How to “make the changes” by following the “wrong” chords

by | Mar 6, 2018 | Articles, General Updates |

There’s something ironic about playing jazz.

Let me explain:

A lot of emphasis in jazz theory books is about “making the changes” – i.e., ensuring that you pay close attention to the chords in a progression you’re currently improvising over.

But, the weird thing is…

If you do this too much, it won’t sound like you’re playing jazz at all.

Here’s the thing:

To get that jazzy flavor into your solos, you need to target the upper extensions of the chords – like the 9th, the 11th, and the 13th.

This is where a lot of newbie jazz players fall down when it comes to soloing. How you target these extensions in your lines becomes too complex in the heat of the moment.


There’s a really neat trick to being able to do this easily – and without much effort.

It’s called the “Seeing One Chord, Playing Another” trick.

There are certain ways to pretend as if there are different chords on the lead sheet, and then playing basic chord tones out of these “wrong” chords.

The best part:

When you do this, you’ll automatically highlight the upper extensions of the chords, without needing to think in a complicated way.

Guess what:

My latest video lesson series in the FretDojo Academy Club will give you a step-by-step roadmap on the exact substitutions you need to create this effect, based on the techniques used by Charlie Parker.

Tired of your improvisations sounding boring? Need some quick inspiration for how to dramatically create dynamic new sounds in your soloing?

You need to go to this link now:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education


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