The 5 Minute Miracle – Guitar Practice Efficiency Secrets

The 5 Minute Miracle – Guitar Practice Efficiency Secrets

The 5 Minute Miracle – Guitar Practice Efficiency Secrets

Here’s a simple but incredibly effective strategy that I’ve used over the years when I have been busy, but I still need to make time for my music.

Check out the podcast below where I share it with you:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

Transcript:

Greg O’Rourke: Hi guys. Welcome to fretdojo.com. My name’s Greg O’Rourke and it’s great to have you listening along today. This website’s all about the rapid path to mastering guitar and to build your skills to get you to the next level in your playing. So visit my website for a whole bunch of free lessons and courses and everything you need for a step-by-step instruction on building your skills with guitar and especially jazz guitar.

So here’s a simple but incredibly effective strategy that I’ve used over the years when I have been busy, but I still need to make time for my music. I don’t think you need to assume that to still make progress in guitar, you need to practise for hours and hours every day. Obviously, if you can that’s fantastic, but sometimes you can make excellent progress, simply by using what I call the Five-Minute Miracle.

There’s nothing groundbreaking about this really. All I do is grab my mobile phone, which has a countdown timer on it, and I set the timer for five minutes. And then I just grab my guitar, I don’t even bother to tune it. If it’s reasonably in tune, that’s great. And I just get straight into the next thing on my list that I need to develop.

So for example, if I’m trying to learn a new jazz standard, I might spend a bit of time learning one or two phrases from the melody. If I’m interested in learning how to solo over a particular tune, this is something I often do, I’ll just put on one chord from the progression and jam over it for a while. Building things up like this step-by-step, can be very effective because what it does is it presents your mind with a problem in a very constrained way. So for example, soloing over a G13 chord in the progression. And then, you can just focus on that single chord. And then maybe the next day, you might revisit that for say, 30 seconds, and then go to the next chord in the progression. And then on the third day, you might practise those two chords together. And I find a looper pedal is incredibly useful for this kind of technique.

So what am I talking about here? Let’s give a real world example. I’ve just set the timer for five minutes. I’ve grabbed my guitar. I don’t really care if it’s perfectly in tune or not, and I’ll just lay down quick pattern like this on my looper. Here we go, it’s a nice G13 chord. And so, this is one of the chords out of Take the A Train or something like that. If I’m looking at that standard and I see this chord, I’m just going to practise messing around over G13. Okay, here we go.

 

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Okay, so can you hear how… what’s great about this practise is, it’s instantly satisfying, and also it’s a great step-by-step building block for say, focusing on a jazz standard, because rather than getting overwhelmed with all the different chords in one practise session, you just focus on one chord. And even if you only have time for one chord in one of those five minute miracle sessions, then gradually over the course of the week, you can actually cover quite a lot of different chords and combinations of them. So for example, in the next practise that I’ll do the next day for five minutes, I might combine that with another chord and loop that around. And so, in this kind of very embryonic step-by-step way, you’ll actually be very surprised on how fast you can develop your skills over a standard.

And what’s interesting is that it’s actually very highly leveraged because what you’re doing is, you’re presenting your mind the problem, and then you’re going away from it and you’re going to sleep and then you coming back, consolidating it quickly, and then adding another chunk. And then, if that’s all the time you have, then you go to sleep the next night. And then by the power of leveraging your subconscious, which is something I’ve talked about a lot in my courses and programmes over the years, it kind of seemingly without effort, you can really develop your playing. And it’s crazy how you think, man, I only spent five minutes on that, but I’ll come back the next day and it’s a lot easier and everything’s making sense. That’s your subconscious working for you when you’re not on the guitar.

This is the thing sometimes I find… I’m sure you’ve all had this feeling, when you’re trying to solve a difficult problem, in anything. For example, on my website I had a bit of a coding issue, and I was scratching my head, trying to peel my brain, how am I going to solve this problem? And I would have sat there for like an hour, just not really getting anywhere. Then I go to sleep on it and I come back, and all of a sudden the solution presents itself within a few minutes. A lot of creative types and scientists have commented on this, the power of the subconscious in solving problems when you’re away from the problem.

And so being very consistent but diligent, even with a very small five minute practise, even that can really help you develop your playing. And you start to realise, maybe I don’t need to spend as much time as I was thinking, when you do have more time to practise. So of course, if you have a couple of hours a day to practise and that’s fantastic. Of course, you’ll likely make more progress, but you have to be careful that you are using the leverage of your subconscious. So you need to be very planned with your practise. You need to make sure that you present your mind with a new problem and that the next day, even if you are practising a lot, you need to consolidate it and review that and then add another bit on step-by-step.

And so, this is why I find just moving through maybe a standard, one phrase at a time, trying to memorise one phrase the first day and then consolidating that the next day. Then adding another phrase on the second day and so forth. And moving slowly but steadily, sequentially through material is an excellent way to build progress. And not feeling like you need to get all this right all at once. And this is why a lot of people feel like they’re a “deer in the headlights” when they’re soloing. Because they’re trying to work out how to solo over every chord in a single session, and they get completely overwhelmed because it’s just too much information for the brain to handle. The brain works best when it’s focused on just small pieces of information and then develops those and then links them together.

And so, anything is easy if you can break it down into its constituent parts rather than feeling like this whole massive difficulty in front of you. Just pick things apart and focus on one little element at a time. And this is why this five minute miracle technique is something that I’ve always fallen back on in busy times.

But you can use the principles of this technique, even if you have a longer practise sessions, to present the problem, review the second day and consolidate, add one more element on that next session, rinse and repeat through the week. And then make sure that you get a really good night’s sleep and take care of yourself. It said that there’s three ways in which the mind most effectively consolidates information.

The first is sleep, the second is exercise, and the third is socialisation. Now obviously, that third one might be a little bit difficult at the moment, but we can definitely do the first two. We can do get a good sleep and that’s really important for your wellbeing right now anyway, outside of music. You just need to make sure that you get a good night’s sleep. It’s really good for everything. And then the second one is exercise. Again, that’s really important, but the brain actually makes all the connections in those kinds of categories of activity, ironically, when you’re not even on the instrument or when you’re not studying. It’s those times when you’re doing something like sleep or exercise, when the brain starts to knit everything together.

Actually, there’s a really good course that I want you guys to check out if you haven’t already. I think it’s a free course. It’s on Coursera, at least it used to be free. So check it out. It’s called Learning How to Learn, and they talk about the efficient processes for learning. And it’s really, really interesting, and I’ve based a lot of my recent study and practise on the principles that I learned about in that course. So make sure that you check it out.

Okay, so in the spirit of the topic today, this is a very short and sweet podcast, but we did a focus on something really important, how to highly leverage even small practise sessions on your guitar to get some strong results in your playing, even if you’re busy with other things.

So my name’s Greg O’Rourke. Really hope you enjoyed this today. Please get in touch with me and let me know what you think about this. You can leave a comment on my website. Make sure that you give this podcast a five star rating and a nice comment, if you enjoyed today’s show and you’re interested in me doing some more of these shows. Yeah, I’m happy to keep doing these, but I need your support. So make sure you give me a good rating on iTunes please. That would be wonderful. And yeah, in terms of what’s going on at the moment in FretDojo, there’s some great courses that you can get into.

And also, I’m offering the 30 Day Jazz Guitar Challenge, which is one of my most popular programmes, and you can now enrol on it any time. So make sure that you visit my website. It’s on the front page at the moment, at the time of this recording for info, if you’re interested in having a nice structured programme for developing jazz guitar skills, if you’re looking for something to do at the moment that’s a wholesome, healthy activity. And something where you can develop a hobby and something you’re interested in, then this course might be a good fit for you.

Okay, guys, well, hope you have a great day today. Stay safe, stay calm and keep on jazzin’! I’ll talk to you soon.

Before you go…

Join my 30 Day Jazz Guitar Challenge

Instant access:

•  A step-by-step guide on building core improvisation skills

• Fundamental comping techniques to be a hero on the bandstand

• Discover the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitarists…and how YOU can avoid them

• The ultimate fast path for establishing a foundation in jazz guitar

• Instant access – find out more and sign up by clicking the button below:

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 Hard Is It To Learn Jazz Guitar?

How Hard Is It To Learn Jazz Guitar?

How Hard Is It To Learn Jazz Guitar?

In today’s topic, I want to talk about something important.

How hard is it, really, to learn jazz?

Check out the podcast below where I answer this question:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

Transcript:

Hi guys. Greg O’Rourke here from the Fret Dojo Podcast. Visit my website, www.fretdojo.com to get your guitar playing to the next level. In today’s topic, I want to talk about something important. How hard is it, really, to learn jazz? Because there’s a lot of differing opinions on this, but a lot of them seem to gravitate to the point of view that jazz guitar is incredibly hard to learn, will take a large chunk of your life, definitely you can’t focus on any other aspect of your life to get good at this.

Kind of like the Whiplash kind of approach. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that movie. I actually don’t really recommend that for the fainthearted, that movie, which is basically about a jazz student that goes to more extreme and extreme levels of dedication in the face of quite an intense and violent teacher that kind of puts him through hell basically to learn jazz.

Now in particular, I want to talk about an article that one of my readers sent into me with this question. How hard is it and how long does it take to learn jazz guitar? It’s on guitarprinciples.com and the web post name is How Long to Learn Your Style of Guitar. It goes through a few different styles, but then it comes to jazz guitar.

Now I won’t read this whole thing obviously on the podcast now, but I just want to pick out a few tasty morsels here. So here’s a few things that this article says. “The jazz player needs a vast and extensive range of tools, because the music they play is based on sophisticated scales, and those scales are used to generate extremely complex chord structures. There are hundreds of code forms to learn and a great number of scale forms all over the neck in every key.”

So already, you can kind of hear that there’s a lot of complexity going on with jazz guitar and most people would be put off by that first paragraph here. They talk about here, in terms of the amount of study required for a jazz guitarist. Five years of study, averaging two or more hours a day, hopefully more, are required to get up and running as a player in the jazz genre. Then it takes about 10 years of three or more hours a day to fully acquire the use of those tools and a lifetime of continuing study and refinement if you want to be among the greats. A high degree of refined technique must be developed as well.

So you have to decide, do you want to be a brain surgeon or a jazz guitarist? Probably becoming a brain surgeon will be a bit less of a commitment. Well, if that isn’t the most off-putting thing I’ve ever read about wanting to study jazz guitar. I’m going to let you into a little secret. I haven’t spent that much time studying jazz guitar and I can still gig and improvise, and I have a whole website about it.

So I think this is really, really misleading, this point of view. But it’s a pervasive point of view that you hear about when it comes to studying jazz in general, that it’s really for people that want to do nothing else in their lives and they need to spend their whole day on it, it’s the most completely overwhelming form of music to study, but this simply is not the case.

I think we need to talk about what your goals are as a jazz guitarist. Sure, do you want to be like the next West Montgomery? Then probably, yes, you do need to spend a large part of your life refining your style. But you don’t need to get to that level to still enjoy playing jazz to competently solo and play in the band and do gigs and all that sort of thing, you don’t need that much time.

I think it’s a kind of a psychological thing. If you think something takes a certain amount of time, you’ll find it will. So, the way we think about something kind of creates our reality. I think when you read something like this, you got to take it with a grain of salt and put it in context. So don’t get me wrong, jazz is a vast topic and that’s kind of what I like about it. There’s so many different players with each of their individual kind of slant and approaches on improvisation and composing.

I think that’s what makes it so wonderful to study, is this kind of vastness. There’s pretty much something for everyone, because it’s very different to other styles. Every great player really does have their unique kind of feel and approach and improvisation concepts that they tend to focus on. But I think that’s where the first thing about learning jazz is a bit misleading, is to qualify as someone that can play jazz, you need to know how to solo in the style of Pat Martino, in the style of Joe Pass, in the style of Emily Remler, in the style of Barney Kessel and 150 other great jazz guitarists before you’ve kind of got this qualification that you’re allowed to then gig or make music.

That’s really not the case. You don’t need to have such a wide expansive influences to simply make great music. Think differently, I think. That’s what Steve Jobs said, think different. What about just trying to make great music with what you have right now? Sound like you. This is the thing. A few years ago, I was teaching a lot of kind of one-on-one individual lessons online and I was meeting a lot of amateur players from all around the world and helping them with their jazz. I always got them to start on this little exercise.

I actually did a video on this on my YouTube channel a few weeks ago, and it was about basically how to solo with five notes only, okay? So it was just five notes from a blues scale, that was it. But I got them to just start improvising with those five notes with that single scale over a simple chord progression. Now what’s interesting about doing that exercise with hundreds of players is that I’ve never heard someone play that exercise the same way twice. Everyone, even at the very start of their jazz journey, has something unique that they can say with the material.

So you have to trust yourself that, as a human being, you are an artist, you have that artistic drive inside you and that you can make a powerful musical statement very quickly. You don’t have to wait till you’re qualified and you kind of learn every single theory trick in the book and every single substitution, and you have transcribed all the things that you should transcribe. That’s a load of rubbish, basically. You can start making good music right now.

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

I also think that just having a limited set of inspiration can actually be a springboard of creativity anyway. Wes Montgomery spent a lot of time transcribing Charlie Christian. He was just obsessed with Charlie Christian. He would learn every single solo by Charlie Christian. I don’t know if he extensively did other transcriptions from other players, but once he’d kind of got that main influence, then he used that as a springboard to enhance his own playing as Wes Montgomery, okay?

So, you don’t need to study every single player out there to still have a solid understanding of jazz and a solid feel for the core approaches. So I think that’s where you have to be a bit selective. It’s kind of ironic that if you feel like you have to be a walking dictionary of jazz, you’ll find that it’s actually harder to be creative ironically, because you’re sort of locked in superficially studying too much stuff, rather than going deep and narrow on a couple of players that you really like.

I think you need to start thinking as an artist. Even from the outset as a beginner player, rather than thinking of yourself as a student that has to fill your brain up with so much knowledge, you definitely need a bit of that, but then how do I then turn that into a musical statement that’s uniquely my own? That kind of changes the whole nature of the study of jazz guitar. You can start to feel like you’re more making a creative statement, rather than just parroting something that’s been done by other people.

So when it says here five years of study, averaging around two or more hours a day are required to get up and running as a player. I know that that’s patently wrong, because I have, for example, I have a course called The Fundamentals of Jazz Guitar Improvisation in my Fret Dojo Academy membership programme. The course is structured for about a block of 10 weeks, for about 45 minutes of practise, five days a week.

By the end of that programme, and I’ve run this for a few years now, I’ve seen people do videos where they’ll be good enough to go and get a gig with the music that they’ve learned, okay? So I know that that’s not true. Once again, your mindset is everything. If you think something will take 10 years to get good, or if you think you need at least three hours a day to be able to even just play a simple song, then it will take that long. But question everything, that’s what I’ve learned. Because early on in my kind of journey with jazz, I definitely thought like that, because that’s what everyone was saying. But then when you realise that maybe that there’s another way to do it, then a whole lot of other possibilities can open up for you.

So there’s other things in here, like there are a large number of standards, songs and pieces that every jazz player knows that they can play and improvise on, all of these must be learned. Now, that’s not true. I don’t know every jazz standard, but the set lists that I do have, I know really well. If I’m collaborating on a project with someone and they want to do a few standard tunes, and some of them I would know, some of them I don’t. It doesn’t really matter.

If you know the core concepts of how to improvise over the main progressions that are featured over and over again in jazz, it means that you can solo over hundreds of tunes and do reasonably well. Once again, you don’t need to be a walking dictionary of jazz standards. I was actually talking to Howard Alden once about that and he thought it’s not like you have to learn every jazz standard. Definitely learn the main ones that you might find come up and up again depending on where you gig or where you go to a jam session or whatever, learn those ones. But then, just learn ones one at a time, or better still, compose your own standards, make your own music.

So I know I have a different point of view to some of the other guys out there, but I think definitely it’s important to learn jazz standards. In my membership, every month we’re focusing on a new jazz standard to kind of learn some of the important chord progressions and soloing approaches, and a bit of transcriptions and things like that. But it’s not like you have to learn 500 of these things to be able to do a gig. Again, it’s just simply not true.

Now here’s another point about, I’m quoting from the article here. “Although there was going to be a repetition of patterns as we go about learning all this musical material, there’s still a tremendous amount of material to study. Many great players have filled large volumes with the material they practise and have published it for other players to study. So, you can fill a room with such material and have a lifetime of study ahead of you, which is very fortunate if you love this sort of thing.”

Now again, I don’t think creative soloing necessarily comes from a large amount of material, I think creative soloing comes from actually placing limits on your material. So selecting the key approaches, the most important ones, and then going really deep on that. Not just filling your head with all this stuff that you … because when you improvise, you need to be able to spontaneously in a very natural way, kind of talk with this music, you don’t want to kind of just superficially learn a whole bunch of different stuff.

Of course, jazz is a bit of a lifetime journey, but you shouldn’t mix that together with having to feel like you need to spend a lifetime before being able to perform. So, let’s just step back a bit. You can effectively solo, learning how to solo over major 2-5-1s, minor 2-5-1s, a few secondary dominant sort of approaches, tritone substitutions, and a couple of arpeggio by substitutions or something like that.

If you can have that material, that will keep you going for a very long time, okay? That really doesn’t take that long to learn. It’s all about being selective and kind of having material that’s what I call high frequency, so stuff that’s very relevant to a lot of different songs, okay? So if you can have that kind of collection of material that’s very applicable to a wide variety of situations, then you’ll find that very quickly you can start to make sense of this kind of game of improvisation.

Now my membership programme, actually, kind of has that. I’ve documented the main approaches that are worth looking for and we work those over a variety of exercises and the most important standards. Then you can go for your life from there and apply them to a whole bunch of different tunes.

So I’m going to kind of say something a bit controversial here, I don’t think actually jazz is hard at all. Nothing in jazz is necessarily hard when it comes to learning the concepts of improvisation, it’s more a case of uncovering the most efficient and effective approaches. So it’s more a case of finding them that’s the tricky part. It’s not necessarily doing them or learning them, but it’s kind of sorting the weak from the chaff and learning the most essential aspects and approaches, and kind of techniques for learning soloing. So none of it is actually hard, it’s just something that you learn.

So having high frequency material, having a good mindset, having the understanding that if you’re consistent in your practise and leveraging that kind of inertia that happens when you start to practise, not necessarily a long time every day, but a little bit every day and being very focused on your material, you can get wonderful results.

So once I actually taught a Saxophonist over Skype. Even though I don’t play saxophone, but this person was struggling a bit to learn to improvise, and was in a situation where they had to play a lot of gigs in that style and it was stressing them out. Now I had to listen to what they had to say, and from the outset this person was saying, “I just can’t improvise, I’m a terrible improvisor,” and all that sort of thing. That was actually creating the reality of this person, okay? So, I had to really unpick that in the lesson.

After a while, she started to realise, “Hang on, maybe I can do this.” I showed her a few techniques from that Fundamentals of Jazz Improvisation course that’s on my site. But seriously, it only took about 20 minutes and she was playing a really cool natural sounding solo using some great pentatonic approaches and some blues, and she couldn’t believe her own playing. So it was mainly the mental block of thinking she couldn’t do it, and I had to just convince her that she could.

So people just need to start, okay? Make great music right now, don’t wait to feel like you have to have some qualification from someone else to get better at this stuff. I wouldn’t pay much attention to the sentiments in this article. I’m sorry I’ve kind of dished this person a bit in his podcast, but it really highlighted that kind of attitude that creates so much mental blocks in people’s abilities to just get started, and to start to make great music and start to enjoy this wonderful music that’s jazz with other people.

All right, guys. Well, let me know what you thought about this topic today and I’d love to get a bit of feedback. Either people that agree with me or even people that don’t agree with me, I’m interested to hear your thoughts and read them on my site. Please post a comment if you get to my site there. Yeah, I look forward to catching up with you in the next episode.

We’ve got some pretty cool stuff coming up in the Fret Dojo. I’ve got a great live session with Carl Orr that’s going to be on in a few weeks time in the membership, and he’s going to be talking about comping in a duo setting and some cool techniques for that. So that’s something that we haven’t focused a lot on yet in the Fret Dojo, so make sure you look out for that. Make sure you sign them up to my email list, I have lots of stuff coming out all the time, videos, new podcasts, and new courses as well.

So, okay guys, well, my name’s Greg O’Rourke. Great to chat with you today and I look forward to catching up with you in the next episode of Fret Dojo. Bye for now.

Before you go…

Join my 30 Day Jazz Guitar Challenge

Instant access:

•  A step-by-step guide on building core improvisation skills

• Fundamental comping techniques to be a hero on the bandstand

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitarists

• The ultimate fast path for establishing a foundation in jazz guitar

• Instant access – find out more and sign up by clicking the button below:

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!

Free Sample Lesson: Charlie Parker Ornaments

Free Sample Lesson: Charlie Parker Ornaments

Free Sample Lesson: Charlie Parker Ornaments

Welcome to this month’s free sample lesson from the FretDojo Academy where I’ll show you how to apply some cool Charlie Parker style ornaments to standard arpeggios.

Saxophonist Charlie Parker is considered to be the father of bebop, who has been a key influence of countless jazz players of all instruments ever since.​​

This lesson is part of a series on the classic Charlie Parker tune “Yardbird Suite” which was recently released in the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy. To find out more about the Academy and to sign up to get instant access click here.

Video Sections:

00:00 Introduction
01:19 Ornament #1
05:28 Ornament #2
07:31 Combining ornaments

Watch the video above and experiment applying the embellishments you learn to your own soloing and licks.

Note: About Band In A Box 

I’ve provided in the ‘Backing Track Collection’ zip file a Band in a Box file. This is excellent software for your jazz practice as it can speed up or slow down the track to any desired tempo, change the key, style, and even generate a solo for you to play along with. It’s an excellent tool for any jazz student and I highly recommend this. Get it for Mac here or for Windows here.

Enjoy this lesson? Get access to the full Yardbird Suite lesson series (and hundreds of other lessons) by signing up to the FretDojo Academy here>>

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 Problem With Modes (and the solution)

The Problem With Modes (and the solution)

The Problem With Modes (and the solution)

One of the biggest questions my readers write in about is:

“Should I be using modes when improvising on jazz guitar?”

The answer is:

It depends.

But, most likely there is a more effective approach for jazz guitar improvisation, using arpeggios and chord tones as a basis.

Check out the podcast below which will show the reasons why:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

Transcript:

Greg O’Rourke: In today’s episode, I’d like to talk about a topic that I get bombarded with in my email inbox all the time on a weekly basis. It’s all about modes.

What is the value of modes in jazz and in soloing? Now the modal concept is something that is actually very ancient. You might’ve heard of the terms like Dorian mode and Phrygian mode. What this is basically is a scale that starts on a different note to what it usually does.

So let’s say we have C major. Okay, but let’s say instead of starting on the note we usually do, let’s start at simply on the next note up. So we’ll start it on the D and then finish on the D. So that actually has all the same notes in it as C major. It’s just that I’ve used a different starting tone which emphasises that new tone as kind of the centre of that scale. 

Now here’s the thing. Modes are useful to understand because they are often referenced in jazz theory books and when you’re playing over something like So What or Impressions or Maiden Voyage and things like that, these are tunes that are actually based around that harmonic idea; the idea of composing the tune with a mode in mind. So in those circumstances a mode is quite useful to solo because you can kind of gravitate around that mode in your soloing. Often those kinds of chord progressions are quite static so you can just play around with a mode.

If you take swing tunes like All the Things You Are or Along Came Betty or Satin Doll, anything like that which involves a lot of key changes moving quickly, a lot of chords moving quickly. The modal approach, in my opinion anyway, it starts to fall down. The reason for that is because just let’s say the classic kind of example you hear when you’re listening to a lesson on modal soloing is that let’s say we take the two quarter note in a two, five, one progression.

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

So here’s my key. There’s chord one there and chord two and chord five and chord one. So here’s chord two, right. You’ll often hear that referenced to as use a Dorian scale over chord two. Okay. Then for chord five, use a Mixolydian scale over that. Then finally finish with just a major scale or Ionian mode, which is the same as major for the one chord. Now, the problem with that is in a chart which is a swing tune with a two five one, it kind of goes like this.

Okay, so the chords moves so fast in a two, five, one in jazz. Then how are you supposed to be able to target all those notes in each mode over every single chord? It’s actually impossible and I don’t really know of anyone that would think like that. The only way you could really think like that was if you kind of imagine in your mind that all those chords are the two chord and then you just play the D Dorian mode for that whole progression. I’ll try this on my loop and I’ll just get that fired up here. So here’s my chord progression. Two five one on my looper.

So it sort of sounds possible, but can you see how that doesn’t really sound like jazz when I’m doing that? Sure. It’s not like it’s incorrect, but it just doesn’t sound that good. Why does it not sound that good? Well what’s happening here is I’m sort of generalising everything, treating it kind of like it’s just all the notes out of C major and I’m kind of just using Dorian so I don’t start on the note of C all the time when I’m playing, but the problem with this is it causes two issues. The first one is that I tend to just play everything in a very ‘scalic’ way because I’m thinking in a mode, you know what I mean? We’ll talk about an alternative option to that in a minute. The other problem is that it’s not specifically targeting the relevant chord tones for each chord.

I’m just kind of noodling around on that scale with my ear and it doesn’t sound, on the two chord it sort of sounds pretty good. On the other chords it really just doesn’t sound that strong. I’m not clearly targeting strong chord tones. So with those two issues combined makes it in my opinion, an inferior method for soloing over typical older style jazz progressions, like two five ones, one six two five, three six two five, and so on.

So what’s an alternative to soloing that doesn’t involve modes? To be honest when I’m playing jazz, especially on the kind of music that I prefer, which is the music anywhere from the 40s to the 60s, I don’t tend to use modes that much. I more think in terms of chord tone soloing.

So chord tone soloing is where you can identify the relevant notes of each chord and hit them at the right point when the chord progression is played. So that means using arpeggios is pretty much what I’m doing here. So targeting my tones, using arpeggio shapes that I know. I’ve learned them, I can hear them in my ears, and then I can kind of target those tones as I apply through a progression like this. So I’ll give you a sound of what that sounds like. Let’s apply my chord progression again. I’ll stick in the same sort of register. Here’s my two five one progression. Here we go.

Okay, so you get the idea of where I’m going with this. So you could hear how I was much more closely adhering to the sounds of the chords when I was using chord tones and it makes sense. I’m deliberately targeting those notes through applying the relevant arpeggio shape each time. Although arpeggios in a way they take a little bit longer to learn because there’s more shapes to learn for the arpeggios, even just sticking to these kind of one octave arpeggio shapes like this, you can get a lot of ammunition with that and it gives you the ability to switch from each shape to another just like you’re changing chords with when you’re playing rhythm guitar.

So I find that this is a much, much more effective way to solo is targeting these chord tones when you play and arpeggios is the means to do this. Now there’s some cool things you can do with arpeggios. Let’s take this D minor arpeggio. You don’t really need to know a lot about jazz theory to create some really hip sounds here. What I could do is just kind of play up two notes into the chord tone. So listen to this.

So I was just ending up on each of the arpeggio tones, but starting it from two notes from below. I could also start from two notes above. See how jazzy that’s sounds. I could take a chord tone. Let’s say this A that I’m playing here. The fifth of the D minor seven and I could just play one fret above, one fret below, and finish on the chord tone. So if I do that in a line, see how that sounds really jazzy.

So I don’t need to be so theoretical about my soloing now because I can see that pattern on the fretboard. Then I can just lead my fingers to each of the chord tones in the arpeggio. It’s a lot of fun and it’s kind of relaxing to solo like this because I don’t need to really remember what mode is it I’m on at the moment or anything like that. I simply see that arpeggio shape and then can instantly kind of doodle around on that and firstly create strong strong chord tone basis for my soloing. Then use some nice chromatic tones to lead to each of those and sort of thread a really jazzy line. So chord tones very, very important. I think unfortunately often overlooked when it comes to how the jazz education has been codified., A lot of the books that you read, especially for jazz guitar actually seems to focus too much on this modal aspect in an inappropriate context because they’re using this this style of jazz playing that was more popular in the 70s and beyond.

It doesn’t really apply to music that’s older than that because the composers were using a different framework for their harmony. So this could be the missing link. If you’ve been wondering why you’re just not sounding that great using modes and scales and things like that when you’re playing, it’s probably because you simply haven’t been targeting chord tones. Now I suggest that you look on some resources on that topic. There’s some resources and courses on my website about this, about chord tone soloing. There’s some great books available, but I suggest that you just experiment with these little shapes.

See if you can figure, obviously this is an audio podcast so you can’t see my guitar, but see if you can find out how to play the notes of a Dm7 chord for which would be D, F, A, and C. Work out a shape of just a one octave shape on the fretboard and then mess around with that shape just over a static backing track. Here’s a little example. To make this really easy I’ll just clear my looper pedal here and I’ll just lay down like a little basic. Just D minor seven by itself.

Okay, here we go. So there’s my looper and I’m just going to play firstly the arpeggio. Maybe play it backwards. Now let’s do some interesting rhythms. Mix up the notes. See that’s quite strong. See how that’s got a nice kind of bounce to it now because I’m not playing like this. It doesn’t sound like jazz there but this does more. Now let’s put some chromatic tones in there and see how now I can start to put the scale notes around that, but I’m focusing mainly on the arpeggio tones. It sounds much more jazzy like that.

Try sliding into the tones. Try to punch some of them out more than the others. Lead with chromatics and you can have a lot of fun just over that one chord. Could you hear how you can keep things interesting over a static chord even just with a basic one octave arpeggio. So that’s really the power of arpeggios chord tone soloing. It’s kind of the basis of my methodology when I’m teaching students is going from the chord tones and arpeggios first. The other stuff can come later depending on what style that you want to eventually get into as a player. Definitely knowing where your arpeggios are very, very important to get straight into the harmony and hear the harmony in your lines. So I really hope you enjoyed today’s podcast.

It was a very important topic to cover as a jazz musician. Yeah, give this a try in your practise this week. I want you to get one arpeggio out, put it on a backing track or a looper pedal the corresponding harmony for that, and then mess around with it and see what kind of jazzy sounds you can make. You can have a lot of fun with this and it’s very, very good ear training, fretboard training. It’s a wonderful exercise.

Okay, well until further ado, I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of fretdojo. Peace and I’ll talk to you soon.

 

Before you go…

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The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation –
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•  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

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3 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For You Right Now

3 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For You Right Now

3 Reasons Why Playing Guitar Is Good For You Right Now

In this episode of the FretDojo.com Podcast I want to talk about three reasons why playing guitar is good for you – especially at the moment given the impact current world events have had on our lives.

I’m recording this at the start of April, 2020 and there’s some pretty stressful stuff going on as well as facing living in never-seen-before circumstances.

It’s important at times like these that we set aside time for a calm, creative pursuit. 

And there’s some pretty compelling reasons why playing an instrument right now is a strong contender…

 

Check out the podcast here:

Join FretDojo’s online jazz guitar academy here

Transcript:

Greg O’Rourke: Hi guys, Greg O’Rourke here from the FretDojo.com Podcast. In this episode I want to talk about three reasons why playing guitar is really, REALLY good for you.

Okay, so playing guitar is obviously a cool thing to do. It’s fun, it’s creative, it sounds great, you can play with other people, you can jam. There’s a lot of reasons why playing guitar is fantastic. But specifically in this episode I want to talk about specifically the reasons in how playing guitar can help you in all sorts of ways and can actually protect you from some of the issues that come along with ageing as we all get older. So let’s talk about some specific proven things that playing music (and especially, I guess, guitar goes along with that) can help you in your life’s journey and why it is a very important thing to maintain.

Obviously, I’m recording this at the start of April, 2020 and there’s some pretty interesting stuff going on in the world right now. I don’t really want to reference it too much because that’s all we’re hearing in the news and so forth. But obviously with the pandemic as it is, people are getting very stressed and I think it’s important at times like these that we set aside time for a calm, creative pursuit.

Reason 1: Playing Music Can Make You Smarter

So reason number one, music can make you smarter. I think music is the ultimate brain game basically. I think the reason it is so powerful is because it works out a lot of different sensory functions at once, like the auditory function, the visual, the kinetic function. And I think because all these processes are involved at once, it involves a very powerful brain stimulation. I was looking at an article on inc.com about this and neuro physicist, Catherine Loveday is quoted saying here:

“Music probably does something unique. It stimulates the brain in a very powerful way because of our emotional connection with it.”

So you know when you try to play these brain games, they’ve been quite popular in recent years, like puzzles and things like that online. But there’s nothing quite like playing an instrument because it’s a very rich and complex experience. And because of the intertwining of all the sensory application when you’re playing an instrument like sight and touch and the oral sense as well, this really can change the brain in long lasting ways and it’s been proven to do so.

So it says here, “Brain scans have helped to identify the difference in brain structure between musicians and non-musicians.” And the corpus callosum, which is a big bundle of nerve fibres connecting the two sides of the brain, is larger in musicians and also in the areas involving movement, hearing and the visual abilities, they appear to be larger in the brain in professional keyboard players for example.

So the brain is significantly altered and developed by playing music and it can help protect your brain as well. So brain scanning studies have found that anatomical change in musician’s brains is related to the age when training began. But even brief periods of musical training can have long lasting benefits. So you can increase resilience to any age related decline in hearing. Learning to play an instrument can protect the brain against dementia. So Loveday says:

“Music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t. It’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust.”

 Okay, so that’s the first point I want to make here is that music is incredibly good for your brain, okay? It can not only enhance your intellectual abilities and your sensory abilities, but it can also protect the decline of those abilities. So I thought that was a very important first point to make about why playing guitar is so good for you.

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 

Reason 2: Improves Your Discipline and Time Management Skills

Okay the second reason I want to talk about why playing guitar is so good for you is that it improves your discipline and time management skills. Now, I’m speaking from personal experience here. When you start playing an instrument, and especially if you have limited time at your disposal, you start to realise how inefficient you can be with your time.

Something that I do when I practise now is that I really stringently plan all the different activities that I’m going to do in my practise for that day and I allocate 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes, five minutes, whatever, and then I’ll make sure that I have a timer. And no matter what my goal is to cover the work as best as I can in that time and to stop when I’m finished.

Now this is a simple thing, but when I first started doing this, I realised how difficult it was to stick to the time limits and it kind of revealed to me that, in general, my time management was in need of a lot of improvement.

And so I think having a discipline like an instrument and having the discipline to get to it daily despite what’s going on in the world or despite how busy you are with other things, if you can put that stake in the ground and dedicate yourself to something like an artistic pursuit like guitar playing, it can really help structure your life. You start to see how you can be more efficient in other areas as well.

Reason 3: Music Can Reduce Stress – And Boost The Immune System

And here’s an interesting, quite topical one for my third reason is that playing music can reduce stress. Okay? Now I think all of us need to really work on developing a strategy for managing stress at the moment, the whole world basically is in a somewhat stressful situation to say the least.

But it’s not about the world out there. What can we do in ourselves to maintain a sense of calm and to take out minds off things?

The endless news coverage of what’s going on at the moment can bring you a lot of stress. And by having something like a dedicated hobby, maybe some sort of program that you’re working through or a course or whatever, it can really help centre your mind away from the negativities and then you start to kind of value the time that you have at home and it’s not such a big deal. So playing music, especially playing guitar, is a very good way to reduce stress.

Now here’s a little bonus one. Why is reducing stress particularly important right now? I’ve found this interesting article on a website called The Sync Project, talking about how the immune system is directly influenced by the exposure to music.

And so if you listen or play music, it can have a significant effect in reducing your cortisol levels basically. And this is a stress hormone, when there’s too much cortisol and related chemicals chronically in your body, it can lead to a reduced immune system which can make you more susceptible to things like viruses, and that’s very relevant at the moment, of course, given the pandemic. And so it can actually be… There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that it can be a very protective thing right now to play music or to have relaxing hobbies because it can boost your immune system. So we should be prioritising healthy things like this right now, things that can help our brain health, things that can help our emotional wellbeing, things that can take our minds off all this stressful stuff and things that can then lead to boosting our immune system.

Wrap Up

So there’s a few reasons today why playing guitar is really good for you. If you’re interested in some free lessons and resources, then check out my website fretdojo.com there’s a lot on there. And also make sure that you get on my email list because I often have special programmes running like short challenges that you can be involved in. It’s a lot of fun. We have students from all around the world. And especially given a lot of people are stuck inside right now with all the isolation rules and things like that, might be a good opportunity to fill your schedule is something that’s very positive and yeah, you could get a lot of benefit from that.

Well my name is Greg O’Rourke, I really hope you enjoyed this podcast today. I quite enjoyed recording this episode. Something a little different. And let me know what you think. If you got benefit from this and you enjoyed this podcast, please leave me a five star rating on iTunes and leave a short review. I would really, really appreciate that as it helps this podcast get out to a wider audience and so that other people can benefit as well.

Okay, well, without further ado, my name’s Greg O’Rourke and hope you have a good, calm, peaceful day today and I look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Bye for now.

Reference links:

Inc.com – The Benefits of Playing Music Help Your Brain More Than Any Other Activity

The Sync Project: Body in Tune: Music and the Immune System

 

Before you go…

Get my FREE Video Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation –
Instant Access

•  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!

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

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

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When was the last time you REALLY listened to jazz?

When was the last time you REALLY listened to jazz?

When was the last time you REALLY listened to jazz?

In this episode of the FretDojo.com Podcast, we dive into the topic of the true meaning behind the famous thing musicians say: “Listen to as much jazz as you possibly can.”

Let’s talk about this and see how to approach it so that it can have a lasting effect on your skills on the guitar.

Check out the podcast here:

​I’m sure you’ve heard this said by many great jazz players:

“Listen to as much jazz as you possibly can.”

But there’s a difference between having an album on in the background and listening for pleasure…

And REALLY listening to it.

Here’s the thing:

For a long time, I spent every waking available moment listening to jazz recordings by the greats of guitar – Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Barney Kessell.

And then ventured into Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker and many others.

Although I got a great deal of inspiration from these great players…

It didn’t directly move my playing forward.

This kind of ‘osmosis’ method is emphasized often in language learning. The idea is to expose yourself in daily life to as much of the language as possible, and then by absorption you begin to pick up the language naturally .

But:

In reality, it doesn’t quite work that way for jazz.

Think about the human voice for a minute:

From the day we were born we have used our voice in some way, experimenting with it in a myriad of ways.

Therefore:

It’s very familiar for us to emulate sounds and speech with our voice.

But few people (unless they are a genius level), could memorize, deconstruct and draw concepts from simply listening to a recording passively.

Don’t get me wrong, listening is very important:

  • It’s a great way to get inspired by new players
  • It’s a a way to attune yourself in general to phrasing and shaping solos
  • It’s a particularly good way to get attuned to a good rhythm feel.

But:

In and of itself, passive listening is not going to make you a better jazz player.

There is however, a better way to directly use listing to improve your jazz improvisation skills:

Working with transcriptions.

By intently listening, transcribing, learning and analyzing a solo, you develop your ear skills greater heights, and come away with a whole heap of vocabulary as well.

It’s the time-tested way of quickly building your jazz skills.

By way of example:

Wes Montgomery transcribed every solo note for note by his idol Charlie Christian – and even performed those solos note-for-note on stage in the early part of his career instead of improvising his own.

Joe Pass built up his jazz vocabulary by being directly inspired by the ‘Bird’, Charlie Parker.

In fact, I would go so far to say any notable jazz player has spent considerable time on building their skills with the help of transcriptions.

Is Transcribing By Ear The Only Option?

Not necessarily – as long as you have a process where you can eventually play along with a recording from memory.

Although transcribing by ear is said to be the best way to learn a solo (and it’s probably good to try this at least once in your jazz study) this option can often be a tedious, exacting process and hence frustrate many students.

An alternative:

Stand on the shoulders of others and learn a prewritten transcription.

This is where someone else has transcribed and notated a solo, and you get to cut straight to chase and go straight learning the solo and extracting useful vocabulary and concepts.

Some purists may consider this cheating instead of doing it all yourself. But I think it’s fine – I’ve had great benefit for my own jazz skills going down the ‘prewritten’ transcription route from time to time.

The only caveat:

You must ensure you memorize the transcription if at all possible – don’t just read it off the paper!

This is the big trap here is you may not take the extra step of memorizing it, which tends to happen naturally when transcribing by ear.

Steps To Take After Transcribing:

Ok so you’ve learned the transcription, one way or another. Now what?

Dive deep into the nuts and bolts of the solo. Look at phrases that interest you or you like the sound of. Draw out key concepts and use them as starting points for your own soloing.

If it sounds like it’s a lot of work, you’re right.

But:

Keep in mind though that working with a teacher can help you through this process and point out to you the most essential points of each transcription to work with.

For example, in my FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy, this is exactly what we do month to month – deep dives into classic transcriptions and video tutorials on the key concepts and approaches.

For example, I recently released a lesson diving deep into Charlie Christian’s soloing approaches on his classic recording, ‘Rose Room’, which the Academy members have gotten a lot of mileage from.

Hint: Want to sign up to the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy? Go here>>

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.

Go here for more info: https://www.fretdojo.com/signup-offer

 Results Of Working With a Transcription

You’ll have a wealth of new licks and ideas.

Your ears will be further developed.

Your technique will be pushed to greater heights through learning a solo

You’ll start to see the common ‘threads’ of effective soloing approaches after working with a few transcriptions, and it becomes clearer as to the approaches to focus on in the woodshed.

In Conclusion…

Passive listening, although enjoyable and a good way to expose yourself to the sounds of jazz, won’t make you a better jazz player necessarily.

But – by deep listening and transcribing, and then following through with a robust analysis of key concepts in a solo, very quickly you can build your skills as a jazz player. Anyone that has mastered an aspect of jazz has walked this very path.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic by leaving a comment below, I would love to hear from you!

Before you go…

Get my FREE Video Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation –
Instant Access

•  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!

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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