Why We Need To Re-Think Jazz Performance

Why We Need To Re-Think Jazz Performance

Jazz is wondrous music. Jazz musicians who have never met each other before are able to come together. They can spontaneously create music using a common language. Individual performances are rarely the same because every performance is a reflection of each musician’s current state of being. The very fabric of musical language is woven, unraveled, and woven together again in ways that have never been … [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]

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]

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]

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]

Jazz Guitar Blues: How to Sound Jazzy with the VI Chord

Jazz Guitar Blues: How to Sound Jazzy with the VI Chord

In this blog, we’ll work on the three (most interesting) jazz guitar blues possibilities to make your blues playing sound … well … jazzier! The VI chord, found in bar 8, can really help define the harmonic progression of the jazzier types of blues in your soloing. Let’s get going! Where’s that VI chord? We all know the Bb blues progression. (Do we?) Here’s a … [Click Here to Read more]

Powerful Back to Basics: 3 Awesome Jazz Blues Fundamentals

Powerful Back to Basics: 3 Awesome Jazz Blues Fundamentals

This is more of a “ready fire aim” type of blog post on jazz blues improvisation for jazz guitarists. Highly recommended: download the following backing track, read some of the suggestions and get cracking. If I were you, I’d even read the post with the guitar on my lap. 😉 At first, take the time to understand what the three exercises are all about.  Each … [Click Here to Read more]

Time is of the Essence and What to Do About it

Time is of the Essence and What to Do About it

Ever had that weird feeling when listening to (or playing) jazz improvisation? You know, that thing you can’t quite put your finger on. It sounds like jazz, it’s all the right notes, all the right chords, and perhaps the song is a standard tune you know well … … but the soloing still makes you think “Meh. I’d rather listen to pop songs the radio” ? Well, … [Click Here to Read more]

Improvisation: Making the Changes on All the Things You Are

Improvisation: Making the Changes on All the Things You Are

The task of properly outlining chord changes (or “making the changes” in the jargon) in jazz improvisation can seem like a daunting one. On tunes such as All the Things You Are, you, (the improviser) can be confronted with several choices: arpeggios, scales, guide tones, memorizing licks, etc. But chords change go by so fast, that by the time you made up your mind, the … [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]

Japan, Donuts and Plucking Like a Jazz Guitar Great – Ed Bickert Interviews Part 1

Ed Bickert - great jazz guitarist

Canadian jazz guitarist Ed Bickert is a living legend. A series of fourteen short clips (from closed-doors interviews with Jeff Bickert) were published on Vimeo in 2014. Yours truly, the author of the post and the webmaster on JazzGuitarLessons.net, recently stumbled upon them and decided to make them available (embedded) on this blog. I hope you’ll enjoy these Ed Bickert footages as much as I did. … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Tips: Voice Leading

Jazz Guitar Tips: Voice Leading

Sad news: this is the last of the series of seven blog posts (and videos) on quick-and-easy jazz guitar tips. (Remember last time? We talked about chord cycles …) Good news: this is “the dessert”, the sweet treat … my all-time favorite tip for jazz guitarists of all levels: Learn to use voice leading in your comping! We could also have had this jazz guitar tip … [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]

How to Play Jazz Guitar: The Truth About Finding Your Muse

How to Play Jazz Guitar: The Truth About Finding Your Muse

When we are learning how to play jazz guitar, the question is always: “Am I practicing the right stuff?” Or better still: “What is the next step a jazz guitarist at my level should take?” As far as I know, there’s never a perfect answer. Thank God. We are lucky that there’s no pre-established curriculum for a jazz musicians to learn. Else we would all sound … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitarists: How to Learn Bebop Guitar

Jazz Guitarists: How to Learn Bebop Guitar

Interested in having better “chromatics” in you Jazz guitar improvisations lines? Do you want to increase your time awareness and perhaps develop cool chops? Having a hard time soloing on fast chord changes? Then look no further: you should seriously become a well-versed bebop guitar player. The “bebop school” of playing will do the trick for all the above … and then some! 🙂 In … [Click Here to Read more]