TCG's Guitar-Jam
Lesson Page w/ MIDI:

Chords, Leads, & Rhythm Tracks

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Each "tune" or exercise below includes diagrams of chord progressions, tabs of relevant scales, and relatively brief (and sparsely voiced) QuickTime MIDI sound files that both demonstrate the chord progression and provide accompaniment so you can practice the scale(s). By playing along with the rhythm tracks, you might learn a few new(?) and "cool" chord progressions; then you can practice the various tabbed scale positions, eventually doing your "own thing" with them: play the low-to-high scales from high-to-low, break them into smaller patterns, repeat 2-, 3-, or 4-note phrases at will, etc. (I'm trying to avoid feeding you short, isolated, cliché riffs, because I wouldn't have the space to give you even a representative sample, and you'll be a more creative player in the long run figuring out your own. And, of course, just playin' the monster riffs yu' already know over these rhythm jams can be fun, too.) I will eventually attempt to cover a variety of modes, styles, and tempos, although I'll concentrate on my own musical preferences, such as modal rock, dominant and minor blues, and schmaltzy jazz stuff. The jams may be short (though they'll loop until you click the stop button), and the QuickTime software synth might not be that great Roland or Yamaha hardware synth you own (but it beats some of the PC soundcards I've heard)--still, it's kinda like gettin' a little chord & scale book for free, with an accompanying "cassette," so to speak. But enough--let's jam!

REQUIREMENTS: A guitar; a willingness to stretch out your fingers with some neat chord forms; a familiarity with chord diagrams and tablature; the QuickTime (3.0+) Plug-in; a large enough Netscape or Explorer window/screen-size to see the chord & scale diagrams--and the embedded QuickTime .mov--at the same time.

"NEW" FEATURE (or gimmick-y afterthought, really): now you can also play another really short MIDI guitar-riff over each rhythm track, though the timing's tricky: try clickin' "play" on the riff-movie when the rhythm track comes around to the "one" beat for "best results"--and there may be more of a troublesome delay the _1st_ time the riff is played. Also, the riffs work over some chords better than others, usually. The licks are from my full-blown MIDI files on my other MIDI pages, so they don't necessarily follow the lead patterns I've laid out for you--although they at least indicate one type of phrasing "feel" that works over the chords.

 Chord & Tab NOTES 


Chord & Tab NOTES:
  • Chord Symbols:
    • The numbers _inside_ each chord diagram designate which fingers to use & where.
    • The number _beside_ each chord diagram designates the fret position.
    • The symbol "x" above a string means not to play/sound it; I like fingerstyle voicings, as you will notice, but they can be played with a pick, too, by simply deadening these strings with adjacent left-hand fingers.
    • The symbol "o" above a string means that you play the string open (unfingered).
    • The symbol "=" in a diagram represents a finger "bar."
  • Scale Tabs:
    • The numbers here represent fret #'s, of course.
    • An "R" below the tab diagram denotes a root (or tonic) tone.
    • The symbols "/" or "\" call for you to slide up or down to the next tone.
    • The symbol "b" means "bend"; e.g., "3b5" means to bend the 3rd-fret note up two-frets-worth.
    • The symbols "p" and "h" mean to pull-off and hammer-on, respectively: e.g., 3p1; 0h2; 5h8p5.
    • The symbol "====" means to sustain/hold the tone through subsequent tones.

To Index


To Index

 #1. Uptempo Pop-Jazz Turnaround/Jam

I-vi-ii-V (C Major)
--kinda like a double-time "Breezin'"
--CHORDS--(2 beats [1/2 measure] apiece)
     CM7        Am7        Dm7        G7/6
    x_____     _x___x     x____x     _x___x
  3 |1||||   5 2|333|   5 |1=1||   3 1|2|||
    |||2||     ||||||     ||||2|     |||3||  {Easier chords below}
    ||3|4|     ||||||     ||3|||     ||||4|

--SCALE(s) for Jammin' (C Major [Ionian])--
   a.                                b.                 c.
e||---------------------------0-1-3- -8-7-5------------ -------------------7-8-10/12-
b||---------------------0-1-3------- -------8-6-5------ ---------------8-10----------
g||-----------------0-2------------- -------------7-5\4 ---------7-9-10--------------
d||-------------0-2----------------- ------------------ ---7-9-10--------------------
a||-------0-2-3--------------------- ------------------ -10--------------------------
e||-0-1-3--------------------------- ------------------ -----------------------------
              R           R           R             R          R             R

     CM7        Am7        Dm7        G7/6
    x__ooo     xo_o_o     xxo___     _x_ooo
  1 ||||||   1 ||||1|   1 ||||11   1 ||||||
    ||2|||     ||2|||     |||2||     ||||||  <--Easier OPEN CHORDS--
    |3||||     ||||||     ||||||     2|3|||
Rhythm Track (1:05) "Play" a MIDI guitar riff over the tune!
(Try to click on the "1"-beat for best results.)


To Index

 #2. Slow Minor Blues Jam

12-Bar Blues (A minor)
--kind of a Latin "Thrill Is Gone"
--CHORDS--(see progression on right for sequence)
     Am7        Dm7        FM7        E7         E7#9      Progression:
    _x___x     x____x     x____x     x____x     x____x        
  5 1=111|   5 |1=1||   5 |||11|   5 ||||1|   5 ||||||    Am7   Am7   Am7   Am7
    ||||||     ||||2|     ||||||     ||2|||     ||1|||    Dm7   Dm7   Am7   Am7
    |3||||     ||3|||     ||3|||     |3|4||     |2|3||    FM7 E7-E7#9 Am7   Am7
                          |4||||                ||||4|

--SCALE(s) for Jammin' (a. & b. are A minor pentatonic; c. is A minor Aeolian [=C Major])--
   a.                              b.                      c.
e||---------------------3====----- -10b8-5---------------- -8-7-5-----------------------------
b||-------------1-3-3b5---5b3-1--- --------10b8-5--------- -------8-6-5-----------------------
g||---------0h2-----------------2- ---------------9b7-5--- -------------7-5-4-----------------
d||-----0h2----------------------- ---------------------7- -------------------7-5-------------
a||-0h3--------------------------- ----------------------- -----------------------8-7-5-------
e||------------------------------- ----------------------- -----------------------------8-7-5-
    R         R                 R        R              R       R             R             R
Rhythm Track (1:13) "Play" a MIDI guitar riff over the tune! (sounds best over Am chords)
(Try to click on the "1"-beat for best results.)


To Index

 #3. Dominant Blues Boogie Jam

12-Bar Blues (E7)
--the protypical "Guitar Boogie"
--"CHORDS" (two-tone intervals, really)--(see progression on right for sequence,
        and dominant-seventh-chord accompaniment . . . fingering order for E & A
        diagrams: 1,3,4,3; the B's a stretch, and different fingering, but same pattern)
    E5(/6,7)   A5(/6,7)   B5(/6,7)   B5 (12th measure*)
    o_xxxx     xo_xxx     xo_xxx     x__xxx     xo___x
  1 ||||||   1 ||||||   2 |1||||   1 ||||||   1 |1||||      [Progression:]
    |1||||     ||1|||     ||||||     |1||||     |1||||     E7   A7   E7   E7
    ||||||     ||||||     ||3|||     ||||||     ||||||     A7   A7   E7   E7
    |3||||     ||3|||     ||||||     ||3|||     ||3|||     B7   A7   E7   B7*
    |4||||     ||4|||     ||4|||     ||||||     ||||||
                          ||4|||   --play B5, open A note, Bb note, then B5 again--
[E3 a better name than E5, etc., but the formatting's a bitch!]

--SCALES for Jammin' (you could play an E minor pentatonic over the whole shebang,
        but try the related "Blues" scale of each chord, as follows)--
   E7                                A7                      B7
e||-3/4-0--------------------------- -----------------5----- ---------------7-----
b||-------2-3-0--------------------- -----------5-7-8---/10- ---------7-9-10--/12-
g||-------------2-0-1--------------- -------5-6------------- -----7-8-------------
d||-------------------2------------- --5--7----------------- -7-9-----------------
a||---------------------4-5-2------- ----------------------- ---------------------
e||---------------------------3/4-0- ----------------------- ---------------------
    *   R             R       *   R       R           R  R       R          R  R
  *=or bend up one fret!
Rhythm Track (1:38) "Play" a MIDI guitar riff over the tune! (sounds best over E7 chords)
(Try to click on the "1"-beat for best results.)


To Index

 #4. Mixolydian Modal Jam

I-bVII [=V-IV] (G7)
--"On Broadway" meets "Bodhisattva"?
--CHORDS (2 beats [1/2 measure] apiece)
     G5         F5           G7         F6           G7         FM6/9
    __xxxx     __xxxx       _____x     __x__x       ______     __x___
  3 1|||||   1 1|||||     3 1=1=1|   1 1|||||     3 1=1=11   1 1|||||
    ||||||     ||||||  OR   |||2||     |||2||  OR   |||2||     |||2||
    |3||||     |3||||       |3||||     |3||4|       |3||||     |3||44

--SCALE(s) for Jammin' (G Mixolydian [=C Major])
   a.                     b. arpeggios          c. double-stops   d. "bass" riff
e||-5-3------------------ -7-----5------------- -12-10-8-7-5-3-1- --------------
b||------6-5-3----------- ---8-----6----------- --------------------------------
g||------------5-4-2----- -----9-----7-5\4----- -12-11-9-7-5-4-2- --------------
d||------------------5-3- -----------------5-3- ----------------- --------------
a||---------------------- --------------------- ----------------- -3-1-2--------
e||---------------------- --------------------- ----------------- -------3-1----
      R              R       R             R      R          R           R
Rhythm Track (1:39) "Play" a MIDI guitar riff over the tune! (a 1-measure delay on this one)
(Try to click on the "1"-beat for best results.)


To Index

 #5. Reaper Rock Jam

i-bVII-bVI-bVII (A minor)
--"Don't Fear" BÖC!
--CHORDS--(2 beats [1/2 measure] apiece)--(see progression on right for sequence)
     A5         G5         F5             E5        Progression:
    ___xxx     ___xxx     ___xxx         o__xxx
  5 1|||||   3 1|||||   1 1|||||       1 ||||||    Intro: A5-G5 F5-G5 (4x)
    ||||||     ||||||     ||||||         |11|||    Verse: A5-G5 F5-G5 (12x)
    |33|||     |33|||     |33|||         ||||||    Break: F5-G5 A5-A5 F5 E5 A5 G5
                                                   Verse: F5-G5 A5-G5 (LOTS o' times!)

--SCALES for Jammin' (b. is A minor Aeolian; c. is A minor pentatonic)--
   a. Arpeggio "hook"                b. 
e||--------------------------------- ----------10-12-13-12-10------------12-------------
b||--------------------------------- -10-12-13----------------13-12-10------12b13b12-10-
g||-----2-0=====--0=====--0=====--0= ---------------------------------------------------
d||---2---------0-------0-------0--- ---------------------------------------------------
a||-0---------2-------0-------2----- ---------------------------------------------------
e||---------3-------1-------3------- ---------------------------------------------------
    R   R             R               R                             R                R
   c. play as fast triplets, if yu' can
      R                      R   R   R                     R    R    R  
Rhythm Track (2:10) "Play" a MIDI guitar riff over the tune!
(Try to click on the "1"-beat for best results.)


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First Created: 5/26/99
Last Revised: 4/17/07

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