Improvising with quarter notes only by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

We are continuing our series on “Blues For Alice” with a little improvisation exercise. Yes, we are finally going to improvise freely! However, the one and only restriction is that we are going to use quarter notes only... The challenge is to generate a flowing, uninterrupted, sequence of quarter notes-- while still outlining the changes.

Now, before you start wondering why anyone would want to do that, let me explain that it is just an exercise. A never ending line consisting of nothing but quarter notes is not my idea of a desirable solo! Eventually, we will want to leave out some space, make phrases, vary the rhythms, etc.

But before we start editing, we want to somehow "open up the faucet" and let the lines come out. It's not that easy at first, but go ahead and try it! And don't be afraid of mistakes: if you hit a note that doesn't quite work, don't stop and just keep going.

Blues for Alice (Part 6/6) - Improvising with quarter notes only

Blues for Alice - List of Jazz Chronicles

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

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

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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