Learning Jazz Guitar Scale Patterns – Tips for Success

Learning Jazz Guitar Scale Patterns – Tips for Success

In this video you’ll find out the answers to the following:

  • How do you ensure that you actually remember those jazz scale patterns you’re spending so much time learning in the practice room? 

  • How do you stop tearing your hair out with boredom and start practicing scale patterns in a more musical way?

  • How do you practice scales efficiently to get best results in the shortest possible time?

Check out the above video for the secrets revealed!

Pro tip: If you’re looking for jazz standards to build your set-list, with all the resources and backing tracks in one place, it might be worth giving my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy a try.

It’s got a huge collection of lessons on the site and features many courses focussed around learning classic jazz standards (melody, comping, soloing, chord melody and more).

The best part:

You can get a no obligation, 14-day FREE access pass to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy to see if it is a good fit for you, no credit card required. To get instant access, go here: https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial/

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed today’s post on strategies for learning jazz guitar scale patterns.

Now over to you:

what tips can YOU share with your fellow readers?

Leave a comment below with your ideas and thoughts on this topic…

Greg O’Rourke
Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

How to Kickstart Your Jazz Guitar Practice Routine After a Lull

How to Kickstart Your Jazz Guitar Practice Routine After a Lull

If you haven’t been playing your jazz guitar lately, and finding it hard to get back into a practice routine, then today’s post is for you.

I’ll be honest with you:

It’s not easy to maintain a jazz guitar practice routine.

Whether you’re a student at jazz school seeking to be a pro player, or retired and just want to learn a few jazz standards for your own enjoyment…

The pressures of life can easily disrupt the practice routine of even the most well-intentioned.

But:

There’s a simple approach to firing up your jazz guitar routine and getting back on track.

It’s my ‘Three Day Set-List’ Method. 

Let’s check it out!

Step 1: Choose 3 jazz standards you’ve learned (or half learned) in the past

Go back through your set list or song collection and choose 3 songs that you enjoyed playing in the past. This is going to be your “mini set-list” for the next few days.

 

 Step 2: Get all your ingredients in order

One of the biggest obstacles preventing you from kickstarting your practice again is when your tools and resources are hard to find.

Make sure you have all the “ingredients” at hand to cook your jazz cake, namely:

  • Your guitar is tuned and ready and waiting on a guitar stand (rather than in the guitar case).
  • Get backing tracks for each of the songs you chose in Step 1, and assemble a playlist on your computer or audio player. (Hint: as a shortcut, my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy has high-quality backing tracks for loads of jazz standards at multiple speeds). Otherwise, find some backing tracks on Youtube or elsewhere.
  • If you don’t have them already, get copies of the charts by looking online, or have your real book handy on a music stand.

In a nutshell, I want you to be able to just go straight in your practice session without having to look for tracks or charts. It’s a great feeling to be able to walk straight into your room and begin your “set”.

Step 3: Commit to practicing daily for the next 3 days

When you’re trying to get into a routine again, I find it works better if you don’t focus so much on the analytical and technical aspects of playing.

Instead, what you should do for the first 3 practice sessions is to just “get in the thick of it” and start playing the songs again that you chose in Step 1, running them through as if you were playing your set at a gig.

Don’t be too concerned if it’s all a bit rusty. I just want you to get started again making some music and not trying to get everything perfect. Put self-judgement aside!

So for the next 3 days, play through each of the tunes once or twice through doing the following:

  • Play the melody (reading from the Real Book or charts is perfectly okay)
  • Play through the comping
  • Improvise around the melody for a couple of choruses or do some simple lines you know
  • Play a chord melody version of the head (if you’re skill level permits)

Rinse and repeat for each of the 3 tunes you chose earlier. That’s it!

Benefits of the ‘Three Day Set List’ Method

Try this for 3 days, and you’ll be surprised at what’s happened:

  • You’ll feel like you’ve made a strong start back into your playing.
  • You’ll have the confidence of knowing you’ve got 3 tunes under your belt.
  • You’ll have given yourself a general workout on the guitar and things won’t feel so rusty.
  • You’ll have a good stock of material to develop specific soloing, comping, and chord melody approaches.
  • You’ll be more motivated to practice jazz guitar regularly, and feel like you’ve “gotten over the hump”.

Why this method works

By avoiding self-judgement, and simply committing to playing a set list daily for 3 days in a row, you’ll instantly have a set of tunes under your belt that you can improvise over a little.

That’s a very satisfying outcome for just 3 practice sessions, and it will give you the confidence and encouragement to continue your studies.

Here’s the thing:

Often players start to lose interest in jazz because they get too caught up in analytical approaches, technique, and “trying to get it right”. In doing so they miss the heart center of jazz, which is beautiful melodies, cool harmonies, and a living rhythm.

Once you have a solid set-list, it then becomes much easier to build more advanced approaches to soloing and so forth.

If you don’t have a set-list, it’s hard to put the various jazz techniques you’re learning into context. It’s very important to make sure you have a set of tunes you can play with familiarity.

If you’re stuck in a rut, I highly recommend you give this ‘3 Day Set-List’ method a try.

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Pro tip: If you’re looking for jazz standards to build your set-list, with all the resources and backing tracks in one place, it might be worth giving my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy a try.

It’s got a huge collection of lessons on the site and features many courses focussed around learning classic jazz standards (melody, comping, soloing, chord melody and more).

The best part:

You can get a no obligation, 14-day FREE access pass to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy to see if it is a good fit for you, no credit card required. To get instant access, go here: https://www.fretdojo.com/free-trial/

Wrap Up

I hope you enjoyed today’s post on this very important topic of re-kickstarting your practice routine for jazz guitar.

How about you – what ideas do YOU have for getting your practice routine “back into gear?”

Leave a comment below with your ideas and thoughts on this topic…

Greg O’Rourke
Founder, FretDojo
World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

‘Upgrading’ Rhythms on Your Jazz Licks

‘Upgrading’ Rhythms on Your Jazz Licks

Want a quick summary of this lesson?

Get your Handy PDF Download: Click this link to get a print friendly version of all the exercises in this post for your practice.

Recently I put together a complete lesson series on the classic jazz standard ‘Stella By Starlight. Today’s post is a sneak peek of one of the lessons. Find out how to get the full series of these lessons on improvising over Stella By Starlight by clicking here.

 

==

 In this free lesson, you’re going to learn:

  • A neat trick for creating flashy virtuosic phrases out of material you already know.

Something I get asked about all the time by my students is:

“I’m tired of playing eighth note lines all the time! Can you give us something faster and more flashy to play?”

Here’s the thing:

You don’t need to learn anything new to be able to play faster phrases. In fact, you have everything you need at your fingertips already.

Watch the above video where I’m going to show you a neat way to manipulate the rhythms and placement of your slower licks to turn them into virtuosic sounding triplet and double time lines.

 

Example Of ‘Upgrading’ The Rhythm of a Lick

Here’s the example lick I used in the above video:

 
Example Lick – See video at 01:22

 

To make this into a faster line, I could simply transform the rhythms into triplets.

However, that means you won’t have enough material to fill out this chord progression anymore – you’ll need more notes to fill out the line.

But here’s the trick: delay the entry of the new faster line a few beats or even a whole bar into the chord progression, like so:

 

 Voila! You now have a neat sounding triplet phrase to provide a bit more rhythmic variety in your soloing that still makes sense over the chord progression.

Enjoyed this post?
Get your Handy PDF Download: Click this link to get a print friendly version of all the exercises in this post for your practice.

 So there you have it – the ‘Rhythm Upgrade’ trick – a simple way to get far more “bang for your buck” from the lines you spend your precious time learning.

That’s it for today’s lesson – let me know what you thought of this cool rhythm trick by leaving a comment below…

==

This concludes this free excerpt of my ‘Stella By Starlight Decoded’ lesson series. To get instant access to the rest of the lessons in this new series (as well as a large number of other lessons on a variety of classic jazz standards for guitar), they are all included in my revolutionary online program, the FretDojo Academy Club. Find out more about the Club here…

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

What happens when you put a jazz improviser in an MRI scanner?

I thought I would share this very interesting video with you today.

It’s a scientific study by medical researcher Charles Limb on what neurologically happens in the brain when you improvise, as opposed to playing pre-learned musical material from memory.

What was the scientific method for this study?

The answer:

Putting experienced jazz improvisers in an MRI scanner to monitor their brain function, as they played jazz on a magnetically resistant MIDI keyboard lying down, whilst trying to keep their head as still as possible.

No easy task for a pianist. (Keith Jarrett comes to mind!)

Although it’s a preliminary study, I think it does shed light on what we could learn from an experienced improviser’s brain functioning.

This is a couple of big takeaways I got from the video:

1. When an experienced jazz musician improvises music (as opposed to playing pre-learned material), areas of the brain associated with self-expression become activated, whilst areas associated with self-inhibition reduce in function.

I found this fascinating as it correlates with my own and others anecdotal experience that improvised music flows best when you are able to transcend your own self-monitoring, be prepared to explore musically and to allow mistakes without inhibition.

2.Improvised music activates areas of the brain associated with language learning

The idea of jazz functioning as a spoken language is often used by jazz performers and teachers. In fact, this concept heavily influenced the way I designed my Fundamentals of Jazz Guitar Improvisation course that I’m currently taking students through at the moment. In the course, students learn a collection of often used jazz ‘words’ and phrases from general jazz vocabulary, and then learn how to string these basic musical words together in various ways as they improvise.

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

Anyway, over to YOU. What do you think about this video?

Let me know below.

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

 

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

Walking Bass For Jazz Guitar – Three Easy Steps

Recently I put together a how-to guide to building walking basslines on jazz guitar. Today’s post is a sneak peek of the first lesson. Find out how to get the full series of these lessons on walking bass by clicking here.

==

In this lesson, you’re going to learn:

  • How to assemble single line basslines on guitar in 3 easy steps
Lesson Resources:

(Right Click + Save As…)

Though walking bass might seem a complex technique, it doesn’t take much work to get a convincing bassline under your fingers.

As you’ll see in the above video, you can break down the basic approach to walking bass in just three simple steps.

 

Step 1: Play Root Notes On Beat 1 of Each Bar

The bulk of the bass player’s job is to emphasize the root notes of the harmony. So establishing the sound of the root note on beat 1 of each bar makes a lot of sense for a bass player.

 

Step 2: Add Approach Notes On Beat 4 of Each Bar

The next step is to add some sort of approach note on beat 4 that leads to the root note of the next bar. It sounds most jazzy when you add a chromatic note as the approach note, however, you can use diatonic notes as well as approach notes. (Diatonic means using the scale notes that relate to the current key).

 

Step 3: Add ‘Walking Notes’ on Beats 2 & 3

 

To complete your walking bassline, you just need to add two more notes in between the root note of beat 1, and the approach note of beat 4.

These can be any of the following:

  • Diatonic notes from the scale of the given key
  • Chromatic notes, or
  • Arpeggios.

 

Task:  Watch the above video, then learn to play each of the musical examples given in each of the three steps above. Once you’ve done that, experiment taking the principles covered in this lesson to compose or improvise your own basslines over the progression used in these examples.

In the next lesson, you’re going to learn how to play chords at the same time as this walking bass line – sounds hard to do? If you know a few simple tricks, it’s not hard at all. I’ll show you how to do it in the next lesson of this series…

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

==

This concludes this free excerpt of my ‘Walking Bass For Jazz Guitar Primer’ lesson series. To get instant access to the rest of the lessons in this new series (as well as a large number of other lessons), they are all included in my new online program, the FretDojo Academy Club. Find out more about the Club here…

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!

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