with Greg O’Rourke, Pro Jazz Guitarist and Founder of

Video 1 The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

Welcome to the 3-part course presented by Greg O’Rourke, founder of Fret Dojo.
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Highlights of Today’s Video

  • Why learning to improvise is similar to learning a spoken language – and how this way of thinking can quickly get you results
  • Why learning scales and arpeggios only, without some extra ingredients, will never sound like jazz
  • How you can encourage your brain to quickly learn the skill of improvisation using jazz phrases and melodies

Course Progress:

Video #2

Video #3


  1. Jim Matson

    the concept you discuss seems to make sense….

  2. Roger Pearson

    Hi Greg

    Ok you’ve got me hooked.

  3. John Matthews

    Great video and approach to teaching this complex topic… other observation re challenges a new student of jazz improv faces, especially if he or she has been playing the instrument for some time: the vastness of the tools that are available for use in the genre….using arpeggios, chord tone approaches, double stops a la Wes, using Pentatonics and the Blues scale over Jazz Blues progression, chord melody soloing, phrasing focusing on approach notes, enclosures, chromatic lines……sometimes exploring the depth of the material to be used if you want to sound authentic in your soloing can be overwhelming and demotivating……because, of course, the time that one needs to put in to merely add some of these tools, far less mastering them, seems impossible to find in a Lifetime!

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Thanks for your thoughts John and the positive feedback – the trick is to pare down the tools to the bare essentials in order to get started. Once you establish that foundation, it becomes easier to add more and more tools.

  4. Paul Morales

    I enjoyed watching Video 1 on improvising. Well done! Learning the language of jazz is something I’ve heard many teachers and musicians talk about. Conceptually, this makes sense. But actually doing it, slowly and systematically building a collection of riffs and licks that can be integrated into an improvisational skill is something I simply have not been able to do effectively.

    Probably the approach I typically fall into for improvising is to focus more on the chord changes and use chord tones as target notes. Once in a while, I just try to vary dynamics (rhythm, note density …) Even less frequently , I might try to create a 3 or four note riffs, that I then expand on, either thru sequencing (starting on a different note of a scale) or embellishing with more notes. Even rarer, I might take a short sequence from the melody of the tune, and use it as a riff that I can expand on. But none of these approaches gives me the feeling of being able to speak the jazz language.

    I look forward to watching videos #2 and #3 on improvising.

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Thanks for your kind feedback Paul! Glad you enjoyed the video – you definitely need to watch video #2 as it will show you how to get more of the jazz language into your solos which will fit in very well with the practice techniques you are already using.

  5. Angelo

    Hey Greg,
    I was a member of your Improvising course some time ago. Here are two questions:
    Assuming from the first video here that it’s worthwhile to memorize many lines, I wonder if my 57 year old brain is just too old to do all that memorizing?? I also wonder if on the other hand, I can boost brain power by memorizing the lines? Thanks!

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Hi Angelo,

      You don’t need to memorize LOADS of lines to get started with this technique, just a few initially – lines are only a couple of bars long so won’t take long to remember them. Definitely not too old – I’ve had 85 year old students who have successfully used this technique :-) I like to think of the brain as a muscle – the more exercise you give it the fitter it gets to memorize etc.

  6. Hobert Bishop

    Greg, I like the way that you go about your teaching I think I can learn a lot from you thank you.

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Thanks very much Howard – I appreciate your kind comments and glad to hear you enjoy my teaching style.

  7. Jay

    It makes sense, you’ve made me interested to dig deeper into your method; got some questions, but gonna save them until I watch the other 2 videos, maybe I’ll find my answer there. Thank you for sharing your knowledge

    • Greg O'Rourke

      It’s a pleasure Jay! Yes check out the next videos as it will go through a case study of how to implement this approach. Cheers, Greg

  8. Zoran

    Hi there.. Years of practicing with no real results.. Hope this help even lot of motivation had been lost.. Thanks for trying

  9. Mark Conrad

    It sounds like it could work. Wish me luck. :)

  10. GEO F Etienne

    it’s makes a lot of sense for me the way you use to show how to start practicing the JAZZ IMPROVISATION PHRASES!

    Because I always think about creating something from my brain instead of motifs.

    I hope Greg with you i’II be able to learn how to improvise also with motifs like 2,5,1 or 6,2,5,1 and else.

    Thank you very much for help!!!

  11. Cesar Primo Paterno

    I found that your explanations are very clear and making a lot of sense. Thank you and congratulations so far!

    • Greg O'Rourke

      Thanks very much for your kind feedback Cesar, great to hear you’re getting value out of these videos! Cheers, Greg


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