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Chromatic for Diatonic Players


Blues Chromatic in the Sharp Keys, Part 3




by Winslow Yerxa


Last time, I took your though blues in B, which included the chords of B, E, and F# (I, IV and V chords in B).

This time, I'm going to focus on blues chromatic in the key of E.

In E, the I, IV and V chords are E, A, and B. We've already gone through the B chord and the E chord in the last installment, so let's do a little bit more on the E chord, then move on to A.

Again, we're progressing through the keys that have a sharp in the scale, and their chords overlap, as shown here:

The rest of this series will add one new chord for each new key. It's up to you to go through the previous articles and put the chords together for each key.

Getting from E to A

The E7 chord includes the notes E, G#, B and D. The A7 chord includes A, C#, E, and G.

This grid shows how the notes of the E7 chord flow UP to the nearest note in the A7 chord:

This grid shows how the notes of the E7 chord flow DOWN to the nearest note in the A7 chord:

Here are the notes of the two chords mapped on a note layout so you can see where you'd make your moves in either direction:

Let's map out some licks that would work going from E7 to A7. Here's the chord progression. It's like the first four bars of a 12-bar blues with an early four (commonly called a quick change).

Click here to hear this progression, and use it to back you as you play the next two sets of licks that go from E7 to A7 and back. 19-01.mp3.

Here is a series of licks that go UP from a note in the E7 chord to a note in the A7 chord. Click here to listen 19-02.mp3.

Here is a series of licks that go UP from a note in the E7 chord to a note in the A7 chord. Click here to listen 19-03.mp3.




Licks on an A Chord Major Pentatonic Scale

The notes F#, A, and B lie in a line as draw notes; it's relatively easy to learn pressing in the slide on F#. If you add E in the same hole as F# and C# either in the same holes as B or one hole to the right you have an easy pathway for licks over an A chord. This spells out the A Major Pentatonic Scale.

Here is a simple exercise for getting familiar with the A Major Pentatonic Scale. Click here to listen 19-04.mp3.

Let's map out some licks that would work going from E7 to A7. Here's the chord progression.

Click here to hear this progression, and use it to back you as you play the next two sets of licks that start on A7 and go back to E7. Click here to listen 19-05.mp3.

Here are some licks based on the A Major Pentatonic scale played over the middle 4 bars of a 12-bar blues in E. Click here to listen 19-06.mp3.



Licks on an A7 Chord

For a harder-edged sound over an A chord, you can add G, the flat-7th of the chord, and also play from the E Blues Scale. Here are some licks that do that, again played over the middle 4 bars of a 12-bar blues in E. Click here to listen 19-07.mp3.



Getting from B7 to A7

The last 4 measures of a 12-bar blues in E go from B7 to A7, then back to E. That quick move from B7 to A7 can be tackled by looking at how the individual notes of a B7 chord go to the individual notes of an A7 chord.

B7 UP to A7:

B7 DOWN to A7:

Here's the map on the note layout of the harp:

Here's a simple form of the last four measures of a 12-bar blues progression.

Click here to hear this progression, and use it to back you as you play the next two sets of licks that complete the 12-bar verse. 19-08.mp3

Here are some licks going UP from notes of B7 to notes of A7. Click here to listen 19-09.mp3.

Here are some licks going DOWN from notes of B7 to notes of A7. Click here to listen 19-10.mp3.

Here's the complete chord progression for blues in E. Click here to listen and play along using some of the licks you've learned. 19-11.mp3

Next Time:
Blues in A!

Notation Key

Please visit http://www.harmonicasessions.com/feb05/ChromaticTab.pdf for a notation key.


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