Tony Oreshko jazz and gypsy jazz guitar

FREE JAZZ GUITAR LESSONS

by Tony Oreshko
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Lesson 5

Turnarounds

Here's a short lesson dealing with turnarounds. A turnaround is a short chord sequence at the end of a song that leads back to the beginning of the next chorus of the song. Turnarounds are often 2 or 4 bars long.

You can use this lesson in a couple of ways. If you're not so interested in the theory you can just learn to play the examples of turnarounds I've given below. If you want to know why they work I've given a brief explanation in terms of the things we've learnt in earlier lessons.

The advantage of understanding the underlying theory is that you won't be limited to the examples I've given, but will be able to invent your own versions.

Changing A Common Turnaround

Without doubt, one of the most widely used turnarounds is this familiar sequence:

    C    Am    Dm    G7

We can now use our knowledge of chord substitution from previous lessons to create lots of variants on this sequence and then use them as alternative turnarounds.

Swap Minor for Dominant Chords

First, let's change the minor chords to dominant 7ths as we did in lesson 1. We end up with this altered version of the original sequence:

    C    A7    D7    G7


Tritone Substitutes

Now let's add some tritone substitutes for these dominant 7ths. When we looked at tritone substitutes in lessons 2 and 3 we had 2 beats on the original dominant 7th followed by 2 beats on its tritone substitute. This time we will simply swap the whole dominant 7th chord for its tritone substitute. Here are some of the variants:

    C    Eb7    D7    G7
    C    A7    Ab7    Db7
    C    Eb7    Ab7    G7
    C    Eb7    D7    Db7

This next one uses tritone substitutes for all the dominant 7th chords in the sequence:

    C    Eb7    Ab7    Db7

We can keep some of the original minor chords, and mix them with tritone substitutes:

    C    Am    Ab7    G7
    C    Eb7    Dm    Db7

Using Altered Dominant Chords

Another possibility is to change some or all of the dominant 7th chords into altered dominant chords as we did in lesson 1. The altered dominants are shown in a different colour:

    C
   A7#5#9    Dm    Db7
    C    Am    D9b5    G7

In this next example all the dominant chords are turned into altered dominants. The third chord is taken through two different steps. First it is changed into a tritone substitute (D7 to Ab7) and then it is changed into an altered dominant (Ab7 to Ab13b9):

    C   
A13b9    Ab13b9    G13b9


Altered Dominant Chord Shapes

You can can open a new window to see a reminder of the
D Altered Dominant Chord Shapes and the G Altered Dominant Chord Shapes . Remember that the A altered dominant shapes are exactly the same as the ones for G, except every shape is moved up two frets higher. The Ab altered dominant shapes will be just one fret higher than those for G.

Well, that's the end of another lesson. I hope you've managed to make some sense out of it!

Tony Oreshko



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