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Jazz Guitar Lessons

How To Approach Note Soloing, Part 2

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In part 2, guitarist and educator Richard Burgess continues to provide great advice and tips on how to approach note soloing.

In the last lesson we looked at targeting the 3rd of a dominant 7 chord by using half half-step approach note “enclosures”. We also looked at how to start these approaches on beat 4 in order to hit our target note on beat 1. Take a look at the last lesson if you missed it. In this lesson, we’re going to mix in some familiar minor pentatonic sounds with the the major 3rd target note we were looking at last time.

In Example 4 we start plugging in some C minor pentatonic blues lines in every other measure. Again, bear in mind what we a trying to do rhythmically with these approaches. The first of our three notes needs to start on beat four and end on the target note on beat one of the next bar. That leaves the “and” of beat 1, beat 2, and beat 3 for you to fill in. Practicing this does wonders for your time and rhythmic sense (See Ex. 4).


In Example 5 we plug in C minor pentatonic blues lines in every measure. Notice how basic blues licks take on a whole new character when they are juxtaposed with these chord tone notes that are not part of the minor pentatonic scale.

This only scratches the surface of this “approach note concept”. There are different enclosures for different chords (Maj7, Min7, etc.) and different lengths of approaches 

(2 note, 3 note, etc.). Hopefully, this will give you a tool to help you bring out the harmony of the music you are playing.

And if you missed something in Part 1 of the lesson.


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