Use Double-Stops Melodically

Hands-On 9: Use Double-Stops Melodically

Harmonize Your Lines The goal of this series is to actually put a lick under your fingers. Here, there’s no more searching for ideas in the sea of jazz theory information. We’ll give stuff you need to play and be creative. In this issue, we will discuss how you can use double-stops melodically to create varying degrees of harmonic and textural interest. The Concept Today’s … [Click Here to Read more]

iii-vi-ii-V Jazz Guitar Lick

Hands-On 8 - Playing Over Turnarounds

Playing Over Turnarounds The goal of this series is to actually put a lick under your fingers. Here, there’s no more searching for ideas in the sea of jazz theory information. We’ll give stuff you need to play and be creative. Today, we’re going to discuss playing over turnarounds.  Let’s get started on the concept! Lick Example Today’s idea is taken from the February 2016 … [Click Here to Read more]

Major to Minor Jazz Guitar Lick

Hands On #7 - Major to Minor Jazz Guitar Lick

Voice Leading Within the Lines Our aim is to give you ideas as well as some tools to help you develop them further. You’ll get them under your fingers without needing to get too intellectual about the process. Of course, there is some thinking involved, but we’ll try to make it easy for you. Here, we will be going over a major to minor jazz … [Click Here to Read more]

Augmented Jazz Reality

augmented jazz licks - featured image

More Parallel II-V-I Lines Welcome back to our new series, “Hands-On Jazz Guitar.” Today’s lesson is called “Augmented Jazz Reality” as we will be discussing using augmented triad licks to get some fresh, hip sounds in your improvisation. Download ALL of the licks here: “More Parallel ii-V-I Lines” PDF (includes TAB)  We’re going to put some nice jazz guitar lines under your fingers without being … [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]

The Definitive Guide to Scale Positions for Jazz Guitar

Definitive Guide to Scale Positions for Jazz Guitar

How Jazz Guitarists Memorize the Fretboard with Basic Positions and Patterns Scale positions are the “meat and potatoes” of jazz guitar scales playing. Any melodic idea can be analyzed and explained on the fingerboard as belonging to one or more positions. In this article you will learn to properly place your hand on the fingerboard, understand the fingering principles and finally, learn jazz guitar scales in … [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]

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

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]

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]

The 3 Pillars Of Jazz Improvisation You Need To Know

The Three Pillars of Jazz Improvisation

Learning to improvise fluently in a “jazz style” is no small task. There is so much to consider! From common tools such as scales and arpeggios right on through to those magical musical ideas (produced in real time), we’re juggling many elements. This requires a very broad set of aural and technical skills. In short: learning jazz improvisation can be pretty darn challenging! 😃 And … [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]

Jazz Guitar Blues: How to Sound Jazzy with the VI Chord

Jazz Guitar Blues Lessons: vi chord

In this blog, we’ll work on the three (most interesting) jazz guitar blues possibilities to make your blues playing sound … well … jazzier! The VI chord, found in bar 8, can really help define the harmonic progression of the jazzier types of blues in your soloing. Let’s get going! Get “Jazz Guitar Blues Six Chord Lesson” PDF Where’s that VI chord? We all know … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Tips: Chord Cycles

wide range for jazz chord cycles

And we’re back to jazz guitar harmony with today’s tip, which is: Play your chords through jazz chord cycles! This is a very straightforward little jazz guitar trick to add to your arsenal. Personally, I basically see the chord cycles as a simple tool to play in all keys. For instance, once you learn a chord, a lick or a song, it can be beneficial … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Blues: Improvisation (all levels) Video + PDF

Jazz Guitar Blues Improvisation and Soloing

Five Exercises to Develop Jazz Soloing on 12-Bar Blues Form (for jazz guitar – all levels) Jazz guitar blues improvisation is one of the basic skills you need to develop as a jazz guitarist. It’s pretty close to taking a solo on your good ol’ 12-bar blues … but with a few tiny tweaks. In this video/PDF lesson, we’ll focus on the jazz side of blues improv. … [Click Here to Read more]

Jazz Guitar Blues: Comping for Jazz

Jazz Guitar Blues Comping for Guitar

How to Create Meaningful Accompaniments in Jazz Guitar Blues Comping Contexts Here’s your starting point for everything jazz guitar blues comping. This video and PDF lesson covers everything you need to get started and jazz up your blues comping. Here’s the accompanying PDF: Use this PDF to learn the 3 basic steps for generating great jazz guitar blues accompaniments. In this video, a simple yet effective method is … [Click Here to Read more]