Guide Tones lines can be the missing link for many improvisers when soloing over chord changes. Knowing the chord tones of each chord and their possible chord scales are only part of the equation. Using the Charlie Parker tune “Blues For Alice” we’ll explore the many benefits achieved from the study and practice of guide tone lines for both soloing and comping.

This in-depth class comes with 12 pages of material written in standard notation that accompany the 90 minute video. Each guide tone line (both ascending and descending) is followed by notated solo choruses and/or excerpts that illustrate each line. Various lines are mixed together to create endless possibilities outlining several approaches: Voice-leading triads and 7th chords and upper chordal extensions and voice-leading intervals through a progression.


Other highlights of the class include:

Rhythmic approaches to soloing with guide tones

Bebop phrasing

Guide tone lines on turnarounds

Mixing common tones with guide tone lines

Balancing phrases off one another

The use of sequences and repetition


If you’ve wanted your solo phrases to have a more logical flow then manipulating the guide tone lines can give you that needed structure. Solo lines become more sound benefitting from an important compositional approach used by the great composers and songwriters. Good line architecture can greatly strengthen one’s soloing abilities. This class offers an enjoyable look at guide tone lines focused on an interesting variation of the 12 bar blues.

View a clips from Steve’s class

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Class Content

Guide Tone Lines: Soloing on a "Bird" Blues
Guide Tone Lines: Soloing on a "Bird" Blues 01:27:00

Course Reviews


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  1. Profile photo of David Tardio

    Terrific - LOTS of information that will keep you busy for years


    There is a lot of great material in this lesson, and you will be able to use it not only over a Bird Blues but anywhere in your repertoire. Steve is very melodic soloist and the guide tone line ideas he presents here will really help you develop a flow to your melodic improvisation. Very highly recommended class.

    ~ DAVID TARDIO (March 16, 2019)

  2. Profile photo of sergio jaen

    A master at practice


    For me this lesson is a perfect example of the way a master builds his craftsmanship. I think guide tones should came before scales not after, as the usual educations advices.

    ~ Sergio Jaén Lara (January 15, 2019)

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