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. 

  • How to buy the best jazz guitar based on body type

    How to buy the best jazz guitarGuest post by Aaron Schulman

    While there is no absolute best jazz guitar for everyone, there are definitely a few jazz guitar models that would be a best fit for you. The trick is to learn enough about the different body styles and electronics to understand the sonic qualities that each jazz guitar expresses. You’ll want to educate yourself both on the different jazz guitar body styles and manufacturers.  The more homework you do, the more your understanding will grow and the more confident you will be in your final purchase decision.

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  • How To Play Jazz Guitar For Beginner

    How to play jazz for beginnersGuest post by Marc-Andre Seguin

    So, you've decided to try your hand at Jazz guitar. This article will assume a certain base level of proficiency in the general language of music apart from the specific vernacular that informs jazz music, guitarists specifically. Not because it's a theory article, but because if you hope to learn how to play this music (and any style, really) a little knowledge goes a long way. If you have no background in notated music, theory and harmony please pick up Barbara Wharram's Theory For Beginners. It will open the door.

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  • The 14 Most Important Jazz Chord Progressions

    Minor ii valt i chord progression 1 114 Essential Jazz Chord Progressions

    A chord progression is a succession of musical chords (with at least two notes) played one after another. Chord progression can be named harmonic progression and represent the foundation of western and traditional music. Many jazz standards use similar chord progressions, in different keys it is very important to recognize them by ear and visually. Working and practicing basic chord sequences will make you feel more comfortable when you will need to learn jazz standards,  it will more evident and easy to comp and solo.

    In this lesson you will learn to recognize the 14 most important jazz chord progressions as minor and major II-V-I, the turnarounds and their variations, how to use passing diminished chords. You will find charts with roman numerals to easily transpose these harmonic progressions in different keys and some examples of comping with audio files, tabs and standard notation.

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  • How to Play a Major 7th Arpeggio Over a Dominant 7 Chord

    Major arpeggio over g7When a jazz beginner starts to improvise over a II-V-I progression, he generally plays arpeggios corresponding to the chords of the sequence. In other words, he learns to play minor arpeggios over the minor chord (II), dominant 7th arpeggio over the 7th chord (V) and major arpeggio over the major 7 chord (I). This way the harmony is highlighted without taking risks. Then, comes the modes, the basic rules concerning modes is that to play dorian over the minor chord , mixolydian over the dominant and ionian over the major chord. In short, in the long-run there is nothing exciting. That's why there is a nice trick used by number of jazz players to add smoothness to a line over a dominant 7th chord. This is a little tip that makes all the difference, simply play the notes of a major 7th arpeggio over the V7 rooted on its b7 degree.

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  • NEW PDF eBook available - Jazz blues guitar arpeggios

    5 jazz blues arpeggio studies PDF eBook A new printable PDF eBook is available. It's about 5 jazz blues studies to master guitar arpeggios.

    These five etudes will help you to master the use of arpeggios over a jazz blues progression. As discussed in this eBook,  there are different kinds of jazz blues progressions. The one that is used in this eBook is built with a secondary dominant (VI7), a passing diminished (#IVdim7) and a turnaround (I7, VI7, IIm7, V7).

    In this booklet you will learn how to play dominant 7 arpeggiosminor arpeggios, diminished arpeggios. How to apply the 3-9 concept. How  to use major and diminished triads and how to extend arpeggios with extra notes as 13th and a 9th.

    5 jazz blues guitar arpeggio studies eBook PDF DOWNLOAD

     

     

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  • Barry Galbraith jazz guitar study - Like someone - Guitar comping video with bass lines

    Like someoneA new video has been uploaded on the YouTube channel. It is a Barry Galbraith comping study named "Like someone". This is the last study from the Barry Galbraith book "Jazz guitar comping series, vol #3" published by Jamey Aebersold. Most of the accompaniments studies (comps) in this book are designed to accompany a melody or an improvised solo with bass lines like a pianist would do. It is a very great book to practice jazz guitar comping.

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  • Is Amp Simulation the Cure for GAS ? - Guest post

    Amplitube 3 pedalsAs a guitarist, it’s tempting to spend a lot of time and money on gear. All of us suffer from G.A.S. (gear acquisition syndrome) to some degree. The never-ending search for the ‘perfect’ tone will plague us all. At some point, though, this obsession with gear can distract you from what matters. For most guitarists, their tone starts with their hands. Guitar choice, amp choice, pedals and everything else comes second to technique. So, I propose an alternative - rather than focusing on GEAR, focus on SKILL. That doesn’t mean tone isn’t important, though. It shouldn’t be disregarded entirely. There is an efficient, cost-effective way to find the right tone in seconds - without ever visiting your local Guitar Center...

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  • How to Play Major Triads on Guitar - Close and Open Voicings

    Drop 2 major chord bass on string 5 3A major chord is built with three notes namely root (1), major third (3) and fifth (5). These three tones represent the structure of the major chord. The same holds true for minor, diminished and augmented chords. In this guitar lesson you will learn how to play a major chord in closed and open triad voicings (also known as spread voicings). 

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  • 8 Ways to Play The Minor Pentatonic Scale Over a Dominant Chord

    minor pentatonic scales over dominant chordsThe minor pentatonic scale is by far the most used scale in the world all styles taken together (jazz, blues, rock, reggae, pop, country). One of the explanation is given by the structure. Indeed, there are no semi-tones in it. It is easy to play on the guitar and it can be used in a whole lot of very different contexts. This lesson will show you eight ways to use the minor pentatonic scale over a dominant seventh chord. The principle is easy to understand, this consists in playing the minor pentatonic scale starting on each tone of the Mixolydian scale (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7). This method helps to highlight certain notes and brings interesting colors to your jazz guitar lines depending on you want to play outside or inside.

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  • Kenny Burrell - In a mellow tone - Jazz guitar transcription

    A new video has been uploaded on the youtube channel. It is a jazz guitar transcription of the jazz standard "In a mellow tone" composed by Duke Ellington and performed by Kenny Burrell in 1990. Here is the Kenny Burrell version on which the transcription is based and the link to the album dedicated to Duke Ellington.

     

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  • List of Jazz Standards and Keys

    Music key and notes background pictureA“standard” or “jazz standard” is referring to a popular music piece and/or jazz music composition that is held in continuing esteem and is frequently used in musical repertoire. Many of these “jazz standards” were not necessarily originally jazz compositions. Music publishers include the term “jazz standards” in a description or a title they nearly always are referring to compositions used as the basis for improvisation or jazz arrangements. You will find in this post a non-exhaustive list of jazz standards and their original keys to practice at home or in jam sessions. 

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  • Triad Arpeggios - Guitar Lesson For Beginners

    Triad arpeggios - Guitar lessonArpeggios are surely the most important devices to master when you want to start improvising. Every jazz players use arpeggios in their improvisations. Great guitarists, all kinds of styles use arpeggios : John Scofield, Kurt Rosewinkel, Birelli Lagrene, Django Reinhardt, and many more. Arpeggios are played extensively because they use only the notes found in a single chord. Therefore,  they create a more harmonized sound when played with their corresponding chord. Arpeggios are very helpful to easily outline the chord changes. This lesson is focused on the most basic form of arpeggios made out of three notes called "triad arpeggios". 

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  • Superimposed Diatonic Arpeggios - Guitar Lesson

    Superimposed arpeggios lickIn jazz music, there are two main different ways of improvisation, the use of scales and the use of arpeggios. Great jazz improvisers as Wes Montgomery, George Benson, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Pat Martino or Barney Kessel master both scales and arpeggios. Arpeggios are very helpful devices to easily outline the chord changes especially in tunes with fast tempos as bebop tunes for examples. The basic use of arpeggios is to play them over their related chord, for example play a Gm7 arpeggio (G-Bb-D-F) over a G minor 7 chord or a C7 arpeggio (C-E-G-Bb) over a C dominant 7 chord. Over a classic II-V-I progression in C major (Dm7-G7-Cmaj7) you will play Dm7 arp, G7 arp and Cmaj7 arp. This way you take no risks and you are sure to underline and hear correctly the harmony. Unfortunately, this can be boring in the long run, that's why, in this article, we will see how to superimpose diatonic arpeggios to open new paths and create original and interesting jazz lines.

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  • Jazz guitar chord voicings - II-V-I progression - 5 Exercises

    II V I jazz guitar chordsYou will find in this page 5 exercises to learn to play different jazz guitar chord voicings over the most used chord progression in jazz, the famous II-V-I sequence.

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  • New eBook available | 50 exercises for jazz guitar | II-V-I voicings

    II-V-I voicings for jazz guitarA new eBook is available for download. It contains 50 exercises with guitar tabs and standard music notation that will show you how to use different types of voicings over a II-V-I progression. This PDF eBook will help you to understand how the main jazz guitar chords are built (minor 7, major 7, dominant 7, diminished 7, half-diminished, augmented, 7b5, drop 2, drop 3, inverted, altered, extended and rootless chords) and how to apply chord substitutions (diatonic sub, tritone sub and diminished substitutions).

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  • Minor Pentatonic Scales Over II-Valt-I Sequence - 5 Jazz Guitar Licks

    5 II V I altered jazz guitar licks and minor pentatonicIn this lesson we will see how to use the minor pentatonic scale over a II-Valt-I sequence. The principle is simple, it consists in playing three minor pentatonic scales spaced apart of 1 semitone one from the other. This way you will bring out interesting colors to your jazz lines.

    • II chord: Play the minor pentatonic scale starting on the 5th degree of the II chord. This way you will highlight the fifth (5), the minor seventh (b7), the root (R), the ninth (9) and the eleventh (11) of the minor II chord. (Exemple for Cm7 play G- pentatonic).
    • V chord : Play the minor pentatonic scale up a half step starting on the #9 of the V7alt chord (Ab-pentatonic over F7alt for example). Therefore, you will play the main altered tones of the V7alt namely #9, #11, b13, b7, b9.
    • I chord : Play the minor pentatonic up a half step again starting on the 7th of the I maj7#11 (Example with A minor penta for Bbmaj7#11). Thus, giving the 7, 9, 3, #11 and the thirteenth of the I chord. 

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