The Post-Holdsworth Jazz Vocabulary for Modern Jazz Guitar

The Post-Holdsworth Jazz Vocabulary

Question by David Lesak Answered Question: Pretty much any search online for the latest up and coming Jazz Fusion artists seems to show an entirely different melodic/harmonic approach to that of the previous genres. I am talking about artists of the calibre of Scott Henderson and Frank Gambale, John Scofield and John Abercrombie and to some extent Pat Metheny (not because I do not rate him … [Click Here to Read more]

How To Use Limitation Practice

limitation practice for jazz improv

Improve Your Weaknesses As An Improviser We are all aware that we have weaknesses as improvisers. Whether it’s our disjointed phrasing, lack of dynamics or poor knowledge of the fretboard, there is something at which we could all be better. However, the unfortunate truth is most people are very uncomfortable addressing their flaws. Most would prefer to accentuate their strengths to their greatest extents while … [Click Here to Read more]

The Basic Jazz Chord Cycles for Guitarists

Basic Chord Cycles for Jazz Guitarists

Diatonic and Chromatic Cycling to Practice Improvisation and Comping When learning basic jazz chord cycles in a new key (tonality), It’s important to learn as much about it as possible, such as intervals, triads, seventh chords, triads over bass chords and other relationships. A proven way of learning a new key, especially the seventh chords and triads within a key, is going through each cycle.  … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #3: Articulate Your Lines

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #3 - Articulate Your Lines

The Final Jazz Guitar Improv Frontier: Control Timing with Your Soloing Lines This post is the final entry in our Jazz Improvisation Pillar series. In this post, we are going to give you tips to articulate lines when improvising in a jazz context. Before reading the post, be sure to download the accompanying PDF to have the full examples. Download Pillar 3 – Articulating Your … [Click Here to Read more]

Must-Know Licks on II-V-I: Connecting the Dots with Extensions

New Series of Hands-On Jazz Guitar Lessons! Welcome to our new series, “Hands on Jazz Guitar.” This is Volume #1 “Must-Know Licks on II-V-I — Connect the Dots with Extensions. This series aims to help you learn to play some solid jazz lines. The lesson comes in two forms, both this blog post and in the form of a video lesson from yours truly. Through … [Click Here to Read more]

The Ultimate Guide to Dominant Chords for Jazz Guitar

Dominant chords by jazz guitar

A lot of new guitarists have been asking what dominant chords are, and in its simplest manner, I will walk you through the very basic fundamentals of this. In music theory, a dominant seventh chord, or major minor seventh chord, is a chord composed of a root, major third, perfect fifth, and minor seventh. It can also be viewed as a major triad with an additional minor seventh. The shortcut? Dominant … [Click Here to Read more]

Walking Dominant 7th Chords With Diatonic and Chromatic Passing Chords

Walking chords for Jazz Guitar

Move Between Chords by “Walking” Walking chords are to jazz guitar comping what walking bass is to a bass line. The focus of the lesson will be to play chords in a “walking” fashion on the fretboard. I’m not talking about walking bass lines with added chords here. I really want to approach something jazz pianists commonly do (hear how Monk does it). Its (basically) … [Click Here to Read more]

Commit: A Reason to Believe

Commit: Your Reason To Believe.

All too often, up-and-coming students of jazz guitar wind up feeling confused and overwhelmed. There’s so much to learn online (and off!), and so little time! Websites such as this one are trying to help. But … sometimes, the avalanche of information is hard to ignore. 😉 As a jazz guitar instructor, it’s my duty to provide clarity for everyone who’s enthusiastic about learning and … [Click Here to Read more]

5 Tips To Transcribe Any Solos You Wish To Learn

Have you dreamt of playing the world’s best jazz solos? Do you drool with envy anytime you hear Joe Pass? While you’re far from alone in wanting to learn how to play and transcribe these solos, there’s only a number of ways to execute the process correctly. And there’s no doubt about it, transcribing solos is essential to learning the language of jazz. Do you … [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]

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”

What you need to think 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]

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

play-what-you-hear

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]

How To Keep Motivated When Mastering The Guitar

How To Keep Motivated When Mastering The Guitar

Learning to play the guitar well is one of life greatest pleasures. Succeeding takes time and patience, and staying motivated when you’d rather be doing anything else isn’t easy. There are several things you can do to remain driven until you master it. 1. Structure your practice sessions. Mastering the guitar requires long hours of practice, and this is usually the main reason you lose … [Click Here to Read more]

Introduction to Bird Blues for Jazz Guitar

Bird Blues intro 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]

8 Things For Awesome Jazz Guitar Practice Sessions

8 Things That Will Make Your Jazz Guitar Practice Sessions Aweome

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 jazz guitar warm up

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]

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

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 using 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

jazz-guitar-comping-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 scale 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 guitar

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)

Jazz Guitar Lessons: Shell Voicings

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]