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 posibilities 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

Blue Chip BC Jazz 60

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

My Latest Lessons

Pat Metheny - Two for the Road Licks
Jazz Guitar Players

Pat Metheny

Known for his enormous contribution to jazz and electric guitar, Pat Metheny has become a household name over his long and illustrious career. Pat Metheny manages to combine virtuosity with accessibility, resulting in music that is pleasing for two kinds of audiences, hence his popularity. 5 Licks From Two For The Road While Pat Metheny

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Kenny Burrell
Jazz Guitar Players

Kenny Burrell

There are few players that have had a longer and more influential career than the great jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell. Burrell has inspired countless guitarists to make the switch from blues and rock to jazz with his own unique style of blues and bebop inspired playing. Kenny Burrell has been a high-in-demand guitarist during his

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C major 7 jazz guitar chords
Chords

Major Chords

Major 7 chords are the most commonly used chords in jazz.

In this lesson, You will start with the basic major 7th chord, before moving on to more advanced major chords such as major 6, maj9, maj6/9, maj13, maj7#11, and maj7#5.

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Cm7 drop 3 inversions 2
Chords

Minor Chords

In this lesson, you will learn how to play the many shapes and colors of minor chords.

You will start with the basic minor 7th chord, before moving on to more advanced minor chords such as m6, m9, m11, and mMaj7.

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Grant Green
Jazz Guitar Players

Grant Green

Learn how to play jazz guitar in the style of Grant Green.

Grant Green was a legendary guitar player, and it’s a good idea to study his concepts and licks.

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Diminished Chord Chart
Chords

Diminished Chords

Although diminished chords are not used as often as major and minor chords, you should have a good understanding of these chords because they show up in many jazz standards.

Diminished chords are usually used as a passing chord or as a substitute for dominant chords. In this lesson, you will learn all the necessary diminished chord shapes and how to use them in your playing.

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Tritone solo
Chords

Tritone Substitution

Tritone substitution is one of the most popular chord substitutions in jazz. The tritone concept is very versatile and can be used for soloing, comping and composition.

In this lesson, you will learn what tritone substitution is and how you can apply it on the guitar.

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Minor blues scale chart
Scales

Blues Scales – The Major and Minor Blues Scale

The blues scale is a very versatile scale and one that is easy to finger on the guitar. There are 2 types of blues scales, the minor blues scale and the major blues scale.

In this lesson, you will learn how to build both blues scales, how to apply them to your jazz solos, how to finger them on the guitar + sample licks and solos.

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G bebop scale diagram
Scales

The Bebop Scale

The bebop scale is one of the easiest ways to add a jazzy sound to your guitar playing. This is because you add a chromatic note to the regular modes, and chromatic notes are an important aspect of the jazz sound.

There are three types of bebop scales: the dominant, minor and major bebop scale.

In this lesson, you will learn what the bebop scales are, how they look on the guitar and how you can use these scales in your solos.

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C whole tone scale fingering
Scales

The Whole Tone Scale For Guitar

The whole tone scale is a cool-sounding dominant 7th scale that you can use to add tension to your dominant 7th chords.

In this lesson, you will learn how to build the whole tone scale and apply it to your jazz guitar playing.

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Jazz Blues Chord Progressions
Blues

Jazz Blues Chord Progressions

Blues is a predecessor of jazz, and both genres have always been heavily intertwined. The type of blues played by jazz musicians is more complex than traditional blues, but both have the same characteristics.

In this lesson, you will learn 6 variations of the jazz blues progression going from the basic original blues to more modern variations like the bebop blues changes.

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Jazz Chord Progressions
Chords

Jazz Chord Progressions

In this lesson, you will learn the 10 most popular jazz chord progressions with practical examples for guitar.

Chord progressions are the backbone of any jazz standard and knowing how to play the most-used progressions is essential for any jazz musician.

Practicing these 10 progressions will give you a head start when learning new jazz standards.

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All the Things You Are
Jazz Standards

All The Things You Are

All The Things You Are is another essential jazz standard and one that is often played by beginning jazz musicians, although it has a fairly complex harmony.

In this lesson, you will analyze the harmony of All The Things, learn a chord melody arrangement and a solo study.

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A melodic minor scale chart
Scales

Modes Of The Melodic Minor Scale For Guitar

The melodic minor scale is one of the most useful scales in jazz. In this lesson, you will learn what the melodic minor modes are, how they look on the guitar and how you can use them in your solos. All the modes on this page have the A root, so you can hear the

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Beginners Lessons

Bebop Guitar – The Beginner’s Guide

Bebop is one of the most exciting jazz styles to play on the guitar.

In this lesson, you will learn the basics of bebop: chromatic notes, the bebop scales, bebop motifs and a solo over Scrapple from the Apple in the style of Charlie Parker. Practice the bebop concepts in this lesson and you will get that “jazzy” sound in your guitar playing.

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Miles Davis
Licks

Miles Davis For Guitar

Miles Davis’ professional career spans 50 years during which he was on top of almost every important innovation in jazz. Miles Davis impressed by his performance, recordings, and also by his choice of sidemen. Though not a guitarist, studying Miles Davis’ lines can take your jazz guitar soloing chops and creativity to the next level.

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II V I jazz guitar licks
Licks

II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

The ii V I chord progression is the most common progression in jazz music.

Learning ii V I licks is an important step in building a jazz vocabulary, and the licks on this page can quickly and easily add some great sounding jazz phrases to your arsenal.

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Soloing

Chromaticism – How to Add Chromatic Notes to Scales and Arpeggios

Chromaticism is an important concept for any jazz guitarist to study and master in his playing. In this lesson, we’ll look at how you can take all of the scales and arpeggios you have learned over the years and turn them into “jazzy” sounding phrases by using chromatic approach notes. This is a big obstacle

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Joe Pass
Jazz Guitar Players

Joe Pass Jazz Guitar Licks

Joe Pass is undoubtedly one of the greatest jazz guitarists to ever play the instrument. He could play single-line solo, chord soloing phrases, perform in a trio, duo or solo setting with the best of them, and always be instantly recognizable by his tone and approach to the melodic and harmonic sides of jazz guitar

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D minor quartal chords on the guitar neck 1
Chords

Quartal Guitar Chords, Harmony & Voicings

Quartal chords were made popular by McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans. They have a jazzy sound and work very well in modal music, but can be used on any jazz standard.

In this lesson, you will learn how to construct quartal chords, how to use them on guitar and you’ll also play through some comping and soloing examples.

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Pat Martino
Jazz Guitar Players

10 Pat Martino Jazz Guitar Licks

Pat Martino is one of the greatest players to ever pick up the guitar, and studying his material may seem like a daunting thing to tackle. But, by breaking down his solos into phrases, analyzing those phrases, and taking the underlying concepts to your own playing, you will be able to get that legendary Pat

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Jazz Guitar Licks
Licks

Easy Jazz Guitar Licks

Learning jazz guitar licks is an is essential when learning how to play jazz guitar. By studying classic jazz guitar licks, you learn how to phrase and develop rhythmic as well as melodic ideas.

In this lesson, you will learn 30 classic jazz licks over major, minor, and dominant chords.

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Jazz Guitar Patterns
Licks

Jazz Guitar Patterns

Patterns are small melodic or rhythmic units that are very useful for improvising and easy to memorize. When moving beyond scales and arpeggios in your guitar studies, the next logical step is to build your vocabulary by learning these common jazz guitar patterns. By learning how to play and solo with these classic jazz patterns,

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George Benson Jazz Guitar Licks
Jazz Guitar Players

George Benson Jazz Guitar Licks

One of the most successful, and sometimes controversial, jazz guitarists of all time is George Benson. While he began his career as a pure jazz guitarist, taking up the lineage of Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery, Benson later branched off into the pop world where he achieved worldwide success with albums such as Breezin’. George

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Wes Montgomery jazz guitar licks
Jazz Guitar Players

Wes Montgomery Jazz Guitar Licks

There is no doubt that Wes Montgomery (aka The Thumb) was one of the most legendary players of all time. He was one of the best single-line soloists in jazz history, on the guitar or otherwise. His lines had driving rhythm, interesting note choices and always had a sense of melody and melodic development that

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Jazz guitar scales for the minor blues
Blues

Jazz Guitar Scales For The Minor Blues

Though closely related in form and harmonic movement to its major blues cousin, the minor blues requires an understanding of a number of new scales and modes when first learning how to solo over this common jazz form. In this lesson, you will learn all the scales needed to improvise over a minor blues. Though

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How To Play Diminished Arpeggios
Arpeggios

How To Play Diminished Arpeggios

Diminished arpeggios are an essential tool every jazz guitar player should have under his/her belt + they are relatively easy to play on the guitar because of their symmetric formation. Read on to learn how to play diminished arpeggios on guitar and how to use them in a musical context. How is a Diminished Chord

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