Blue Bossa is a good song to start with if you want to learn to play jazz guitar.
I’ve written a simple, but effective jazz guitar solo over the same chord progression as in the jazz standard Blue Bossa. If you like Stan Getz and Jim Hall for the motivic development and phrasing you should enjoy this solo. If you want to learn to play jazz guitar I would recommend starting with this approach instead of just practicing scales. I explain the solo below.
First let’s have a listen (if you can’t see/play the audio below please go to this link at Soundcloud:
Measure 1 – Since the melody starts with a dotted quarter and then an eighth note, I thought I would take this phrase and develop it. Also the first melodic phrase starts on G and ends on C, so I took this descending 5th interval and used it in my 2 note phrase. Then I left some space so the idea can be absorbed by the listener.
Measure 2 – after leaving some space I approach the target Ab in measure 3 with an ascending scale. I also am thinking about a 4 note rhythm starting on beat 3.
Measure 3 – since I played G to C in measure 1 I thought I would play a similar idea, this time Ab to C, since the Ab fits over the Fm7. This is a similar interval to the first perfect 5th I played, but it now a b6 interval. So the idea here is that we can play a similarly sized interval even though it’s not exact. From measure 1 to 4 note the question and answer type of sound it has.
Measure 5 – I play the same idea over the Dm7b5 to G7 since the Ab to C also fits over the Dm7b5. This time my ascending scale adds a chromatic note so that I can land on G over the Cm7. Instead of descending from G to C as I did previously, I decided to ascending to the C an octave above the previous C. This foreshadows my upcoming ascending intervals. I did this to change things up after doing 3 previous descending 5ths/6ths which can get a little boring with too much repetition.
Measure 9 – Here we have a key change to Db major. I decided to use a polyrhythm here, playing 3 notes over the span of 4 quarter notes. It’s good to vary the rhythms you play. This is a four bar phrase. I also was thinking of ascending 5ths (like the first one I used) and intervals with that general size. The contour of the line goes up and then back down with a final descending 6th interval.
Measure 13 – a similar idea is used from measure 9, repeating the same rhthym but adjust the notes. Instead of ascending exactly the same as in measure 9 I adjust the notes over the G7 to target the final G to C interval I used at the beginning of the solo.
I hope you can see the beauty in this little solo, and after practicing and studying it you can use the same ideas in your own solos.
What do you think about using short, melodic ideas and motivic development? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.