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Jazz & More Guitar Lessons: “Just Friends”

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Tune-Based Instruction,
"Just Friends" Performance 1.
This is AGU Tunes, and
this is a song called Just Friends.
I'm gonna start by playing the theme
then improvising over the changes.
And then, I'm gonna break it down for
you as usual.
Here we go.
Tune-Based Instruction,
"Just Friends" Chords.
This is AGU tunes, and
this is an old jazz standard from
an American songbook called Just Friends.
And as you've heard, I've improvised
over it, I played the melody.
Now I'm gonna show you the melody, but
I'm also gonna show you the chords, and
let me start by doing that.
It's in the key of G major but
the first chord is the fourth step.
C major 7.
And we can start here.
Eighth position, C, B, E.
And G.
That's the first chord.
Then you can go from the major
chord to the minor chord.
It's a C minor 7.
I like to use my thumb like this,
but you can also play like that, or
maybe barre it.
It's C, B flat, E flat, and.
And G.
Then F9 or F7 is the basic chord, but
you can color it with F9.
Flavor it a little bit.
F, A, E flat and G.
And back to the.
The root.
G major 7.
Many ways of playing the part if
you go here.
And the same voicing as you did for,
as we did for the C minor 7, F7,
G flat minor 7, E flat 7, or E flat 9.
Just two frets down.
E flat minor 7,
E-flat 7, A minor 7.
D7 or D9 on top where it's fine.
We have a B minor 7,
and then E minor 7, or
if you wanna play it
You can use many voicings.
But since the root is.
Is the melody note.
This works fine.
E, G, D, and E.
Or if you wanna
Or play it as
7th position B, E and G.
Then it's A7, A7 chord,
you can choose what voicing you wanna use,
if you wanna use the.
and A9, A13.
9 13 or maybe even, the sharp 11.
Sharp 13 sharp 11.
I like this one.
This is a nice one, 9 sharp 11.
A, G, C sharp D sharp,
or E flat, B.
And then we have.
If you wanna do two 5s or
you just wanna do the 7.
You can do
A minor here.
A minor 7, D9, and if you like to,
you can use A flat minor 7, D flat 7.
Or if you wanna just do D flat 7,
D flat 9, leading back to C.
This is also a nice voicing on the C.
C, E, A 6th, 9th, D, 5th on top, so C6, 9.
This is another voicing that works fine.
C, also C, C minor.
C, F, B flat, E flat and G.
And we have the same root.
We can do the F9, 13 F.
E flat.
A, B,
and G.
Keep the same top note.
So now the voicing for the G major chord.
G, D, A, D, and
F sharp.
This is a major 7th, the 5th,
the 9th, and the 6th, and the 13th.
And B flat minor again, minor 7.
B flat 7, A minor, D7.
Here comes the difference.
Here comes a.
Instead of the B minor 7, we have a B7
here going to E minor or
if you wanna do F to 5.
F minor 7, F sharp minor 7, B7,
E minor 7, and another A7, A minor.
It's a D.
And then we can do a D minor.
D minor 7, G7, C,
2, 5 to the 4th of G major C.
You can do this
This is nice, D, F, C, E, 9 minor 9 11.
And then.
it's a sharp 5, sharp 11, G,
or if you have D flat in the root,
it's a 9 sharp 11.
So that's,
that's like the whole song, these are the
chords, so one, two, one-two-three-four.
Tune-Based Instruction,
"Just Friends" Melody.
And here's the melody.
A, B, A, E flat.
One, two, one, two, three.
A, B, D.
A, B, A, F.
A, A, G, A,
G, D flat.
G, G, E, G,
E, F sharp.
First time it's F sharp,
D, F sharp, D, E, F sharp,
G, B, up to E, back to B.
E, F sharp, G, B,
and A, so.
And you can play this wherever you want.
You don't have to follow my fingering,
'cause I'm.
You can play it like.
You can maybe even play it up here.
If you think this is a more mellow sound.
Or up here.
So this is the end.
It starts the same, the second part.
Here comes different, G.
E, G, E, F sharp,
A, F sharp, A, F sharp, G, A, B, D.
if you wanna D, E, G, or if you wanna do.
D, A, G, or
G, D, B, G, D.
You can choose.
Or D G.
And G.
That works fine too, so.
Sometimes I'm sliding, as you can hear.
Sliding up.
Phrasing it differently.
Like that.
So that's the melody and the chords.
Tune-Based Instruction,
"Just Friends" Scales & Harmony 1.
Let's do a little break down
of the chords and the scales,
the devices you can use when improvising
over this song, Just Friends.
Like I told you before,
a good way of analyzing,
getting to, to know the chords and the
changes is to try to analyze everything
as much as possible relating to one key.
This is called the Berklee method, but
also, like I'm doing myself I'm
approaching it from many different ways.
You know, sometimes I wanna
play outside or more inside.
It's good to know several
different devices.
So, I'm just showing you a few of them and
give you a few tools and
you can choose what you like the,
the best yourself.
In the, at the end it's, the most
important thing is to hear the changes.
To be able to play the song, like
practice it without any backing tracks.
Like that, so hopefully you can hear that
it was Just Friends even without hearing
the chords or, or the bass line.
Just from the melody line and
this is the way I practice,
I like to like, sing it too.
But the way of getting there is to
practice the arpeggios,
triads, finding guide tones,
chromatic passing notes between
the chords, but also knowing the scales.
Learning the basic scales and
then take it from there.
The scales are good devices.
It's like you learn lots of words and
then you can put it together
the way you want it yourself.
But it's also, it's very good to learn a
lot of words, you have a good vocabulary.
That's why I think you should at least
learn a couple of these scales to get your
vocabulary started.
So first chord.
The song is in G major.
But the first chord is the fourth step,
C major.
So the natural scale to play here.
Will be C Lydian, same as G major.
The second chord, C minor 7, F7.
You could consider this just
like a temporary key change.
Just a 2 5.
C Dorian, F Mixolydian.
It's like this.
Or if you wanna go by this Berklee
method and try to find a scale.
Like a G related scale that is,
that works over a C minor 7 F7,
and have more notes in common,
as many notes in common as possible
with G, and then we find this scale.
It's F Lydian Flat 7.
Same as C melodic minor.
So C melodic minor is this note, the B.
And how do I know,
how do I get to this scale?
Well, I considered this, the F7,
as the shar Flat 7 chord the Flat
7 7 chord in the key of G.
Usually you know the seventh
step in G would be F sharp, but
here we have to find another G
scale that has F as the Flat 7 and
then I'm finding this scale.
It's called G Mixolydian Flat 6.
And if you start this scale from F,
you get F Lydian Flat 7.
If you start it from C
you get C melodic minor.
So you see, it all makes sense,
it comes together.
And, and we started here with these notes.
Now we're
replacing this one with this one.
This one with this one and
this one with this one.
So we have two notes difference
from the first scale.
And this way we,
we still consider as we would
be in the key of G major.
So there, there are many ways
of approaching this, so first.
Then back to the tonic chord G major.
Then the Ionian scale.
G major.
Then we have B flat minor 7 and E flat 7.
And there you can do the same way.
Either you can just see it as
a temporary key change, with a 2 5,
B flat Dorian, E flat Mixolydian.
Tune-Based Instruction "Just
Friends" Scales & Harmony 2.
Or, you can try to find another G scale
consisting of, of like these notes.
And, you find
the G Locrian natural 9.
It has the A, too.
The Mixolydian only has E flat
Mixolydian has this note, G flat.
And, if you start this scale
from E flat you get the A and
it's E flat Lydian flat 7.
It's a borrowed chord
from G Locrian natural 9.
And, if you started from B flat minor
here, the scale is B flat melodic minor.
Same scale just starting from different.
A different note and
it has different chord tones.
So, either you consider
this a key change and
this a key change, or
you consider it like you're still in G.
The tonality of G, but now you have
borrowed it from another G tonality.
Like, instead of G major, you have
borrowed it from G Locrian natural 9.
So, there are two ways of looking at this.
And, and
you can choose whatever you like the most.
Then, we have A minor.
A minor is the second step of G major.
So, Dorian.
D7 is the fifth step.
So, D Mixolydian, both of them
are the same as G major if starting
from different notes,
from starting points.
B minor,
third step of G, Phrygian.
Six step.
It's still G major, note these chords.
They all come from the same tonal center
but they have different chord tones and
different notes that are important for
each chord.
When I improvise sometimes I like to make
a dominant, superimpose a dominant here.
Use, so
I play the super Locrian scale or
the Mixolydian flat 2 flat 6 here.
Pretending it's a E7 B7 I'm
sorry leading to E minor.
So, you hear the difference in sound,
if I keep the original change
and here I'm super imposing seventh chord.
One more time from the beginning.
That was the original.
And, back.
So, you have that option.
Then, A7.
An A7, you can consider it as
a dominant leading to the fifth step,
5, 7, to to 5, 7.
And then, the, the way to do it,
like I've been explaining before,
you can take the chord tones of A7.
And then, you fill out with, with scale
tones from the surrounding key, G major.
And then, you will get
A Mixolydian.
But, if you want to go a bit outside here,
You can use the Lydian
flat 7 with this note.
The D sharp making it
a little bit more edgy.
and this way you can consider
this as a borrowed chord.
A 2 7 chord borrowed from,
not from G major.
But some, in the third step of
the, let's see of E minor,
that would be a G Lydian sharp 5.
So, you could consider
this as a bold chord from.
G Lydian sharp 5 where the second
chord would be A Lydian flat 7.
As you hear.
But, you can,
you can look at it just like a, a 5 7,
leading to the 5 7 if you like to.
There are many ways
Tune-Based Instruction,
"Just Friends" Scales & Harmony 3.
Then back again, same thing.
Same, here.
Here it's a B7,
even in the rhythm section.
And then it's a 5 7 leading to E minor,
the sixth step of G major.
So, take the chord tones.
B, D sharp, F sharp, and A, and
fill out with scale tones from
the surrounding key, G major,
then you will get this scale.
B7, mixolydian, flat 2, flat 6.
if you keep the same scale starting on E,
it's E harmonic minor.
And it's preceded by,
if you like to,
it's preceded by F sharp minor 7, flat 5.
This seventh step of G major, but
this makes it kind of a 2 5,
and 2 5 1 in E minor.
I also like to use the altered scale here.
Super Locrian B, C, D.
D sharp, F, G, A and B.
It's a nice scale.
And of course,
when I'm improvising, I'm adding chromatic
passing notes in between as usual.
And an A7 again, same thing.
And back to G.
And what I forgot to tell you both times,
even after the first time
You can do a 2 5 here, A flat minor 7.
D flat 7.
We just play a-.
D flat 7.
And this is a tritone substitution for
G7, the dominant,
dominant leading to
the fourth step to see.
And as always,
with the tritone substituted chords-.
Scale is Lydian,
flat 7 starting on D flat.
And if you play that,
if it's preceded by a A flat minor 7,
the same scale starting from A.
The same notes starting from
A flat is A flat melodic minor.
you can see this as borrowed chords from-.
G super locrian.
if you analyzes this
the Berklee method this way,
you can find all these chords in this
song within some kind of G tonality.
Instead of considering everything as like
just modulations or temporary 2 5s.
So, hopefully I've given you the tool
here to, to choose the way you like and
proceed from there.
Another good way is just start by
practicing the arpeggios and try.
[LAUGH] G major.
And after a while, you can start like
Use the scales, and
add, then add chromatic
passing notes in between.
Find guide tones going up.
Do it like that.
That's a really good way of practicing or
So, let me just play this song one more
time to the backing track, and improvise.
And you can have a listen, and
maybe you'll try to pick up
a couple of lines from here.
And if there's something you don't
really get or something you wanna learn,
you can just post a request on the forums,
if there's a specific line or
phrase you would like to learn, and
I can break it down for you in the video.
So, and also let me hear you play
this song, your own version.
Upload your version to the site,
and I will give you some feedback.
Tune-Based Instruction,
"Just Friends" Performance 2.