Blog - Lessons

Welcome to the blog of jazz-guitar-licks.com,

This blog covers different subjects and contains several useful lessons both for beginners, intermediates and advanced jazz guitar players.

Whether you're looking for tips on playing jazz guitar, this blog surely has the information you crave and will help you expand your music knowledge and technical skills.

You will find here tutorials grouped into several distinct categories (Jazz Guitar Lessons, Licks and Transcriptions, Scales and Arpeggios, Chords, Jazz Standards, Music Theory, Guitar Practice Tips, Guitar Gear Reviews, Music Production, Music Reviews, Uncategorized, Guest Posts) as shown in the menu on the right.

The content is regularly updated. If you're new here, it's a great place to start learning jazz guitar. Don't hesitate to subscribe to the newsletter in order to receive the latest posts in your mailbox.

If you want to see me talk on a specific topic or if you want to submit articles, let me know using the contact form. 

  • 49 Licks of Legendary Jazz Musicians for Guitar - Lessons in PDF with TABS and analysis

    49 essential jazz guitar licks PDF eBook49 Essential Jazz Guitar Licks With Tabs and Analysis

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    Practicing jazz guitar licks is a very important aspect of jazz learning. Particularly when these licks are transcribed from improvisations of the greatest jazz musicians of all times (Cannonball Adderley, Barney Kessel, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Christian, Emily Remler, George Benson, Grant Green,  Herb Ellis, Jim Hall, Jimmy Raney, Joe Pass, John Scofield, Kenny Burrell, Charlie Parker, Mike Stern and Wes Montgomery) who helped forge the history of jazz music.

    This eBook available for download in a PDF format contains 49 effective jazz guitar phrases and patterns with TABS and notation applied to common jazz chord progressions . These patterns both for guitar teachers and students cover different styles from swing to blues, to hard-bop to bebop.

    These essential jazz lines arranged for jazz guitarists from beginner to advanced come with easy-to-understand explanations of one of the greatest players improvisational techniques.

    Learning these jazz transcriptions make it possible to understand the approach of the great names of jazz to different chord progressions found in many standards as turnarounds, minor and major II-V-I, blues progressions, modal playing.

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  • Target Tones and Enclosures - 58 Guitar Patterns

    Enclosures and target tonesThis guitar lesson is about a very important concept used by many jazz improvisers named "Target notes" or "target tones" or "approach notes". It has to do with targeting chord tones by scale or chromatically. This technique opens the door to another essential type of targeting called "Enclosures" used to surround a chord tone both diatonically and chromatically from above and below. Understanding and applying "Targeting" will help you solos sound more jazzy and allow you to expand your harmonic knowledge.

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  • Dominant 7 Chord Altered Extensions - Guitar Infographic

    Dominant 7 Chord Altered Extensions - Guitar Infographic

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  • Drop 2 Guitar Chord Shapes - Infographic

    This infographic with guitar freatboard diagrams show how to play all five types of drop 2 chords on the first set of strings (E, B, G and D strings). 

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  • Harmonized Major Scale For Guitarists With Shapes

    This infographic with three neck diagrams is a useful reminder for beginner guitarists and composers. It shows how to build a drop 2 seventh chord from each note of the major scale.

     

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  • Voice Leading For Guitar - Basic Chords

    Voice leading basic chords"Voice leading" is a term that refers to the smooth progression of each voice of a chord. This technique consist to move individually one or several voices up or down by a step from one chord to the next. Voice leading is very used by composers and improvisers in order to connect chords instead of bouncing them around. The aim of this lesson is to connect or voice-lead basic four-note chords by moving only one voice. This technique is very fun and should help you learn some of the most important chords used in jazz guitar. 

     

     

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  • GuitarSim - App & Smartphone Accessory For Guitarists

    GuitarSim is the smartphone accessory that turns your phone into a mini digital guitar with tons of features. It’s not just your average guitar; Guitarsim leverages your phone to give you a powerful and portable gadget to jam with, and its foldable so you can throw it into your bag without hassle.

    Guitarsim app for guitarists

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  • Guitar Arpeggio Shapes Infographic

    This guitar infographic takes the main arpeggio shapes namely ,minor 7, major 7, dominant 7, half-diminished and diminished 7. 

     

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  • 5 Jazz Tunes Arranged For Chord-Melody You Need To Know

    5 jazz standards chord melodyFocusing on jazz standards is surely the best way to accelerate the learning process of jazz guitar, making sure to choose easy songs with a few numbers of chords and melodies that can be easy to hear, play and memorize. When learning jazz guitar, it's very important to spend time learning famous jazz songs, it is an essential part of being a jazz musician. Many guitar students are able to play a ton of chords, arpeggios and scales but they can't play a jazz tune mixing both the melody and the chords.

    Here are 5 easy chord-melody arrangements of popular jazz songs for beginning jazz guitarists. Each lesson is available for free as a YouTube video with guitar chord diagrams overlayed in real time. 

     

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    • Beautiful love (Wayne King, Victor Young and Egbert Van Alstyne)
    • Misty (Errol Garner)
    • Moon river (Henry Mancini)
    • Stella by startlight (Victor Young)
    • Autumn Leaves (Joseph Kosma)

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  • Drop 3 Chords - Guitar Diagrams And Music Theory

    Drop 3 chordsWhat Are Drop Voicings?

    Drop voicings are open chords which span more than an octave. They are very useful tools in music composition and arrangement and are greatly appreciated by guitarists for comping and soloing. The name drop 3 comes from the fact that you dropped the third highest note of a close voicing. If the drop 2 and 3 drop voicings are the most used and surely the first players learn when exploring jazz guitar, you have to know that there are drop 2-3, drop 3-4, drop 2 and 4 voicings and drop 2-3-4 voicings. However, these are not commonly played on the guitar because of their complexity, that's why this lesson focuses on drop 3 voicings only. You will see how they are built and how to play them on guitar by using the chord shapes and tablatures provided on this page.

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  • Autumn Leaves - Easy Chord Melody Arrangement For Beginners - Tabs and chords

    Autumn leaves chord melody lessonAutumn leaves is one of the most popular non-American jazz standards on pick-up gigs and records. It is a must-know tune for any jazz guitarist and a great choice when you want to play both chords and melody on guitar. Indeed, the chord progression is not difficult to learn and easy to play. This blog article provides an easy chord melody arrangement to play the famous jazz tune on guitar. This lesson runs in three steps :

    1. Listening to instrumental and vocal versions.
    2. Playing basic chords (drop 2 and drop 3 voicings).
    3. Learning to play the melody.
    4. Playing the chord-melody arrangement.

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  • 5 Tips For Learning Guitar Scales

    5 tips for learning guitar scalesLearning to maneuver through scales on your guitar will bring about a ton of benefits to you, as a player. First of all, you'll begin to perceive music a little bit differently – you'll find logic where you ought to think there was none, you'll understand how your favorite composers got their brilliant ideas, and, most importantly, you'll get to put the theory into practice.
    What's more, the whole journey of exploring the theoretical sphere of music concerning the scales isn't all that hard. Essentially, you'll found yourself amidst the crossroads, and you'll have to choose a path – you'll either delve deep into books about music theory, or you'll have to figure everything out yourself.
    Regardless of the path you wish to take, mastering and learning guitar scales is, quite frankly, easy. We've brought together a short list of five tips that will make the process even simpler, and more entertaining.

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  • How To Play Autumn Leaves - Jazz Guitar Chords - Advanced lesson

    Autumn leaves chord arrangementAutumn leaves is a 1945 song composed by French musician Joseph Kosma. The original lyrics are in French, written by Kosma but in 1947 Johnny Mercer wrote the English ones. Since that time it has become a very popular song and surely one of the most played jazz standards. This song is in a AABC form (32 bars), very much appreciated by beginners because the harmonic progression is pretty simple to play and easy to understand. It covers a very important chord sequence found in jazz, the ii-V-I both in minor and major.

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  • 25 Altered Dominant Guitar Chords

    Altered dominant chordsWhat's An Altered Dominant Chord?

    Altered dominant chords are used to bring tension and an outside flavor to jazz chord progressions. They generally resolved to an inside chord as the I or a substitute as iii or vi. They have one or more notes lowered or raised by a half-step, in other words they contain one or more alterations. These alterations can be b9,#9, b5 (#11) and b13 (#5). Jazz musicians, composers and arrangers used them as substitutions for diatonic chords for adding more dissonance and spice up the harmony. This tutorial provides 25 altered guitar chord shapes to understand how they are constructed and how to play them on guitar.

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  • How to Create Chord Melodies with Drop 2 Chords on Guitar

    Connecting drop 2 chordsEveryone knows the importance of drop 2 chords in jazz music. They are very useful for comping, chord soloing, harmonizing and building chord melodies. Drop 2 voicings are very important for jazz guitarists because they are easy to play and do no require the root on the low sixth or fifth strings, indeed they are played on 4 adjacent strings. The first chapter of this lesson provides all the drop 2 voicing shapes, major seventh (M7), minor seventh (m7), dominant seventh (7), half-diminished (m7b5) and diminished seventh (dim7) to play on the guitar neck. The second part of this post will explain how to connect drop 2 voicings following the notes of the major scale.

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  • What Is a Backdoor Progression And How To Play Over It

    The backdoor progression jazz lessonIn jazz, there are many types of turnarounds and progressions that eventually we all must encounter. A key part of how you practice should be in preparing yourself for these progressions and turnarounds. Whether that is by learning a shed-full of Parker’s II V I licks, by practicing exercises over progressions or even by learning a new standard. The end result is that you are better equipped to deal with what is in front of you in the moment on the bandstand.
    To this end, I’m going to talk to you today about a progression known as the backdoor progression.

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