guitar lesson

  • Why Jazz Guitarists Should Study The CAGED Method

    Why Jazz Guitarists Should Study The CAGED Method

    The CAGED method - Guitar lessonWhen I first joined my high school jazz band, it was a humbling experience. I knew my major scales and modes, but only with the roots on the E and/or A string. This worked fine for playing pop music, but the way jazz progressions were always changing chords with each measure, my hands were constantly getting lost. If I was playing a C major line in eighth position, how did I switch to a Bb mixolydian scale without jumping my hand up or down and making the improvisational idea totally disjointed ? I could never understand how jazz guitarists could keep their ideas going as the chords changed from moment to moment. And how did players like Joe Pass know how to run an improvised line right into a chord voicing? Additionally, as I progressed to the higher registers of the guitar, I could never tell where I was in the scale anymore. It seemed impossible!

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  • 10 Jazz Blues Tunes Every Beginning Guitarist Should Know

    Building your jazz blues repertoire

    Top 10 jazz blues tunes to knowA big part of learning jazz guitar means building his own repertoire of pieces. Here is a list of 10 jazz blues songs every beginning guitarist should know. This short list covers a range of jazz blues chord progressions and their different variations (form, tonality, Harmonic structure) with a brief analysis. It also represents the most played jazz blues tunes at jam sessions.

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  • Stella by Starlight - Jazz guitar chord melody lesson

    A new video is online on the youtube channel. It is a quick jazz guitar chord melody arrangement with chord diagrams of the famous jazz standard "Stella by Starlight" (Victor Young). 

  • What's a Half-Diminished Chord (m7b5)

    What is a half diminished chordYou surely know what are major chords, minor chords, seventh chords and diminished 7th chords ? But you may be wondering what half-diminished chords are ? In music, the most encountered chords are major and minor chords. These are the basis of the Harmony. Seventh chords (m7, Maj7 and dom7) are also widely used, particularly in jazz and blues music. When a guitar student start to take an interest in jazz, he can sometimes find chords with a little barbaric names such as diminished 7th chords, augmented or even half-diminished chords (m7b5). This article will explain you what are m7b5 chords, how to play them on the guitar and how to apply them in common harmonic contexts as major and minor II-V-I progressions.

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  • Chords in Fourths - Quartal Harmony

    Quartal harmony - Chords in fourthsTo enrich and modernize the harmonization of a piece it is common to use fourth chords. They can replace some original chords to bring more melodic freedom into improvisation and more tension in harmony. Since the late 1950s, harmony in fourths has played a very important role in the development of modern jazz. Musicians and composers have used a lot the quartal harmony. Among them, the great American pianist McCoy Tyner, who, is a master in the art of playing quartal chords. Mike Stern, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Bill Evans and Kurt Rosewinkel have also used this technique. In this lesson we will see how to build chords in fourths, how to harmonize the major scale with and how to use them in comping. 

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  • What Are Guide Tones and How to Use Them

    What are guide tonesWhat are guide tones? They are the notes in a chord which leads or gives harmonic pull toward the next chord, these are an excellent way to study and absorb the sound of any chord progression. Guide tones are used to outline chord progressions in an improvisation. They are most of the time the 3rd and the 7th because this is what determines whether a chord is major, minor, or dominant. 

    You will learn how to target important notes in each chord by working on guide tones. This jazz guitar lesson explains how to solo over common jazz progressions using and connecting the guide tones.

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  • How To Practice Scales On Guitar

    Mastering basic jazz guitar scalesWhen you want to master the jazz language, one of the first things to do is to learn scales and modes. Memorize the fingerings on the fretboard. Memorize their names, their compositions. Make the difference between a major, a minor, an augmented or a diminished scale. How many tones in this one, how many half-tones in this other one. Knowing which scales work with which chords. In the long run the practice of scales can be confusing and seems a never-ending. Here are some tricks and tips to work out on scales while developing your musical ear, your guitar technique and your theoretical knowledge.

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