Jazz Chords For Fingerstyle Blues In A

chord substitutions fingerstyle blues Sep 20, 2017

Jazz Algebra

The little mom 'n pop music store where I took guitar lessons in high school is a real estate office now. And Jeff W., my high school guitar teacher, is still around but, as continuing evidence of the immense aura of wisdom that always seemed to swirl around his immaculately shaggy head, he doesn't waste any time on social media. Which is probably for the best, because otherwise he'd be spending all his time answering messages from my best friend Peter and myself about how overwhelmingly excellent it was to be his guitar students in our teenage years. This is guy who wrote out "Anji" for me, explained that there were other classical guitar pieces besides the "Bourree in E Minor," and loaned me a shopping bag full of his own LPs to check out while he went on vacation.

He also taught me how to play a G13 chord, though we never quite got around to any practical applications for it, and did his best to explained how #9's, b13's and all the rest of that jazz algebra work, jotting down notes in my manuscript book in his beautifully idiosyncratic and stylized handwriting. Like most things, it was years before I realized what he was trying to explain, and even longer before I found ways to use those kinds of chords in my own playing.

But eventually I did, because it turns out those voicings with the weird names – 7#9, b13b9 – actually have some cool hands-on applications when it comes to playing fingerstyle blues. So in this week's lesson, we look at some ways to use jazz chords on the blues in A.

In the meantime, I'll be working on getting an unlit brown Gauloise to accessorize perfectly with my walrus moustache.