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  • 30 Days to Better Guitar Playing

  • 30 Days to Better Guitar Playing

  • greg martin guitar

    3 Cool Slow Blues Turnarounds

    by Simon James

    Our first lick is a Ronnie Earl style Turnaround that works well over a slow blues or easy shuffle. The C#m7-C9-Bm7-Bb7#9 fits over the last two bars of the 12 bar blues form. Notice how the diatonic iiim7 (C#) and iim7 (B) are each followed by passing chords (C9 and Bb7#9). Despite being a half step lower they each retain a common tone with the other chords in the diatonic sequence of A.

    Also, take note of the contrary movement within each of the chords. See how the top voice rises a step at a time whilst the remaining two lower notes go down in half steps. The descending chromatic line on the 4th string (B-Bb-A-Ab) pulls the progression back to the A13 and starts the progression over again.

    ronnie earl turnaround lick  

    Greg Martin Slow Blues Turnaround

    The next lick is in C and works well over bars 9-12 of a 12 bar blues in 12/8. Start with a muted rake on the first beat of bar 9 and then play through the lick taking good care not to miss out any of the accents. Use your second finger to slide into the G on the 12th fret of the 3rd string at the end of the bar as this will allow you to play the IV9 in bar 10. From bar 11 into bar 12 there is some good use of a really cool descending four note chromatic line (Bb-A-Ab-G) with the root note played as a drone on top before finishing the cycle on the V7. Notice the extra tension that is created by the #5 on the 2nd beat of bar 12. This is a versatile Turnaround lick that works well as a four bar intro or as the ending to a solo.

    greg martin turnaround lick  

    Bugs Henderson Jazzy Blues Turnaround

    The final lick is taken from a Bugs Henderson live version of Stormy Monday. It begins on bar 11 with a descending chromatic bass line played from the Bb down to the A with each note punctuated by a triad played on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings. Again you can see how the chromatic run really pulls the progression back round to the start. Look out for the Ab7 Tritone substitution for the V7 at the end of bar 10. In bar 12 there is a cool use of the Minor to Major shift when you return to the I7 before a percussive tap of the muted strings and then a three note chromatic run (C-C#-D) which really swings the turnaround into the V7 before we go round again.

    bugs henderson turnaround lick  
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    Related Posts:

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    3. 4 Must Know Ronnie Earl Blues Turnarounds

    4. Stormy Monday: How Jazz Influenced The Blues