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Tom Quayle's Playing Over Changes

Instructor: Tom Quayle Total lessons in study:
In this study, Tom teaches us how to play and improvise over a series of chords that change key very frequently. Fusion to the max!

1. Playing Over Changes: Part 1

1. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) - Introduction
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
Hi there guys! Welcome to this tutorial on 'Playing Over Changes'. This is the idea of playing or improvising over a series of chords that change key every bar or other bar. We aren't going to be dealing with diatonic or functional harmony progressions in this tutorial. We'll have a separate one for that purpose. The first...Read More
2. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) - Modal Changes
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
So throughout this tutorial I already mentioned that we'll be dealing with Modal Progressions which are non-functional. In other words, they don't outline one key centre as with functional progressions. Each chord is from a different key and requires a new scale. This is why we think modally rather than in keys. An example...Read More
3. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) Scale Choices - Major Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
When soloing over Major chords and their derivatives we have two scales to choose from. These are Ionian (our standard major scale) and the Lydian scale. The Lydian Scale is what we'll call our 'Go To' scale for major chords when improvising in a modal context. This means that in a modal context you'll usually want to play...Read More
4. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) Scale Choices - Minor Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
When soloing over minor chords and their derivatives we end up with three scale choices. These are our three minor modes - Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian. As with major chords we have a 'Go To' scale choice that works best over the majority of modal progressions involving minor chords. This is Dorian which will usually sound ...Read More
5. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) Scale Choices - Dom 7th Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
Dominant 7th chords and their derivitives use the mixolydian mode exclusively. We are only going to be dealing with un-altered dominant 7th chords in this tutorial. Any dominant 7th chords with altered extensions (b5, #5, b9, #9, #11) will be dealt with in another tutorial. Here's the list of chords which utilize the mixol...Read More
6. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) Scale Choices - m7b5 Chord
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
It's fairly unusual to come across a minor7b5 chord in a modal context but when we do the scale that fits over it is the Locrian mode. It's more commonly found in a functional harmony context in a minor II-V progression which we'll cover when we look at playing over functonal progressions.Read More
7. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) - Continuous Scale Exercise
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
So, now you have the theoretical knowledge down of which scales to play when you see the relevant chord symbols in a modal context. Your next step is to develop your fretboard knowledge so that you can play these scales seamlessly, slipping into the next one without having to go back and start from the root note every time,...Read More
8. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) - Expanding the Exercise
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
We're nearly there! This is the easiest exercise to expand upon. Try some of the following:- More chords of the same type (try the backing tracks with 4 chords) More chords of different types (try the backing track with different chord types) Try playing 8th notes and then 16th notes (still scale based lines though) I'...Read More
9. Playing Over Changes (Part 1) - Final Comments
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
One final thing. Make sure that you try singing all these scale lines as you play them. It's so important to make the link between what your fingers are doing and what you hear. When playing over changes your most important tools are your ears as they will be your guide when we get into phrasing and more complex exercises. ...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
10. Backing Track 1 - Two minor7 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
Well here's the first backing track. Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the two chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: Gm7 / / / | Bbm7 / / / :||Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
11. Backing Track 2 - Two 7sus4 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the two chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: G7sus4 / / / | Bb7sus4 / / / :||Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
12. Backing Track 3 - Two Major7 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Intermediate
Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the two chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: Gmaj7 / / / | Bbmaj7 / / / :||Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
13. Backing Track 4 - Four Minor7 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the four chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: Gm7 / / / | Bm7 / / / | Dm7 / / / | F#m7 / / / :||Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
14. Backing Track 5 - Four 7sus4 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the four chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: G7sus4 / / / | B7sus4 / / / | D7sus4 / / / | F#7sus4 / / / :||Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
15. Backing Track 6 - Four Major 7 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the four chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: Gmaj7 / / / | Bmaj7 / / / | Dmaj7 / / / | F#maj7 / / / :||Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
16. Backing Track 7 - Changing Chord Type
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
In this final backing track we'll change chord types too. Each chord lasts for one bar giving us the four chord sequence. Try playing a continuous scale exercise over this for the whole track.   ||: Gm7 / / / | B7sus4 / / / | Dmaj7 / / / | F#7sus4 / / / :||Read More

2. Playing Over Changes: Part 2

17. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Minor Major 7 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Hi there and welcome to part 2 of 'Playing over Changes'. This time we'll be dealing with melodic minor chords and their associated scale choices and also with motivic development over changes. For the purpose of this tutorial a small piece of information:- All named scales start from the root of the chord in question. Ou...Read More
18. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Maj7#5 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Our next chord is very common in fusion and jazz music and has a very attractive but dark sound. It's called a Major7 #5 chord and is the III chord from the melodic minor scale. The scale required to play over this chord is a Lydian Augmented scale which, as the name suggests, is a lydian scale with a sharpened 5th. This i...Read More
19. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Lydian Dominant Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Our next chord type is dominant 7th chord with a sharpened 11th interval. This gives us a lydian dominant chord also known as the chord symbol 7#11. From the root note G this would give us G7#11 for example. The scale associated with this chord is the lydian dominant scale which is a mixolydian scale with a sharpened 11th....Read More
20. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Locrian Natural 9 Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Our penultimate chord type is based on a min7b5 chord, also known as a locrian chord. The difference here is that the melodic minor version of this chord contains a natural 9 and is the 6th chord of melodic minor. Since the chord would normally take a locrian scale, we simply play a locrian mode and sharpen the 9th (2nd) i...Read More
21. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Altered Chords
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Okay, our final chord type is named an altered dominant chords. If you've seen my other melodic minor tutorial you'll know that an altered dominant is a dominant chord that contains any of the following intervals in any combination, b5, #5, b9, #9.  From G examples could be G7#5b9, G7#9, G7#5#9 etc. The scale we use ...Read More
22. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Motifs Introduction
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
One of the hardest things to do when playing over changes is phrase well through the chords. In order to do this successfully we need a few things in our playing bag of tricks. The first is an excellent fretboard knowledge. Without this you stand no chance of hearing and finding your way through the changes and you'll get l...Read More
23. Playing over Changes Pt 2 - Using Motifs
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Okay, here's the video example with the accompanying transcription below. I'm playing over four chords. The sequence goes as follows. A7sus4, Bb7#11, Dmaj7, C7#11 so two of these are melodic minor chords requiring lydian dominant scales. Analyse the motif and see how I 'mold' it to fit the changes.Read More
24. Playing Over Changes Pt 2 - Motifs Closing Comments
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Now, when using motifs to play through chord changes you must remember that this is only an exercise and were you to play a complete solo this way, with very little rhythmic variation, you'd ultimately end up sounding like an exercise. Therefore, use this method to develop the ability to play motivically through changes so ...Read More
25. Playing Over Changes Pt 2 - Anticipating the changes
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Here's the example of anticipating the changes. The changes here are:- Amaj7, Bb7alt, Dmaj7, C7sus4 Try playing over each chord a beat earlier than it actually comes in or even two beats. Very seasoned players can come in on a chord change up to a bar or more before it happens. When you do so really try to outline the ch...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
26. Backing Track - Melodic Minor 1
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Here's the first backing track using melodic minor chords. The changes are:- ||: Am6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / | F#m6 / / / | / / / / | / / / / | / / / / :|| Use A melodic minor for Am6 Use F# melodic minor for F#m6 Try continuous scale exercises, motif playing and free improvisation. Good luck!Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
27. Backing Track - Melodic Minor 2
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Here's backing track number 2. A mixture of major and melodic minor harmony. The changes are:- ||: A7sus4 / / / | / / / / | Bb7#11 / / / | / / / / | Dmaj7 / / / | / / / / | C7#11 / / / | / / / / :|| Use A mixolydian for the A7sus4 Use Bb lydian dominant for the Bb7#11 Use D major/lydian for the Dmaj7 Use C lydian dom...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
28. Backing Track - Melodic Minor 3
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Here's backing track number 3. The changes are as follows:- ||: Am7 / / / | / / / / | Bbmaj7#5 / / / | / / / / | D7sus4 / / / | / / / / | C7#11 / / / | / / / / :|| Use A Dorian over the Am7 chord Use Bb Lydian Augmented over the Bbmaj7#5 chord Use D mixolydian over D7sus4 chord Use C Lydian Dominant over the C7#11 cho...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
29. Backing Track - Melodic Minor 4
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Here backing track number 4, The changes are as follows:- ||: Amaj7 / / / | / / / / | Bb7alt / / / | / / / / | Dmaj7 / / / | / / / / | C7sus4 / / / | / / / / :|| Use A major/lydian over the Amaj7 chord Use Bb superlocrian/altered over the Bb7alt chord Use D major/lydian over the Dmaj7 chord Use C mixolydian over the C...Read More
Audio Guitar Lesson
30. Backing Track - Melodic Minor 5
Improvising
Fusion
Advanced
Here's the final backing track. The changes are as follows:- ||: AmMaj9 / / / | / / / / | Bbm7b5nat9 / / / | / / / / | Dmaj7#5 / / / | / / / / | Cmaj9 / / / | / / / / :|| Use A melodic minor over the AmMaj9 chord Use Bb Locrian natural 9 over the Bbm7b5nat9 chord Use D lydian augmented over the Dmaj7#5 chord Use C maj...Read More

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