JAZZ GUITAR LESSONS

Learn how to play jazz guitar with our free jazz guitar lessons covering scales, chords, modes, improvisation, guitar technique, theory and much more.

Our lessons are for players of all levels, from beginner to advanced, and will improve your guitar playing the fun and easy way!

Get started playing jazz guitar, and download our free eBook by filling out the form below:

Jazz Guitar Lessons For Beginners

Here is a selection of easy lessons that will help you get started playing jazz guitar. These 4 lessons focus on 4 important aspects of learning jazz guitar – chords, arpeggios, scales and playing jazz standards.

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    Guitar scales can be a complicated subject and as a beginner, it's hard to know where to start. In this lesson you will learn 7 scales that will get you playing over jazz standards in no time.
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    The most efficient way to learn how to play jazz guitar is playing songs. Autumn Leaves is an easy jazz song that is the perfect introduction to playing jazz standards and improvisation.

A big part of learning jazz guitar is learning how to play chords. Drop 2 chords are the most important type of jazz chords and the ones you should focus on first. Once you got these under your fingers, have a look at drop 3 chords, inversions and quartal chords. When learning jazz chords, it’s a good idea to study chord progressions, as these are the building blocks of jazz standards.

Shell Chords Guitar Chord Chart
Dirk Laukens

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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Drop 2 Chords Chort Chart
Dirk Laukens

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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D minor quartal chords on the guitar neck 1
Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

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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Jazz Chord Progressions
Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

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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Jazz Guitar Scales are a vital part of playing jazz guitar. Getting started with jazz scales can be complicated because of the wide choice of scales. Besides knowing which scale you can use on which chord, you also need to memorize these scales over the entire fret board before you can apply them to jazz standards. Our lessons will help you in this process, the fun and easy way!

Dirk Laukens

The Beginner’s Guide to Guitar Modes and Scales

Guitar modes are a type of scale that you need to master to be able to improvise in jazz.

Modes can be a bit confusing at the start, but once you get your head around the basic idea, you will notice modes can be quite simple and very useful for improvisation.

In this lesson, you will learn the modes of the major scale. You will learn the theory behind guitar modes, the different fingerings on guitar, and how to use them in your solos.

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Dirk Laukens

The Minor Pentatonic Scale

The minor pentatonic scale is usually one of the first scales you learn as a guitar player. It is used a lot in blues, rock, and pop, but many jazz guitar players seem to neglect this scale.

This doesn’t have to be the case though, because the pentatonic scale is very useful, in jazz as well as other genres.

In this lesson, you will learn all the necessary fingerings of the minor pentatonic scale, and how you can use it to spice up your jazz solos.

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G bebop scale diagram
Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

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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G diminished scale diagram 1
Matt Warnock

The Diminished Scale

The diminished scale is used to improvise over Diminished chords, which occur quite frequently in jazz chord progressions. This scale is built by alternating whole and half steps.

In this lesson, you will learn the theory behind diminished scales, as well as how to use them in your jazz guitar solos.

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Studying jazz guitar licks is a great way to improve your jazz vocabulary. The most important aspect of studying licks is understanding the concepts and ideas behind these licks, so that you can use these ideas in your own playing.

Charlie Parker
Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

20 Classic Bebop Licks For Guitar

Build your jazz guitar vocabulary by learning these 20 classic bebop jazz guitar licks, as well as the important concepts behind each lick.

Learning to understand the concepts behind jazz licks is one of the most important aspects of building a jazz vocabulary.

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II V I jazz guitar licks
Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

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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Jazz Guitar Licks
Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

Classic 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 25 classic jazz licks over major, minor, and dominant chords.

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The Lick
Dirk Laukens

"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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The goal of studying technique, chords, scales and arpeggios is to play and improvise over jazz standards. If you are new to jazz, start with some easy jazz standards such as Autumn Leaves, Summertime or Blue Bossa.

Summertime Melody and Solo Lesson
Dirk Laukens

Summertime Melody & Solo Study

Summertime is another one of those popular jazz standards that every jazz player needs to know.

In this lesson, you will learn a chord/melody arrangement of Summertime. You will also learn to improvise over the chord changes and learn a few soloing concepts.

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Matt Warnock & Dirk Laukens

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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Misty
Dirk Laukens

Misty – Chord Melody & Solo Studies

In this jazz guitar lesson, you will learn how to play Misty, a great and fun-to-play jazz ballad written by Errol Garner.

You will learn a chord melody arrangement and how to solo over Misty’s chords (backing tracks included).

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Dirk Laukens

Top 10 Best Jazz Guitar Solos ( + 10 Licks)

This lesson is the result of a survey among our subscribers. The question was “What is the best jazz guitar solo ever played?”.

The names that made it to the top 10 are Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Charlie Christian, Pat Martino, Jim Hall, Django Reinhardt, Kenny Burrell and Grant Green.

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Matt Warnock

All of Me – Chord and Single Note Soloing

All of Me is a great jazz standard to practice your solo and improvisation skills on.

In this lesson, you will combine chord comping and improvisation over the changes of All of Me (in the style of Joe Pass). Being able to mix single-note solos and chord comping is an essential skill for jazz guitarists of all levels.

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Jazz Guitar Styles

Introduction to Rhythm Changes for Jazz Guitar
Matt Warnock

Introduction To Rhythm Changes (+ Chord & Solo Study)

Rhythm Changes is one of the most popular song forms in jazz and essential to get under your fingers.

This doesn’t mean that it is an easy chord progression. Playing an inspired jazz solo over a Rhythm Changes can be hard because of the many chords and the fast tempo it is usually played in.

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Matt Warnock

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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Jazz Blues Chord Progressions
Matt Warnock

Jazz Blues Chord Progressions & Substitutions

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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Bossa Nova & Latin Jazz Guitar

Besame Mucho
Dirk Laukens

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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The Girl From Ipanema
Dirk Laukens

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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Matt Warnock

Brazilian Jazz Guitar Licks and Solo

Brazilian music had a great influence on players such as Stan Getz and Pat Metheny.

In this lesson, you will learn to play Brazilian jazz guitar licks and solos as you study the work of Baden Powell, Hermeto Pascoal, and more.

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Jazz Guitar Chord Theory
Dirk Laukens

Jazz Guitar Chord Theory – How to Construct Chords?

In this music theory lesson, you will learn how to construct jazz guitar chords from scratch.

Understanding this essential theory will make finding chords on the fretboard much easier and it will take the guesswork out of playing jazz chords.

Besides learning this essential piece of theory, you will also learn how to apply the theory to the guitar. After all, that’s what you are here for!

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Jazz Listening Guides & Books

Al Di Meola's Elegant Gypsy
Dirk Laukens

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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The Advancing Guitarist
Dirk Laukens

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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Miles Davis
Dirk Laukens

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 record to listen to, this is a great starting place.

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Juilliard | Top 25 Jazz Guitar Schools
Matt Warnock

Top 25 US Jazz Guitar Schools

A guide for those that want to take their guitar playing to the next level and are looking for a jazz guitar university program.

Finding and making a choice between the available schools can be though. This guide will help you make your choice.

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Get started playing jazz guitar, and download our free eBook by filling out the form below: