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Jazz Solo Technique: the "3 to flat 9" pattern

Updated on March 8, 2010

   The "3 to flat nine" (or "three to b9") soloing pattern is a widely used soloing tool in jazz.  It can be used over any flat nine chord or a dominant that could also be treated as a flat nine dominant chord.  It consists of moving from the third of the dominant chord, to the flat nine, by means of scale tones, chord tones, or simply skipping.

  Here are a few exercies to get yourself familiar.  It is important to practice these in all 12 keys!


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      JD bassist 5 years ago

      I came to this page because I am analyzing Coltrane's solo (the first 50 odd bars) on Giant Steps (studio version). Interestingly, in measure 5 of the solo, over the D7 chord, he uses a major 3rd to b9 leap! The b9 creates a lot of tension when played atop the dominant chord.

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      Rodger Clemons 6 years ago

      Would love to see more of these. Also some substitution exercises. Thanks a ton!!