Category Archives: News

Updates from Jens Larsen – Jazz guitarist

25 Reharmonizations of a Turnaround – Discover New Modern Jazz Chord Progressions

A great way to write better chord progressions is to check out reharmonization techniques and chord substitution. You can build your jazz theory or jazz harmony vocabulary like your solo vocabulary.

In this video I am going to take a I VI II V and go over 30 different ways of playing this progression. Some of the very common ones and also a lot that are more advanced or modern. Hopefully you can use the chord progressions to get some new ideas and techniques for reharmonization or for your own compositions!

0:00 Writing better chord progressions
1:24 The basic turnaround and some variations
4:22 The I I7 IV V
5:34 The Radiohead turnaround
6:09 #IVdim in the standard turnaround
7:12 The Ladybird Turnaround
8:43 Getting less functional and more substitutions
9:55 Reinterpreting other chords in the progression
11:04 The “Inner Urge” idea
11:49 Major 3rd tonalities
12:23 #IV instead of the V
14:42 Same interval in the root movement
16:31 More Poppy sound without dom7th chords
16:45 Same melody note
17:42 IVm type chords instead of V
19:09 Upper-structure resolving passing chords
19:54 How to use the vamps and the exercises

3 Exercises you MUST know on songs – Better than the usual Scales and Arpeggios

Working on Exercises while improvising is a very efficient way to improve your jazz improvisation. Developing you abilities while improvising means that you are finalizing what you have checked out as exercises or written new material with. In this video I will cover 3 exercises that you can add to your jazz guitar practice routine and help different aspects of improvising and translating your technical skills to your improvised solos.

I have also added an extra exercise that will give you a new way of developing and understanding of the harmony and voice-leading plus elp you come up with new licks or lines.

 

List of contents:

1:32 Solo only using Basic Diatonic Arpeggios
2:11 Discussion of Arpeggio solo exercise
4:32 Solo in one position
5:08 What to take away from soloing in one place on the neck
6:59 Continuous Motion solo
7:36 What to focus on and learn from Continuous Neck movement on the neck
9:43 When and how to use these exercises
11:04 The Bonus exercise to develop new licks or lines
13:31 How to make guide tones and what you can work on with this exercise.

Reharmonization – Making Songs Fresh & Personal by Reharmonizing

Reharmonization is a great tool to add some interesting sounds or surprises to you Jazz Standards or Covers. This video will take the jazz standard Body and Soul, analyze the harmony of the A part and go over some of the more subtle but effective things you can do with reharmonizing the chords.

The video covers different reharmonization techniques and offers some options for an arrangement of this jazz ballad.

 

 

My Favourite YouTube Jazz Guitar Videos! – Scofield, Kreisberg & Hekselman

 

This video is a small set of recommendations of some of the videos I came across on YouTube. All the videos are live performances and they are a bit “unofficial” But in my opinion they really capture some of the things I like about these jazz guitarists and their bands.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqWcTA1eGWI

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! 🙂🙂

Sight-reading and interpreting a Jazz Standard Leadsheet

Sight-reading music is a tricky situation to be in for most jazz guitar players. Most of the time when you are in a situation where you have to read music from a leadsheet or similar you actually have to interpret what is there as much as you have to be able to read a specific melody or set of voicings. This interpretation and analysis is what I try to discuss in this video.

The video covers a discussion and an analysis of the song and different approaches to comping and strategies to keep in mind.

1:00 The song
1:22 Analysis: The Form
4:45 Advantage to understand the form
9:07 Playing I remember You
10:21 Analyzing and Correcting the Chords
13:46 Generalizing Chord Progressions
18:48 Reading the melody and incorporating that into the comp
20:11 Extensions behind the melody
23:25 Turning this into instant chord melody arrangements + Practical thoughts
25:43 Comping The Tune
26:03 Different types of comping
26:27 Comping with inner-voice movement and a bit of counterpoint
27:58 Comping more rhythmical and riff oriented (Drop2 and Triads)
29:00 #IV diminished stategy
29:29 Comping example: Cadence for the #IV
30:33 Leave space for the soloist
31:06 Comping just laying down the harmony
32:03 Strategies for soloing
33:24 Chord Reduction of the song
34:27 Solo on I Remember You
36:51 Reducing and Things to watch out for
38:19 Problem with Chord Scale theory

Vlog: How many ways can you Reharmonize a II-V-I in C major?

The II-V-I is at the center of almost all jazz harmony. In this lesson I set out to try and see a big set of the possibilites you have in reharmonizing a II V I and make a long list of possible chord substitutions. The Jazz Theory that I mostly apply to the II V I cord progression in this reharm lesson is classical or functional harmony. The approach I mostly use. In the later options I also rely on some modal interchange and more freely associated jazz chord substitutions.

List of contents:

0:59 Different sounds on G7
6:09 Tritone substitution
7:59 IV minor chords
15:45 V minor chords
16:28 Diatonic substitution from the Altered Scale
17:45 Diatonic substitution with Tri-tone subs
18:59 Other Dominants from the Diminished scale
19:14 Dominant derived from the diminished scale
19:58 Combining substitutions and getting far out
22:30 Did I miss a good substitution?

Jazz Guitar Q&A #27 – Up tempo solos – Practice goals – Jazz and other genres

This weeks Q&A on Transcribing Chord progressions, Practice goals, Up tempo soloing and how to work towards it, and if Jazz skills translate directly to other genres.

In the video I talk about what and how you learn from transcribing and how you work with transcriptions in different ways. I also talk about how to incorporate licks and melodic material into your jazz guitar solos.

If you have any questions on guitars, effects, improvisation, technique or improvisation then leave a comment on my video or send me a message on Facebook or Instagram.

 

0:14 Intro
1:15 Learning tunes by ear
10:00 Practice goals, what to work towards?
13:15 Uptempo solos and how to practice that
20:16 Applying Jazz Skills to other genres
26:25 Outro + Questions?

Important Jazz Guitarists  –  Who to Know and study

I teach at a young talent program at a jazz conservatory, and part of what I do is of course also to try to expose the students to some of the influential Jazz Guitarists through time. 

It is important to be aware of where the music developed from and of course the playlist is not supposed to be a complete chronological guide, or history assignment. It is meant more as some suggestions to check out if you want to know something about jazz guitar.

I am curious what you think! Let me know who your favourites are! 🙂

To have a small resource to quickly pass on I made a Spotify playlist that you can check out here: 

If you want to follow what I recommend and listen to on Spotify then do so via this link:

 

I have made a video on this in the past as well that you may find interesting:

Vlog: Advanced ideas: Triads and Spread Triads on Out Of Nowhere

Triads and Spread Triads are invaluable as tools for making jazz lines, especially in the realm of more modern sounding melodies. The video is in three main parts: An analysis of the chord progression, Finding triads that can be used and discussing outside or exotic scale choices, and finally making lines with the material and talking about the colors of the superimposed jazz guitar triads. How to make guitar licks and what rules come into play when using triad pairs and spread triads in jazz guitar solos.

This video turned out to be a lot longer than I thought, but especially the ending I think is a good documentation of how I write lines and you see me experiment with the material I find through the analysis and the triad options.

There’s also a lot of good discussion on melodies and how you write strong melodies with material like this.

🔴 Subscribe for more free Jazz Guitar Lessons and Videos: https://bit.ly/JensLessons

0:00 Intro

Analysis:

1:01 Analysis of chords and form
1:28 Key and form
1:56 The Chords and their function
2:14 The mysterious Eb7 German Augmented Sixth Chord
2:43 The Double Diminished #IV explanation
3:45 Back to the Harmonic Analysis
4:49 How Out Of Nowhere is about Eb7 in G major
5:46 Analysis of The 2nd half of the song
7:02 A modal aspect of Out Of Nowhere
7:46 Why Triads and Diatonic triads are so great for solos

Finding Options Triads for the chords

8:44 Selecting Triads
9:16 Triad options for Gmaj7

10:17 adding the Lydian Options to Gmaj7
11:56 Harmonizing the melody with a lydian sound
12:51 Lydian Augmented triads on Gmaj7
13:48 Augmented Scale on Gmaj7
14:30 Bbm7 Eb7
16:45 C7(#11)
17:15 Bm7
17:32 E7 altered
18:53 Am
22:07 Am7 D7
22:54 D7 altered
23:26 D7 Diminished

Making Lines:

24:48 Making lines with triads
26:31 Extensions in the melody of Out Of Nowhere
26:48 G major/ B minor triad over Gmaj7
29:21 Voice-leading B minor to Bb minor
31:11 Bbm Eb7
33:48 Connecting Gmaj7 C7
34:47 G major – Melodic Minor Hack
37:13 Bm7 E7alt – E7 triad pairs
38:48 Ab+ and Bb major
41:21 Am
42:18 The might Am triad
43:26 Making D7 altered lines
45:18 D7 Diminished Line Ideas

46:15 Exotic scales and Spread Triads

47:24 Spread Triads On Gmaj7
51:33 Bbm Eb7 ideas with Open Triads
52:41 Spread triad ideas for E7alt
53:40 Rules of melodic movement in a Jazz Lick
56:06 Mark Turner and Kurt Rosenwinkel
57:30 Emphasizing upper structures and extensions
58:51 Resolving into the Lydian Augmented sound

Vlog: Jazz Comping – Jazz Chords and Approaches

Jazz guitar comping is a topic that does not get covered so much. There are a lot of lessons on chord voicings, music theory and extensions, but when it comes to comping it is more difficult to find material. In this video I want to talk about comping by taking the Jazz Standard Just Friends and comp through it in a few different ways and discuss some approaches and philosophies. Since this topic is more about fitting into a situation and reacting to other musicians playing it will be a bit more about approaches and ways of thinking than actual exercises. That said I do go over two ways of coming up with voicings, comping techniques and how to add melodies to your guitar comp.

1:43 Analysis
5:51 Why I don’t use diminished scale
6:58 Scales for a dim chord
9:50 Turnaround to the IV
11:26 Drop2
18:01 Triads
26:42 Comping and Interaction
30:53 Connecting the chords
32:54 Melodies in Comping
35:07 Techniques for melodic comping
39:30 Using Riff comping – focus on groove
45:39 Open Comp: Focus on color and melody
54:56 Conclusion and Outro