5 Tips To Transcribe Any Solos You Wish To Learn

5 Tips To Transcribe Any Solos You Wish To Learn

Have you dreamt of playing the world’s best jazz solos? Do you drool with envy anytime you hear Joe Pass? While you’re far from alone in wanting to learn how to play and transcribe these solos, there’s only a number of ways to execute the process correctly. And there’s no doubt about it, transcribing solos is essential to learning the language of jazz. Do you … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #2: Connecting Chords Logically

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #2: Connecting Chords Logically

Let’s continue our exploration of the 3 jazz improvisation pillars. In this blog post, we are going to learn about Pillar #2: connecting chords logically. “What does that mean?”, you may ask. It means that you aim to outline the changes from the current chord to the next one. Your single note lines should reflect the chord progression you play on. Also, you need to … [Click Here to Read more]

The 3 Pillars Of Jazz Improvisation You Need To Know

The 3 Pillars Of Jazz Improvisation You Need To Know

Learning to improvise fluently in a “jazz style” is no small task. There is so much to consider! From common tools such as scales and arpeggios right on through to those magical musical ideas (produced in real time), we’re juggling many elements. This requires a very broad set of aural and technical skills. In short: learning jazz improvisation can be pretty darn challenging! 😃 And … [Click Here to Read more]

Charlie Christian Untold

Charlie Christian Untold

What can be said about Charlie Christian that hasn’t already been dutifully noted in the jazz guitar log book? A light that shone brightly and briefly, his death at the age of 25 left a frustratingly small discography that fans have pored over in detail while extracting as much information as possible. His groundbreaking playing and concepts laid the path for all future practitioners of … [Click Here to Read more]

5 Reasons to Transcribe Jazz Guitar Solos by Ear

5 Reasons to Transcribe Jazz Guitar Solos by Ear

A lot of players transcribe jazz guitar solos during their practice time. If you are not doing it, maybe it is because you do not see the benefits (yet). We are convinced that you know a handful of jazz solos you really enjoy listening to and in this blog post, we will give you 5 reasons explaining why you should transcribe these great jazz solos by ear.  A word of advice: You … [Click Here to Read more]

How to Sound Jazzy with Altered Dominants

How to Sound Jazzy with Altered Dominants

You know the drill: as jazz players, we’re always looking for ways to add nice chromatic notes and altered dominants into our solos. So this lesson is yet another way to solve one of the most typical issues for beginning and intermediate jazz players, which is … How can I sound less inside when I solo? In this blog + video lesson, we’ll do just that … [Click Here to Read more]

Ed Bickert Untold

Ed Bickert Untold

Toronto jazz legend Ed Bickert is (like many Canadian treasures) little known outside of the rarefied world of jazz guitar aficionados and Telecaster obsessives the world over. But his influence is far reaching. So many guitarists from Canada have absorbed elements of his sophisticated and understated style that it’s likely he has had an effect on guitarists everywhere whether they even realize it or not. … [Click Here to Read more]

George Benson Untold

George Benson Untold

If I correctly recall the liner notes of a vinyl record I had as a kid, a young George Benson spent the time in the van in between tour dates with Jack McDuff lying on top of the B3 organ practicing relentlessly. He got the gig based on his sheer musicality and the fact that he could sing and was a showman. As Benson told … [Click Here to Read more]

Joe Pass Untold

Joe Pass Untold

There’s a special place in the pantheon of jazz guitarists for Joseph Anthony Passalaqua. We call him Joe Pass and for many, he is the definitive model of the “complete” jazz guitar player. Fusing rhythmic and melodic approaches, his compelling solo guitar style develops at a time when most players are using either rhythm or melody — but rarely both at the same time. Legend … [Click Here to Read more]

Kenny Burrell Untold

Kenny Burrell Untold

Born in 1931 in Detroit, Michigan, Kenny Burrell is one of jazz guitar’s more singular artists. While of the same generation as guitarists like Joe Pass, Jim Hall, and Jimmy Raney, his sound came out of different musical experiences and a particular geographical reality. Let’s see what we can learn from Kenny Burrell. Play the Blues. (Like you mean it.) Detroit’s musical environment assured that … [Click Here to Read more]

Pat Metheny Untold

Pat Metheny Untold

Pat Metheny is one of my favorite jazz guitarists. We can hear, in a certain way, that he’s next in line in the tradition of Wes Montgomery and other mainstream jazz outfits that fizzled into other grooves in the late sixties, such as Miles Davis. Metheny is a “case in point” so to speak in so many areas of his musical career, that it was … [Click Here to Read more]

Jim Hall Untold

Jim Hall Untold

Jim Hall was arguably the most musical jazz guitarist of 20th century. His playing was at once grounded in tradition, and forward thinking. And that, even though jazz was still a young art form when he first picked up a guitar. He developed a style that was devoid of clichés and rich in musicality rather than mere guitar pyrotechnics. A true member of any ensemble, … [Click Here to Read more]

Wes Montgomery Untold

Wes Montgomery Untold

The great jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery requires no introduction. He single-handedly forged a jazz guitar sound that is still imitated and revered to this day. Jazz guitarists and musicians have lots to learn from him, and I wouldn’t be surprised if his influence continues over several generations of artists in the future. So, in short, Wes is probably the greatest jazz guitarist of all times. … [Click Here to Read more]

George Benson Top-5 Solos

George Benson Top-5 Solos

Everyone will have a different set of parameters for defining and choosing their favorite solos by an artist. I’m not even sure that I can articulate my own reasons for picking these solos by George Benson as my TOP 5. But I’m going to try. My first exposure to to Benson (like about 9 billion other people) was his massively successful crossover album Breezin’ . … [Click Here to Read more]

The Dummies’ Guide to Jazz Standards – for Jazz Guitarists

The Dummies’ Guide to Jazz Standards – for Jazz Guitarists

The year is 2005. I’m warming up on a few jazz standards on my (then new) blue Godin Flat-Five X. The almost sound-proof cubicle is cozy, but wide enough to fit a piano and one all-purpose amp. The air is old and stinky from being recycled by the ventilation system. And I’m thinking to myself, Oh, quite the honor. I have my own private ON/OFF switch for … [Click Here to Read more]

More Tips: Easy Jazz Guitar Arpeggios (Four-Note)

More Tips: Easy Jazz Guitar Arpeggios (Four-Note)

In this third of three articles  on how to solo over chord changes, we’ll look at this final (and awaited) jazz guitar tip: Learn your 4-note jazz guitar arpeggios! This is very often where beginning jazz improvisers start… the rationale is that if we improvise on a sequence of chords, then we might as well start with the “good notes” as a foundation for our solos. Right? … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Tips: One-Octave Jazz Guitar Scales

Jazz Guitar Tips: One-Octave Jazz Guitar Scales

In this first of three articles on how to solo on jazz chord changes, we’ll look at a simple (but very effective) jazz guitar tip: Use one-octave fingerings for your jazz guitar scales! We know that, ultimately, in jazz improvisation, our improvised melodic lines should outline the chord progressions (more precisely the chord changes) as effectively as possible. In fact, the melodies from the solo should outline … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics – Part 5 – Dominants, Altered Dominants and Half-Diminished Chords

And finally, here’s what we saved for dessert: jazz guitar pentatonics applications on dominant chords, half-diminished (minor 7 flat 5) chords and on altered dominant chords… … in fact, this is simply the follow up to Part 4, where we applied interesting pentatonic options on major and minor chords only.  We saved the “darker” chords for Part 5, to make the posts (and videos) shorter. … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics – Part 4 – On Major and Minor Chords

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics

Let’s turn up the heat a little on this one. We are going to take everything we studied so far in Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and apply it to improvisation on actual chords. Meaning that we’re now learning to improvise and apply the jazz guitar pentatonics here. Yay!  🙂 This is really where the fun begins. We finally start to apply minor and dominant pentatonic scales on … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics – Part 3 – Patterns for Jazz Guitar

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics

Finally some fun stuff! Let’s get those jazz guitar pentatonics moving. If you did you homework from parts 1 and 2, you should know what pentatonic scales and how to play them all over the fingerboard. Once again, we will focus our attention on the minor and “dominant 7th” pentatonic scales. Here are my favorite pentatonic patterns to practice at first … and the reasons … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics – Part 2 – Five Positions for Pentatonic Scales

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics

Welcome to Part 2. In this very short post, we will look at our two usual suspect (the Am and D7 jazz guitar pentatonics scales from Part 1) in five different positions on the fretboard. Don’t be intimidated by the amount of materials here. The beauty of the pentatonic scales (for guitarist) is this: we only have two notes per string! What a beauty. Watch … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics – Part 1 – What is the pentatonic scale?

Jazz Guitar Pentatonics

In this article / video series, we will study pentatonic scales and how they can be applied in Jazz guitar improvisations. The jazz guitar pentatonics are used extensively throughout recorded Jazz history. We will go very slow, starting from the construction of two very common and simple to use pentatonic scales. We will then work on them throughout the fretboard (positions), using several patterns. Finally, we’ll see … [Click Here to Read more]