The jazz police are coming to get you

by | Dec 7, 2017 | Articles, General Updates | 0 comments

In the jazz scene you’ll run across people whose job seems to be to tell you what jazz is, and what it isn’t:

“You can’t ever bend the strings when improvising jazz!”

“I’m sorry – but you’re completely incorrect. You said it was a G7#5 chord, but technically it should be a G7b13”.

“You can’t play jazz on a solid body guitar!”

These are known as the Jazz Police. Strutting around with their trusty jazz theory and history books at hand, ready to pounce on any offender that dares to be a culprit of Jazz Heresy – (gasp) the most appalling and heinous crime.


This kind of attitude annoys me. Music needs to evolve and grow, rather being stuck in a dusty institution like some sort of museum exhibit.

Now, let’s get something straight – it’s important:

To get to where you want to be as a jazz player, reading a load of theory books and stuffing your head full of “rights” and “wrongs” will not help you. You need to get your hands dirty. Learn a bunch of jazz standards, mingle with other jazz players, and actually start playing music with real people – this is the real way to build your jazz skills.

An example:

Since I’ve been running my online monthly jazz standard learning group, I’ve noticed the confidence level of the members quickly go through the roof and their playing improving dramatically.


Simply by learning as a group, having a monthly goal, and getting stuck into actual music making. There’s something about learning alongside real people that can’t ever be replaced by a textbook or a neat list of rules.

So take that, Jazz Police. Go underground and get black-market access to my online jazz guitar club here:

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:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

P.S – By the way, Ed Bickert, one of the greatest jazz guitarists who ever lived, played jazz on a solid body Telecaster. Even with a single coil pickup at times. So there.

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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