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Turnaround Idea #1

Jaco Pastorius was a big fan of practising turnaround lines (they tend to round off a chorus of jazz or blues) and making up lines that imposed extended chords on simple harmony so I thought I’d have a go at putting one of my own together. Practice this in all 12 keys and get some of your own together. And for those of you who like to know the theory…

This ‘lick’ is in the key of C. It opens with a scale containing two target tones of the chord (3 & 5). The F# creates a momentary Lydian sound and leads nicely into the G. It’s a common thing to hear target tones approached by a semitone above or below (also known as Chromatic Approach Tones or CAT) with the A natural acting as a 6 - a typical chord substitute for the major 7th. Again, this A also allows us to approach the b9 of the A7 chord from a semitone below. A simple minor scale figure over the D minor chord takes us to the G7 where (especially in jazz) anything goes over the V chord; hence the chromatic nature of the last two beats. b3, 3, 5, #5. V chords are fun to solo over because any of the twelve notes tend to work.

Don’t get too bogged down in the theory. Get to grips with how these ideas sound and the theory will become nothing more than a way to explain the concept to someone else.

Have fun!

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