“Swimming Lessons” and moving voices
George Van Eps, the great orchestral jazz guitarist, once said something to the effect that voice leading on the guitar was just a matter of getting 3 or 4 voices swimming along with each other…if you didn’t like the sound of it, you just gave the voices swimming lessons.
After recently recording an off the cuff version of a jazz standard called “Just You, Just Me”, I started to mess around with a chord sequence in the tune which could also be used as a turnaround. I was just thinking about how the voices could move. In the first version, I used a Lenny Breau concept: Simple, but sophisticated; you just pick a voice to stay on top, and you keep it there while you move through the chord sequence. Of course, if you don’t like the sound, you do “swimming lessons”! Then, I intentionally did a second version, higher up on the neck.
This facilitates memorization: By alternating the practice of the two versions, you’re forced to re-remember each version each time, rather than keeping your one version in your short term memory like a phone number that you repeat again and again while you reach for your phone…
Anyhow, the video is sort of self-explanatory, and I hope you can learn my versions, or, better yet, come up with some interesting turnarounds of your own!