Enter the Jazz Guitar Dragon

by | Mar 20, 2018 | Articles, General Updates | 0 comments

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:


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