Author Archives: jsmusicschool

About jsmusicschool

Guitar teacher, Music Entrepreneur and Spurs fan.

Moved to Blogger! All new posts with videos!

Hi there,

Thanks for reading my blogs. Just to let you know my blog has now been moved to

All posts are being moved over with added videos. Also overlays for all new videos so you’ll have chord charts / tabs appear on the screen as you watch the videos!

Many thanks for your support!

James Schofield

Twitter:  @jsmusicschool


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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


12 bar blues – Spice up your patterns with triplet rhythms

Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to read my blogs 🙂 Feel good about posting comments / questions, any other subject matters that people would like me to blog on.

Just to let you know i’ll be eventually adding some audio clips/ videos but they’ll be uploaded to my blogger page soon ( wordpress charge for mp3/ video uploads)

This blog (and the next one) will help beginner bass players to really start to mix up your 12 bar blues patterns with different rhythms. So using these new rhythms in conjunction with various arpeggios will give you more options/variety.

Below I’ve got 3 basic 12 bar blues progressions in A Blues. (the arpeggios are Major 6, Major and descending major bass line at bar 12 of each pattern)

Pattern 1 is ‘straight’ quavers :


Pattern 2 we’ve got a traditional ‘shuffle’ feel where each beat is split up into triplet quavers (1 + a, 2 + a, 3 + a, 4 + a). Each beat has 1 note lasting 2/3rds of the beat (1 and the +) and the 2nd note on the ‘a’)

** this is stated by the triplet 8th note feel sign at the top left hand side**



Pattern 3 is based on the triplet quaver structure of 3 notes per beat but the + is a rest. This provides you with another variation and choppy feel.



Practice these at various speeds with a metronome 🙂

Next blog will look at varying the rhythms within each bar!

Many thanks for reading.

James Schofield

Twitter: @jsmusicschool


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Posted by on February 4, 2015 in The Blues


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Non-business owners – ‘They may not understand’

Hi there!

Thanks for reading my blogs, been a while since my last post!

The idea behind this blog is to help create awareness for non-business owners as to how to communicate/act better when employing the services of a self-employed professional / wanting to help/advise someone you know who runs a business.

Non-business owners:

1. You may not understand. From my experience and excellent advice from some thought leaders in the business world, IMHO those who’ve actually started up a business from scratch, invested their own money, energy and taken the risks to create their own businesses/ coached successful ones, are the ones I personally will take advice from the most

As starting a business can be very risky (I don’t as of yet have a mortgage so less risky for me at the moment), in terms of the investment etc, often a business owner can be very protective of the way they run things and in a sense do not like being told what to do. The ‘They may not understand line’ was given to me by someone who is a thought leader, and has stuck with me ever since.

2. Having a business degree/ marketing degree does not make you a thought leader on business/marketing. I know lots of people who have bits of paper saying that they have expert knowledge in business/marketing. For me unless you have taken a big leap into starting your own business/ have a proven track record of coaching/improving businesses, for me you cannot be considered an expert. This is because the learning curves are so steep when starting a business. Learning to do all your accounts, schedule your daily activities, social media, advertising, marketing, client management, bookings, T & C’s, planning, etc constantly have to be improved due to various things that happen when you start out/uncontrollable situations.

So if you do not run a business, be careful what you may think is advice you are giving as many business owners (from my experience) will take it personally. Think of it as similar to when football players get annoyed at pundits that have never played the game.

3. Being aware of some of the myth’s surrounding running a business/ being self-employed 

The amount of times I here people say ‘being a guitar teacher must be so easy, you get up at midday, sit around all day in your dressing gown, teach Wonderwall a few times then repeat the process’. Here’s a list of things that a private teacher may do:

1. Advertising – it could be flyers, going into schools, putting your details on community forums, trading websites (for me something like Uk musicteachers sites)

2. Payments – sending out invoices, paying in cheques, checking online banking, business banking, chasing late payments, payment reminders

3. Research – seeing what other teachers are doing, looking at blogs, tweets, youtube for inspiration/ideas

4. Rescheduling & booking lessons/work – imagine say 5 clients a week want to rearrange. A business owner may have to reshuffle 10 clients in order to accommodate them into the schedule

5. Exercise – this may seem baffling as you are not getting paid for this. The amount of people I know who’d benefit from 2 hours week exercise is unbelievable. Often the excuse is ‘there is not enough hours in the day’, however as most research has suggested, if you went for a quick jog, bike ride, your productivity & concentration levels would rise significantly, which’d mean you’d actually get more work done. I used to be renowned when I was younger for having a cold all the time. Now I’m ill as lot less often (hope i haven’t jinxed that!). I genuinely believe that is about 70% to do with the running I do and how I organize my days.

 6. Social media – A friends company I know, employs 1 person solely for Twitter. So Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, WordPress, Google+, Instagram can be a huge investment of time/sometimes money for a business owner. It’s essential for creating awareness about your brand/product + SEO for websites.

7. StrategyIf you are an ambitious entrepreneur like myself, you’ll want to constantly find ways of improving every day. That may be a small change like changing the way you receive payments or upgrading your equipment. It could be large scale, like employing staff

8. The things you get paid for – your actual job – teaching, plumbing, etc .-  How many hours will be dependent on how good you are and how much of the above you do/outsource etc

9. Administration – Reconciling lessons, producing teaching material for your lessons, liaising with parents etc, accounting, monitoring income and expenditure, tax returns.

10. Websites – manufacturing & maintenance of a website


4. Jealously Jealously will not get you anywhere. You may not like your job, you may not like the hours you work, you may not like your boss. If a friend of yours owns a business, it may seem pretty easy to criticize. However, praising them will be a better option. Smart people can also read jealousy a mile off. That way they won’t cut you out of their social circles. Being surrounded by successful/positive people breeds success. Being surrounded by negative people breeds negativity. Richard Branson for example is great at promoting this type of thinking

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this! Will be interested to hear any comments!

Many thanks

James Schofield


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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Business


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Essential Blues Bass lines!

Hi there,

Thanks for reading my blogs – I’ll shortly be moving over to Blogger as I can upload Videos for free. I’ll let everyone know once I start moving things over!

So in this blog we will cover some cool essential bass lines that all bassists should know. They are also extremely useful for blues guitarists as well as can be played around with on guitar in different ways.

Our first cool bass line is based around a major 6th arpeggio. An arpeggio is where you are playing notes from a chord sequentially.

Let’s take an A6 arpeggio for example. It would contain:

Rootnote =  A

Major 3rd (3) 2 tones = C#

Perfect 5th (5) 3 1/2 tones = E

Major 6th (6) 4 1/2 tones = F#

The pattern we’ll use to start with will go like this (we’ll also include the octave (8) )

A   C#  E   F#  A   F#  E  C#

1   3    5    6    8    6   5   3

To get a nice groove going play 2 swung quavers per note. I’ve transcribed a 12 bar blues pattern using the same pattern above using A6, D6 and E6 arpeggios.


Pattern no.2 is using Dominant 7th arpeggios. These would contain:

Rootnote : A

Major 3rd (3) 2 tones = C#

Perfect 5th (5) 3 1/2 tones = E

Minor 7th (b7) 5 tones = G

Using the same playing pattern as with the Major 6th’s we’d get the following in an A blues progression:


You can also mix the 2 up to produce a bass line with a root, 3rd, 5th, 6th and b7:


Practice this in every key and play along to backing tracks online. There a millions of great blues backing tracks on Youtube you can use.

Also you can randomise the pattern so instead of going 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 6, 5, 3 you can jumble them up to create different options and sounds.

Hope you’ve found this blog useful.

You can find other excellent free info via the Jsmusicschool twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks



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Posted by on February 18, 2014 in The Blues


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Spice up your Blues playing Pt 1 – 6 + 2 chords

Hi there,

Want to add some variety to your blues chord progressions? Thought so 🙂

If you are used to just playing the traditional 1, 4, 5 chords in a 12 bar blues (usually with dominant 7,9 or 13 chords) you’re only sticking with 3 possible chords.

There are some cool chords you can add to make the traditional 12 bar sequence more interesting.

So are traditional 12 bar blues in D could be:

D7   D7   D7   D7   G7   G7   D7   D7   A7  G7  D7   A7

2 really classy chords you can add are the 6th and 2nd chords from the key. So in D major the chords would be:

D Em F#m, G, A, Bm, C#dim

Now for a really bluesy sound we’re going to make the 6th chord Dominant 7th and the 2nd chord a minor 7th.

The 6th dominant 7th chord can be seen as a secondary dominant (please refer to my blog on secondary dominants for an explanation of this)

The 2nd chord is diatonic (belongs to the key)

Here is a suggested chord progression using these chords.

In roman numerals they would go like this . I  IV  I  I    IV   IV  I  VI     IIm7  V   I   IIm7 / V

1.D7  2.G7   3.D7   4.D7    5.G7   6.G7   7.D7    8.B7    9.Em7   10.A7    11.D7    12.Em7  /  A7

(in the 12th bar you can split it between the 2 chords – this bar is often referred to as the turnaround)

Have a play around with the above then have a go in different keys. So in A the progression would be:

1.A7  2.D7   3.A7   4.A7    5.D7   6.D7  7.A7.   8.F#7    9.Bm7    10.E7    11.A7    12.Bm7 / E7

Hope you’ve found this blog useful

Thanks for reading

You can find Js Music School on twitter via @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic



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Posted by on January 22, 2014 in The Blues


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Become great at Improvisation – Pt 11 – Unison bends!

Hi there,

Thanks again for reading the blogs – if you like them please share the links to your friends!

The next chapter in this improv series talks about how to integrate Unison bends into your playing.

Unison bends are used in millions of songs to provide a different type of bend to your standard semitone, tone or 1 1/2 tone bends.

A Unison is where you play 2 notes of the exact same pitch. I.e. 5th fret of the B (2nd) string and the open E (1st) string.

A Unison bend is where you strike 2 strings, the top string is playing say an E (12th fret) and the B string you’d play a D (15th fret) and bend the B string to reach the E. The most common places on the neck where these are performed are on the G (3rd) and B (2nd) strings and B and E (1st) strings. Here are some examples:


The sound it produces sounds great and can be used lots in your riff making and lead playing.

To really integrate it into your playing, practice going up and down your scales using these. For example here is the G major scale (G, A, B, C, D, E, F#) using the unison bend shape on the E and B strings.


Here’s another example of using the notes of the A minor pentatonic (A, C, D, E, G) using unison bends:


Practice this using all your scales in all the various shapes and positions.

You can find other great free info on all things guitar related via the Js Music School twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks for reading



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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Improvisation


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Become great at Improvisation Pt 10 – Note skipping

Hi there,

So the next step in your quest to be an improv god is note skipping through your scales.

Note skipping is where you play your first note of the scale, skip to the 3rd, come back to the 2nd note, skip to the 4th, come back to the 3rd and so on.

It’s a truly excellent way to learn your scales as you really have to know your shapes well to be able to do this effectively. It also allows you to further randomize your shapes, providing you with more ideas for coming up with riffs and melodies.

Here’s the 1st shape of the A minor pentatonic using this exercise. (both ascending and descending)


Here’s the 1st shape of the A major scale using this exercise. (both ascending and descending). This is also known as going up and down in 3rd’s


Remember you can get perform this exercise with all 5 shapes of the minor/ major pentatonic and all 7 shapes of the Major/ Natural Minor scales, plus any other scales you learn.

You can find other free excellent info on all things guitar via the Jsmusicschool twitter feed @jsmusicschool @harvey_jsmusic

Many thanks for reading




Posted by on January 9, 2014 in Improvisation


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