Video: Fast Blues Solo

Video: Fast Blues Solo

Check this out:

This is something I’ve been working on lately in the FretDojo Academy Club, my monthly online jazz standard learning group.

I’ve been looking in detail at the soloing approaches of Grant Green, the “hidden master” of guitar single line bebop soloing.

We’ve had a ball studying Green’s approaches, and the above video is an example of what my students are learning to do when it comes to single line improvisation over the blues form.

Interested in joining them? Get instant access to the “blues soloing blueprint” lesson series here, along with over 50 other lessons on a variety of classic jazz standards to build your repertoire right away:

http://www.fretdojo.com/club

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, let me know what you think of the solo, would love to hear from you!

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!

Enter the Jazz Guitar Dragon

Enter the Jazz Guitar Dragon

I’ve been ruminating today on this quote by Bruce Lee:

“Not being tense but ready.
Not thinking but not dreaming.
Not being set but flexible.
Liberation from the uneasy sense of confinement.
It is being wholly and quietly alive, aware and alert, ready for whatever may come.”

The point where true spontaneity happens in jazz is along the lines of what Bruce Lee talks about in this quote.

If you’re tense, you won’t feel the rhythm – but you still have to be alert to keep up with the changes.

Agility and flexibility in how you play your lines are the keys to making improvisation sound fresh and alive.

I particularly find the second line very interesting:

“Not thinking but not dreaming…”.

Thinking about things too much when you’re on the bandstand is a big problem. If you’re often crashing and burning on stage, this could be the main issue.

The problem with most jazz instruction is that it encourages you to be too cerebral when it comes to your music making.

Knowing the theory, scales, and language behind jazz concepts is important, but if you’re not careful you can suffer from “paralysis by analysis” on the bandstand if you are preoccupied with those things in the heat of the moment.

You need to eventually transcend the concepts. When you do, jazz becomes something deeper, and as natural as breathing.

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, just something to think about in your practice today.

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

P.S. – If you’re looking for a structured pathway to master jazz guitar in a supportive online community then why not give my FretDojo Academy Club spin? No hidden fees, and you can cancel any time. Sign up here:

http://www.fretdojo.com/club

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’s best: structured or unstructured jazz practice?

What’s best: structured or unstructured jazz practice?

There was an interesting discussion among FretDojo students today about structured vs unstructured practice when it comes to jazz guitar.
Some thought it was important for an aspiring jazz improviser to not have very much structure in their practice, e.g:
“Maybe classical musicians are a bit more inclined to do structured practice sessions, but jazz guys belong more to the jam session kind of musicians… ;-)”

An interesting discussion, for sure.

Here are my two cents:

In my experience, you need to actually be more structured in your jazz practice than when I was studying classical way back when.

The reason:

Being able to use jazz vocabulary (and not just recite it but to improvise with it) requires it to be, ironically, learned very very well. You need to learn it to a much deeper level in my experience than simply reciting off a pre-written classical piece.

It’s only when you have completely learned the inside and out of a line and internalized it before you can truly improvise with it.

There’s an interesting parallel here with a legend in Greek mythology. Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, gives birth to the Muses of creativity. In the same way, true creativity doesn’t come out of thin air but actually requires deeply learned material as a prerequisite.

It’s only through a regular routine of well-structured practice that you can deeply learn material and thus improvise confidently as a result. Note though that I do include in my practice session a period of ‘free for all’ time when anything goes (and it’s important you do this), but this is just one part of a well-balanced practice routine.

Anyway, many of my students from around the world have commented how helpful my FretDojo Academy Club has been important for creating goals and structure in their jazz guitar practice. Every month it features a new tune with a beginner, intermediate and advanced learning pathway, with clear step-by-step checklists to guide you on how to master the material in the shortest possible time.
Here are the details if you’re interested in finding out more and joining in:

www.fretdojo.com/club

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!

The shocking proof that your jazz ability is all in the mind

The shocking proof that your jazz ability is all in the mind

Here’s a little story about an intriguing conversation I had today with a fellow musician, that I hadn’t met up with in years.

Today I went with my son to a local music shop to inquire about piano lessons for him. (It’s quite hard finding a good piano teacher as it turns out.)

I got a nice surprise to see Kayla, a jazz violinist that I’d done a number of gigs with years ago, but haven’t heard from much since then.

“Kayla! So nice to see you again. How’s your music going?”

“Nice to see you Greg. Yes, the music’s going well, I’ve been doing a lot of symphony orchestra gigs lately, and other bits and pieces.”

“Nice one!” I replied. “And how’s your jazz playing coming along?”

Momentarily, I noticed her eyes turn down to the floor before she responded.

“Well…I actually stopped playing jazz a few years ago,” she replied. “Hehe…it came to a point where I had to stop pretending that I could play that kind of music.”

I departed the music store, reflecting on that strange comment.

You see, we both got into jazz roughly around the same time, and from similar backgrounds, i.e. transitioning from classical music.

And it made me wonder…

Why did Kayla ditch jazz entirely, while in the same space of time I was able to build one of the largest jazz guitar education websites in the world?

It didn’t make sense. I was impressed with her playing those years back, and I remember thinking how far she was going to go with jazz.

The clue to this puzzle is when she said: “It came to a point where I had to stop pretending that I could play that kind of music.”

This indicates that, deep down, she had a fixed idea about the kind of music she could play. She believed she didn’t have any ability as a jazz player.

But it wasn’t true. She was a rising talent in jazz, with a promising career ahead of her.

The moral of the story:

Regardless of what technical obstacles you might face on the instrument, how much practice time you’re able to get on the guitar, or what kind of connections you have to other musicians or lack thereof….

There is one thing, above all else, that will make or break you as a jazz player.

It’s this:

What you believe about yourself.

This is by far the most important thing you need to make sure is sorted out.

There was only one thing I did differently to Kayla:

I believed in my ability to learn, and my ability to progress (whereas Kayla didn’t).

The outcome:

I got results, and nowadays I’m enjoying playing jazz every time I pick the guitar up.

And it’s how YOU can get the results you want with jazz guitar, too.

As your first step in this journey, make the commitment to become a great jazz guitarist by signing up to my FretDojo Academy Club, and get instant access to all the tools which will bring your desire to master jazz guitar a reality.

Go here for more info:

www.fretdojo.com/club

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!

The biggest “mistake” of all

The biggest “mistake” of all

Do you know one of the biggest stumbling blocks is getting started with jazz guitar?

This is a big one:

Thinking you need to sound perfect right from the start.

Ironically, this is one of the things that will block you from improving with jazz.

Here’s why:

Mistakes are crucially important to make when you are developing your improvising skills in the woodshed.

The reason:

It’s only through playing the ‘wrong notes’ that you learn what the actual ‘right notes’ are.

Furthermore:

Mastering jazz improvisation is all about learning how to use ‘wrong’ notes – as a way to smoothly lead to the right ones.

As one of my students John commented once:

“There are no wrong notes, only wrong resolutions”.

So take note:

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes when you practice. It’s an important part of the learning process.

Meditate on this, my apprentice.

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

 

P.S. If you’re looking for somewhere to experiment with learning how to improvise in a safe, encouraging and nonjudgemental environment, then look no further than my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

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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