Lesson Two • Respelling Chords and Scales Part II

As discussed in the previous lesson, using one chord voicing for several different chord types reduces the number of voicings one has to memorize just to get through a tune. If you extrapolate (I get paid per syllable) from this concept the idea that this device works for melodic ideas, you win a prize: a whole bunch of new material to build solos with. Here’s an example of how this concept can be put to use:

This is a bebop era device for playing on minor key ii- V7’s. It uses A Dorian over the F#-7b5; fifth mode of E Harmonic Minor over B7alt, which is the most typical choice resolving to minor chords.

Respelling the Locrian with Dorian is useful because most players have far more things to play on a Dorian scale than they do for a Locrian scale. This respelling device creates an instantly larger vocabulary of melodic ideas.

This concept is explored in greater detail in my book Jazz Guitar Comping, available from Mel Bay.

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