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Jazz Inspiration and Advice from Russell Malone »

Hello all, I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  Happy new year!  I wanted to start off the year with some excellent videos of Russell Malone, one the best jazz guitarists on the planet.   The first couple videos are of him playing with Dianne Reeves in Paris. The next few are of Russell telling […]

Pay Attention to This Every Time You Play »

As jazz guitarists, it’s often a good practice to remember your roots and to stay grounded in the fundamentals.  The most important fundamental in jazz is it’s rhythm and the concept of swing.  If the way you’re playing doesn’t swing, then that’s a major problem.  This applies to every type of jazz player regardless of the […]

Planning, Structuring and Writing out your Jazz Guitar Solos »

I remember when I first started playing jazz guitar. I was simply overwhelmed by everything that I had to learn. So many tunes, chords, scales, arpeggios, licks…. It was crazy. How was I supposed to learn all this stuff in a reasonable time. But I was really passionate about the music and the instrument and […]

How to Improve Your Smooth Jazz Improv Skills »

Anyone who’s followed my site for awhile knows that I emphasize building your jazz vocabulary by listening to the players you like and working with good transcriptions of solos.   The idea being that the more you work those licks and phrases into your own playing, you’ll eventually create your own voice when improvising.  This is […]

Sing What You Play »

In one of my previous articles, I discussed how important it is to develop a jazz vocabulary so that you actually start sounding like a jazz player instead of just playing up and down scales.  I mentioned the importance of learning licks and phrases.  But even if you know some licks, it can still be […]

Just Friends Solo Transcription »

Some of you have asked that I produce a transcription of the solo that I played in this video here: I’m happy to report that I have completed the PDF chart for you to download. Here’s what you get: Standard Notation – An accurate transcription of all the notes that I played in that […]

Using Licks and Phrases in Your Solos »

The first video in this lesson demonstrates how to play a 2-5-1 phrase in the key of F. Gm7-C7-FMaj7. The concept that I used to create this phrase is the same as with the phrase that we learned last time. I’m basically using a Gm7 arpeggio and then transitioning to a diminished substitution to the […]

251 Phrase in the Key of C »

In the following video, I show how to play a nice 2-5-1 phrase in the key of C. Dm7-G7-Cmaj7. The ii-V-I progression is the most popular chord progression in all of jazz. It’s critical that you learn how to play over this progression. Take you time with this lick. Rhythmically, it might be a little […]

Discover this "Secret" and Dramatically Improve Your Jazz Guitar Playing »

Many beginning jazz musicians have misconceptions about what professional jazz musicians actually do when they improvise. In fact, many believe that they are simply playing melodies off the top of their head or that they just have a gift for creating beautiful solos on the fly. This is most certainly not true as I’ve learned […]

Three Types of Jazz Guitar Improvisers »

I generally divide jazz guitarists into three basic camps when it comes to improvising styles: Motif style, Cliche-based, and Stream of Consciousness. Obviously all players don’t fall completely into any of these camps but it helps me to organize things. Motif-Based A player in the Motif camp generally will take maybe 3 or 4 ideas […]