Improvisation

Playing With Expression via Ballads

In the sea of jazz information that's out there, it's easy to forget that what we're really trying to do is play expressive, emotional music. It not rocket surgery! A great way to get back into the mindset of playing music, rather than just...

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Use Double-Stops Melodically

First off, what's a double stop? On guitar, the term "double stops" means two notes played simultaneously. Another way to think of them is as intervals: thirds, fourths, sixths, and so on. Guitarists including Johnny Smith, Jim Hall and others...

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How Hard Is Learning Jazz Guitar?

When I was in music school, stories of Coltrane and Charlie Parker practicing jazz for 10-12 hours a day would circulate the hallways like folk tales. At the time, it was inspiring, but for prospective jazz musicians I can understand how it would...

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Jazz Improvisation on Bossa Novas and Brazilian Standards

Bossa Novas and Brazilian tunes sound oh-so-good. Tunes written by Jobim are almost ubiquitous, with classics like "Girl from Ipanema" and "Desafinado" being favorites for jazzers and non-jazzers alike.  If you've ever tried to play one though,...

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How to Play Solar - Improvising Tools for ii-V-I Progressions

Let's face it. You'll never be at a jazz jam session without someone calling a tune with a few (or a lot) of ii-V-Is in it. Would it even be a jazz jam session if they didn't? And, there's a good chance that tune might even be Solar! On that...

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Introduction to Rhythm Changes for Jazz Guitar

How to Improvise and Play Chords on the "I Got Rhythm" Chord Progression -- One of the Most Common Progression in Jazz Oh, we've all heard it. The so-called "Rhythm Changes," as it is commonly known, is a set of chord changes based on George...

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