Jazz Game 1 Part One

Animated Jazz Game 1 Part One tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This is from the Jamzone where we are looking at playing games with scales to come up with melodies. In this ActionTab we introduce the rules of the first game...familiarize your fingers with the scale (F natural minor) and then mess with it to come up with melodies. The rules of the game are simple:

First play out the scale over the backing chords (as we show you) until you are very familiar with the note locations of this scale on the fretboard, and the feel of it.
Play ONLY the notes from this F natural minor scale!
Only play during the first 2 backing chords, except for the last note.
As soon as the 3rd backing chord is played, you must end the scale / melody you are playing on Eb (the 7th note of the F natural minor scale).

This is the F natural minor scale:

F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F

Remember, as the 3rd chord kicks in, end your scale / lick on the 7th note Eb!

This ActionTab shows the first stage of the game. In the next ActionTab we'll continue it, change a few rules, and come up with some fine jazzy melodies. Before that, you need your fingers to start getting used to the idea....

Use the ActionTab to learn the F natural minor scale. It starts out by showing the scale played across 2 octaves starting around the 8th fret in a few different ways. After a while we start messing about with the scale to give you pointers towards making melodies from it.

Let's look at each scale / lick as they appear in this ActionTab...

1. The 3 backing chords are shown:

Dm7
Db maj9 (no 3rd)
B maj7

This will help you remember them from the backing ActionTab, and help you count in on the next 3-chord repeat.

2. F natural minor scale played up through just 1 octave starting at fret 8 (ie. from F to the next F). The notes play through F - G - Ab - Bb - C - Db - Eb - F during the first 2 backing chords, BUT then end on the 7th note Eb as the 3rd backing chord is strummed. The Eb is always held for the duration of the last chord. This will help you see when that lick has ended.

3. This time we play up through the next octave. This means playing exactly the same sequence of notes as before, just starting from next F octave. Again, return to the Eb on the last chord.

4. Same octave as in 3, except we start on the high F and move down through the scale, ending again on the Eb.

5. Continuing down through the lower octave again (that we did in 1), starting on the high F down to the lower Eb.

Notice that with both of those last times, we extend into the lower octave to reach that Eb note (it's just closer).

6. This time we play upwards through both octaves. In other words, we start at F, go up through to the next F, and then up to the next F. Once again, dropping back to the 7th note Eb as the last chord is strummed. Notice that we play quicker now and with a bit more of a jazzy lilt. This is where we start to play the game and mess about with the timing of notes etc.

7. Same as 6 except going downwards through 2 octaves. Starts on this F.

8 onwards....

We stick to the rules of the game but start messing about with the scale more. Changing timing, omitting notes, altering the directions we are going in the scale etc. You probably get the point!

The trick is to make up such games, and use them to help you unlock scales and make them fun. After a while, your fingers will start to learn where the notes for the scale are, and this enables you to play more freely. Once you just 'know' the scale, you can start working on adding other techniques and developing melodic ideas. That's what we'll look at next....

Once you have got the scale down (and don't worry about speed, that comes the more you play the scale and practice), go to the backing ActionTab and start playing the game for yourself. Keep it simple and play by the rules! (Then we'll look at breaking them).

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