Top Secret Tool for Improv

Top Secret Tool for Improv

Easy Parallel Motion Lines Welcome to video number 2 in our series Hands-On Jazz Guitar. The goal of this series is to have do some “hands-on” playing. So often, we intellectualise the process of learning jazz. Here, we do both: playing, and learning. The lesson comes in two forms, both this blog post and in the form of a video lesson from yours truly. Today’s line … [Click Here to Read more]

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

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]

Walking Dominant 7th Chords With Diatonic and Chromatic Passing Chords

Walking Dominant 7th Chords With Diatonic and Chromatic Passing Chords

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: A 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]

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]

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #1: Define The Sandbox

Jazz Improvisation Pillar #1: Define The Sandbox

As you read in our last post, the first pillar of jazz improvisation consists of defining the sandbox. It may seem to be a no-brainer, but it is crucial to have a solid understanding of this principle. Your ultimate aim is to be able to play lines with 100% correct notes at the right moment and develop the ability to mentally switch chords. That is a … [Click Here to Read more]

Why You Need To Think In Terms Of “Jazz Guitar Workouts”

Why You Need To Think In Terms Of “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]

5 Tips To Start Playing Jazz With Your Acoustic Guitar

5 Tips To Start Playing Jazz With Your Acoustic Guitar

The sound of jazz guitar is usually associated with the electric guitar. However, we often forget that there is a completely developed contemporary acoustic segment of this genre! Jazz on a acoustic guitar may sound a bit different, but is as very rich in style and substance. If you have an acoustic guitar – or plan on getting one – there are some things you might … [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]

8 Things For Awesome Jazz Guitar Practice Sessions

8 Things For Awesome Jazz Guitar Practice Sessions

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]

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

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

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 Play Shell Voicings for Jazz Guitar (3-Note Chords)

How to Play Shell Voicings for Jazz Guitar (3-Note Chords)

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]

Jazz Guitar Albums: 5 Essential Must-Have Recordings You Should Listen To Now

Jazz Guitar Albums: 5 Essential Must-Have Recordings You Should Listen To Now

The Ultimate Selection of “the best of the best” Essential Jazz Guitar Albums, Old and New Sure, there’s thousands of great albums that have been recorded to this day. But some legendary jazz guitarists have that universal sound that reaches and touches people deeply. If you’ve ever been “grabbed” by the sound of one album, then you know exactly what I mean. So, here’s my own … [Click Here to Read more]

Powerful Back to Basics: 3 Awesome Jazz Blues Fundamentals

Powerful Back to Basics: 3 Awesome Jazz Blues Fundamentals

This is more of a “ready fire aim” type of blog post on jazz blues improvisation for jazz guitarists. Highly recommended: download the following backing track, read some of the suggestions and get cracking. If I were you, I’d even read the post with the guitar on my lap. 😉 At first, take the time to understand what the three exercises are all about.  Each … [Click Here to Read more]

How Chord Melody Can Make You Question Everything and Stuff

How Chord Melody Can Make You Question Everything and Stuff

I often get asked “Is there a chord melody path I should embark on?” And this is a tricky question. I mean, sure, you can get a book of pre-fabricated chord melody arrangements on standards. But it won’t answer most of your questions regarding harmony, melody and guitar playing. Knowing and really playing in chord melody style requires far more than imitation. We have to imitate … [Click Here to Read more]

7 Steps (You’re Probably NOT Taking) to Learn Jazz Standards for Jazz Guitarists

7 Steps (You’re Probably NOT Taking) to Learn Jazz Standards for Jazz Guitarists

Let’s be honest: you probably don’t know enough Jazz Guitar Standards tunes to jam with a  fellow jazz musician for an hour. And the problem might simply be that you are not taking the necessary steps to really learn the tunes in question. Good news: you’re not alone! 🙂 In the midst of teaching, coaching and creating new lessons for JazzGuitarLessons.net I recently realized that most students may know … [Click Here to Read more]

96 Jazz Guitar Chords in 10 minutes: how to learn Drop 2 and Drop 3 voicings for Jazz Guitarists

96 Jazz Guitar Chords in 10 minutes: how to learn Drop 2 and Drop 3 voicings for Jazz Guitarists

  Here’s a clever way to learn 96 jazz guitar chords in a few minutes: Learn Drop 2 and Drop 3 voicings (2 things to learn) … for 4 chord qualities (maj7, min7, dom7, m7b5) … at each fret (12 frets on the guitar) TWO times FOUR times TWELVE = 96 So, this whole post will be about “Drop” voicings and more specifically how to … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar: A Systematic Path for Beginners – Part 3

Jazz Guitar: A Systematic Path for Beginners – Part 3

Well, if Part 2 of this series didn’t scare you away, I don’t know what will! (Just kidding). No, but seriously: if you tried to apply the 10 steps found in part 2, you might as well already have exactly what you need to practice for the upcoming weeks / months. IF you want more clarification, please continue on reading …   Still Confused? For … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar: A Systematic Path for Beginners – Part 2

Jazz Guitar: A Systematic Path for Beginners – Part 2

Last time, we looked at a rather old video published on JazzGuitarLessons.net … the essentials: there’s no such thing as a straightforward path that every beginner. Plus, see the tips (in point form) just below the video in Part 1. Now what? In addition to the tips we can retain from the video, I recently came up with a very systematic approach for Jazz guitar beginners. … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar: A Systematic Path for Beginners – Part 1

Jazz Guitar: A Systematic Path for Beginners – Part 1

Clearly, the question that gets asked most often (throughout JazzGuitarLessons.net and throughout my Jazz teaching experiences) is: I’m a beginner. What should I do? What exercises do you give every student when they are just starting out? If only it was that easy! 🙂 The main problem is that no two musicians are alike. This creates quite a lot of head-scratching and soul-searching. (Yes, for both the mentor … [Click Here to Read more]

How to read Music for Guitarists? [Q&A]

Modern Method for Guitar: How To Read Music

Question by Carlos Vivas (Miami, Fl. U.S.) Hi mark, I’m currently working on reading music. But i have trouble with reading comfortably in key signatures like Ab major and E major. I’m jumping and down my fret board when it come to these key signatures. Do you have any methods that would help me? M-A’s Answer: Hello Carlos, Yes! Look not further: William Leavitt’s series … [Click Here to Read more]