How does everyone else handle these chord changes?

I’ll use Django’s Tiger as an example. When the chords start to move a bit faster, D6/9, D#dim, A6/9, F#7,B7,E7, A6/9, towards the end of the run. Right now, as I solo, I follow every chord change. Is this the right approach? Is there a way to simplify it? Same with the ii v i? Is every chord changed followed? All the time?


  • ScoredogScoredog Santa Barbara, Ca✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2020 Posts: 874

    There are many ways to do it...but if you really want to simplify to give your brain a break try A diminished stuff over everything until you get to the E7 and then you are can be in AMaj for the last 2 chords. Actually you could play Adim over the whole bloody thing but it may start to sound redundant.

    Each song is a case by case basis but since you mentioned Django's Tiger that is a simplified approach. That said being able to play Adiminished over everything and sound musical might be a tricky endeavor as you really have to be able to hear it.

  • Posts: 92

    Seems like you are talking about Christoff changes. This might help...

  • bopsterbopster St. Louis, MOProdigy Wide Sky PL-1, 1940? French mystery guitar, ‘37 L-4
    Posts: 513

    The “F#m6” & “Fm6” can also be thought of as “B9” and “Bb9” respectively.

  • ChristopheCaringtonChristopheCarington San Francisco, CA USANew Dupont MD50, Stringphonic Favino, Altamira Chorus
    Posts: 187

    When you're really burning on speed, you can handle multiple chord changes as the key center or last chord in the sequence. It's mostly about creating tension and release.I think video of Yaakov can explain it better than my text post:

    You can hear Stochelo a bit here:

    So taking this methodology, the simplest form I can think of is:

    • Dm or D#dim --> D & D#dim
    • A --> A & F#7
    • E7 sounds --> B7 & E7
    • A --> Turnaround

    However, to my ears, this doesn't sound really musical in the context of the song. Focusing on just tension and release I would play something like this:

    • D#dim --> D & D#dim
    • A --> A7
    • F#7 --> F#7
    • Whatever flavor of E7 --> B7, E7 and the turnaround

    Since I have 2 bars of D before me (see what I did there?), I can launch into the D#dim early as an anticipation. That leads really well to A6/9 phrases (avoiding the natural or dom7). F#7 is great anticipation for a turnaround, so I really want to nail this change. If it was just a Fm, I probably would just keep playing A6/9 licks. The last four bars are "let's go back to the top!" of a song that has 5 bars of the same A chord. So I'm really going to drive home the tension by sticking to that E7 sound... likely with a really bold, repeated phrase.

  • billyshakesbillyshakes NoVA✭✭✭ Park Avance - Dupont Nomade - Dupont DM-50E
    Posts: 1,315

    @ChristopheCarington That Yaakov video is great. He is a great educator and really knows how to bring the point across. Thanks for the share.

  • mac63000mac63000 Tacoma, WANew Geronimo Mateos Jazz B
    Posts: 248

    I second that, great video. I really like the way he breaks things down and explains them

  • TubaphoneTubaphone Kansas Mateos Django
    edited August 2020 Posts: 29

    One exercise that has helped me immeasurably with fast changes like this one is to find different single note 'paths' through the changes. I start with a note for the first chord, and find a nearby note for the next chord, and so on through the whole set. For example:

    Chords: D D#dim A F#7 B7 E7 A

    Path 1: D D# E E F# G# A

    This is a nice little path, just ascending steadily, no more than a whole step between notes. Each note on the path is close to the ones next to it, but is a chord tone from the changes (R, R, 5th, 7th, 5th, 3rd, R, respectively).

    You can actually make some cool phrases playing no more than the listed notes but trying to get interesting with the phrasing/rhythm. Or you add in simple elements like simple phrases that use the 'path' note plus a note a half step below. Another simple addition is going chromatically to the next note when it's a full step away but otherwise keeping the phrase simple and rhythmic. You can keep building from there, trying bigger and bolder phrases while trying to keep a sense of the 'path'.

    There are a bunch of paths without using more than a whole step between any of the notes:

    Changes: D D#dim A F#7 B7 E7 A

    Path 2: D C B A# A G# A

    Another nice little path with more of a descending feel this time. Here too it's all chord tones, but no more than a whole step away from the last/next one.

    You can also take this idea and push it a bit by including well-selected non-chord tones as part of your path:

    Changes: D D#dim A F#7 B7 E7 A

    Path 3: F# F# F# F# F# F# E

    Here we use some 6ths and 9ths to add a bit more flair (it's 3rd, 3rd, 6th, R, 5th, 9th, 5th.)

    You can also chose a less linear path (maybe better thought of as a series of target notes rather than a path?) For example:

    Changes: D D#dim A F#7 B7 E7 A

    Path 4: D D# A A# D# E A

    We have some much bigger jumps than the examples above, but it still gives us some notes to aim for for each chord, and there is a nice feeling of a phrase already developing because you keep having sets of notes a half step apart (D->D# A->A# D#->E). Like above, you can start as simple as playing these notes in rhythmically interesting ways, or start to add simple spices like some notes a half step below each target note, or moving chromatically in the bigger jumps, up to complex phrases that still center around the targets.

    Hopefully this helps someone out there as much as it helped me!


  • TubaphoneTubaphone Kansas Mateos Django
    Posts: 29

    dang. my formatting didn't stick... if anyone out there can give me some knowhow on making the changes and paths be more spaced out, and to line up with one another, it would be greatly appreciated.

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