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 Play Pentatonic Scales Over Giant Steps

    Pentatonics on giant stepsGiant Steps is one of those tunes in jazz that sends a bolt of fear through a lot of young or even experienced jazz musicians. It certainly does that to me anyway! The fast harmonic rhythm and the seemingly distant relationships between the chords means it is a very daunting challenge.
    However, there is a very cool and simple way of practicing navigating through these changes and it involves using 3 different pentatonic scales.

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  • Jazz Guitar Scale Exercises – Position Shifts with the Melodic Minor Scale

    Minor scale guitar exercicesLearning and playing scales can be an important part of any guitarist’s practise regime. By playing scales in a variety of ways we can develop our familiarity with the fretboard beyond simply going up and down scales. In this tutorial we will look at combining two different scale patterns by shifting between them on various strings. For this we are going to use two patterns of an Eb Melodic minor scale, patterns 2 and 3. The Melodic minor scale consists of the intervals R 2 b3 4 5 6 7 (R is for the Root note).

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  • 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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  • Album Review and lick analysis – Monk – Peter Bernstein

    Monk - Peter BernsteinThe music of Thelonious Monk is music which evokes many different emotions and ideas in a huge demographic of musicians and instrumentalists. With that in mind, the emotions and ideas evoked by legendary jazz guitarist, Peter Bernstein, in this showcase album range from childish playfulness, faithful to the source of the music, to coherent and thorough modern jazz playing in the upper echelons of technical and interactive ability.
    It’s been noted previously in reviews, at the time of the album’s release, that a collection of Monk tunes by a guitarist is a rare occurrence that was a huge breath of fresh air to all those who knew about its existence. I’ve never heard such faithful music made with such individualism and taste without any sense imitation. This is most definitely Bernstein plays Monk and not the other way around.

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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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  • How to Make Sure Your Guitar Is Setup

    How to make sure your guitar is setup 1Taking care of your equipment is essential.

    Guest post by Glen Parry


    Whether it’s your car, PC, or your guitar, in order for it to work properly and as for long as possible, you need to make sure that everything’s in order. Sure, you could take your guitar to a professional and have them do it for you, but why not learn to do it yourself? Not only will you save money and time, but you will also learn a thing or two about your instrument. Here are some quick and straightforward tips that will make setting up your guitar a piece of cake!

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  • The Blues Arpeggio - How To Mix Major And Minor Triads

    The blues arpeggio guitar lessonWhat's the Blues Arpeggio ?

    Traditionally, when a student learns to improvise over a jazz, blues tune, he taught pentatonic scales, major triads or dominant 7th arpeggios, but there is something missing to get this specific and exciting jazz-blues sound, "The Blues Arpeggio". This is a very interesting and important device to use over this musical genre. It is a mix of a major triad and a minor triad, it contains both major and minor thirds, representing one of the most vital elements of the blues. In this jazz guitar lesson we will see how to build the blues arpeggio, how to practice it and how to play it on a blues.

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  • 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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