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The Blues: A Modern Jazz Guitar Approach – Part I

The twelve-bar blues progression has been a mainstay of the repertoire of every jazz musician since the birth of jazz in the early twentieth century.  Over the years, as jazz evolved and sub-styles emerged, the blues form proved itself to be both quintessential and highly adaptable to the varied developments in jazz.  In the early twenty-first century, a new generation of jazz musicians has reinvigorated the genre, but the blues continues to be an essential part of the modern style. If you’re interested in learning more about how to incorporate modern elements while still maintaining a thread of the tradition when you play over the blues progression, then this class is for you.

In this class, the blues form will be explored in detail with the goal of applying modern jazz melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic vocabulary to the progression.  First will be a brief survey of the structure and history of the form along with exercises for gaining mastery over the basic harmonies.  Then, common mainstream approaches for melodic and harmonic variations on the progression will be outlined.  Finally, modern approaches to melody, harmony, and rhythm will be applied to the blues form.

The Blues: A Modern Jazz Guitar Approach – Part I covers:

  • Basic jazz blues progressions defined and analyzed, including harmonic function and chord/scale chart
  • Arpeggio and scale studies for Bb and F blues with emphasis on fingerboard mastery and voice leading
  • Discussion of approach notes and target notes and the “bebop scale” with examples
  • Discussion of mixing blues vocabulary with outlining chord changes in improvisations
  • Tri-tone substitution
  • Melodic minor mode substitution
  • Diminished scale use
  • Basic polyrhythm applications for melodic and harmonic improvising; groupings of three
  • Modal approach to the blues, including polytonal side-slipping
  • Applying 3-part-4ths to the blues
  • Running time: 92 minutes
  • 14 pages of written examples (including chord diagrams, standard notation and TAB), exercises, and example solos with close-up views of the performances
  • Each example performance is titled for easy navigation
  • MP3 backing tracks for all written examples and solos

Also see part II of this blues jazz lesson .

Class Content

Blues: A Modern Jazz Guitar Approach - Part I
Blues: A Modern Jazz Guitar Approach – Part I 01:32:00

Course Reviews

5

5
18 ratings
  • 5 stars18
  • 4 stars0
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  1. Profile photo of Mark Rattner

    Starts with the basics and gets intense

    5

    Tom is a really thoughtful teacher. He paces the course to make sure you have the basics in place – which of course you need to know – before moving on to more advanced material. This isn’t just a one-off youtube lesson with a guy showing you a few licks and tricks. This is the real deal and the material is rooted in the playing of the jazz masters. I especially enjoyed the section on outlining chords while retaining the basic sound of the blues. From there Tom takes you into chord scales and substitutions, melodic minor and diminished scale applications, modal concepts ala McCoy Tyner, and then into poly-rhythms, and suspended chordal ideas. Cool stuff. There’s a lot here that could keep you busy for a very long time. Even if you absorb just a part of this lesson, with practice it will help you become a better player.

    ~ Mark Rattner (August 3, 2018)

  2. Profile photo of Ivan Eln

    No better teacher than Tom

    5

    Tom is not only a very inspiring player, but also a master teacher. The material he presents is very organized, his exercises and examples are rich in musical content and his explanation of the underlying principles of the blues and it’s harmonic implications are very easy to grasp for players with a basic understanding of jazz. He not only shows you the door – he opens it as wide as possible. Putting trust in his methods and regular practice will take you right through it.

    ~ Ivan Eln (April 5, 2018)

  3. Profile photo of Ken Scott

    Fantastic Course

    5

    This is the 4th course of Tom’s that I have taken. Tom is just as incredible as a teacher as he is a player. His courses contain very well organized pdf’s with concise examples that he covers thoroughly during the video. Very easy to follow, and I especially appreciate the included backing tracks. Highly recommended!!

    ~ Ken Scott (March 18, 2018)

  4. Profile photo of Moncef Fadal

    5

    Very rich in content ! Tom is very organized , and doesn’t waste time , so everything is realy important ! Highly recommand this!

    ~ Moncef Fadal (December 23, 2016)

  5. Profile photo of David Tardio

    5

    I really like how Tom starts with the basics as a foundation for the more advanced material. He is an excellent teacher. Everything is presented clearly and systematically. Because of this you can go back and review certain sections (like using melodic minor or the diminished scale) whenever you need to. Highly recommended.

    ~ DAVID TARDIO (December 11, 2016)

  6. Profile photo of Jovica Savin

    5

    Again: If you are curious and interested in Jazz Guitar, this is for you! Tom Lippincott is great teacher!
    Meanwhile I have some other classes too, and they all are great!

    ~ Jovica Savin (December 11, 2016)

  7. Profile photo of J. Andrew

    5

    Tom’s classes are extremely well put together! The course materials are clear and thorough. I highly recommend any of his courses!!!

    ~ Jay Heaverlo (August 2, 2016)

  8. Profile photo of Ivan Hinojosa

    5

    I learned the fundamentals of Blues Jazz years ago, but Tom makes me a new perpective o this, and explain clearly about that important is work on basic on any style to play in another dimension later. Tom is the best serious, clear and clever teacher that i see.

    Extremely recommended

    ~ Ivan Hinojosa (October 27, 2015)

  9. Profile photo of sebastien leibundguth

    5

    It’s a great lesson for every body that starts from basics to more modern sound.Thanks to Tom who is a great teacher and a great player.!!

    ~ Sebastien Leibundguth (June 14, 2015)

  10. Profile photo of Levent Unal

    5

    Tom’s tutorials are great and very useful for anyone who are into classical jazz or contemporary music. I can’t wait to get the second part when I am done with the first one. Thanks so much, Tom.

    ~ Levent Unal (May 25, 2015)

  11. Profile photo of Anthony Robinson

    5

    Absolutely awesome class, would highly recommend for anyone looking for new ways to approach the blues as well as brush up on some of the fundamentals if needed. This is the fifth class I believe that I have purchased from Tom after viewing some of his modern jazz guitar classes and they certainly do not disappoint.

    ~ Anthony Robinson (May 6, 2014)

  12. Profile photo of Fabrizio Bonacci

    5

    I believe that this (along with Pt. II) is a really well structured lesson on modern blues approaches. It certainly covers all the basics any jazz player needs to know to play the jazz blues form with modern sounds.

    I certainly appreciated part one as it provides the student with all the foundations needed to play consistently the jazz blues style. Also, this section shows succinctly the development of the jazz blues form from a historical as well as a theoretical point of view.

    In part II I found some really useful ‘quartal concepts’ applied to the jazz blues form. Both parts are definitely very enjoyable and easy to follow, as well as very informative.

    In my opinion Tom Lippincott is not only a great musician, but also an outstanding teacher.

    ~ Fabrizio Bonacci (April 4, 2014)

  13. Profile photo of Stephen Burr

    5

    Some people are great players, and some are great teachers. Tom is an example of the rare combination of both. His material is presented in a very organized, step-by-step way, and he explains everything in a very clear, concise manner. This is very important for those of us who study independently, since no one is there to answer questions.
    What I really like in this lesson is that it Tom starts out with basic jazz blues and progresses to the modern style one concept at a time. This shows his deep knowledge, appreciation, and respect for what came before. His other lessons, especially Modern Jazz 1, are similar in that regard.
    The concept by concept approach helped me identify the things that I need to work on before working on the most modern sounds. For me, this was several lessons in one, as it encompasses so much that it inspired me to create my own exercises to fill in the gaps.
    I highly recommend this video, it will keep me busy for a very long time.

    ~ Stephen Burr (March 29, 2014)

  14. Profile photo of Jon Ellison

    5

    Very thorough and musical! Tom’s teaching style is straight forward & easy to apply. The exercises are great etudes that can be applied to blues progressions all across the musical spectrum. There is plenty here to keep one busy–your playing will improve with this course.

    ~ Jon Ellison (January 23, 2014)

  15. Profile photo of Ray Bartlet

    5

    Tom’s classes are so comprehensive that you will never be short of interesting ideas to practice. Of course using the blues as a basis for demonstrating modern sounds means we can all join the party. Thanks Tom.

    ~ Ray Bartlet (November 30, 2013)

  16. Profile photo of Michael Jaramillo

    5

    The Blues Pt.I is another winner, I found it very easy to apply. Tom is a wonderful no-nonsense teacher. Be prepared to spend months utilizing all the material here!

    ~ Michael Jaramillo (November 1, 2013)

  17. Profile photo of Franklin Brown

    5

    Another outstanding video set from Tom Lippincott. I bought parts 1 and 2. I highly recommend them both! If you’re looking for that elusive ‘modern’ sound, you’ll love these videos. The information is presented in a very accessible manner. Easy to understand and apply.
    I also bought parts 1 thru 4 of his Modern Jazz Guitar series, which are all fantastic. Tom is an incredible guitarist and teacher. The most ‘bang for the buck’ you’ll find in guitar education.

    ~ Franklin Brown (October 25, 2013)

  18. Profile photo of Ben Jagodzinski

    5

    Tom Lippincott is a masterful and innovative guitarist, educator, and performer. His classes are extremely well organized and full of great examples that can inspire players of all levels. These Modern Blues classes in particular are an amazing tool for the contemporary guitarist, even if you have a solid understanding and grasp of the blues. We are grateful that you offer this information at such a modest price Tom, and look forward to your future endeavors!

    All the best

    ~ Ben Jagodzinski (October 18, 2013)

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