Jazz Guitar Lessons
You will find in this section the latest jazz guitar lessons: methods, videos, PDFs, Tabs, transcriptions, licks, music theory, exercises, chord and scale diagrams, published on the blog and on the website. The content is regularly updated with fresh articles, so don't hesitate to subscribe to the newsletter.
What's a Major Scale?
A major scale is a scale containing a major third (3) and a major seventh (7). There must be four half-steps between the root and the major third and one half-step between the major seventh and the root. The most known is the major scale spelled 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7.
What Are the Twelve Types of Major Scales?
When we think about major scales, the first that comes to mind is the Ionian mode, best know as THE major scale. However, there are several other types of major scales (Ionian #5, Lydian augmented #2, Ionian b6) which deserve a little more attention. Here they are listed with guitar shapes and formulas.
These lines come from the first chapter of David Baker's book "How To Play Bebop Vol.2 - Learning the bebop language". They correspond to the first ten exercises of the section named "The Use of The II V7 Progression in Bebop".
You 'll find in this lesson a quick analysis of each pattern with scale diagrams (Dorian, Dorian bebop, Mixolydian, dominant bebop, Mixolydian b13, altered, mixo-blues and half-whole diminished).
What Are Dominant 7 Arpeggios?
Dominant 7 arpeggios are built with root (1), major third (3), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). They are basically used to play over dominant 7 chords.
Dominant 7 Arpeggio 1 3 5 b7 G7 G B D F
"Solar" is a jazz standard written by Miles Davis in the key of C minor with four tonal centers that are : C minor, F major, Eb major and Db major. Solar contains essential chord progressions as major and minor II V I. This lesson provides a short harmonic analysis and a chord melody arrangement for guitar with tabs, standard notation, chord shapes and audio file.
What's a Tritone Substitution?
The tritone substitution is one of the most common substitution found in jazz. The basic application of a tritone chord substitution is to take any 7th chord and play another 7th chord that has its root a tritone away from the original. This guitar lesson demonstrates how you can play scales and arpeggios starting from the b5 (a tritone away) of the V7 chord in a II V I chord progression. This way you will highlight altered tones as the b9 and the #11.
What's Octave Playing?
Octave 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.
Octave playing technique involves playing the same note on two strings separate by one octave. An octave is 12 semitones higher than the root note. You will find in this blog post a new video from the YouTube Channel, containing 10 dominant octave licks with tabs and standard notation overlayed.
What's An Inverted Chord?
An inverted chord is a chord whose notes are stacked in a different order. In other words, the notes of a chord, whether it is a triad (containing just three notes) or a tetrad (built with four notes), can be reshuffled in a different way.
The name of the chord will still remain the same, but the bass will not necessarily the root note. This is the lowest note (the bass note) that determines the name of the inverted chord. So, chord inversion simply refers to which note is in the bass. You will find in this article some example for a better understanding of what are inverted chords.
One note samba is a song composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The title refers to the main melody of the song, which consists of a serie of identical notes (F and Bb in this arrangement for guitar) with a syncopated rhythm typical of bossa nova and a number of chords typical of this genre.
When learning how to play jazz guitar, one of the most important device to master is to play each tone of a chord in order to outline a specific progression.
This is what we call arpeggios. They are great melodic tools when you want to highlight the chords you are soloing over.
This article is focused on diatonic seventh arpeggios and their extensions. In a first time, before applying these extensions, it is recommended to have a very strong knowledge of the triads, both the chords and the arpeggios.
The minor blues scale is mostly referred to as the minor pentatonic scale with a b5 thus giving the interval pattern 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7. However, few musicians know that there are three types of minor blues scales depending on wether you incorporate the flat fifth (b5), the major third (3) or the major seventh (7) to the minor pentatonic scale. In this lesson you will learn how to build, play and recognize each of these three minor blues scales.
Triads are one of the first harmonic tools to study. They are very useful for comping and chordal enrichment. Learning close and open triad voicings increase your harmonic knowledge and at the same time help you discover your fretboard.
In this lesson you will see the main triad chord shapes including root positions and inversions. You will also find some ideas on how to use triads over a II V I sequence, in order to create interesting melodic movement in your comping.
Dominant seventh chords are the most important features in music, you can find them in many styles of music, especially in blues and, of course, in jazz. In this lesson, you will see how to construct drop 2, drop 3 and drop 2 & 4 dominant seventh chords, what is their harmonic function and how to play them on guitar.
One of the most daunting shifts for any guitarist can be entering the world of jazz guitar. We’ve all read essential jazz guitar books, 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.
What Are Drop 2-4 Chords?
Drop 2 and 4 chords are created by dropping down an octave the second and fourth note of a seventh chord in close position. They can be very important tools for composition and arrangement. This lesson with diagrams provides useful explanations on how to build and play drop 2 & 4 chords on guitar.
What's a Tetrad ?
A basic chord is built with three notes this is what we call "triad chords" or "triads". Tetrad chords aka "four note-chords" are simply chords containing four notes, “tetra“ is a Greek root meaning four.
This means that tetrads are triads with an additional note, a major seventh or a minor seventh.
This article will enlighten you on how these tetrad chords are built and how they can be classified.