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]

Why Keeping A Journal Will Make You A Better Jazz Guitarist

Why Keeping A Journal Will Make You A Better Jazz Guitarist

Tracking your progress If you have been playing jazz guitar for a while and are dedicated to your craft, you probably have a solid practice plan. Using this practice routine, you work hard and diligently to maximize the efficiency of your practice sessions. Be proud, it is an amazing act of discipline and passion! Even with all of these efforts, you may find it difficult … [Click Here to Read more]

Why You Need To Think In Terms Of “Jazz Guitar Workouts”

Why You Need To Think In Terms Of “Jazz Guitar Workouts”

You might be wondering, “What are “Jazz Guitar Workouts?”” It is a concept I discovered that consists of creating structured and timed routines for your jazz guitar practicing. A jazz guitar workout has similar framework to an exercise workout you might use at the gym. I have two real-life stories that explain how I figured out a parallel between working out at the gym and “working … [Click Here to Read more]

2016: A Year in Review

2016: A Year in Review

Our plan for the website before getting to work this past year was pretty straightforward: let’s just do more of the same! That meant publishing more great blog posts, more video-lessons and more podcasts. In addition, we aimed each month to produce brand new premium (paid) content in the store. By the way, notice how the “I” just turned to “we” at the beginning of … [Click Here to Read more]

5 Tips To Start Playing Jazz With Your Acoustic Guitar

5 Tips To Start Playing Jazz With Your Acoustic Guitar

The sound of jazz guitar is usually associated with the electric guitar. However, we often forget that there is a completely developed contemporary acoustic segment of this genre! Jazz on a acoustic guitar may sound a bit different, but is as very rich in style and substance. If you have an acoustic guitar – or plan on getting one – there are some things you might … [Click Here to Read more]

How To Build A Chord Melody in 3 Easy Steps

How To Build A Chord Melody in 3 Easy Steps

During their jazz journey, many guitarists will build a chord melody of their favorite jazz standard, making the song sound like their own. For those of you who are just discovering this concept, let’s define what a chord melody is. A chord melody is an arrangement of a song that includes both the melody and the harmony (chords) of the simultaneously, at the same time. … [Click Here to Read more]

How to Play What You Hear for Jazz Guitarists

How to Play What You Hear for Jazz Guitarists

In this short video and blog lesson, we’ll discuss three ways to play what you hear as jazz guitarists. First, some tips about improvising using pre-set constraints. Secondly, we’ll talk about playing what you sing or singing what you play. Lastly, we will show you an exercise using vivid aural imagination. Let’s get going. Play What You Hear Tip #1: Reduce the Constraints! The first tip … [Click Here to Read more]

Introduction to Bird Blues for Jazz Guitar

Introduction to Bird Blues for Jazz Guitar

Ever been to a jam session where someone (read a alto sax player) calls a Bird Blues? Oh that embarrassing moment! The Bird Blues, a.k.a (Charlie) Parker Blues a.k.a. Major Blues a.k.a. Blues with New York Changes a.k.a _______ (insert yours here) is a very common 12-bar form perform by jazz musicians since the bebop era. Prime examples of this type of chord progression are found in jazz tunes … [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]

8 Things That Will Make Your Jazz Guitar Practice Sessions Awesome

8 Things That Will Make Your Jazz Guitar Practice Sessions Awesome

A jazz guitar practice sessions is so much more than just sitting with your guitar and playing standards or doing exercises to improve your skills. There are things you should consider for your practice sessions to make them awesome! 1 – The Dimensions of Your Practice Space The dimension of the space you practice in is important though it really depends on your tastes and personality. Some … [Click Here to Read more]

Meditative Rhythms: The Ultimate Jazz Guitar Warm Up Exercise

Meditative Rhythms: The Ultimate Jazz Guitar Warm Up Exercise

In this blog post and video we’ll look into an exercise that is very simple. It’s called meditative rhythms. In my humble opinion, this is the most effective jazz guitar warm up there is! Ready? Jazz Guitar Warm Up: Meditation? Meditative Rhythms is a term borrowed from David Berkman, a jazz pianist and educator in New York. I’ve modified his exercise to suit my taste and … [Click Here to Read more]

Three Revelations That Will Improve Your Guitar Playing

Three Revelations That Will Improve Your Guitar Playing

Here are three revelations that have nothing to do with the technical and theoretical aspects of playing Jazz Guitar that will help you take the next steps in your musical journey and improve your guitar playing. These three points usually strike the beginner-intermediate players and from that moment, they improve at a fast pace. 1- You Need to Play More Songs Chances are that you got … [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]

Lenny Breau Untold

Lenny Breau Untold

Perhaps one of the greatest jazz guitarists ever, Lenny Breau was anything but a purist and drew on a huge variety of influences including flamenco, classical music, Indian ragas, and of course, his true pedigree as the son of a pair of traveling Country musicians. Breau practiced obsessively from a very early age and dropped out of grade school to go on the road with … [Click Here to Read more]

Five Chord Melody Tips For Jazz Guitarists

Five Chord Melody Tips For Jazz Guitarists

Here’s a straightforward and easy to apply lesson to perk up your chord melody playing. Here are five tips for jazz guitarists of all levels regarding the fine art (and science) of playing harmony and melody simultaneously on the guitar. The Pain Points: In Summary Problem #1: Your chord melody sound like just a “bunch of chords” one after another. Solution: Make the melody a priority. Phrase the … [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]

The Jazz Guitar Comping Video Lesson of Your Dreams

The Jazz Guitar Comping Video Lesson of Your Dreams

Oh yeah! This is exciting. Time for  the jazz guitar comping video lesson of your dreams.  No kidding! The Gist of It Problem: jazz guitar apprentice is seeking to get better at jazz guitar comping Solution: first reflex is to try and learn more jazz guitar chord shapes. Which does not work, by the way … it leads to more confusion. Alternative: Learn to approach comping from a … [Click Here to Read more]

4 Effective Bebop Scales Fingerings

4 Effective Bebop Scales Fingerings

In this lesson we’ll be covering the essentials of bebop scales for jazz guitar. We’ll explore four useful, relevant and fun bebop scales fingerings. As a result, your playing will be enhanced by more jazz-like phrasing using several natural and flowing fingering patterns. Why Bebop Scales? Well, at some point in their development, jazz improvisers usually get tired of fitting the right scales over chords, like Dorian, Mixolydian, … [Click Here to Read more]

3 Ways to Add Chromaticism for Jazz Guitarists

3 Ways to Add Chromaticism for Jazz Guitarists

How to add more chromaticism to your improvised lines? This is a fascinating topic, and a popular one too! Lots of students, online and off, have been asking about chromatic lines and fluidity. In this blog, we’ll discuss three straight-forward way you can integrate more chromatic-sounding melodic lines in your improvisation. Adding Chromaticism: Download Your PDF This is a rather “big lesson”, so I’ve included … [Click Here to Read more]

How to Play Shell Voicings for Jazz Guitar (3-Note Chords)

How to Play Shell Voicings for Jazz Guitar (3-Note Chords)

Shell voicings for jazz guitar are one of the greatest ways to either go back to basics (to better understand harmony on the guitar) or, plainly, to get started comping. So, forget about memorizing tons of chord shapes. You simply need a few basic chord shells (commonly called shell voicings, or shell chords). Ready? Shell Voicings (3-Note Chords): But Why? As an analogy, shell voicings … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Duos: Top-5 Guitar-Bass Albums

Jazz Guitar Duos: Top-5 Guitar-Bass Albums

Jazz guitar duos with a bass. No drums. No piano. No brass. No anything else. This is probably the simplest combination you can get in Jazz Guitar. This minimalistic setting helped creating some of the most sensitive and intimate jazz records ever. Ed Bickert & Don Thompson: At the Garden Party (1979) This Ed Bickert and Don Thompson album has of one of the warmest guitar sound … [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]