Free jazz guitar lessons

How To Approach 2-5-1 Licks 

Hey all,

I hope the world is being kind to you! Today I uploaded a video discussing how I would approach learning a 2-5-1 lick. These licks are some of the foundational vocabulary Jazz Musicians use to improvise and are something that every Jazz guitarist will confront at some point in their musical life. To help ease the learning process I have written out a collection of five licks, 3 in C Major and 2 in C minor. I will break down how I approach learning these below, but if you would rather watch my video you can find that here  

Step 1: Learn and master the lick as written. Pay attention to what scale degree’s are being used and what the lick sounds like. Start playing it free of time and then slowly start to bring it up in tempo.

Step 2: Try to find at least 2 other ways to finger it. If you’re starting from a note of the A string, see what changes if you play the same lick starting on the low E string. What about if you start from the D string? Being flexible in terms of how many positions you can begin from will allow you the most freedom to utilize these licks in your own improvisations.

Step 3: Now that you’ve learned multiple positions its time to start moving them around the circle of fifths so that you gradually work on them in all 12 keys. The 1 chords around the circle of fifths would be as follows: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G. 

That’s it for me today, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me through my contact page. Happy practicing!

Matt

How to Voicelead Drop 2 Chords 

Hope you’re all doing well!

I just posted another video discussing how to Voicelead drop 2 songs on the top four strings! Remember, if you’re looking to Voicelead these chords the recipe for success is Root Position - Fifth in Bass - Root Position - Fifth in Bass OR Fifth in Bass - Root Position - Fifth in Bass - Root Position. If you have any questions either comment here or on youtube or use the contact form on this website! 

If you’d like to check out the youtube video you can find that here

ANOTHER 8 Essential Jazz Guitar Chords 

Hey Guys!

I just uploaded a new video demonstrating another 8 Jazz Guitar Chords that are essential to all developing players. These chord voicings are know as drop 2 chords. These chords sound great and are often played on the top 4 strings. Below I have chord sheets demonstrating Major 7, Minor 7, Dominant 7 and Minor 7b5 (or half diminished) chord shapes in both root position and fifth in bass forms.

Root position Drop 2’s: I would start learning these chords in the key of Eb major. You can find the roots on your D string and the chords would be as follows - Ebmaj7-Fmin7-Gmin7-Abmaj7-Bb7-Cmin7-Dmin7b5

Fifth in bass Drop 2’s: For these chords you can find the root of the chords on your G string. I’d recommend starting with the key of Ab major. The chords would be as follows - Abmaj7-Bbmin7-Cmin7-Dbmaj7-Eb7-Fmin7-Gmin7b5

These chords work great on their own but also sound great if you change between some of your drop 3 chords and these. Please feel free to check out my video on these here and if you have any questions feel free to comment on this post or reach out through the contact form. 

Have a great day!

Introduction To Voiceleading 

I’ve just uploaded a new video to act as a follow up to my previous blog discussing how to apply the concept of voice leading to the 8 chord shapes that we learned. It gives practical examples of how to start working the shapes into your playing both in terms of exercises and in terms of adding them to your repertoire. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment or contact me through the contact page on my site. Here’s the link https://youtu.be/uLKc30xZLG0

8 Essential Beginner Jazz Guitar Chords 

I hope you’re doing well!

Today I wanted to share with you 8 chords that I consider essential knowledge for anyone starting out playing Jazz guitar. These voicings are known as drop 3 chords and once you are comfortable playing all 8 shapes you will be able to play almost any Jazz Standard! I have written out the four main chord types in both root position and second inversion (or “fifth in bass”) as these are the most stable sounding inversions of the chord. I have included chord charts below and a link to a YouTube video where I demonstrate how to play these chords as well! *All roots on the chord sheets below are left hollow*

YouTube Demo

Root Position Drop 3’s:

-I would recommend getting comfortable playing all these shapes on the third fret of the low E string (Root=G)

-Once you get comfortable with the shapes I would harmonize the G major scale moving all the way up the neck (Gmaj7, Amin7, Bmin7, Cmaj7, D7, Emin7, F#min7b5)

-After you have practiced this in G it’s incredibly useful to practice this in the other 11 keys as well!

 

Fifth In Bass (or second inversion) Drop 3’s:

-For these shapes I would recommend learning them in the key of D with the root on the third fret of the B string (remember this chord is inverted so that the root is on the B string and is therefor NOT the lowest note in the chord)

-Repeat the steps you took with root position chords! (In D major the harmonized sequence of chords would be Dmaj7, Emin7, F#min7, Gmaj7, A7, Bmin7, C#min7b5)

 

Once you have gotten comfortable playing these chords the next step is to apply them to a tune (or tunes!) that you’re working on!