Intro to Bossa Nova Comping

Intro to Bossa Nova Comping

When most people think of bossa nova music, they seem to think of paradise: relaxing in front of a beach with a nice drink in hand. Can you blame them? The music certainly lends itself to relaxation with its lush harmony, beautiful melodies, and relaxed, grooving rhythms. Bossa nova is a style of music from Brazil that was created in the 1950s fusing Brazilian samba … [Click Here to Read more]

Use Double-Stops Melodically

Hands-On 9: Use Double-Stops Melodically

Harmonize Your Lines The goal of this series is to actually put a lick under your fingers. Here, there’s no more searching for ideas in the sea of jazz theory information. We’ll give stuff you need to play and be creative. In this issue, we will discuss how you can use double-stops melodically to create varying degrees of harmonic and textural interest. The Concept Today’s … [Click Here to Read more]

4 Steps for Building Solid Ears

4 Steps for Building Solid Ears

Ear Training for Jazz Players A guest post by Brent Vaartstra For years I’ve been getting emails from my subscribers asking me an assortment of related questions: How do learn songs by ear? How do I learn solos by ear? How do I become a better improviser? How do I play the music that I hear in my head? When it comes down to it, … [Click Here to Read more]

Reading Exercises for Jazz Guitar

reading exercises for jazz guitar

Reading Exercise #28 A Guest Post by Michael Berard When it comes to sight reading, it’s important to treat the music you are reading like any other piece of music. In fact, I will also add that it is important to try and read real music and not just from books that are “designed for reading.” Jazz Reading Elements is a collection of songs for … [Click Here to Read more]

iii-vi-ii-V Jazz Guitar Lick

Hands-On 8 - Playing Over Turnarounds

Playing Over Turnarounds The goal of this series is to actually put a lick under your fingers. Here, there’s no more searching for ideas in the sea of jazz theory information. We’ll give stuff you need to play and be creative. Today, we’re going to discuss playing over turnarounds.  Let’s get started on the concept! Lick Example Today’s idea is taken from the February 2016 … [Click Here to Read more]

How to Read Rhythms for Jazz Musicians

How to Read Rhythms for Jazz Musicians

Reading Rhythms for Jazz Guitar If you have ever wondered how to go about learning to read rhythms, you have come to the right place! In this Reading Rhythms 101 lesson, we will teach you the basics of how to read rhythms and show you how it can improve your time. We will be discussing everything from very basic note values to some common stumbling … [Click Here to Read more]

Best Jazz Guitars for Beginners

Best Jazz Guitars for Beginners

Guest post by Alex Bruce Are you looking to foray into jazz guitar for the first time? Picking the right guitar can be overwhelming when there are so many options on the market. Whether you’re new to guitar as a whole & know you want to focus on jazz, or whether you’ve already played a little bit of rock and blues but want to explore … [Click Here to Read more]

How to Fix Your Guitar Intonation

Fix Your Guitar Intonation

What is a guitar’s intonation? Guest post by Anh Vu The guitar’s intonation is a sort of a quality – the ability of your guitar (strings, more precisely) to remain in tune under various circumstances. Improper tuning might be the result of old strings, a bad setup, and various other reasons which we’re to discuss later on. All you need to know is this – your … [Click Here to Read more]

Major to Minor Jazz Guitar Lick

Hands On #7 - Major to Minor Jazz Guitar Lick

Voice Leading Within the Lines Our aim is to give you ideas as well as some tools to help you develop them further. You’ll get them under your fingers without needing to get too intellectual about the process. Of course, there is some thinking involved, but we’ll try to make it easy for you. Here, we will be going over a major to minor jazz … [Click Here to Read more]

Uncommon Uses of Common Jazz Chords

Hands-On 6 - Uncommon Use of Common Jazz Chords

Know Your Cowboy Grips The goal of this series is to actually put a lick or a chord under your fingers. Here, there’s no more searching for ideas in the sea of jazz theory information. We’ll give you what you need to play and be creative. In this lesson, we will be discussing uncommon uses of common jazz chords. We will take shapes that you … [Click Here to Read more]

Augmented Jazz Reality

augmented jazz licks - featured image

More Parallel II-V-I Lines Welcome back to our new series, “Hands-On Jazz Guitar.” Today’s lesson is called “Augmented Jazz Reality” as we will be discussing using augmented triad licks to get some fresh, hip sounds in your improvisation. Download ALL of the licks here: “More Parallel ii-V-I Lines” PDF (includes TAB)  We’re going to put some nice jazz guitar lines under your fingers without being … [Click Here to Read more]

Make Your Hip Jazz Guitar Lick Even Hipper

Backdoor Jazz Guitar

Backdoor Lines for Improv The goal of this series is to have you do some “hands-on” playing. All too often, we intellectualise the process of learning jazz. We’d like to change that, so we are here to work on both playing and learning. Today we will discuss re-targeting your favorite ii-V licks to get hipper, more modern sounds. These are often referred to as backdoor … [Click Here to Read more]

Creating Melodic Lines from Scales and Arpeggios

creating melodic lines - do not sound textbook

How not to sound like a textbook when you’re soloing You can get started creating your own melodic lines with simple scales and arpeggios immediately. It is so often understood in jazz improvisation that we are to play the “right” notes over various chords. And while we talk about and teach these “right” notes, we often forget to talk about how to use them! Today we … [Click Here to Read more]

A Gentle Introduction to Guitar Scale Theory

A Gentle Introduction to Guitar Scales Theory

The Quick Guide to Scales and Modes for all Jazz Guitarists The major scale is the single most important thing to know about guitar scale theory.  You’ll learn this “quasi-magic” formula to build the major scale in any key. This is a gentle introduction to guitar scale theory so if you don’t read music, (“notes” on the staff) don’t worry about it because even if … [Click Here to Read more]

A Gentle Introduction to Guitar Chord Theory

A gentle introduction to guitar chords theory

How to Fully Understand Chord Construction, Triads, Seventh Chords and Extensions  Guitar Chord Theory In this article you will discover guitar chord theory and easily learn about chord construction from simple triads (three-note chords) to slightly more complex and jazzier chords. In addition, you will find music theory about triads and seventh chords, how to add extensions, chord equivalents, diatonic chords and finally, a neat … [Click Here to Read more]

The Ultimate Guide to Pentatonics for Jazz Guitar

The Ultimate Guide to Pentatonics for Jazz Guitar

A Counter-Intuitive Approach to Modern Jazz Improvisation in Six Parts In this jazz guitar pentatonics article and accompanying videos we will study pentatonic scales and how to use them in jazz guitar improvisations. Jazz history reveals extensive use of pentatonics and throughout this article we will gradually move forward starting with the construction of two very common and simple to use pentatonic scales. We will then work … [Click Here to Read more]

Best Practices for Learning and Teaching Jazz Guitar

best practices for learning and teaching jazz guit

A guest post by Matthew Rusk of MGRMusic.com Teaching jazz guitar, and in general learning to play the guitar, can often feel like an isolated experience, practising individually without the support of other guitarists. Yet, put a few guitarists together in a room and they will quickly start talking about the resources that they have use to help develop themselves, alongside – of course – … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Improvisation: The Ultimate Guide for Guitarists

The Ultimate Guide: Jazz Guitar Improvisation

Jazz Improvisation: How to Use Scales, Arpeggios and Guide-Tones for Jazz Guitar Jazz improvisation is the art of creating melodic lines spontaneously.  The rhythm, melody and harmony inspire jazz improvisation.  The goal of the jazz improviser is to invent lyrical, inspiring melodic content within the boundaries of harmony.  In fact, great jazz solos are often just outlining the chord changes effectively! Download ALL Sheet Music … [Click Here to Read more]

How Jazz Guitar Licks Can Keep You Out of Trouble

Licks for Jazz Guitarists

A Gentle Introduction to Learning Licks for Jazz Guitarists Jazz guitar licks can keep you out of trouble?  If you are like most musicians, there might be a trouble spot in your playing or performance areas that could use a little work. Learning a few jazz guitar licks just might help to keep you out of trouble in your playing and even provide a creative … [Click Here to Read more]

An Introduction to Jazz Guitar Arpeggios

An Introduction to Arpeggios forJazz Guitar

Using Positions to Unlock Chord-Tone Arpeggios in Improvisation Arpeggios are commonly used to outline chord changes in jazz improvisation. Jazz guitarists of all eras used them in their solos as a means to effectively “run the changes”. In this article, we will look into arpeggios derived from scale positions. The arps can be very useful as is and will become a powerful tool that deepens your understanding of scale positions. However, please read these … [Click Here to Read more]

The Definitive Jazz Guitar Chord Chart for Beginners

definitive-jazz-guitar-chord-chart

Your First Steps into Jazz Chords for Guitarists Welcome to this definitive jazz guitar chord chart for beginners. You’ll find every chord shape you need to get started with all the important jazz chords for guitar right here. 🙂 This chart contains root position chords (meaning that the tonic / bass is the lowest note). The few dozen voicings here are also a great way to get started with chord melody. Not … [Click Here to Read more]

Recording & Mixing Jazz Guitar

recording and mixing jazz guitar

Getting The Most Out of Your Recording Session, For Jazz Guitarists A Guest Post by Jared. Like most of us, when it comes to the guitar you’ve likely spent more time learning to play it than anything else. Any time away from that core focus is devoted to studying music theory, advanced picking and fingering techniques, and learning to set up our axes and be … [Click Here to Read more]

2017: A Fantastic Year in Review

A Fantastic Year in Review

2017 has been a very special year for this website: we shifted gears and fulfilled our promise to do “more of the same”. The store portion of the website has, of course, seen a consistent Tune of the Month being released every single month. But we also boosted our catalog of standalone jazz guitar video tutorials by publishing courses such as Comping 102 and Improv and Chromaticism. I believe 2017 … [Click Here to Read more]