Lesson 3 – The Blues- Guide Tones

If you are or can imagine being a long distance runner we can agree that having signs along your route is important for your pacing and keeping your mind on track with your body’s ability to go the distance. Guide tones are the important notes we know work on the given chord. Being able to maneuver through chord changes using guide tones is an important skill to have when creating new melodies (aka improvising). In this lesson I explain where the guide tones are on a 3-chord 12 bar blues. Learning how to connect these notes is only the start of creating lines and ideas so soak them up and apply it to all your other tunes. For more blues examples check out musicians like Sister Rosetta Tharpe or Louis Armstrong. Go and discover these musicians’ music, then look up who they are playing with and branch out from there.

Annie is available for teacher training sessions and clinics. Contact her for more information!

“Annie and her band did a fabulous job of engaging students from all ages of our string feeder area ­elementary through high school. The students and audience members loved the band’s performance and the high energy they brought to our concert! The students had so much fun learning new songs by rote and the pieces were well-arranged for a variety of levels of playing.”

-Julie Nelson (Orchestra Director, Castle Rock High School)

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