Country Jazz Lesson: John Scofield’s Cover of “Mama Tried” Part 2

Orignally published on 2021-11-25 02:51:01 by www.guitarplayer.com

Last time, we looked at the melody and form to John Scofield’s instrumental cover of “Mama Tried,” the popular country tune written by Merle Haggard, which Scofield recorded for his Grammy Award-winning 2016 album Country for Old Men

In this conclusion to our two-part lesson, we’ll focus on highlights from Scofield’s improvised solo and discuss how he used jazz vocabulary to imply sophisticated harmonic movement over the basic underlying chord progression. 

As stated in part 1, Scofield played his arrangement in standard tuning and in the concert key of Eb. He also used a capo at the 1st fret. For purposes of this lesson, we’ll forego the use of a capo and tune our guitars down a half step, to Eb standard (low to high: Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb, Eb), and think “key of E.” 

(Image credit: Future)

The solo is played over the repeating 16-bar chord progression that functions as the verse in the main melody section (see Figure 1). Although the tune is built around basic chords, the single-note lines that Scofield plays imply more complex harmonic moves that are usually associated with jazz and bebop. 

Orignally published on 2021-11-25 02:51:01 by www.guitarplayer.com

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