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 Practice Scales On Guitar

    How to practice scales on guitarTips and Tricks To Help You Practice Scales

    When you want to master jazz language, one of the first things to do is to learn scales and modes. Any guitar student need to memorize the fingerings, the names and the composition of each scale. It is important to make the difference between the main types of musical scales (major, minor, augmented, symmetric and diminished), important to know what scale works with a particular chord. In the long run the practice of scales can be confusing and seems a never-ending. Here are some tricks and tips for practicing scales while developing your musical ear, your guitar technique and your theoretical knowledge.

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  • 15 Jazz Guitar Chords For Beginners

    15 basic jazz guitar chordsHere are 15 important jazz guitar chord positions that every beginning jazz guitar student must know. They are grouped into five families : 

    • Major seventh chords (Maj7)
    • Minor seventh (m7)
    • Dominant 7th (7)
    • Half diminished / minor seventh flat fifth (m7b5)
    • Diminished 7th (dim7)

    How Chords Are Built ?

    Chords can be built with a root (1), a minor (b3) or a major third (3), a fifth which can be perfect (5), diminished (b5) or augmented (#5) and a seventh, which can be major (7), minor (b7) or diminished (bb7). 

      minor major perfect diminished augmented
    Root          
    Third O O      
    Fifth     O O O
    Seventh O O   O  

     

    Generally speaking, chords are constructed by stacking thirds (minor and major). Here is a summary chart about the construction of the main types of chords.

    Minor seventh (m7) 1 b3 5 b7
    Major seventh (M7) 1 3 5 7
    Dominant seventh (7) 1 3 5 b7
    Half diminished (m7b5) 1 b3 b5 b7
    Diminished seventh (dim7) 1 b3 b5 bb7

     

    You will find below 15 guitar fretboard diagrams with formula charts related to these chords. Three positions for each type of chord. One with the root on the sixth string, one with the root on the fifth and one with the root on the fourth string. 

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  • 10 Jazz Guitar Solo Transcriptions With Tabs on YouTube

    A new video is online on the youtube channel since yesterday. This is a compilation of the best jazz guitar solo transcriptions posted on the youtube channel since one year. This video lesson contains transcriptions of great jazzmen as John Scofield, Charlie Christian, Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, Eric Gale. Here is the timeline:

    Charlie Christian ( Benny's buggle) 00:00
    Clifford Brown (Jordu) 01:23
    Eric Gale (Too blue) 02:22
    Grant Green (Grantstand) 02:59
    Grant Green (Airegin) 04:00
    Grant Green (N°1 Green street) 05:17
    Jimmy Raney (Have you met miss Jones) 07:26
    John Scofield (Wee) 07:56
    Wes Montgomery (Full house) 08:50
    Wes Montgomery (Full house) 09:42

  • Jazz Trumpet Solo Transcription For Guitar - Clifford Brown - Jordu

    Clifford Brown jazz trumpet solo transcription for guitarBe jazz guitarist does not mean that you have to play only guitarist's solos. It's very important to transcribe lines of other instruments like sax, trumpet or piano for example. This way you will change your habits and you will play some jazz lines that maybe you would never have played before. 

    This lesson is about a Clifford Brown trumpet solo transcription in "Jordu". Clifford Brown was an American songwriter and jazz trumpet player.  He composed two jazz pieces which have become standards, "Joy spring" and "Daahoud". He has collaborated with jazz players as Art Blakey and Lionel Hampton before forming his own group with the drummer, percussionist and composer Max Roach. 

    Jordu is a jazz standard written by Irvin "Duke" Jordan. He has been popularised by Clifford Brown and Max Roach quintet in the album that includes the two standards "Joy spring" and "Daahoud" .This is an AABA traditional jazz form in the key of C minor. Referring to the realbook the chord progression is :

    A

    D7 G7 | Cm | F7 Bb7 | EbM7

    D7 G7 | Cm | Ab7 | G7

    B

    G7  C7 | F7 Bb7 | Eb7 Ab7 | Db7

    F7 Bb7 | Eb7 Ab7 | Db7 Gb7 | G7

    The transcription is focused on the A part only. This will allow you to understand how to improvise and which scale to play over two interesting jazz progressions :

    • II7-V7-Im sequence (D7-G7-Cm) which is a minor II-V-I with a dominant 7th (V7) chord instead of the usual minor seventh flat ninth chord (II).
    • II7-V7-IM sequence which is a major II-V-I with a dominant seventh (II7) chord instead of a minor seventh chord (II).

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  • NEW PDF eBook Available for Download - 40 Blues, Jazz Guitar Licks With Tabs

    40 dominant blues jazz patterns for guitar eBook PDFDownload

    A new PDF eBook is now available for download via the GUMROAD / PAYPAL interface. This jazz method contains 40 jazz, blues licks with tabs, scales charts and two jazz swing backing track in C7.

    This PDF booklet is dedicated to the jazz guitar students who wants to improve their jazz, blues playing in the style of Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Charlie Christian, George Benson, Barney Kessel and more.

    Package details :

    • 1 printable PDF booklet containing 40 jazz blues guitar licks in C7 with tabs and scales charts.
    •  2 blues jazz swing (one chord C7) backing tracks (120 & 150 BPM) - (Quality mp3 audio file).

    MORE INFORMATION HERE 

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  • 12 Scales You Can Play Over a Dominant 7th Chord

    The first thing to do before starting exploring the twelve different scales shown in this lesson is to understand how to build a basic dominant 7th chord and what its role is.

    What's a dominant 7 chord?

    A Dominant 7th chords is made up of a root / tonic (1), a major third (3), a perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). It is one of the most versatile chords. It is considered as a major chord because of the major third (3). Indeed, the 3rd tell us if the chord is minor or major. The minor seventh (b7) indicates whether the sound wants to move or not (resolve) to another chord. Usually dominant chords tend to resolve to a chord down a perfect fifth (or a chord up a perfect fourth).

    C dominant 7th chord  C E G Bb
    Intervals 1 3 5 b7
    Related Arpeggio 1 3 5 b7

     

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  • The Seven Modes of The Major Scale

    Modes of the major scale guitar lessonWhat Are Ecclesiastical Modes?

    Ecclesiastical modes, also named "Greek modes"or "church modes" or "Gregorian modes" formed in the Middle Ages a set of scales whose use has weakened because of the appearance of the major / minor tonal system. Several centuries later these modes have reappeared. They are very used in jazz improvisation as scale of chords and modal playing. This lesson explains how are built modes and how to play them on guitar.

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  • What is a Minor II-V-I Progression and How To Improvise Over?

    What is a minor ii v i progression minWhat is a minor II V I Progression?

    The minor II-V-I sequence is equivalent to the major II-V-I sequence, but played in minor harmonic key. It is a must know for any guitarist who wants to learn to solo over tunes in minor keys. This progression is present in many jazz tunes as Autumn leaves, Blue Bossa, Black Orpheus, Stella by Starlight, The nearness of you, I love you, Speak low, Soul eyes, Valse Hot, Along came Betty, Stablemates, Are you real, I'll remember April, I hear a rhapsody, In your own sweet way, Nuages...

     

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  • New eBook available | 10 minor II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, scales charts & audio files.

    10 ii v i licks miniA new eBook is now available.

    This eBook will teach you how to soloing over minor II-V-I sequences using scales, modes (locrian, locrian #2, locrian bebop, altered, melodic minor, harmonic minor, aeolian) and arpeggios (Half-diminished & diminished 7th)

    Package details:

    - 1 printable PDF eBook including 10 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, scales charts, and analysis.

    - 1 C minor II-V-I backing track (Quality mp3 audio file).

    - 10 minor II-V-I audio files (Quality mp3 audio files).

    CLICK HERE TO ACCESS 


     

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  • Kenny Burrell - Midnight Blue | 10 Dominant Jazz Blues Licks For Beginners

    Kenny BurrellKenneth Earl "Kenny" Burrell (July 31, 1931) is an American jazz guitarist from Detroit. With Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian he is one of the most influential jazz guitarist, epitome of good taste and unique swing. His guitar sound is clear, refined and raw, easy to recognize. His guitar playing is unique, grounded in bebop and blues, the man is able to play both blues licks and swinging bebop lines.

    He has collaborated with many artists as sideman (Dizzy Gillespie, "Jimmy Hammond" Smith, Billy Holiday, Milt Jackson, Stanley Turrentine, Stan Getz, Chet Baker, The Jones Brothers...) and recorded many solo albums including the famous "Midnight blue" (Blue note, 1963).

    He has played Gibson guitars (ES-175, super 400) for the majority of is career plugged into a Fender deluxe amp.

    Midnight blue

    How smooth can jazz guitar get ? Right here is the answer. Midnight Blue (released in 1963 by blue note records and recorded by Rudy Van Gelder) is one of those records that you just put on, sit back and relaxis. In this album Kenny Burrell is accompanied by the tenor-saxophonist Stanley Turrentine in a pianoless quintet that also includes Ray Barretto on congas (a highly regarded bandleader in his own right who injects a dash of Latin flavor), Major Holley on bass and Bill English on drums. Midnight blue is considered one of the best recordings of Kenny Burrell's career.

    1. Chitlins Con Carne (5:25)Midnight blue - Kenny Burrell
    2. Mule (6:53)
    3. Soul Lament (2:39)
    4. Midnight Blue (3:59)
    5. Wavy Gravy (5:43)
    6. Gee Baby, Ain’t I Good To You (4:21)
    7. Saturday Night Blues (6:13)
    8. Kenny’s Sound (4:39) 
    9. K Twist (3:35) 

    This album is very useful for basic call-and-response type blues phrasing, recommend for anyone trying to learn playing jazz blues on guitar.

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  • 10 easy Wes Montgomery jazz guitar licks / transcriptions | Dominant 7th

     

    Wes Montgomery jazz guitar licks lessonsWes Montgomery was an american guitar jazz player, considered as one of the greatest jazz guitarist of all time. He has influenced and influence again a lot of jazz guitarists. His playing is characterized by the use of his thumb instead of a pick with incredible dexterity. His guitar solos are gold mines for jazz guitar students.

    He often approached his guitar solos by following the same chords progression in three ways and in the same order:

    1. In single note lines using arpeggios, scales and modes.
    2. By playing octaves.
    3. By playing block chords.

    Wes Montgomery played almost exclusively on a Gibson L-5 CES plugged most of the time into Fender amps (super reverb, twin reverb, deluxe). He also played on Gibson L-7, Gibson L-4, Es-175, ES-125D.

    You will find in this free jazz guitar lesson 10 easy dominant 7th jazz guitar licks with tabs transcribed from "West coast blues". They are all in the key of Bb and time signature is 3/4.


     

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  • NEW eBook PDF | 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks With Tabs.

    25 jazz soul licks PDF eBook with tabs

    A new printable PDF eBook dedicated to soul jazz guitar licks is now available for download. 

    Soul jazz (sometimes called "jazz-funk) is a form of jazz commonly associated with hard bop. It has strong influences from blues, rhythm & blues and gospel. You can also go listen to Lou Donaldson, Big John Patton, Jimmy "Hammond" Smith, to soak up this style.
    All these licks are two bars licks in the key of Bb7 and inspired by great guitarists as Grant Green, Melvin sparks, Wes Montgomery or Kenny Burrell. They are essentially built with notes from the minor, major pentatonic and minor blues scale.

    Each lick is analysed and accompanied by a quality audio file. A backing track is also included in the package.

    Why all these licks are in the same key ?

    To simplify learning, it's easier to memorize them, then you can make the connection between each lick to built longer guitar solos.  Once you have learnt these licks, the aim is to play them in different keys, add notes and fret hand techniques (bends, hammer-on, pull-off, slides)  vary the rhythm...

    9,90 $ DOWNLOAD

    Package details :

    - 1 printable PDF eBook with 25 soul jazz guitar licks in Bb7 with tabs, scales charts, guitar fretboard diagrams (5 boxes for each scales) and analysis. 

    - 1 soul jazz backing track (Quality mp3 audio file).

    - 25 soul jazz guitar licks audio files (Quality mp3 audio files).

    MORE INFORMATIONS HERE

     

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  • Guitar Duet in F | A Modern Method For Guitar | Youtube Video

    "A modern method for guitar" (Berklee press) is a book written by William Leavitt. 

    This beginning-level book teaches a wide range of guitar and music fundamentals like: scales, melodic, chords & arpeggios studies, how to read music, accompaniment techniques, special exercises for developing technique in both hands, a unique approach to voice leading using moveable chord forms, and more. It is specifically designed to help guitar students to accomplish two fundamental things :

    • Teaching to read music (improve your sight reading).
    • Developping dexterity of both hands.

    There are three volumes in this collection.

    This new video posted on the youtube channel is about a guitar duet called " Duet in F " taken from this guitar method. As its name implies it is a guitar duet (20 measures) in the key of F including altered notes, chromaticisms and chords of 3 notes . It is very interesting and quite easy to play, provided to be able to read music because there is no tabs in this book but only scores. Please note that it is played "swing" in the video even if there is no mention that you have to play it "swing" in the book. Free to you to play it with "swing feel" or "straight feel".

    This video contains score and is divided in 3 parts : 

    1. Both guitar parts together 
    2. First guitar only at 0:51
    3. Second guitar only at 1:41

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  • 20 jazz guitar licks with tabs on youtube

    A new video is online on the youtube channel. It's about 20 jazz guitar licks with tabs. 

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