2019: A Year in Review

2019: A Year in Review

miscellaneous Dec 26, 2019

It's that time of year again! We're looking back on all the highlights for in 2019. It was a fantastic year: we welcomed new members to our team, solidified our foundations, and as always, published new content. Lots and lots of new content!

2019 was the year of the long-form video lesson. Our goal here is to make each video feel like you're getting a private lesson with me. Plus, I've put so much work into my workout routine... it'd be a shame not to appear on camera, y'know? πŸ˜‰

But don't worry, we didn't neglect our podcast listeners, either! A couple of my favourites from this year were #40 - Quartal Harmony and #42 - How To Practice Jazz Guitar Licks.

In addition to these new lessons, we also made the leap to a new platform at the end of the year! More on that below...

Now, let's get started: here are some of the highlights from each month this year! πŸŽ‰


January: New Year's Blues

At the start of this year, we took a look back at where it all began... the blues!



Learning the blues is the easiest way to inject some mojo into your playing. Wes, Joe Pass, Grant Green, they all knew this stuff inside out.

Plus... who wasn't feeling the blues in January, am I right? 😜


February: Intro To Rhythm Changes

After the blues, the thing every jazz guitarist should know is Rhythm Changes!


If you missed this one, you're going to want to bookmark it for later... because I can guarantee that it's going to come up at some point! There are hundreds of tunes that use the Rhythm Changes form, and it's a blast to solo over.


March: Your Jazz Guitar Concierge

In March we put the finishing touches on the Concierge program. This is a revolutionary course that gives you detailed, personalized instructions for what to practice each week. Plus, it nudges you to practice!


With Concierge you'll make the most of your practice time - no more wondering what to practice, no more forgetting your guitar.


April: 7 Tips To Play Chromatically + First Steps

Just play the right notes!! - Angela from The Office

In our April lesson we helped jazz guitarists everywhere defy the Angelas in their lives, with 7 tips to play chromatically! πŸ˜…


Anyone can play "random notes" and pretend they know what they're doing, but it takes a real good musician to make those "outside" notes sound great! This is a good starting point for anyone looking to dive into that world.

Speaking of starting points, we also published one of our most popular courses to date: First Steps!



We designed this course specifically for jazz newcomers. It covers all the main areas of jazz guitar including comping, soloing and chord melody.

This is an excellent course. I have been playing guitar for years but only now have gone back to learn the basics. The building blocks of this program are great. They take time to learn, but they build off of each other and the pieces fit together. Like anything worthwhile, you get out of this what you put into it. I am very pleased! Keep up the good work Marc. - Geoff Morgan


May: Intro To Solar

As the spring showers started to die down, we turned our attention to one of my favourite tunes: Solar. This is a great tune for beginners and especially for beginner jazz jam sessions!



With its short form and repeated use of the ii-V-I progression, it's a great way to practice your licks or scales.


June: Improv On Bossas and Brazilian

With summer just on the horizon, it seemed appropriate to start shedding some Brazilian tunes 😎. This lesson combines two of my favourite things - motivic soloing and bossa nova chord progressions.



Playing blues or bebop licks over a tune like Desafinado just doesn't sound quite right - so be sure to check out this approach for a fresh alternative.


July: New Staff

July was a crazy month for the team! One of us got married (hint: it wasn't me 😜) and as we said goodbye to our editor Francis, we also welcomed his replacement, Justin.

Justin has been the man behind the scenes for all of our free content including videos, blogs, live sessions and podcasts. He's also been responsible for our new look in 2019, refining our design to reflect the "high-quality + accessible" brand of

Justin and I will be working together to go full-speed-ahead on new content in 2020... look out for it!


August: East Coast Trip

My trip to the East Coast with wife and friends! Summarizing the journey in one timeless picture. Keeping it casual:



This time around we got to Cape Cod, and a few other places 🍻


September: Improv On Static Chords

After a well-deserved rest we got right back to it in September and published a long-form video on how to solo on static chords!



This is all about how to keep things interesting on tunes like Impressions or Milestones, where there are long sections of just one or two chords. You can only run your scales for so long without running out of gas... β›½

There are enough ideas in this lesson to keep you busy for quite a while, including extended pentatonics, intervallic patterns, and more!


October: Soloing On Fast Chord Changes


Next up was our home run of 2019, Soloing on Fast Chord Changes. This one really seemed to resonate with our viewers, and even with blues and rock guitarists!



In this lesson I show you how to conquer any chord progression that changes chords on a dime. Giant Steps, Lady Bird... they'll all be within reach with this one simple trick.


November: Jazz Guitar Mastery Launch

Heading into November we kept our momentum going with the release of our highlight of 2019: the release of Jazz Guitar Mastery on our new platform,


Guitar Mastery is our finest offering to date! Think of it like... an Unlimited Membership on steroids. You get access to:

  • every course we've ever published (!)
  • Concierge, Private Instructor In-A-Box, and Learning Path
  • our entire transcription vault (new solos every month!)
  • exclusive Inner Circle webinars
  • access to Member's Forum (500+ members)
  • the all-new Standards: Essentials - stunning solo guitar arrangements for beginners
  • Standards: Pro - masterful arrangements for intermediate-advanced players
  • improved user experience on our new platform
  • and more!

Unlike the previous memberships, this isn't just access to STUFF... it's a complete PROGRAM for achieving mastery!


December: Comping With Diminished Chords

And finally, to wind down the year we released our final video of the decade... Improve Your Comping With Diminished Chords πŸŽ‰



This is all about one of my favourite ways to use the diminished 7th chord. It's so simple, yet so effective... you're gonna wish you knew this ages ago!


What's Next?

Whew - what a whirlwind year! At the time of writing the team is taking a much needed breather while we prepare to go full throttle in 2020.

In terms of free content, you can expect more long-form video lessons, as well as multi-part series for players of all levels! Hint: Joe Pass fans... keep your eyes peeled πŸ‘€

And for our members, we've got tons of new perks on the horizon, including many more Standards Essentials, Inner Circle Webinars, and transcriptions of jazz guitar legends. If you've been thinking of becoming a member, there's truly never been a better time to give it a go!

So, what about you? What did you encounter on your jazz guitar journey in 2019? Be sure to let me know in the comments!

As always, I'm so grateful that I get to do this for a living and be able to be a positive part of your lives through music. I wouldn't be able to do this without your support, so truly, thank you for reading. Here's to more in the new decade!


For intermediate guitarists ready to "crack the code" in jazz


Up Next: Browse More Free Lessons On the Blog ...

Classical Guitar Guide: How To Avoid Guitar Squeak

How to Improvise on Jazz Blues for Guitar

Five Chord Melody Tips and Stuff for Jazz Guitarists of ALL levels

Why We Need To Re-Think Jazz Performance

5 Tips for Avoiding Back Pain While Playing Your Guitar

The Chromatic Scale