Altered Scale Choices – jazz blues progression

Question by Per Nielsen

Can you use / do you use lydian dom/alt scale one the IV cord (bars 2, 5 and 6) in the jazz blues progression?

Or is it just in the “turnaround” were you can play for example Galt (Ab melodic minor) on the VI cord (in bar 8 of Bb blues)?

In bar 10 (Bb blues) were you play F7 – can you play F7 alt(Gb melodic minor)?

Per Nielsen

M-A’s Answer:

Hello Per,

This is a very nice question … and YES! to all of the above. It depends on what you want to hear.

If you want to ‘mess up’ with the IV chord right away, this gives a sound of the tonic being melodic minor (for instance in Bb blues we have IV as Eb7 … so Eb7(#11), the lydian dominant, has Bb melodic minor has parent scale.) This can be interesting, depending on the context.

The VI chord, as discussed in one of my YouTube video, is a fertile ground for playing all sorts of altered dominants … or even the diminished scale. See this video:

And lastly, the V chord of the blues can CERTAINLY be an ‘alt chord’ … it’s a great level of tension and if we think about it, is reminiscent of a half-step down resolution (in Bb blues, bar 10, play F7alt chord, which means Gb melodic minor … or F# melodic minor which is B7(#11) … if we hear B7 to Bb7, we’re all set!)

I hope this helps, let me know if you have further questions.

Marc-Andre Seguin
“Improve Your Jazz Guitar Playing with a REAL Teacher”

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