Category Archives: News

Updates from Jens Larsen – Jazz guitarist

Guest on Guitar Hour Podcast

Check out my Guest appearance on the Guitar Hour Podcast! A lot of fun to do! We talk about Fretboard Visualization systems (without bloodshed) and about creating Guitar Content for the interweb! 

Hope you like it!


How to add extensions to a chord

In this video I am going to show you how to use chord extensions on guitar and add some great colors to your chords. I will go over two ways you can explore this than can really help you create some beautiful jazz chords. You can easily do this by applying some really simple music theory to the instrument and you will strengthen your fretboard knowledge in the process.

I will give you some ideas on how to get started with this way of thinking and show you how you can use it to create new chord voicings from the ones you already know or build completely new ones. Both approaches were for me a great way to explore harmony and extend my chord vocabulary.

In Jazz Chord Extensions are not only about the color of the chord but also a way to get the ability to create interesting melodies while comping and reacting to the soloist you are playing behind.

Contents of the video:

0:00 Intro – 2 ways to create Chords with Extensions

0:55 A little basic theory

1:17 Chord Construction in a scale

1:51 Adding diatonic extensions

2:33 The troublesome 11th

3:15 A quick-fix for it with some consequences

3:27 Method #1 – Substitution

3:42 how it works

4:08 A lot of Cmaj7 voicings with extensions

5:09 The basic rules used in Method #1

5:19 Som advantages to this approach

6:08 Method #2 – Constructing New Voicings from a Shell

6:24 The basic chord tones

6:29 A lot of different Cmaj7 voicings with extensions following this method

7:27 Using a different shell for more options

8:38 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

3 Important Things To Learn From Other Styles

When You Practice different styles you learn skills that you can take use it to strengthen the way you play jazz. This video gives some examples of that! Of course this works if jazz is not your main genre as well. A lot of musicians check out jazz to learn more about playing over harmony.

Learn Jazz Guitar skills by studying other Styles

For me using other genres as a way of developing skills has been extremely useful. So I want to talk about what I have learned from playing other styles and hopefully you guys can also share some good ideas as well if there are skills you have picked up from other genres.

Table of Contents

0:00 Intro

0:36 Skills I have trained using other Styles of Music

1:14 Funk/Soul Strumming – What you Learn

2:33 Grooves, Sounds and Dynamics from Rock and Pop

3:55 Arpeggiating, incomplete chords and Using Effects

4:44 Samba and Bossanova – 2 Important lessons

4:51 Locking in with a groove

5:06 Example of a groove

5:29 Relating your solo to a Specific Rhythmical Pattern

6:05 Example of soloing

6:39 What Did you learn from other styles? Share some good tips!

7:06 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

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Scale Positions for Guitar – The 3 most Important Systems

Scale Positions are often a topic for heated discussion and are of course also an important system for understanding the guitar in the context of the music we play. This video goes over 3 systems for scale fingerings I talk about how they are constructed and work. I also discuss some of the things they do well and some things they do less well.

To also explain why I think the way I do about scale positions I also talk about my own learning path when it comes to scale fingering systems. Hopefully this will also give you some insight in why I think the way I do about the different systems.

You can download an overview of the scales here:

7 Positions – Overview

Table of Contents

0:00 Intro and Internet Drama

1:05 Who needs scales anyway?

1:25 My Home Made Blues Scale Position

2:10 Learning Improvisation and 5 Scale Positions

2:38 Needing a System and Finding one

3:40 #1 – 7 Position System

5:30 Conservatory Technique and not learning 3NPS

5:52 Learning to play fast with John Petrucci

6:48 #2 – 3NPS (3 Notes Per String)

8:12 How I know the CAGED SYSTEM

8:40 #3 The CAGED System

9:48 Comparing the systems

10:22 The 7 Position systems and a few issues

10:42 Stretches and Position Shifts

12:10 Hidden Stretches in The CAGED system

13:11 The CAGED Scales and The Basic Chords & Arpeggios

14:02 What System do you use? Did I get something wrong?

14:21 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!


You can of course also check out some of my other videos on Scale Positions and Fretboard knowledge:

Fretboard Visualization That makes musical sense for Jazz Guitar

Practice Major Scales like this and You will get more out of it!

Favourite Chord in the key of C Major?

A chord that isn’t in the key isn’t always a modulation. There are many chords that you will come across in songs that music theory does not describe as a modulation.

In this video I talk a bit about some of those progressions of chords. Show an example of something that is a modulation and a few progressions that are not modulations but still contain chords that are not found in the scale.

The way I view music theory is that it is a description of the music that I play that helps me understand and hear what is going on. In most genres of music you will find a lot of chords that are maybe not diatonic to the scale but are still in the key. Examples of this are found as secondary dominants, modal interchange or borrowed chords from the parallel key.

Content of the video

0:00 Intro and a bit of heated discussion

1:09 Diatonic Chords

1:37 Modulation or not?

2:00 Progressions with non diatonic chord in the key

2:39 A progression that modulates

3:26 What can you come across? Secondary dominants

4:06 Modal Interchange/Borrowing from minor

4:25 Overview of the 21 chords in C minor.

4:55 Song examples with borrowed chords

5:25 My favorite chord and a little solo with it!

5:55 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

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How To Analyze Chords and Progressions

We Analyze Chords and Chord Progressions because it is very important to understand how the music flows and also to figure out what to play and how to play when we solo over it.

In this video I am going to take a well know Jazz Standard There Will Never Be Another You and use a step-wise method to analyze the a song. Understand the chords and the progression, and find out what scales go with the chords. This will go a bit beyond just recognizing the II V I’s and also help you really understand a lot of progressions in jazz.

As a musician I find that knowing and using music theory like this is really helpful when studying pieces and sight-reading charts. For me it helps me hear the music on the page, the changes and the color of the melody. For that Harmonic analysis is a very useful skill.

Analyze Chords – Video Content:

0:00 Intro

0:36 What we use the Analysis for

1:06 Three Step Analysis using Roman Numeral

1:29 A few approaches to find the key -The Melody

2:00 The Chord as a way of finding the key

2:27 Diatonic chords in the scale

2:56 The Diatonic chords in the progression

3:54 Adding secondary Dominants and Cadences

6:34 The 3 remaining Chords

6:46 Minor Subdominant

8:47 The Tritone substitute

9:47 The #IV

11:40 Using the analysis to assign scales

13:30 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

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If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

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Beautiful Chord Ideas That Will Boost Your Comping

Most of the time when you think about comping you are concerned with the chords, voicings and rhythms you are using. Those are of course important but there are also other things to consider when Comping and playing chord melody that can really transform how your chords sound.

This video is going over 4 examples of ways to play chords that can help you add something new to how you sound when you are comping or making a chord melody.

The importance of comping

In my experience, being a jazz guitarist you spend a lot more time playing chords than soloing and that skill is something you want to take as far as you can!


0:00 Intro — Sounds better if you break a few rules 

1:09 Not Always Voice-Leading! 

2:49 Explaining the Example 

3:52 Inner-voice movement 

4:29 The Example and why you should listen to Bill Evans

 5:18 Putting it to use in a Chord Melody arrangement 

5:56 How To Practice using this

6:46 Melodic Pedal Points or Sustained Melody notes 

8:47 Arpeggio Polyphony — What most jazz guitarists forget to do.. 

9:25 The Example 

10:39 A simple application with Drop2 voicings 

11:14 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

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If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

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Jazz Swing Feel – How To Get It Right (And You Want To)

How to Swing and how to work on your swing feel. Swing feel is the elusive part of Jazz Phrasing that we can’t really describe and tell you how to work on. Most of the time it is hard to understand and work on. In this video I am going over how to hear, practice and understand different types of swing feel and use this to improve your playing.

Examples of Jazz Swing Feel in recordings

In the video I am referencing some recordings by Jazz Guitarists that you can check out as examples of different types of swing feel: 

Joe Pass Stompin at the Savoy:

Pat Martino

Wes Montgomery



0:00 Intro

1:07 What is Swing-Feel?

1:20 Sub-division, notation and different interpretation

1:55 We can’t really write it down and there is no one perfect solution

2:23 Train you ears, Hearing rhythms

2:51 3 Examples of different swing feel

3:06 Joe Pass – Slow Medium

3:37 Pat Martino – Medium Up

3:56 Wes Montgomery – Medium

4:20 Check out the complete tracks for a better impression of the feel

4:32 Ways to work on Swing-Feel

4:40 Imitate solos and really nail the phrasing

5:08 Experiment with what you can play

6:03 Who is your favoirite when it comes to swing feel?

6:31 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

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If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:

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10 Commandments of Learning Jazz

Setting up an efficient Jazz Practice is both important and difficult. You have to take care to spend your time efficiently and not have unrealistic goals or expectations. This video goes over some things that you want to think about and consider when you are learning jazz or any other style of music like jazz (though it probably applies to studying other styles as well). It is coming out of my own experiences with a few suggestions from people like Allan Holdsworth and Peter Bernstein.

Having the right mindset when studying and learning music is extremely important and I am curious what you think about this 10 topics, so please chip in with thoughts and suggestions!

7 Minor Scales You Need To Know About

Having different Minor Scale will help you not always sounding the same in your solos. It is important to have a solid vocabulary to chose a minor scale from. The minor scale guitar solos in this video demonstrate 7 different sounds and I also talk about what the notes are and how I improvise with the scale.

Hope you like it!


0:00 Intro

0:46 Melodic Minor Solo

1:05 Scale break down and improvisation suggestions

2:59 Harmonic Minor Solo

3:21 Scale break down – It’s a sound not just a set of notes!

5:32 Dorian Solo

5:56 Scale Discussion – Modes are not really tonal

8:23 Natural Minor/Aeolian Solo

8:46 The Scale and the Folk Sound

10:31 The Blues Scale

10:51 A scale sound on top of a minor chord?

11:58 Dorian #4

12:23 Scale break down – A harmonic minor sound and a triad pair

14:35 The Augemented Scale

14:55 A scale that doesn’t really fit but it still does…

17:52 Did I forget a scale?

18:25 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page