October 30, 2004

Bossa Nova and Samba Chord Patterns

This week's edition of the www.jazzguitar.be newsletter is about bossa nova and samba chord patterns.

The free weekly newsletter contains jazz guitar licks, jazz guitar chords and an occasional jazz guitar lesson. It also keeps you informed about www.jazzguitar.be updates.

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October 28, 2004

Jazz Guitar Chords in Fourths

Chords in fourths are made popular by McCoy Tyner (John Coltrane's piano player).

They are very useful in modal music, especially in the minor and dominant key.

I don't use and think about them in the same way that I use chords stacked in thirds. I rather look at quartal voicings as an harmonized scale that can be used as a solo device or to create vamps.

They also come in handy when you're comping and you don't want to take too much space from the soloist or force him in a direction. Quartal voicings behave like a harmonic chameleon and give a lot of freedom to the soloist.

Learn more about jazz guitar chords in fourths.

October 27, 2004

A Bossa Nova Chord Pattern

Here's a chord pattern for bossa nova accompaniment.

Make sure everything is played legato so the chords don't sound 'broken'.

The chord is a Dm9, but you can use any chord you like. The bass is the same for every chord (1 going to 5) except for half diminished chords and diminished chords. Those chords have a b5, so play the b5 in the bass instead of the 5.

A good song to practice this pattern is 'Blue Bossa'.

Have a look here for more guitar licks.

About Practicing Guitar (your time in the woodshed)

There's only one thing you can do to become a better Jazz Guitar player: spend a lot of time in the woodshed.
Make sure you spend this time as efficient as possible.

Here are a few tips:

1) Pick your topics: what aspects of playing guitar do you want to get better on? Choose some topics and practice them daily. Don't choose too many topics. Focus!

2) Know all there is to know about your topics: investigate! Check all available resources: websites, books, teachers, other guitarists, DVD's, ...

3) Create exercises for your topics: don't make them too difficult or too easy. Be realistic! Find a good balance between mechanical and creative exercises. Enjoy!

4) Do it! Do your exercises daily and stick to the plan.

5) Have a look at yourself: evaluate yourself after some time. Record yourself or get some feedback from friends or teachers. Did you get the results you want? If no, practice some more, if yes go to the next topic.

And if you're out of topics have a look overhere: http://www.jazzguitar.be