Hi, my name is Dirk Laukens and I teach jazz guitar.

I grew up with the music of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but soon after my first guitar teacher (Jo Cassiers) introduced me to the jazz standards So What and All of Me, I got hooked on jazz.

This led me to start studying jazz guitar full-time, first at the Jazz Studio (Antwerp, Belgium) and then at the Royal Conservatory of Music, also in Antwerp.

Dirk Laukens

My guitar teachers at that time were Hendrik Braeckman and Martijn van Iterson. I also followed guest lessons and workshops by John Abercrombie, Jesse van Ruller, Kenny Wheeler, Barry Harris, Maria Schneider, and many more.

In 2003, I started Jazz Guitar Online as a means to document my lessons at the Conservatory. This grew out to the biggest and most popular jazz guitar website it is today, and a thriving forum with over 65,000 members.

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have feedback or questions about all things guitar-related, I’m here to help!

My Current Gear

Gibson ES-175 (1973)

After years of playing Ibanez, Heritage, and Epiphone, I found my workhorse guitar in this 1973 Gibson ES-175.

Fender Telecaster Vintage White

Fender Telecaster

I use this Fender Telecaster for more pop orientated stuf. A versatile guitar at a great price.

Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb

Fender Tone Master Twin Reverb

This digital version of the Fender Twin Reverb has the classic sound of the Twin at half the weight.

TC Electronic HOF 2 (Reverb)

The HOF is a great and inexpensive reverb pedal with a lot of possibilities and a great sound.

Thomastik JS112 Jazz Swing

I have been using these flat wound strings since forever because of their great sound and low tension.

Blue Chip BC Jazz 60

BlueChip BC Jazz 60

They ain't cheap, but I have yet to find a pick with the same sound and control as these BlueChips.

My Latest Lessons

Drop 3 chord chart preview
Jazz Guitar Chords

Drop 3 Chords & Inversions

Drop 3 chords are usually one of the first chord types beginning jazz guitarists start to learn.

They are ideal to use in a solo or duo setting because the bass note of drop 3 voicings is always on the 5th or 6th string.

In this lesson, you will learn how drop 3 chords are built and how you can use them on guitar (chord chart included).

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Guitar Scales

The Gypsy Minor Scale

In this lesson, you will learn a theme based on the gypsy minor scale, a scale that is prominently used in Romani (gypsy) music. Exotic guitar scales like this one are a good way to bring new sounds into your playing. The gypsy minor scale (aka Hungarian minor scale or double harmonic minor scale) is

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The Girl From Ipanema
Jazz Guitar Chords

The Girl from Ipanema Chords

The Girl From Ipanema, written by Antonio Carlos Jobim, is probably the most famous bossa nova song ever.

In this lesson, you will learn the original chords and rhythm as recorded by Jobim.

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Triad Superimposition

Upper Structure Triads

Upper structure triads are useful for bringing new elements into your solos and comping. Upper structure triads and superimposition are something that you will hear popping up all on recordings by just about every single well-known jazz musician. As with every new improvisational device, the most important part is getting your ear acclimated to this

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Jaco Pastorius The Chicken
Jazz Standards

The Chicken (Jaco Pastorius)

The Chicken is a cool jazz funk standard composed by Pee Wee Ellis, saxophonist and member of James Brown’s band in the 60s. The Chicken first appeared as a B-side of a 1969 James Brown single called The Popcorn but was later made famous by Jaco Pastorius, who made it his signature song. The chicken

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Besame Mucho
Latin Guitar

Besame Mucho Chords

Besame Mucho is a popular Bolero song played by Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, and The Beatles, among many others. The most famous jazz version of Besame Mucho has been recorded by Wes Montgomery on his album Boss Guitar.

In this lesson, you will learn a chord accompaniment on acoustic guitar.

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Drop 2 Chords Chort Chart
Jazz Guitar Chords

Drop 2 Chords

Drop 2 chords are the most popular and useful chord voicings for jazz guitarists and have been used by many great jazz guitar players such as Wes Montgomery and Joe Pass.

Download our chord chart and learn how to play drop 2 chords for comping, soloing and chord-melody arrangements.

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Shell Chords Guitar Chord Chart
Jazz Guitar Chords

Shell Jazz Guitar Chords (For Beginners)

Shell jazz guitar chords are also known as guide tone chords and are the most basic type of chords used in jazz.

Shell chords are a good place to get started because they contain the most important notes of a chord and can be used to build more complex chords.

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The most popular jazz guitar amps as chosen by you...
Jazz Guitar Gear

The Best Jazz Guitar Amps (Top 25) – Survey Results

Tone is an important aspect of any jazz guitarist’s voice and musical output. Whether you are jamming or out on a gig, your tone is what sets you apart from other players, and gives your playing a distinct voice all it’s own. One of the most important aspects of developing a solid tone is finding the

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The most popular jazz guitars
Jazz Guitar Gear

The Best Jazz Guitars (Top 15) – Survey Results

Guitarists in all genres love their gear, especially their guitars of choice, and jazzers are no different. In order to find out exactly what jazz guitarists are playing these days, we set out to conduct a survey of JGO readers and asked them about their best jazz guitar. After getting back over 5000 responses from

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Beginner Jazz Guitar Chord Chart
Jazz Guitar Chords

17 Easy Jazz Guitar Chords For Beginners

Jazz guitar chords can be complicated and as a beginner, it’s hard to know where to start. When first learning how to play jazz chords, many of us are intimidated by their sounds and shapes. But, jazz chords don’t have to be difficult to get under your fingers if you begin with the right shapes.

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The Lick

"The Lick"

The Lick is probably the most famous jazz phrase ever, you will literally start hearing it everywhere once it gets in your ears!

The Lick is a bebop phrase that is usually played over a minor 2-5-1 but can be played over other chords as well.

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Jazz Guitar Chords

Steely Dan Chords

This short lesson is about a type of chord that occurs frequently in Steely Dan songs and that is known to Steely Dan fans as the ‘mu major chord’ or the ‘µ chord‘. Mu major is another name for an add 2 chord and is nothing more than a major triad with an added 2:

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Amazing Grace jazz guitar arrangement
Chord Melody Jazz Guitar

Amazing Grace Solo Guitar Arrangement

Amazing Grace is a famous Christian hymn, written in 1779, and became the spiritual national hymn of America.

Here, you will learn to play a jazz guitar chord/melody arrangement of this classic hymn.

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Miles Davis
Jazz Guitar for Beginners

Top 100 Jazz Albums

This listening guide is a top 100 of jazz albums that don’t have a guitar player in the leading role.

If you are looking for a new jazz music to listen to, this is a great starting place.

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The Advancing Guitarist
Jazz Guitar for Beginners

Top 50 Jazz Guitar Books

There’s a ton of jazz guitar books available nowadays, some are great, some are not so great.

This top 50 compiled by our readers is a great place to start if you are looking for a new book to dive into.

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Al Di Meola's Elegant Gypsy
Jazz Guitar for Beginners

Top 100 Jazz Guitar Albums

Here is a top 100 of best jazz guitar albums, as voted by our readers. If you are new to jazz guitar, this listening guide is a good place to start, with a wide variety of styles and jazz guitarists.

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