Here is a little file that shows all the different ways to connect the juicy chord tones of a dominant chord, in this case a G7, to it's tonic chord, C Maj.

This is the most fundamental, basic progression in the white-guy from Europe style of music - dominant to tonic, or five to one, V - I. A dominant chord (G) moving up a fourth to a major chord (C).

And since it is so important it is a good place to spend a little time and get familiar with it.

What this pdf does is show all the ways that you can play the interesting tones of the dominant chord, namely the chord tones themselves - so G, B, D & F on that measure, and then resolve those tones to one of the juicy notes of the tonic chord, namely the chord tones of that chord, so C, E, G or B.

There are two juicy notes on the dominant chord, so for instance, the 3rd and the 7th, or the root and the 3rd, or the 5th and the root, and then those lead into landing onto one of the notes of the C Major.

Getting these in your ears will really help you hear the chord changes, even if you are playing single note lines. Try a few and check out how strongly they convey the chords with just a couple of notes.

Stay tuned for lots more on this topic....

Links for Approach Tones

Here are a couple of links to more info on using approaches to chord tones in your solos:
  1. A detailed post from a guitar forum (I know, just pretend it isn't) about various approach tones and using chord tones as targets.
  2. A supposed Mike Stern lesson on approach tones. Written in god-awful brain damaging tab for your mental anguish, but it re-enforces some of the stuff about approach tones and shows a few more kinds.
  3. This one has notation and a midi file.


Hmmm. I see a flaw in this plan.

C'mon everyone knows if your girlfriend really loves you she will drive the getaway car during your armed robbery. A taxi? And then back to the show? Hmm. Don't think this one was thought through all the way. Sure this guy isn't really a drummer? That would make a lot more sense.

As if any more examples were needed after another famous death due to substances this week, ....but here is yet another example of a bass player pushed to extremes in the pursuit of getting high. It happens to the best of us. Even bass players.

There are options people. All joking aside. Get some help. There are a lot of musicians who have been through it that can tell you how and where. They don't let you practice much in prison. Gigs are scarce in there.

Jake Does Contrast

Paisan de Basso, Jake Hertzog breaks down a bunch of different ways to play contrasting elements during a solo, for instance playing low vs. playing high (uh, range wise, not martini wise), speed (fast vs. slow) and a couple of other tried and true techniques used for improvisation.

Always good stuff from Mr. Hertzog that can apply to any instrument.