View Full Version : Outside notes (jazz)

06-19-2003, 02:58 PM
I`ve tried and tried, but I can`t figure out which outside/non-chord notes work with which chords. I really want to nail this stuff, so are there any rules/guidelines that would help?

06-19-2003, 03:42 PM
This is going to sound very cliche, but... the only guide is your ear. Figure out what sounds good on some chords and try them on others. Although this will take longer than some method given in a book, you will definitely develop a personal style.

06-19-2003, 04:19 PM
first of all, when you asked what notes go with what chords, all 12 notes can be used over any given chord. it's HOW you use them that's important.

and I agree with snufeldin. jam a lot over progressions, and try using all different kinds of outside tones. some will sound good, some won't, but youjust gotta try. also, try learning some jazz lines from from guitarists and saxophonists, it'll help you see how others have done it.

now when it comes to how you use outside tones, there are two techniques that come to mind: superimposition and passing tones. passing tones are tones played a half-step above or below a chord tone, quickly fallowed by the chord tone.

let's say your playing over Cmaj7. you have the notes C-E-G-B. B is a leading tone, and it kind of already acts like a passing tone, so let's not worry about that one. personally, I think it's better to focus on the triads anyway. so you have C-E-G. your passing tones could be B and C# leading back to C, Eb and F leading back to E, and F# and G# leading back to G. if you look at these as chord tones, you have the b2, #2, 4, #4, and b6/#5. these usually sound best if surrounded by two scale tones, like if you want to go to E, play D-Eb-E. just play around with this and see what you come up with.

the other way is superimposition. jazz players use lots of arpeggios, and this is basically playing a different arpeggio over a chord. for example, over Cmaj7, you could play a Cmaj7 arpeggio, but you could also play a Bm7 or an Am7, or a Bdim7, etc. try lots of different possibilites. you can also superimpose pentatonics.

Bongo Boy
06-20-2003, 03:37 AM
Two Guitar Player magazine articles that may help a little:

1) Chromatic Crazy--Duke Robillard Cracks the Code for Beatnik Blues (April 2003--Lindsey Buckingham cover), and

2) Neighbor Note Mojo (March 2003--Chrissie Hynde cover).