Select Page

The most important jazz guitar tip no-one gives a thought to

Do you know what has given me the fastest progress for my jazz guitar playing?

It’s not the piles of textbooks, sitting dusty and neglected on my shelf.

It’s not listening to piles of recordings.

And no, it’s not from transcribing hours of jazz solos.

What has helped me the most, is something most aspiring players overlook.

Do you know what it is? (You’re probably not expecting me to say this):

The answer:

Picking the brains of players that are better than me.

Guys further up the ladder have made the mistakes that they can help you avoid.

They have usually taught loads of students and have identified the common pitfalls.


To quote Chuck Berry – they can “play a guitar just like a-ringin’ a bell”.

This is why I love this Fret Dojo gig – I have the opportunity to talk and ask questions to some of the leading masters of jazz guitar alive today.

But here’s the best part:

Now you have this opportunity, just like I do.

In case you haven’t heard the news, Howard Alden is doing an exclusive live coaching call this week for Fret Dojo.

This is your chance to directly ask Howard questions and learn the secrets to soloing, chord melody, and more from one of the greatest (living) jazz guitarists of the modern age.

Don’t let this fish get away – you have until the end of today to make a booking as we need to finalize the numbers for tomorrow.

Make haste Frodo! Go here now to get in on the game:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

Simple or difficult – it depends on who you talk to…

“When you boil things down, what’s a chord melody? It’s simple – it’s just a melody with bass underneath, and at least one note in the middle – that’s it”.

Do you know who this quote is by?

None other than Howard Alden.

A great teacher won’t explain concepts in a complicated way, just for the sake of sounding complicated.

Rather, a true master will show you the simple path to understanding difficult subjects.

For jazz guitar, Joe Pass had this quality of simplicity in his approach.

And likewise, Howard Alden (who, as it happens, studied with Joe Pass at the Guitar Institute of Technology) also has this element in the way he teaches.

Here’s the thing:

When you have simple ways to think about jazz guitar, it frees you up to play more creatively. If you can make things easy to understand, you can comprehend the flow of the music more quickly, enabling you keep up with the changes.

Speaking of thinking quickly – I need to give you a heads up.

Enrollments to this week’s online jazz guitar clinic with Howard Alden is closing tomorrow (Thursday) at midnight USA Eastern Time (Although the workshop is on Friday, I need to finalize numbers in advance, hence the early closing time).

Don’t let this opportunity fade into a fantasy – find out more about how to join this week’s workshop below – before this offer goes away for good:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

Howard Alden Workshop FAQ

It’s all happening – the online workshop with Howard Alden being held this Friday is open for bookings and it’s already filling up.


I’ve gotten a few questions along the way about this workshop and I want to answer them here, so everyone can benefit from the answers.

My answers will follow:


Q: What if I can’t make the live session? Can I still book a ticket and get the replay?

A: Yes, that’s correct. You can also submit questions to me in advance and I’ll pass them onto Howard for him to answer in the session. That way, you still get all the benefits of being there, even if you can’t make the session live. I’ll send you a link to the replay shortly after the session concludes to everyone that books a ticket.


Q: When exactly is this live online workshop?

A: The workshop will be held this Friday 24th of November 2017, 3:30 PM USA Eastern Time. (Hint: If you’re not sure what time that will be in your timezone – Use this time zone converter tool to help work it out).


Q: Who is Howard Alden?

A: Shame on you for asking that! Howard Alden is one of the leaders of jazz guitar in the modern era. His accolades include:

– Student the Guitar Institute of Technology in 1977-78 with Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, and Howard Roberts

– Collaborations with Dick Hyman, Dan Barrett, Bucky Pizzarelli and many others

– Alden recorded the guitar performances for Sean Penn‘s character Emmet Ray in Woody Allen‘s 1999 film Sweet and Lowdown – and taught Penn how to mime the performances for the film(!)

– Recorded many albums with Concord Records as well as other labels, including four with the famed 7 string jazz guitar innovator George Van Eps

– Has been the recipient of many awards, including: Best Emerging Guitar Talent, JazzTimes (1990), Guitar Player of the Year, American Guitar Museum (2003), Top 75 Guitarists, Down Beat (2008)

– Jazz critics have said of Howard Alden that “He may be the best of his generation” and “the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists.”

You can tell why I’m so excited Howard is putting on this workshop for you guys. You can find out more about Howard’s accomplishments here.


Q: How long will the workshop go for?

A: Howard has confirmed he is available for 2 hours for this special online workshop. The first part of the workshop will be Howard presenting on the topic (see below), whilst the second part will be devoted to the audience asking Howard questions about the content covered and anything else besides.


Q: What exactly will Howard be covering in this workshop?

A: In the workshop, Howard’s going to show you some easy but powerful techniques to transform your jazz melody playing, improvisation, and chord melodies by use of the ‘Parallel 3rds’ technique. Along the way, he’s going to give you his top tips for making rapid progress with your jazz guitar playing based on his many years of experience as a world renown player and teacher.


Q: How do I join the live session?

A: It’s very easy – you just need to install the web conferencing software in advance of the workshop. I provide full instructions on how to do this when you sign up. The software works on all systems (PC, Mac and all mobile devices and Tablets). If you have the software installed, you simply need to click on a link in an email I send you and you’ll get straight into the session.


Q: How will I be communicating with Howard?

A: You have a choice between audio, video, and text based-chat, depending on what you’re most comfortable with. If you just want to watch the session without interacting, that’s perfectly fine as well.


Q: Ok I’m convinced – how do I sign up?

A: Great! You can do so here.


Do you have a question? Not a problem, reply and let me know right now!

Greg O’Rourke

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

P.S. To make a booking for the Howard Alden workshop, click here:

A chord melody master still among us

Check this video out – it’s amazing:

What you just witnessed was one of the modern day jazz guitar greats playing solo.

None other than Howard Alden.

As you’ll hear in the video, Howard is playing a quirky tune by George Van Eps, one of the kings of chord melody jazz guitar of the last century.

Howard played many concerts with Van Eps, and has kept his tradition of chord melody alive in an unbroken lineage.

Now let me ask you:

Imagine that you had the opportunity to sit down with Howard Alden in a bar somewhere for a couple of hours, and pick his brains about anything and everything about learning jazz guitar and what got his playing to where it is now.

It would be pretty amazing, wouldn’t it?

But – here’s the thing:

You actually have the opportunity to do this. This week.

There’s going to be a window of opportunity to “slip past the bouncers” and meet Howard in his (virtual) backstage green room. I’m serious.

On the 24th of November, Howard Alden has generously offered to do an exclusive 2-hour online jazz guitar workshop for You’ll be able to chat via text or audio in real time and learn Howard’s secrets directly from the “warm breath of the guru”.

I’m extending the invitation to you to book a ticket and to get in on the action.

To find out what the workshop will cover (and to get a seat before they all sell out), go here:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

In the heat of a musical battle, flight hours count

A veteran air pilot, in the heat of battle, has little time to think.

Incredibly complex situations unfolding in the space of a microsecond.

Balancing multiple attackers…

Navigating a clear route…

Identifying targets…

To be able to survive in this situation, it’s not just a case of “knowing the rules”.

A successful pilot in battle requires a deeper form of knowing. A kind of intuitive, spontaneous and natural response to circumstance.

How do you get to this state?

Well, there’s something to be said for ‘flight hours’. Plain, old-fashioned experience on the job, in the real world.

And this truth is not reserved just for the air force.

For jazz, it’s exactly the same.

And for this reason, access to an experienced, master musician is the most precious resource you can find.

Often it’s the small, subtle things that a veteran muso says, almost offhand, that can drastically change your development as a musician and put you on the right track.

This isn’t just theoretical. It’s happened to me a few times.

For example, take the conversations I’ve had with Howard Alden, an internationally acclaimed jazz guitarist. I believe he’s one of the worlds true “Generals” of jazz guitar.

Howard’s got plenty of musical ‘flight hours’ under his belt, that’s for sure. Here’s a guitarist that has spent the large part of his life clocking up thousands of sellout jazz performances from all across across the globe.

By talking with him, Howard has given me some incredible shortcuts to take my playing to places I’ve never thought possible.

And, (incredibly), you’ve now got the opportunity to have this experience too…

Here’s the deal:

Howard Alden is giving an exclusive live online jazz guitar workshop this week for FretDojo.

In the wokshop, Howard’s going to show you some easy but powerful techniques to transform your jazz melody playing, improvisation, and chord melodies by use of the ‘Parallel 3rds’ technique.

There will also be an opportunity to ask Howard your burning questions about any aspect of jazz guitar playing you need help with, right there in the session.

To reserve your place before they run out, go here:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

Am I crazy? Incredibly, no – this is really happening.

I’m writing to you today because I wanted to let you know about the upcoming exclusive online live workshop happening this week with world #1 jazz guitarist, Howard Alden.

Everything is up and running now – this is to advise that bookings are officially open for this incredible chance to spend 2 hours with one of the most highly regarded jazz guitarists of the present day.

I still can’t quite believe this is happening – you would be crazy to pass on this opportunity.

I need to give you a heads up:

Places are already starting to fill up for this live workshop – so make sure you don’t miss out because there are limited spots available.

For more information about the workshop and to grab your place, click here:

In this exclusive live online jazz guitar clinic you’ll learn:
  • The “practice room secrets” of how Howard Alden became a master jazz guitarist
  • The simple and easy tricks for jazzing up your melody playing like a pro
  • The shortcut to opening the door to effortless improvisation – through the simple but powerful ‘parallel 3rds technique’
  • The top techniques Howard uses to make chord melody playing a breeze
  • Ask questions live and get feedback and personalized advice from Howard himself
  • Plus you get Lifetime Access to the recording of this masterclass
  • And a whole lot more…
If you’ve ever dreamed of learning jazz guitar from a legendary guitarist, now’s your chance.
Imagine interacting with an internationally regarded jazz guitarist and ask him any questions live from your home, in order to take your melody and improvisation skills to a PRO level.
Amazingly, I’m NOT crazy – this is the real deal.
Here’s what critics have had to say about Howard Alden:
“He may be the best of his generation,” – Owen Cordle, Jazz Times
“…the most impressive and creative member of a new generation of jazz guitarists.” – George Kanzler, Newark Star Ledger
“…one of the very finest young guitarists working today.” – Chip Deffaa, New York Post
Workshop Time & Details:
24th of November 2017 at 3:30 PM USA Eastern Time
(If you’re not sure what time that will be in your timezone – Use this time zone converter tool to help work it out).
Can’t make it live on the day? Don’t sweat – anyone that purchases a ticket will be given lifetime access to the video replay.
There are limited spaces for this workshop due to a limit on my live video conferencing software, so I would recommend that you consider booking early to ensure you have a place.
Note that if you’re an existing FretDojo Academy Club member, you’re going to get an automatic 20% discount on the workshop fee – how cool is that! (If you’re not a member of the Club yet, there’s an option on the information page to sign up and get the workshop discount all in the one go).

For more details and reserve your spot, go here:

I’ll see you on the inside…

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

P.S. – Let me know if you have any questions about this exciting live workshop with Howard Alden. Reply to this post and I will be happy to answer anything you need to know.

Pin It on Pinterest