Jazz Blues

Jazz Guitar: Introduction to Bird Blues (aka Charlie Parker Blues) – Nine Steps to Mastery

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Jazz Guitar — Introduction to Bird Blues

In this video, we explore nine straightforward steps to mastering comping and improvisation on the bird blues progression.

This “bird blues” (aka parker blues, aka “New York Changes”…) was first recorded during the bebop era. Great examples of jazz tunes featuring bird blues progressions are Blues for Alice, Chi Chi, and Freight Trane!

In this lesson, we’ll use (and abuse!) the Freight Trane song to demonstrate ways to tackle this challenging chord progression for jazz guitar improvisers.

Nine Steps to Mastery:

2:25 Step 1 – Learn the Freight Trane melody (bebop head)
4:24 Step 2 – Comping with Basic CHORDS on the bird blues in Ab
5:45 Step 3 – Chords with top-string inversions (drop 2) and voice leading
8:10 Step 4 – Improvise on bird blues with JUST pentatonic
10:30 Step 5 – Use the last II-V-I cadence to “make the changes”
13:10 Step 6 – Target the IV chord with the Ab7alt chord
16:07 Step 7 – Go to the relative minor (Fm chord) with the C7b9 chord
19:19 Step 8 – Use the middle section: same line descending chromatic II-V’s

Check this affiliated blog post (includes PDF): https://www.jazzguitarlessons.net/blog/introduction-to-bird-blues-for-jazz-guitar/

Enjoy!


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