Course Details – Fundamentals Of Jazz Guitar Improvisation:

Recommended Course Prerequisites:

  • How to read music notation. It’s not necessary to sight-read music, but it would make it easier for you if you can at least ‘limp’ through notation enough to be able to figure out the basic notes and rhythms. Note though that TAB will be provided for all the musical examples if you are more familiar with tablature.
  • Knowing where most of the notes are on the fretboard. Again there is no need for instant recognition, however, it would be beneficial if you have a way of working out what the names are.
  • Understanding of basic harmony: i.e. understanding of what a major chord, a minor chord and a dominant chord is. Note that beyond that, it’s not necessary to have any significant understanding of jazz theory – we’ll cover the essentials throughout the course.
  • This course is not suited for a complete beginner at guitar. It is for someone that has been playing guitar for a while, with an intermediate level technique, but is struggling to learn to improvise on guitar.

What You Will Need For The Course:

  • 1 hour per week to study the recorded lectures and accompanying materials
  • At least 45 minutes of practice time per day, at least 5 days a week
  • A computer, or tablet connected to the Internet so you can view the video lessons and access the course content. You can access the course on a mobile phone, however the music might be a bit hard to read if it’s that tiny :) You’ll get the best experience on a computer or tablet.

 Tunes You’ll Learn:

Throughout the course, you’ll learn 5 of the most well known and loved jazz standards – which are some of the most commonly played ones at gigs and jam sessions:

  • Summertime
  • Autumn Leaves
  • Tune Up
  • Impressions
  • Blue Bossa

I chose these tunes because these feature the most common chord progressions in the jazz language. If you can improvise over the chord progressions in these tunes, you’ll be able to improvise over hundreds of other jazz standards!

Sample Lesson: Fundamentals Of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

Course Details – Fast Lane Total Technique Roadmap:

Click each of the blue boxes below to find out what’s included in each module:  

Module 1: Core Principles To Supercharging Your Technique

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

The relationship between the conscious and subconscious mind, and how this holds the secret to your rapid technical improvement on the guitar

  • How to structure your technique practice to get maximum results with a minimum of effort
  • An overview of our innovative “Technique Triangle” System, so you understand how to break up your technique practice into manageable, easy to understand components

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 1: How NOT To Practice Technique – And What You Need To Do Instead
  • Lesson 2: The Technique Triangle
  • Lesson 3: It’s Not What You Practice, but How 

Module 2: Choose Your Path: Plectrum, Fingerstyle or Hybrid

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • Detailed how-to guides on establishing rock-solid technique in your preferred picking style (or the one that you want to learn most about)
  • Expert instruction on correct arm & hand placement and picking motion
  • How to navigate string crossing and string skipping with razor-sharp accuracy
  • How to build picking speed using simple exercises
  • (Note: feel free to study all of the following lessons or just the section that suits your playing style)

Lessons in Module:

Option 1: Plectrum Fundamentals

  • Lesson 4: Introduction To Effective Plectrum Technique
  • Lesson 5: Alternate Picking Primer
  • Lesson 6: Introduction to Plectrum ‘Sprinting’
  • Lesson 7: String Crossing and String Skipping Made Easy
  • Lesson 8: Core Exercise: Alternate Picking Arpeggios

Option 2: Fingerstyle Secrets

  • Lesson 9: Introduction To Fingerstyle Technique – A Chord Melody Player’s Dream
  • Lesson 10: Fingerstyle Picking Basics
  • Lesson 11: Fingerstyle String Crossing & String Skipping For Accuracy
  • Lesson 12: Using The Thumb In Fingerstyle

Option 3: Hybrid Technique (Pick + Fingers Combined)

  • Lesson 13: Hybrid Picking Basics Overview
  • Lesson 14: Where Hybrid Can Be Useful for Plectrum Players 

Module 3: Multiple String Exercises

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • How to play simultaneous notes accurately over multiple strings
  • How to supercharge your comping with intricate picking patterns
  • A little-known exercise that will quickly transform your coordination and accuracy for your picking hand

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 15: Picking Over Multiple Strings
  • Lesson 16: Hybrid/Fingerstyle Blues Comping
  • Lesson 17: Core Exercise For Multiple Strings: “The Epic” (Plectrum)
  • Lesson 18: Core Exercise For Multiple Strings: “The Brazil” (Fingerstyle/Hybrid)
  • Lesson 19: Core Exercise: Open Voice Triads – “The Metheny”

Module 4: Fretting Hand Foundations

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • The secrets to effortless, agile fretting hand technique
  • How to build coordination and finger independence in the fretting hand
  • Muting techniques for crystal clean articulation
  • Practical exercises to reduce tension and increase freedom of movement in the fretting hand
  • Simple tricks to make your chord changing easy and effortless

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 20: Fretting Hand Technique Fundamentals Intro
  • Lesson 21: Single Note Coordination Exercises
  • Lesson 22: Muting Techniques
  • Lesson 23: String Muting Core Exercise: “The Funk Bunk”
  • Lesson 24: Resolving Tension in the fingers
  • Lesson 25: The “Whisper” Technique
  • Lesson 26: Chord Changing Made Easy

Module 5: Position Shifting and Legato Techniques

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • The unconventional tricks to developing rock-solid accuracy when changing positions on the fretboard
  • Wes Montgomery’s famous “octave’s technique” – and how this can double up as an excellent position shifting study
  • A complete guide to legato playing: hammer-ons, pull-offs,  and combinations of both

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 27: Position Shifting Exercises
  • Lesson 28: Core Exercise: Intervallic Position Shifts
  • Lesson 29: Core Exercise: “The Wes” – Octave Position Shift Study
  • Lesson 30: Legato Playing Introduction
  • Lesson 31: Hammer-ons and Pull-offs Concise Exercises
  • Lesson 32: Legato Exercise: Look Ma! No Pick!
  • Lesson 33: Core Exercise – The “Slippery Sally” Legato Workout

Module 6: Now We’re Getting Serious - Technique To The “Next Level”

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • How to build upon the foundation created in the previous modules to reach dizzying technical heights on the guitar
  • Fun exercises to develop “clockwork” synchronization between both hands
  • Extended finger independence and fretting hand coordination workouts
  • A deep dive into sweep picking technique for plectrum players

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 34: Introduction To Synchronization Exercises
  • Lesson 35: 2 & 3 Note Per String Synchronization
  • Lesson 36: Synchronization While Crossing & Skipping Strings
  • Lesson 37: Synchronization With Legato & Position Shifts
  • Lesson 38: Core Synchronization Exercise: “Three Note Thriller”
  • Lesson 39: Core Exercise: “The Spider”
  • Lesson 40: Basic Sweep Picking Technique
  • Lesson 41: Sweep Picking – Developing More Control
  • Lesson 42: Core Exercise: “The Modulator”

Module 7: Breaking The Speed Barrier

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • The way to increase your top picking speed immediately with a counterintuitive, but incredibly effective practice approach
  • A review of how the subconscious mind “does the work for you” when it comes to speed development, and other psychological shortcuts
  • Case studies of licks and phrases from Jazz masters and how to practice them to dramatically increase the top speed that’s playable

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 43: Secrets To Speed Building You Probably Didn’t Know About
  • Lesson 44: Think Fast, Play Fast
  • Lesson 45: Less Is More (The “Chunking” Technique & Tremolo)
  • Lesson 46: Core Exercise: “The Speed Of Sound” Technique
  • Lesson 47: Case Studies: Breaking The Speed Limit – Examples from Jazz Masters

Module 8: Refining Your Technique And Next Steps

In this section, you’re going to learn about:

  • How to condense everything you’ve learned into the course into a concise technical routine, which you can practice in only 10 minutes a day.
  • How to extend your technique on the exercises you’ve already learned with advanced approaches
  • An outline of the next steps to take for your technical development on jazz guitar

Lessons in Module:

  • Lesson 48: Building Your “Pre-Shot” Routine With the FretDojo Core Technique Exercises
  • Lesson 49: Taking Your Jazz Guitar Technique To The Next Level
  • Lesson 50: Wrap Up & Where To From Here

Sample Lesson: Fast Lane Total Technique Roadmap

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