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C Major (Concert) - Nyle Bevan-Clark – Southampton University Jazz Band

C JAM HARMONY CRIB SHEET
Here is the basic 12 bar blues pattern as seen in the form of Duke
Ellington’s ‘C Jam Blues’

C7 |

F7

|

C7 |

C7

F7

F7

|

C7 |

C7

|

G7 |

F7

|

C7 |

Dm7 G7

So, how can we improvise over this?
Each chord is built up as a triad with a seventh added. A ‘7’ denotes a dominant 7th
chord (such as the C7 in bar one) and a ‘m7’ denotes a minor 7th chord (such as the
Dm7 in the turnaround bar).
Chord Tones

C7

=

root, 3rd, 5th, 7th

F7

=

root, 3rd, 5th, 7th =

F A C Eb

G7

=

root, 3rd, 5th, 7th

=

Dm7

=

=

C E G Bb

(add 9th for colour - G)

GBDF

root, 3rd, 5th, 7th

=

(add 9th for colour - D)

(add 9th for colour - A)

DFAC

(add 9th and 11th for colour –

E G)

(Don’t Get Hung Up On) Modes and Scales
C7 = C Mixolydian mode = so play F major!
F7 = F Mixolydian mode = so play Bb major!
G7 = G Mixolydian mode = so play C major!
Dm = D Dorian mode = so play C major!
IF ALL ELSE FAILS… BLUES SCALE or PENTATONIC OVER
ENTIRE FORM:

C

Eb F
C

D

(F#/Gb) G
E♮ G

A

Bb

you can do this with just two notes! ~ .~Look for little melodic cells – fragments – and build upon them to create interest.