“Blues for Alice” by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert : 4-note groupings

We are continuing our series on “Blues For Alice” with the 4-note groupings. What we call 4-note groupings are simple patterns that are used to outline a chord progression. Those patterns only have 4 notes and are neither a complete scale, nor an arpeggio.

Yet, they are very melodic and will give us enough harmonic information to outline the chord changes of any song. I first heard the term coined by Jerry Bergonzi in his “Inside Improvisation Series For All Instruments”.

Blues for Alice (Part 4/6) - 4-note groupings

We will use 3 types of 4-note groupings:

  • MAJOR: Root, M2, M3, P5 played over Maj7 chords and Dominant 7 chords.
  • MINOR: Root, m3, P4, P5 played over min7 chords.
  • DIMINISHED: Root, m3, P4, dim5 played over min7(b5) or diminished 7th chords.

I recommend that you first start with playing the groupings from the same string— maybe all from the 6th or 5th string, and gradually learn to start them from any string. The highest string we may start a grouping will be the 2nd string since we need 2 adjacent strings for each grouping.

Make sure you sing the patterns as you play them, as it will help you remember their sound.

Blues for Alice - List of Jazz Chronicles

  • The melody
  • 3-note voicings
  • Comping study
  • 4-note groupings (this chronicle)
  • An arpeggio study
  • Improvising with quarter notes only

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact me through The Guitar Channel by commenting below or directly through my website brunojazz.com.

See you again soon!


Note from The Guitar Channel

If you are looking for an excellent Jazz guitar teacher, I highly recommend Bruno. He produced many Jazz chronicles in French for La Chaîne Guitare which were highly appreciated by the Backstage Pass subscribers. I also took a Skype lesson with him once (read the story about it in this article) and it was a lot of fun and very useful to help my play better and increase my vocabulary on guitar.

Skype guitar lesson with Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert


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