The Blues is an essential form to master for every jazz musician, but just like most things in jazz, there are dozens of variations to explore. One of the most exciting variations and one that’s exceptionally fun to play over for improvisers of all levels, centralizes the harmony around minor chords rather than dominant chords.
This minor variation is aptly named “minor blues” and you can be sure you’ll encounter it frequently on your jazz journey, as it’s a popular form to call at jam sessions.
The real question though is, will you be ready for it when the time comes?
Most people have a rough idea about the chords in a minor blues and have a basic concept of the scales involved, but what they lack is a solid understanding of minor harmony and the necessary jazz language to solo effectively over this form.
Today we’re going to give you everything you need to know to master the minor blues inspired directly from none other than the one and only, John Coltrane.
John Coltrane – Mr. P.C.
Coltrane’s tune Mr. P.C., named after his dear friend and fellow bandmate Paul Chambers, is the perfect vehicle to help you learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about how to play a minor blues – it’s literally the keys to the kingdom.
If you listen closely, everything is there, from how to hear and conceptualize the form, to how to deal with the unique challenges you face in a minor blues.
By breaking down key parts of Trane’s famous recording, you’ll gain new insight into the inner workings of minor blues.
And it all starts with internalizing the form…
The Minor Blues Form
Even though the chords are different, the form of the minor blues is actually very similar to the standard blues form you know and love:
- They’re both 12 bars long ...