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Johnny Smith Interview

Jazz Guitarist Johnny Smith Interview

As I entered into the second year of my doctoral studies at the University of Illinois, it came time to choose a topic for my dissertation. After brainstorming, deciding, reconsidering, and starting from scratch many times on a topic of research, I had a long and important conversation with my friend Marc. During that conversation…

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ii V I Wes Octave Licks 2

3 ii V I Wes Octave Licks for Jazz Guitar

As I’m a huge fan of Wes Montgomery’s Jazz Guitar Work, I’ve spent many years studying his single note and chord soloing ideas. But, as we all know, one of the most unique things about Wes’ playing was his ability to create intricate octave lines with ease at almost impossible speeds during his jazz guitar…

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Joe Pass Dominant Chords - 7ths

Joe Pass Dominant Chords For Jazz Guitar

Jazz Guitarist Joe Pass was a legendary player and a master of comping and chord soloing as well as single-note soloing. Since there are an almost endless number of dominant chord shapes to learn and explore on the guitar, I’ve decided to write out a few of my favorites that I’ve pulled from Joe’s playing…

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Birds of Fire Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About John McLaughlin

During the British Invasion of the mid 1960s, many young guitarists were influenced by the new sounds they heard emanating from their radios and TV screens. Guitars played by Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards and Jeff Beck were taking American blues and rock music to new heights with their hard driving riffs and soaring…

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Pat Martino El Hombre Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About Pat Martino

While there have been many great jazz guitarists over the years, Pat Azzara, or Pat Martino (1944-) as he was later known, may be considered the jazz genre’s wunderkind. Martino began playing the guitar at a very early age, and with the encouragement of his father, an accomplished guitarist himself, pursued guitar lessons with a…

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Joe Pass Virtuoso In New York Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About Joe Pass

Joseph Passalaqua, better known as Joe Pass (1929-1994), is one of the most recognizable figures in the world of jazz guitar. Even today, years after his death in 1994, he is one of the most listened to and studied guitarists of any generation. His ability to meld blistering single-note lines, beautifully crafted chord solos and…

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Wes Montgomery Full House Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About Wes Montgomery

When most people hear the words “jazz guitar,” an image of the legendary Wes Montgomery (1925-1968) will most often pop into their heads. Though there were many great players before Wes, and many since, “The Thumb,” as he became known, has managed to remain the quintessential jazz guitarist in the public psyche. Wes never learned…

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Johnny Smith Royal Roost Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About Johnny Smith

Johnny Smith (1922-2013) is often considered to be the first all-around jazz guitar virtuoso. Whereas George Van Eps pushed the boundaries of chords and harmony on the guitar and Charlie Christian revolutionized single note soloing, Smith was able to master both of these approaches, as well as becoming one of the most in demand composers…

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The Genius of the Electric Guitar Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About Charlie Christian

If George Van Eps was the laid back father figure of early jazz guitar, then Charlie Christian (1916-1942) was the rebellious teenage son. Christian lived a hard life, starting from his musical beginnings in Oklahoma where he was forced to become a professional musician when his father was stricken blind and the three children had…

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George Van Eps My Guitar Album Cover

Jazz Guitar Legends – Learn About George Van Eps

Throughout a performing and teaching career that spanned more than six decades, George Van Eps (1913-1998) was able to completely change the way guitarists of all genres viewed the instrument and its role in modern music. One of Eps’ biggest contributions to the world of jazz guitar was his use of the seven-string archtop guitar,…

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