Learning the minor blues with John Coltrane’s “Mr. PC”

Hey Improvisers,

There are certain iconic tunes that serve as good ways to go deeper into various types of music. For the minor blues, John Coltrane’s “Mr. PC” is one of these tunes.

The minor blues is a very important form to learn, as it can be found in various styles across the musical spectrum. It’s influenced the classic rock of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, and Van Morrison, as well as traditional blues by BB King and Eric Clapton, as well as jazz by Miles Davis and Bill Evans, among many others.

John Coltrane’s “Mr. PC,” although usually played at a fast tempo, is a perfect introduction to the minor blues because the chord progression is very basic and the melody is catchy and repetitive.

I’ve made a video to demonstrate many ways of playing a minor blues, including:

Improvising with fourths
Chromatic improvisation
Using the blues scale
Pentatonic scales
Atmospheric textures
Thinking “out of the box”
The Dorian mode
Building upon a short motif
Coltrane’s “sheets of sound” concept
Arpeggiating RH voicings with extensions
Bringing in LH rootless voicings
LH shell voicings
McCoy Tyner-style LH patterns
Motivic development

You’ll find all this, and more, on this video:

Mr. PC: Journey Through The Real Book #236

Enjoy the journey, and let the music flow!


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