Welcome to week #29, which is the last tip before Christmas! If you’re still looking for ideas for a musician’s Christmas (or other holiday) gift, then Targeting: Improvisation With Purpose would be an affordable and practical gift! The E-book version works great on mobile devices and the printed version is sturdy and sits nicely on a music stand. For more information, you can click on the link to the right or you can go to Jason Klobnak Music. If this is your first time here…welcome! If you’re a returning visitor, welcome back!

Last week we looked at how we can use major lines over minor harmony. This week, we’re going to continue with our similar theme of how we can use our current licks over other harmonies. We’re going to look at how we can use minor lines over minor 7 (b5) chords, or as some known them- half-diminished. To some, this may seem like a no-brainer, but I hope this opens up some new possibilities for some of you.

We’ve all seen this chord in a progression before (many times in a minor ii-V-i): Xmin7(b5). Some of you may wonder, “what can I do with that?” I want to share a quick, but effective tip that should help give you more melodic ideas over that chord (or progression). If you base your ideas off of the melodic minor starting on the flat 3rd of the Xmin7(b5)…you can now use your “minor” lines over the Xmin7(b5). For instance, if you have an Amin7(b5)…your ideas in C minor (more specifically, C-melodic minor) will work over the Amin7(b5).

Let’s take a look at this idea in three brief examples below over the minor ii-V-i progression. Over each of the Amin7(b5) examples below, you’ll see lines that I might construct in C-minor in place of the Amin7(b5).


I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s tip and hope that many of you find it beneficial for you or your students! Please feel free to share this tip (or blog) with your friends, colleagues and students. For easy access, you can use the Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Google+ links below. Also, please feel free to share this on any site or blog that you’re a contributor for as I’d love to continue to see people benefiting from this. Merry Christmas!

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