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.

  • 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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  • The Tritone Substitution - Guitar Lesson With Theory and Tabs

    One of the most popular jazz chord substitution is the tritone substitution sometimes referred to as dominant chord substitution.

    It consists in replacing a dom7 chord by another dominant 7th chord whose root is a tritone away from this initial chord. Example with G7 (V), which can be replaced by Db7 which is a tritone (three whole-steps) away from G7

    Thus giving two chords that have two notes in common. The 7th of G7 (F) is the third of Db7 and the third of G7 (B) is the seventh of Db7. The inversion of the 3rds and the 7ths between the original dominant chord (V) and the substituted dominant chord (bII7) is the main feature of the tritone substitution.

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  • Stella by Starlight - Jazz guitar chord melody lesson

    A new video is online on the youtube channel. It is a quick jazz guitar chord melody arrangement with chord diagrams of the famous jazz standard "Stella by Starlight" (Victor Young). 

     

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  • What's a Half-Diminished Chord (m7b5)

    This guitar lesson explains what is m7b5 chord, how to play it on guitar and how to apply it in common harmonic contexts as major and minor II-V-I progressions.

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  • Extended Major 7th Chords | Guitar Diagrams & Voicings

    Tetrad chords (aka four-note chords) represent the backbone of jazz harmony. It is common to extend them with extra tones. These other notes form the upper structure of a chord which includes the 9th, 11th and 13th.

    Adding extensions to chords help to get off the beaten tracks and provides some new harmonic colors to your playing (chord soloing, comping, and arrangement).

    This lesson provides useful extended major 7th chord shapes to apply to your playing.

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  • What Is Diatonic Chord Substitution?

    What Is Chord Substitution?

    Chord substitution is to replace a chord by another one to add more harmonic interest to a piece, a song or a chord progression. In jazz music, this technique is widely by composers and improvisers. It can be useful to reharmonize a chord sequence or a jazz standard.

    This lesson will help you better understand what is the diatonic chord substitution.

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  • Guitar Walking Bass Lesson and Improvisation | Bb blues jazz progression

    Guitar walking bassThis lesson is about a 12-bar blues in the key of Bb included two guitar transcriptions with tabs : a guitar walking bass line for the accompaniment and a guitar improvisation to solo over.

    Note that this study is based on a common blues jazz progression? but with a descending chromatic progression in bars 7 & 8 using three dominant 7th chords (Bb7, A7, Ab7) to approach G7 at the end of the bar 8.

    Bb7 | Eb7 | Bb7 | % | 

    Eb7 | Edim7 | Bb7 A7 | Ab7 G7 |

    C-7 | G7 | Bb7 G7 | C-7 F7 | 

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  • How to Play Minor and Major 6 chords on Guitar | 24 Diagrams and Voicings

    6 chordsMajor 6 and minor 6 chords are often used in place of major 7 and minor 7 chords when comping over jazz standards. That's why it is very important to be able to play them on the guitar neck. There are two main types of chords that contains a sixth, M6 and m6. These chords are made up of 4 notes and built with the interval patterns :

    • R-3-5-6 for the major 6 chords.
    • R-b3-5-6 for the minor 6 chords.

    In this post you will see how to play these major 6 and minor 6 chords (root and inverted positions) using 24 guitar diagrams and voicing charts.

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  • So What Chord - Jazz Rhythm Guitar Lesson - Modal Comping

    So what chord - Guitar lessonThe origin of the "so what chord" name would be due to its use by the jazz pianist Bill Evans in the modal tune "So what" by Miles Davis.

    This is a cool and modern sounding chord voicing often used as an alternative to quartal voicings. It is built with a fourth chord on the bottom (3 perfect fourths stacked) and a major third added on the top. 

    This particular chord was originally played on a piano, but it is quite interesting to play it on the guitar to support rhythmically and harmonically a soloist over a modal tune.

    This jazz guitar rhythm lesson with tabs and diagrams provides you some interesting ideas of comping inspired by McCoy Tyner's playing on "impressions" by John Coltrane. 

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  • There Will Never Be Another You - Jazz Guitar Chord Lesson

    There will never be another you - Guitar chord study"There Will Never Be Another You" is a popular song by Harry Warren (music) and Mack Gordon (lyrics). It is one of the most known jazz standards and an indispensable study for any jazz guitarist. This jazz guitar comping lesson provides you different chord voicings (drop 2, inverted, rootless and extended chords) on the top four strings of the guitar to comp over this jazz tune. By the way, it will also give you some new ideas to support harmonically a soloist. Indeed, you may even try to apply these chord voicings to the tunes you are used to playing.

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  • Chords in Fourths - Quartal Harmony

    Quartal harmony - Chords in fourthsWhat is Quartal Harmony?

    To enrich and modernize the harmonization of a piece it is common to use fourth chords. They can replace some original chords to bring more melodic freedom into improvisation and more tension in harmony.

    Since the late 1950s, harmony in fourths has played a very important role in the development of modern jazz. Musicians and composers have used a lot the quartal harmony.

    Among them, the great American pianist McCoy Tyner, who, is a master in the art of playing quartal chords. Mike Stern, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Bill Evans and Kurt Rosewinkel have also used this technique. 

    In this lesson with tabs and shapes, we will see how to build chords in fourths, how to harmonize the major scale with and how to use them in comping. 

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  • What's the Major II-V-I Chord Progression - Guitar Lesson with Shapes , Tabs and Licks

    What's a II-V-I chord progression

    The major II-V-I sequence is the most common chord progression used in jazz music but also in a whole number of styles of music as pop, rock, blues, country. This theoretical element is a must know for any guitarist who wants to learn the jazz language. 

    The 2-5-1 progression is present in many jazz standards (Summertime, Autumn leaves, Blue bossa, All the things you are and many more), this is why it is very important to master it.

     

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  • Harmonized Major Scale - Guitar Lesson With Shapes and Charts

    One of the fundamental theoretical elements to understand music is the harmonization of the major scale. Harmonizing scale is building chords with notes. This lesson explains how to create triads and seventh chords from each note of the major scale.

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  • What Are Guide Tones and How to Use Them

    What are guide tonesWhat Are Guide Tones?

    Guide tones are the notes in a chord which leads or gives harmonic pull toward the next chord, these are an excellent way to study and absorb the sound of any chord progression. 

    Guide tones are used to outline chord progressions in an improvisation. They are most of the time the 3rd and the 7th because this is what determines whether a chord is major, minor, or dominant. 

    This jazz guitar lesson explains how to solo over common jazz progressions using and connecting the guide tones.

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  • How To Connect Dominant 7th Arpeggios In Blues

    Mastering arpeggios is inevitable for anyone who wants to improve its sense of improvisation and bring more musicality to its playing. Practicing and mastering them is a necessity for all jazz guitarists, arpeggios are great tools to improvise over chord changes and jazz standards. 

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  • What Are Drop 2 Voicings - How To Play Them On Guitar

    How to play drop 2 chords on guitarWhat Are Drop 2 Chords?

    Drop 2 chords are formed by dropping the second highest note of a four-note chord in close position down an octave.

    What Does Voicing Means?

    Voicing is the practice of regarding the individual notes of a chord as voices. There are several voicing techniques that can be used to rearrange the notes of a chord as drop 3 or drop 2-4 voicings.

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