Jazz Blues Guitar Presentation

“The aim of this lecture recital is to deliver a brief outline of the techniques and devices needed for developing a confident Jazz Blues Guitar performance. The subjects involved will cover style in regards to solo and ensemble performance. In addition the presentation will discuss variations in harmony, chord embellishments, voice leading, continuity of style, and devices idiomatic for guitar. I will give a brief summary of articulations and plectrum techniques designed for the instrument.

These findings are based on my own analysis of Jazz Blues pioneers such as Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, and Django Reinhardt. Although these styles are varied, I am looking at constants amongst Jazz Blues performers, particularly in harmony, arguably one of the strongest foundations for improvisation and accompaniment. What defines ‘Jazz Blues’ is variation of the standardized 12-­‐bar blues, a common occurrence in Be-­‐Bop and Jazz music in general surrounding the 1940’s. In this lecture, the harmonic ideas and variations are based on rules taught by Joe Pass, and improvisatory devices derived from Wes Montgomery. (Both innovators and respected practitioners of Jazz Blues guitar).

The lecture will finish by demonstrating a musical example and short analysis of Montgomery’s ‘Four on Six’, a standard that demonstrates many aspects covered in presentation. This will be followed by a short improvisation demonstrating musical aspects defined in the lecture, including Single-­‐note lines, octave soloing, quotation and an example of idiomatic accompaniment.”

Lecture Notes and Bibliography

Wes Montgomery