Jazz Game 1 Part Two

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

So, we've 'played the game' with the F natural minor scale a little already.
Here we continue the Jamzone series on creating melodies from scales.
As you can see, the game has simple rules and helps you become more familiar with the scale, but importantly, sets you thinking about using it in different ways to create melody.

Hopefully by now your fingers are quite well used to the scale and you're ready for the next development in 'the game'. This time we throw more important ingredients into the mix...

On the 3rd backing chord, end on either the Eb (just as before), or the Bb.
Employ different techniques - slides, hammers, pull offs, mutes etc.
Be a bit more mindful of the tunefulness coming from our fingers!
Occasionally bend the rules.

As you'll see in this ActionTab, just these simple principles really start to transform one scale into a hotbed of potential. Let's talk a bit about each one...

By using the Eb and the Bb as our 'target notes' to end each melodic phrase with, we are altering the feel of where the melody 'goes to'. You can expand on the rules here to end on other 'target notes' from the scale (some will work well, others not so well). The point is to experiment and get a feel for where your melody goes, and get more experienced with using selected notes from the scale you are using. Using 'Target notes' in the way we are doing here helps you to become familiar with specific notes of the scale. By altering the note and learning it's name and position in the scale, you will soon start to learn your way around the fretboard, and get an understanding of the relationships between notes.

In the longer term using 'target notes' will also help you to plot a course through longer melodies. We are stopping on the target note here, but in songs where you wish to continue the melody and shift to another scale - it is very important to aim for the right note and time it perfectly with the backing chord changes.

By using different techniques (slides etc), we have a wider range of melodic possibilities. Slides and hammers etc affect 'how' we play the notes, and can give things a different spin. The first few melodic phrases in this ActionTab are a good example. By the way, in jazz music slides, hammers, pull offs, muting, vibrato are common enough, but bends aren't. Bends are more associated with blues. Not that it should affect your playing, but if you bend all the time you won't quite get that 'smooth' jazzy phrasing.

Being mindful of tunefulness is naturally important. In other words, don't just go up and down the scale. Try out different notes, omit others, use techniques etc to come up with things that sound melodically pleasant. Also, vary the timing as you pick - notice how some of the phrases in this ActionTab vary in terms of pace and how some parts of a lick may be faster, slower, gentler, and so on. Take time over your licks, work through them and refine them to come up with something that sounds nice. This is part of the creative writing process that you'll need as a songwriter - and it comes with some effort and thought towards how you are using your scale notes!

Bending the rules is also important. This could mean suddenly divebombing the whammy bar as you kick your overdrive pedal and start fingertapping. It counld mean using those 'forbidden' notes (i.e. not members of the F natural minor scale). It's all up to you. The point is that, once you have gotten used to the scale and how it feels - then it's time to start thinking outside the box. Don't get rigidly trapped by the scale. Make it serve you, not the other way around!

For example, we slide into the melody from a note outside the F natural minor scale in this phrase. Also, we use chords at the end of the ActionTab to overlay the backing chords.

Use the ActionTab for ideas and then go to the Backing ActionTab and get playing the game for yourself!

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