I got a question from one of my students Med who asked how to use chromatics in his solos.

Great question!

I see chromatics as the glue which connects phrases and lines to make your solos more interesting and exciting.

Django used chromatics and we all do.

Here’s a cool Mike Stern (jazz fusion legend who is one of my favourite guitarists) lick which uses chromatics and it’s something which when played in a gypsy jazz context will add a lot of hipness to your solos.

Here’s the lick starting on the D on the top e string 10th fret:

1. D 10th fret
2. F 13th fret
3. D# 11th fret
4. D 10th fret

then slide position down 1 fret and play the same pattern:

1. C# 9th fret
2. E 12th fret
3. D 10th fret
4. C# 9th fret

then slide position down 1 fret and play the same pattern:

1. C 8th fret etc, etc, etc, etc,

UNTIL you reach a note that you’re aiming for or a note which sounds good and fits the harmony of the chord you’re playing over.

Then the lick going UP starting on C 8th fret top E string

1. C 8th fret top E
2. A 5th fret top E
3. A# 6th fret top E
4. C 8th fret top E

then slide position up 1 fret and play same pattern:

1.C# 9th fret top E
2. A# 6th fret top E
3. B 7th fret top E
4. C# 9th fret top E

Keep going up until you find something you like!

Have fun!

It’s all about learning and absorbing these small tasty bite size ideas into your playing. Before you know it you’ve got a ton of great stuff at your fingertips!

Swing Out!

If you have a question about gypsy jazz just zap me a mail:

Gypsy Jazz Chromatics a la Mike Stern – Gypsy Jazz Guitar Secrets

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