Guitar Practice Tips

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your guitar practice time.

  • Jazz Blues Backing Tracks, Play-alongs, Jam Tracks

    You will find here 11 Jazz Blues backing tracks from the YouTube channel Backing Tracks Channel. These jam tracks can be very useful for practicing improvisation and chord comping whether on the guitar or on any other instrument.

    Each play along is derived from the basic jazz blues chord progression (the first one of the list). For a better understanding the chords and the Roman numeral analysis are displayed in the video. If you want to learn more about these jazz blues changes check out the related lesson in the blog section.

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  • Diatonic Arpeggios and Scales - Guitar Chart Infographic

    This infographic printable for free provides diatonic arpeggio and scale shapes for guitar practice. It shows the relationship between arpeggios and modes of the major scale. 

    Diatonic guitar arpeggios and scales infographic shapes

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  • Guitar Arpeggios Guide For Beginners - CAGED Charts and Theory

    Arpeggios are the backbone of jazz improvisations, they are easy to learn and play. They are very popular in all styles of music (rock, metal, blues, pop) because they allow to easily outline the harmony and create fluid lines.

    It is very important to understand what are arpeggios and how to use them into your jazz guitar solos. This guitar lesson provides the most important arpeggio shapes that any beginner jazz guitarist must know.

    In the first part, they are classified into seven qualities : major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, half-diminished, diminished 7, Major 7#5 and minMaj7 using the CAGED system, one of the best methods for learning scales and chords on the whole of guitar neck.

    The second part of the lesson shows the arpeggios within the main families of scales namely, major (diatonic), harmonic minor, melodic minor and harmonic major.

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  • 10 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks For Beginners

    2 5 1 guitar soloThe II-V-I sequence is the most common chord progression played in jazz music and a must know for any guitarist who wants to learn jazz language. In this progression the II, the V and the I (chords and scales) are constructed based on the corresponding second (II), fifth (V)  and first (I) step of the major scale. In this guitar lesson you will learn what's the 2 5 1 progression and how to play easy jazz lines over a 2-5-1 using the most common scales found in jazz music.

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  • 17 Essential Jazz Guitar Scales

    What Scale to Choose for Improvising?

    One of the most common question a beginner asks when he wants to start improvising on guitar is : Which scale to choose over which chords? However, there is a lot of scale and a lot of chord, it is easy to get lost. That's why it is important to make the relation between them, trying to understand what is the appropriate scale that fit the chord and vice versa. 

    This guitar lesson provides the seventeen most important scales with shapes and formulas to know for improvising over the most used chord types in jazz music (major, minor, dominant and diminished).

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  • How to Practice Pentatonic Scales On Guitar

    How to practice pentatonic scalesWhat are Pentatonic Scales?

    Pentatonic scales are scales with five notes per octave. They are frequently used in music all over the world. The word "pentatonic" comes from the Greek word "pente" meaning five and "tonic" meaning tone.

    Talk of "the" pentatonic scale generally make reference to the major pentatonic scale and its relative minor. It's a mistake, indeed there are many types of pentatonic scales (Egyptian, Ritusen, Man gong, Altered, Locrian...).

    Pentatonic scales are considered earlier than heptatonic scales (seven-note scales) and can be divided into two categories :

     

    • Containing semitones (hemitonic)
    • Without semitones (anhemitonic)

    The purpose of this post is to propose some tips and ideas for practicing and develop pentatonic scales.

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  • Octave Playing - Guitar Lesson With Lines and Theory

    What's Octave Playing?

    How to play in octaves Wes Montgomery styleOctave playing is a big part of jazz guitar language, this technique has been popularized by guitarist Wes Montgomery one of the greatest improvisers and jazz genious of all times. Theoretically, the principle is quite easy to understand. You just have to play lines using two simultaneaous notes separated by twelve semitones. In practice, it is more difficult because of the fingerings. Indeed, you have to move two fingers at the same time while keeping the same hand position. This lesson provides guitar diagrams and easy guitar lines for a good mastery of this technique.

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  • Jazz up Your Blues - Guitar Lesson

    Jazz up your blues on guitarOne of the most daunting shifts for any guitarist can be entering the world of jazz guitar. We’ve all read jazz tutorials and watched videos by those in the know and it’s a vast world full of new theoretical and practical concepts.

    Most guitar players get into playing through rock/blues and find jazz later on their ability spectrum. If you understand blues, you can start to make some small changes which will add a jazz dynamic to your playing. In this lesson we will cover some of those small changes you can integrate into your playing today.

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  • Arpeggio Practice - Seventh Chords - 4 Essential Exercises

    Guitar arpeggio practiceArpeggios are essential musical tools that allow you to build pure and beautiful lines while highlighting the harmony. When playing over chord changes, using arpeggios is the most efficient way to connect these chords together. This lesson provides four arpeggio exercises with tabs, standard notation and diagrams that will help improve your guitar skills and your theoretical knowledge.

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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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  • 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 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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  • Jazz Up Your Basic Guitar Chords - Jazz Guitar Lesson for Beginners

    Jazz up your chord - Jazz guitar lessonGenerally, when a beginner start to learn to play guitar, he tackles open chords (up the guitar neck), those found in many popular songs. Then, come the bar chords (major, minor, dominant 7) a little hard to master. But all these chords do not have a very interesting sound and are not mostly used in jazz music. That's why in this lesson for jazz beginners we will take the main basic guitar bar chords to transform and enrich them so that their sonority is richer, exciting and better suited to jazz concept.

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  • 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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