Master Blaster chords

You can learn how to play Master Blaster (Jammin’) by Stevie Wonder!

Master Blaster (Jammin’) is a single from Stevie Wonder’s album Hotter Than July.

Released in 1980 it is a tribute to Bob Marley who had been touring with Stevie prior to the making of the album.

The song spent seven weeks at number one in the U.S Billboard charts and has become a milestone to learn for musicians, mainly down to the two intricate minor pentatonic instrumental sections.

In the step by step course, I’ll take you through how to play each section of Master Blaster, all over the neck.

This involves building rhythm parts for the verse and the chorus. Using these examples as a starting point, you will soon be able to play Master Blaster in an improvised way, or as the title suggests – by Jammin’!

The most challenging part of playing Master Blaster is the second instrumental section. This part has become so famous among musicians it is by many seen as a benchmark of your ability.

To learn it, you must first play the Minor Pentatonic in sequences, meaning moving up three notes, back one. In the course, we do this in all shapes, followed by the opposite direction of three notes down, one up.

This final way of playing down the scale in sequences is the main foundation of Master Blaster’s instrumental section.

It does get more complicated than just moving in this pattern, but as a starting point, practicing the concept is essential.

The best part is that this way of phrasing can be incorporated into other solos and licks with great success.

Master Blaster chords and lyrics

Chords for Master Blaster

The chord boxes you see above don’t cover all the CAGED shapes I use in the video lesson at the top of the page, but they’re a good starting point.

As Stevie clearly points out, you should be jammin’ when playing Master Blaster and the best way to do this is to know all your chords in all shapes. Know them well and you can relax and pick whichever feels right at the moment.

Many of these chords only have two strings, this gives us a very focused chord sound. Further down the page, you’ll find a preview of the course, here we have an exercise for the verse where they are all three strings.

In general, you want to visualize the full CAGED shape (6-4 strings), but only use a fraction of it, the smaller the better!

The chord progressions of Master Blaster (Jammin’) break all sorts of harmonic rules.

The descending verse progression only has the home chord as a minor chord, the rest are major. This makes it very difficult to determine if that home chord is chord VI or II. The ambiguity of, are we in Dorian or Aeolian, is a huge part of Master Blaster’s sound.

Usually, we look to the vocal melody for clues but the entire melody, just like the instrumental sections, is just the C Minor Pentatonic.

Here’s the verse chord progression. Cm is chord VI, but it’s also chord II. To spice things up, try extending the chords to, for example, Csus4, Cm7, Bb6, Ab6, G7, and F7.

| Cm | Cm Bb | Ab | Ab G |
Everyone’s feeling pretty, it’s hotter than July.
| F | F | Cm | Bb |
Though the world’s full of problems, they couldn’t touch us even if they tried.
| Cm | Cm Bb | Ab | Ab G |
From the park I hear rhythms, Marley’s hot on the box.
| F | F | Cm | Bb |
Tonight there will be a party, on the corner at the end of the block.

The chorus reminds us of a blues-style progression, with the home chord being minor. Compare this with I Heard It Through The Grapevine.

| Cm | G | F | F |
Didn’t know you, would be jammin’ until the break of dawn. I bet nobody ever told you that you,
| Cm | G | F | F |
would be jammin’ until the break of dawn. You would be jammin’ and jammin’ and jammin’, jam on.

The last two chords of the chorus could have F6 or F7 chords. The G could also be a G7. Experiment by jammin’!

Course preview (Guitar Lesson – Step 2)

In the video above, starting at 5:12, you find a preview of Master Blaster’s guitar lesson, it’s the beginning of step 2 of the course.

In this step, we work on playing the verse all over the neck. There are three examples to work your way through, below you find TAB for the first example.

In the course, you get a loop to play along with the band, first practice each example, then start moving freely around the fretboard.

Master Blaster (Jammin’) – Guitar Lessons

The final series of lessons are done around Stevie Wonder’s masterpiece Master Blaster (Jammin’). As the title suggests, this is all about improvisation.

As a bonus, you’ll know that when you can lay the instrumental sections, you know your Minor Pentatonic well enough.

Go to Master Blaster (Jammin’) guitar lessons.

Master Blaster (Jammin’) – Lyrics

Everyone’s feeling pretty, it’s hotter than July.
Though the world’s full of problems, they couldn’t touch us even if they tried.
From the park I hear rhythms, Marley’s hot on the box.
Tonight there will be a party, on the corner at the end of the block.

Go to Master Blaster lyrics.

Stevie Wonder – Biography

Stevie Wonder is the legend whom most practicing musicians come across, that has a life-changing impact on them.

Stevie’s natural groove and ability to so purely express music are untouched. His vocal phrasing and songwriting are second to none.

Go to Stevie Wonder biography.

Intermediate Electric – 13 Songs

You can learn how to play these 13 intermediate electric songs!

Be My Baby, Can I Get A Witness, Get Ready, I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Jimmy Mack, Master Blaster (Jammin’), Money (That’s What I Want), My Guy, Rescue Me, Respect, Son Of A Preacher Man, Soul Man, and You Can’t Hurry Love.

Go to Intermediate Electric Songs.