Commit: A Reason to Believe

Commit: A Reason to Believe

All too often, up-and-coming students of jazz guitar wind up feeling confused and overwhelmed. There’s so much to learn online (and off!), and so little time! Websites such as this one are trying to help. But … sometimes, the avalanche of information is hard to ignore. 😉 As a jazz guitar instructor, it’s my duty to provide clarity for everyone who’s enthusiastic about learning and … [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]

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #1: Define The Sandbox

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #1: Define The Sandbox

As you read in our last post, the first pillar of jazz improvisation consists of defining the sandbox. It may seem to be a no-brainer, but it is crucial to have a solid understanding of this principle. Your ultimate aim is to be able to play lines with 100% correct notes at the right moment and develop the ability to mentally switch chords. That is a … [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]

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]

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]

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]

How Chord Melody Can Make You Question Everything and Stuff

How Chord Melody Can Make You Question Everything and Stuff

I often get asked “Is there a chord melody path I should embark on?” And this is a tricky question. I mean, sure, you can get a book of pre-fabricated chord melody arrangements on standards. But it won’t answer most of your questions regarding harmony, melody and guitar playing. Knowing and really playing in chord melody style requires far more than imitation. We have to imitate … [Click Here to Read more]