Learn how to play like your Jazz favorite guitarist with these essential Jazz guitar lessons. Everyone can have fun learning how to play Jazz guitar.

Deck the Halls Guitar Chords
Christmas songs are not only fun to sing with friends and family, they’re great to work out on the guitar. There’s something comforting about sitting around the fireplace, having a glass of eggnog (OK maybe not that), and singing carols with friends and family. To help keep the guitar in your hands this holiday season,
Today was a typical day for me as a guitar teacher. I woke up, drank my coffee, answered some emails and got ready to start my day in the studio teaching guitar. My first student was in Adelaide, Australia. We chatted about his day, his was ending as mine was beginning, and then dove into
The augmented scale is a symmetrical melodic device that is used to outline a maj7#5 sound in your guitar solos. Used mostly by jazz and fusion guitarists, this scale brings tension to your solos as you apply this hexatonic shape to major family chords. In this lesson, you learn how to build the augmented scale,
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
The tritone scale is a symmetrical scale that’s used to solo over dominant 7th chords when you want to bring out a 7alt sound in your solos. Built by playing two major triads a tritone apart, this scale creates a 7#11,b9 sound when applied to any 7th chords on guitar. In this lesson, you learn
The chromatic scale is one of the scales that every guitarist has heard of, but that many are unsure how to apply to their playing. This scale is an effective tool for learning the fretboard while building technique at the same time. Building chops and fretboard knowledge are the two main reasons why you study this scale,
You might not know this scale on guitar, but if you’ve ever seen a dream sequence in a movie, you’ve heard the whole tone scale. Used to solo over 7th chords when you want to highlight the #4 and #5 notes, this 6-note scale is built with whole tone intervals, hence the name. Though you
The diminished scale is an 8-note scale that is built by alternating whole and half steps from any root note. There are two diminished scales in modern music, the fully diminished and dominant diminished scales. Though they share a name, each scale is used to outline different chords in your solos. The dominant scale is
One of the coolest things about guitar is that you can play chords, create single-note lines, and walk basslines on the same instrument. Playing multiple parts on the fretboard opens new doors in your playing and creates new gig opportunities as well. If you can walk a bassline and comp chords, you’re able to play

The Complete Guide to Triad Pairs

There are a number of ways to expand your vocabulary beyond scales on the guitar, and one of the most powerful is triad pairs. Triad pairs outline chord changes and use simple fingerings, while never sounding like running scales in your solos. In effect, you us 6 of the 7 notes of any diatonic scale,
Guitar triads are probably the first thing you learned how to play. C, G, Dm, Am, are all triads that guitarists learn in the first few days of picking up the instrument. But, while learning open-position chords is essential, the mistake guitarists make is to stop their study of triads at that point. By doing
I think you agree that guitarists spend most of their time playing rhythm and chords in a group setting. Because of this, it’s essential to develop an understanding of chords, chord scales, and chord progressions in your studies. After learning chords, the most important next step is to run those shapes through chord scales. Chord scales are
The bebop scale an 8-note scale that uses passing notes to create tension and release in your improvised solos. By adding a major 7th passing note to different modes, you create bebop scales that outline 7th, m7, maj7, and 7alt chords. By learning how to build, play, and solo with these scales, you open up
Drop 2 and 4 chords aren’t the most common shapes, but they offer a variety of new sounds to explore in your comping, chord soloing, and chord melody. These 4-note chords offer “full-sounding” voicings are used in place of drop 2 and drop 3 chords when you’re looking for a sense of variety in your chord

The Complete Guide to Chord Melody

Jazz guitarists love chord melody arrangements, and for good reason. Playing chords, bass notes, and licks over a melody lifts any jazz standard from the mundane to exciting. Though you love to listen to players such as Joe Pass, Ted Greene, and Ed Bickert, it can seem that chord melody is out of reach. But,
Have you ever found yourself feeling confident about 7th chords, but then you see a chart with a 9th chord, you’re stopped in your tracks? This is an issue that many jazz guitarists struggle with, adding extended chords to the root-7th chords you worked hard to get under your fingers. Learning extended chords helps you over
Along with chords, scales, and arpeggios, jazz improvisation skills are essential for any jazz guitarist. When soloing with scales and arpeggios the notes sound correct, but they lack that special something that makes you sound like your favorite guitarist. This special something is jazz vocabulary. Mixing jazz vocabulary with scales, chords, and arpeggios, builds a strong
Drop 3 chords are used by many legendary jazz guitarists in their playing, and are some of the first voicings players learn when exploring jazz rhythm guitar. From Joe Pass, to Wes Montgomery, to Pat Metheny, drop 3 chords are found in the comping, chord melody, and soloing of the best in the business. For
Drop 2 chords are one of the most popular guitar chord shapes, and are built with the root-position interval pattern R-5-7-3. These powerful chords are used to comp, chord solo, and build chord melodies by the greatest names in guitar history. Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, George Benson, and others have used drop 2
One of the best ways to develop an organized and effective practice routine is to learn jazz standards. Standards are a universal language you can use to communicate with other jazz musicians. Even if you haven’t met those musicians before, you can still make music together. They’re also the backbone of the rich history of
Though many jam session songs are in 4/4 time, jazz waltz tunes are essential learning for any serious jazz guitarist. Providing variety in your set list, and moving your creativity into different grooves, jazz waltz tunes are fun and challenging to learn. While many guitarists play a 3/4 tune from time to time, few dig
Along with jazz blues, rhythm changes is the most commonly called form at jam sessions and gigs. Because rhythm changes is so popular, as a jazz guitarist you need a strong understanding of this 32-bar form from a soloing and comping perspective. While you may know rhythm changes is important, you may not know where
Learning jazz guitar licks is essential for anyone studying the genre. By working jazz guitar licks, you increase your fretboard knowledge and build a strong connection to the jazz tradition at the same time. While you may know that it’s important to practice jazz guitar licks, finding the right lines to work on can be
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing. No truer statement has been made about what it means to play jazz and jazz. Learning scales, chords, and arpeggios teaches you what to play, but it’s how you play these devices that makes you sound like jazz. Studying jazz rhythms from a comping
Brazilian jazz is one of the most popular genres of modern guitar. With seductive swing, captivating melodies, and cool progressions, Brazilian jazz is one of the first genres that guitarists explore beyond bebop. With a lineage of world-class players, such as Laurindo Almeida, Baden Powell, and Toninho Horta, guitarists have played a big role in
I think you agree that jazz phrasing is an essential skill for any improviser to possess. You can play all the hip jazz lines you like, but if you don’t punctuate your phrases, or always play the same phrase lengths, then yourlicks become predictable a run-on sentence. While you may know that studying jazz phrasing
The pentatonic scale, which means “five note scale,” is a melodic device that’s been the source for some of the greatest riffs and guitar solos in recorded history. Because of this, you might know how important it is that you master this 5-note scale. But. What you may not know, is that there are many
I think you’ll agree that fingerstyle guitar sounds great, but it can be tough to know where to start. There seems to be countless fingerpicking exercises to work on even before you can play your first fingerstyle song on guitar. This leads to frustration, and more often than not, guitarists avoiding fingerstyle all together. But
Guide tones are a topic that comes up early and often when learning how to play jazz guitar. These essential chord tones outline chord progressions in the smoothest way possible, and therefore are essential jazz guitar tools. While you may have read about guide tones, you might not know how these small musical devices can
Jazz guitar chords are essential tools for any jazz guitarist to have under their fingers. They’re also the cause of much mystery to beginning jazz guitarists. There seems to be a never-ending list of chords to learn to even get started with jazz rhythm guitar. While the mountain ahead of you seems tall and steep,
Scale patterns are an essential guitar technique that builds chops, expands fretboard knowledge, and gives you inspiration in your guitar solos. Though they benefit every guitarist, you might not know how to get the most out of this guitar technique in your practicing. This article shows you how to play over 60 different scale patterns,
I think you’ll agree that learning how to play guitar scales and modes is essential for any modern musician. Learning scales and applying these patterns to soloing situations greatly improves your ability to improvise on guitar. Because they’re important tools, you may have started to learn how to play scales and modes already. You may
I think you’ll agree, that the most direct way to solo over chord progressions is to use guitar arpeggios. By using arpeggios, you target chord tones for each change in the progression. While you can use arpeggios to hit every chord in your solos, that’s easier said than done. You often need to change arpeggios with

What Are the 3 Elements of Music

Whenever I get asked to teach a workshop or a clinic, one of the topics that I like to talk about is “The 3 Elements of Music.” These are the 3 most important items that any musician needs to be successful, plus a fourth that I add in at the end of the talk. These
One of the most important aspects of playing jazz guitar is building a confident and creative approach to jazz guitar soloing. While nobody wants to recite licks when soloing, you need to study the jazz tradition to allow the history of the genre to come through in your solos. To help you build your jazz
As a guitarist, the biggest and most expensive decision you make is the purchase of a jazz guitar. With so many makes and models, it’s harder than ever to find the best jazz guitar for you. Choosing the right body, color, wood, and hardware leads to hours of research and agonizing over whether you prefer
One of the first scales you encounter when learning how to play guitar is the major scale. The major scale is used to solo over major family chords, especially tonic major chords, such as major, maj7, maj9, 6, and 6/9 chords. Though it’s called the major scale, it’s also referred to as the Ionian mode, so

10 Essential Jazz Guitar Albums

When I was a kid, there was no YouTube, Spotify, or iTunes, and living in a small town made finding jazz guitar albums difficult to say the least. After buying every jazz album at my local record store, I scoured mail order catalogues looking for the next addition to my collection. Without any direction, I found some
If you’re here, then you’re interested in improving the most ignored areas of any player’s tool belt, reading music on guitar. While other articles dig into how to read music on guitar, many of us need to begin by asking ourselves: “What’s the point to reading music on guitar?” If you’re like many guitarists, you’ve felt
Practicing guitar can be frustrating, and nobody knows that more than I do. There are days where you hate everything you play. All you hear are bum notes, nothing is flowing, and you ask yourself why you even try. But this doesn’t have to be the case. What if you could have a positive attitude towards
A guitar practice routine is the most effective way to grow as a musician. No matter what style of music you play, or your experience level, organized practice time helps you grow as a player. But. Finding time to sit down and work out a routine, and then spend time each day practicing, seem like a
Minor blues tunes are some of the most popular and enjoyable songs to jam over. With a more open feel compared to major blues tunes, these changes allow for a variety of chord subs and alterations. In this lesson, you learn six different minor blues progressions and the theory behind each version. As well, you
Jazz blues is the most important musical forms to study when studying jazz guitar. The jazz blues progression is the basis for many of the most famous songs in jazz. It’s also the most popular form called at jazz jam sessions and pick-up gigs. Because of this, knowing jazz blues chords is an essential skill
If you’ve started to learn jazz guitar, then you’ll agree that it can seem like an overwhelming task. But it doesn’t have to feel that way. Sure, you need to learn technique, concepts, tunes, and transcriptions, but you don’t have to overwhelm yourself in the process. Learning jazz guitar can be a fun and exciting, albeit
A big part of learning to play jazz guitar is learning how to play standards. And, playing jazz guitar standards means studying the Great American Songbook. As a jazz guitar teacher, I’m often asked which tunes beginning guitarists should learn when starting their exploration of jazz. In this article, you learn 10 must-know easy jazz standards that every
When learning jazz chords, essential shapes and progressions can be difficult to play on guitar. While there are grips that take time to master, there are also easy jazz chords that you can learn today. By working small, easy to play chords, you confidently outline chord progressions without needing to grow an extra finger in
If there’s one question I get the most from readers and students, it’s this: “I want to play jazz guitar. But, how do I learn how to play jazz guitar?” For many players, learning jazz guitar means playing chords, scales, and arpeggios in all 12 keys. Practicing is all technique and no creativity. But to
I think you’ll agree that learning jazz guitar seems tough on a good day, and impossible on a bad day. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, learning jazz guitar can be fun, easy to get started, and enjoyable. The 10 lessons in this guide do just that. Each lesson breaks down
The blues scale, whether it’s major or minor, is one of the most widely used scales in modern music. Minor and major blues scales are also the first scales that guitarists learn when exploring lead guitar. Because they’re probably the first scales you learned, you might have studied them for a bit, got the shapes
Learning how to pick, strum, or pluck guitar chords is one of the coolest parts about playing the instrument. There’s something about the sound of a strummed guitar chord that just sounds right. And there’s no better feeling than finding the right chord shape to fit the song you’re learning, or writing. Though they’re one