Note Choice

15 Dec

I always found the 'Aebersold style' chord scale relation ship quite limiting, because it shows you what notes you have available, but not which ones are important and what function each note has…(so to speak, what effect a note has when played against a chord at a specific time).

Of course all the material that follows has to be used tastefully and with strong melodic and rhythmic sense! Even though every note you play is justifiable in a way or another, this does not mean that you can play randomly. You need to know the rules before breaking them, so that you can control what you play, not you are 'played by your instrument' or (even worse) you pretend you are playing free jazz…

The two following have to be read from the bottom up. Check out the example: at the bottom you have the chord, followed just above it by the chord scale. The strongest, most consonant notes are the chord tones, and at the opposite end of the spectrum there are the 'out' notes…very dissonant, to be used to create a lot of tension. Try to apply to all chord types.




'out' (everything else)

Tension (b9's and so on)


target chord tones








Bb B# Eb E# (ext – tension)

B D F# (extensions -color)

A C# E G (chord tones – target notes)

A B C# D E F# G (mixo mode)


A7(dominant 7)

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Gianni Chiarello has gained a reputation as an extremely versatile musician, having professional credits as a guitarist, bassist, arranger and producer. His music is a preconception-free mix of Jazz, Funk, Blues, R&B and contemporary elements, influenced by . Born in Italy, in his forming years he performed with some of his country's finest musicians working towards developing different styles, from rock to pop, funk and jazz. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, on a scholarship program, where he graduated with a Degree "Magna cum laude" in Professional Music, studying under the direction of Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Brett Willmott and Dave Samuels, also playing in the Boston area and along the States' east coast as a freelance musician. Alongside studio work, he has been performing with, and leading as Musical Director, numerous bands and orchestras, comping for celebrities from the sixties like The Platters, The Coasters, Bobby Arvon, The Diamonds, Vegas – Broadway entertainers like Tony Tillman, Kenny James, Hal Fraiser, Lorna Luft, Ben Vereen, Susan Anton and Roy Walker. Furthermore his work entailed musical theatre style production reviews, encompassing shows such as “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “We Will Rock You”, “Starlight Express”, “Grease” and “Rent”. After relocating to the UK in 2005, has performed, amongst others with Robbie McIntosh (John Mayer, Paul Mccartney) Jeremy Stacey (Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow), Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Iain Ballamy and many others. His latest instructional eBooks can now be purchased online: “Contemporary solo guitar” (2008) and “Contemporary blues soloing” (2009) “Contemporary Blues Chords and Comping” (2011)

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