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]

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]

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]

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]