I’m going to put one note fromthe scale on top of the chord. When I play the Cchord… I’m going to put a C note on top. When Iplay Am7… I’m going to put a D on top. When Iplay Dm7… I’m going to put an E on top. WhenI play G7… I’m going to put an F on top. Andwhen I play the next C chord… I’m going to puta G on top.

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I could go back and name those chords… butthe big idea is that you’ll need to re-voice someof the chords to keep the scale moving with thechord progression.Now buckle up… because it gets crazy. Youchange keys… you change progressions… youchange the scale… you start on a different note inthe scale. Each day… a new challenge.

For more John Knowles lessons and tips.

And check out Jazz Guitar Today’s interview with John Knowles.
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