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Suck it Up - A Jazzy Blues fingerstyle guitar lesson

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Here's another one for the 'Beyonds' here at Guitar for Beginners and Beyond. It's something that appeared under my fingers and I figured I'd quickly record it so I wouldn't forget it. Then I thought 'why not run the cameras?' ... just in case I get a good take. Next thing you know it's all cued up in Adobe Premiere ready for editing and overlaying the virtual fretboard.

Suck it Up ... I know, not the nicest title I've ever come up with but there was a reason. I forget what it was, but there was a reason.

This is in the key of A but starts on that neat E7#9. These dissonant chords are also known as 'Hendrix Chords' because Jimi made such good use of them. They're unique in that they have a major third AND a minor third, which is what makes them so unusually dissonant. I should add that the minor third comes in the form of the #9. Remember that 9s are 2s, and a #2 is a b3, which is the minor third. But, because it's added in the higher register as an extension, it's not often thought of as the minor third.

I'm not sure whether this would be classified as blues or jazz or something in between. It is what it is and it's fun to play once you get your fingers around it. There's nothing terribly difficult about it. I always break these down into 'moves' in my brain. Once I get each move worked out, I string them together and Bob's your uncle. There are some pretty standard bluesy moves in this and I recommend that you go check out my 'Licks à Lorange' series as some of the moves in this are broken down in those videos too.

There are all kinds of things going on in this one: chords, double stops, licks, bends, walking bass lines ... and just about every flavor chord there is: 7#9, 7th, 9th, plain major, augmented, diminished. Only 'minor' is absent.

Like 95% of all music ever written, this one is firmly based around the I-IV-V chords (A,D and E), but there are other 'outside' chord in amongst it all. The momentary G is an outsider, so is the B7. There's a nice little A7#5 passing chord in there, leading to the D. It's definitely a fun one to play once you get all the moves assembled.

Notice at the end of bar 24 I use my thumb to grab that F note (which turns the B7 into B7b5). Using the thumb like this is frowned upon by some but sometimes there is no better way.

If you're wondering how I know where all these little chunks of music are on the fretboard you need to order my PlaneTalk Package. It describes the simple 'trick' to seeing the whole fretboard as one long chord. Once you can see that, you can jump in on any section of the neck to access the chunk you want, which usually means the chunk with the melody note on top.

Have fun with this one.