Category Archives: News

Updates from Jens Larsen – Jazz guitarist

Reharmonization Techniques – the best way to make them more musical

Why it can be tricky to get reharmonizations to sound musical in a solo

Using reharmonizations in your solos can be tricky since you need to find the right place and the right type of reharm if you want it to sound natural and still surprising. This video will go over some Reharmonization techniques and how you place them in the form of a song. The place where you use stuff like this has a huge impact on how it works, and I will discuss this in the video.
How do you apply reharmonizations to your solo?

Content of the video:

0:00 Intro – Musical approach to Reharmonization

0:13 Applying Reharmonizations to a musical context – A Song

0:41 The Form and the Song

1:19 A surprising way to use Tri-Tone substitution

1:41 Take The A-Train – The form, key and harmony

2:04 The pull towards the tonic and reharmonizing that 2:28 The Tri-tone reharmonization

2:47 A progression that makes sense

3:04 Soloing on A-train with the reharmonization

3:15 How Jim Hall uses Tri-Tone substitution on Autumn Leaves

3:48 Making a m7(b5) is m7(9) to get a brighter sound

4:22 Blue Bossa Chord Progression

5:05 Comping through it with the reharmonization

5:17 Soloing using the reharmonization

5:30 Same idea in Stella on the beginning

5:52 This idea applied to a #IVm7(b5) like Days of Wine and Roses

6:35 Parallel harmony reharmonization turning a dim chord into a m7(9)

6:42 Someday My Prince Will come – harmony

7:13 Using this as a melodic idea as well

7:42 It’s Parallel so the sounds are the same

8:12 Example of a solo using the parallel minor chords

8:30 Other songs where this might work and people who does this

9:04 Relating this to the Parker Blues

9:28 A Musical way to use reharmonization

10:07 Do you have favourite reharmonizations?

10:43 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page?

5 Ways You Need To Know And Practice Your Arpeggios

Arpeggios are huge part of improvising over changes in jazz guitar and especially in the more bop oriented styles. When we improvise we use arpeggios to connect to the harmony and spell out interesting extensions or alterations.

Practicing Arpeggios

This video is going to discuss 5 ways to practice arpeggios so that you get as much as possible out of practicing arpeggios and that you also make sure to make music with them.

I also included a few extra examples for working on creating more intervallic or modern sounding licks or solos. There are a few ways to achieve this, one of the ones that I like to use is experimenting with turning chords into solo lines and in that way access some larger intervals.

Hope you like it!

Content of the video:

0:00 Intro

0:56 It’s not only how you practice, it is also why you practice and what you learn.

1:18 Knowing Arpeggios in Positions – What you need and how you work on it.

2:04 Arpeggio positions and Scale fingerings + Downloads

2:29 Putting Arpeggios in a Context: Diatonic arpeggios

3:31 Across the Fretboard – Getting freedom with the arpeggios

4:00 Example Dm7

4:11 What to focus on and learn from this

5:06 Melodic Patterns

5:29 Two examples of Arpeggios patterns

6:04 Making Music – Using The Arpeggios

6:19 Improvisation example

6:33 Adding large intervals to your solo via Arpeggios

7:04 Examples of useful voicings

7:15 Example 1

7:22 Example 2

7:29 How do you work with arpeggios? Do you have ideas or suggestions?

8:09 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

Music Theory Is The Effective Way For You To Learn Faster

If you know you basic Music Theory well then you can easily start to add another level to how you analyze melodies and chord progressions which will help you work more focused and learn faster when you practice. 

This video will discuss some of the things that you use Music Theory for that will help you learn more efficient and process much more information!

List of contents:

0:00 Intro 

0:17 What to use Music Theory for as a jazz musician 

0:55 Some basic things you need to know to use this 

1:28 Learning Songs and Melodies — The Riddle 

2:09 Understanding a melody thinking in phrases and memorizing it 

3:05 The basic advantages for this approach 

3:25 Learning Phrases and Licks —

3:45 Example Lick 1 

4:04 How to analyze it 

4:37 Analyzing and Chunking Lick no 1 

6:15 Using this to reduce the line to simple blocks we can remember 

6:43 Writing better licks using the music theory

7:47 Example Lick 2 

7:53 The Analsis of Lick 2 

8:26 Understanding how the lick is built and conncected 

9:00 Example Lick 3 

9:05 Simple but interesting rhythms 

9:36 Putting Rhythm and Melodic ideas together. 

10:02 The building blocks of the lick 

10:30 Check out the comments and share your experience 

11:30 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!


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Are You Wasting Valuable Time Practicing Jazz Licks Like This?

We all study jazz licks to add new ideas and techniques to our improvisations and our vocabulary. But I often get told by students how they choose a very in effective way of studying licks and are in fact really just wasting their time. In this video I will outline what is not useful when studying licks and also what is a better approach if you want to add material to your repertoire.

I will also use a part of a Grant Green solo as an example of how he gets it right and uses it in his solo.

Practicing Jazz Licks – Contents

0:00 Intro – Learn licks and increase our vocabulary

0:53 The bad way to practice licks even though they are good examples

1:25 Playing some licks (from paper with a metronome?)

1:51 Play the licks over a song

2:22 What is wrong with this approach

2:27 Too Much Information

2:49 A more focused approach to learn from licks

3:10 A II V I lick is about the same as learning a Jazz Standard by heart.

3:35 Why Complete Licks don’t work well in solos

4:03 Converting licks to useful and flexible building blocks

4:33 A lick from the Grant Green Solo on I’ll Remember April and how he uses it

5:21 Finding a better Chunk size

5:39 Making lines with the Grant Green Phrase

6:01 Using the same idea on other chords

6:27 Other examples of how great players use licks.

7:18 How do you work with licks? Do you avoid them? Leave a comment!

7:35 Barry Harris story on learning from Charlie Parker

8:11 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Claus Levin Guest Lesson and collaboration

A few weeks ago I was talking to Claus Levin. We decided to work together on some guest lessons for each others channel.

I think it is a great way to meet other YouTube guitarists by having them do a guest lesson and get a small introduction. 

Claus Levin – The Core Of Improvisation!

The videos Claus Levin makes are mostly focused on the psychological and technical aspects of learning the instrument and with some useful insights and philosophies there is a lot to learn from his videos. 

His lesson on my channel is also taking a step back and then looking at what it actually is to improvise. 

You can check out the Claus Levin YouTube channel here: Claus Levin

The videos


Get a free E-book

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

Get the 3 Notes Per String Pentatonics PDF!

My lesson on the Claus Levin channel is on using 3 notes per string pentatonics and the PDF that you can download via that is available here:  3 NPS Pentatonic scales



Synthetic Jazz Scales and How You Can Make New Personal Scales and Sounds for Your Solos!

In this video I am going to show you how you can take any chord and easily make a completely new scale for it that you can use when you improvise. With some really cool (but also a bit strange) sounds.
The method will work for any chord and I will also discuss some of the ways that you can use Synthetic Jazz Scales to improvise including a few outside jazz licks using the scale.


0:00 Intro Solo with a Synthetic 8-note Scale

0:15 Construct a scale for any chord

0:43 The Scale construction principle – From analyzing C major

1:26 A basic construction for a Cmaj7 chord

1:43 Go for Out There or Re-make the major scale?

2:03 First example of an 8 note scale for Cmaj7

2:32 The Scale and some thoughts on diatonic harmony

2:46 Improvise with this scale – Approach no 1

3:03 Some Diatonic harmony: triads

3:39 This is like Barry Harris 6th diminished scales!

3:52 Why this is not ideal for Cmaj7

4:30 Improvise with this scale – Approach no 2

4:45 Shifting between the colors

4:58 Synthetic Lick No 1

5:46 Synthetic Lick No 2 – Opening up and mixing the chords

6:18 How to develop the 2nd approach and how it works better for the chord.

6:48 Digging into find more structures in the scale

7:24 A 7 note example from music I have played

7:51 A new perspective on Double Harmonic Major

8:19 Dbmaj7(#9#11b14)

8:26 Where I learned about this: John Ruocco

8:56 When to use this scales and why.

9:28 Do you work with creating your own scales? Are you a mad music scientist? (Am I?)

10:25 Like the lesson? Check out my Patreon Page!


The 7 Levels Of Cm7 Dorian – Triads to Complete Voicing Arpeggios

The search for more ideas and new things to play never ends! This video will go over 7 different types of arpeggios, scales and other voicing structures you can use when improvising over a Cm7 chord some you probably already use and some you may not have in your vocabulary yet.

Thinking in categories can help you check if there is something you never really checked out or got to use while soloing, and it is also quite likely that some of these you never used before.




0:00 Intro

1:11 Level 1 – 3 Basic 7th Chord Arpeggios

1:30 Discussing the different arpeggios

2:13 Difference between Modal and more dense progressions

2:31 Level 2 – Pentatonics (and Super-imposing them)

3:01 Overview of the different pentatonics

4:27 Level 3 -Triads

5:00 Triads and triad upper-structures

6:03 Level 4 – Quartal Arpeggios from the Dorian mode

6:24 Quartal arpeggios for a Cm7

7:22 Level 5 – Shell-Voicings

7:41 What they are nmd Which Shell voicings to use

8:36 Level 6 – Quintal Arpeggios

9:02 Quintal harmony and linking it to a pentatonic scale

9:51 Who said “Andy Sumners and Jimi Hendrix”

10:05 Level 7 – Drop2 voicing arpeggios

10:30 Using and playing arpeggios with a larger range.

11:21 Did I miss something you use a lot?

11:59 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Modern Jazz Reharmonization Techniques: Tritone sub, Coltrane Changes and Modal

Reharmonization techniques are useful in many ways in Jazz both in improvising and arranging. In this video I will go over 5 reharmonizations of a part of All The Things You Are. The different versions will illustrate several techniques and options for reharmonizing the standard. Some of the concepts are tonal and functional others are in the modal or atonal end of the spectrum.

I mostly hope to give you some ideas on how to think about the progressions that are not really functional and tonal, but that you can still percieve and mold as musical phrases.


0:00 Intro

0:53 Basic All The Things You Are Chords

1:09 How the lessons is build

1:34 Reharmonization of the Melody!!

2:17 Don’t reduce it to chords and go from there

2:51 Reharmonization 1 – Triton Subs and Dom7th Chains

3:07 Analyzing Reharm 1 – Techniques used

3:35 Basic analysis of ATTYA progression

4:03 Understanding the movement and modulation of All The Things

4:32 Analysis of the Reharmonization

5:52 Leave the Cmaj7 alone (here’s why…)

6:45 Using this type of reharm in solos, Metheny does.

6:57 Reharm 2 – Moving a chord sound around

7:39 Breaking down Reharm2

9:56 It’s maj 3rds but not Coltrane

10:05 Reharm3: Coltrane Changes on All The Things You Are

10:19 Reharm: 4 – Logical bass movement

10:34 Making unconnected chords sound like a logical progression

11:07 Ascending bass lines

11:26 Analysis of Reharm 4 – bass

12:01 Adding chords to the bassline

13:19 The effect of this type of reharmonization

14:15 Why Amaj7 is a great sub for Cmaj7 with an E in the melody

14:49 Reharm 5 – SPACE-CAKE – Faster harmonic rhythm, more sentences in the progression.

15:41 More chords means shorter phrase length in the chord progression

16:03 Analysis of Reharm 5

16:58 Second phrase of Reharm 5

17:47 Some of the things to keep in mind when harmonizing with modal sounds like this

18:14 Tools for this type of reharmonization

18:41 Think in phrases with the chords

19:19 Reharmonizing the melody? How do you use reharmonization?

20:21 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

Don’t Just Learn Music Theory! Connect it to the Songs You Know and Play!

Music Theory is like every other aspect of music, you need to work at it from the ground up and you will only get the benefit of it if you use it in what you play! In this video I will talk a bit about what the very fundamental things are that you need to know well and why you need to know that part of Music Theory. I will also talk about why you should apply it and how it will benefit your playing.



0:00 Intro

0:37 The Foundation You Need to know

0:42 The Backdoor Dominant example

0:55 Get the basics down – What you need to know (in all keys)!

1:29 Putting The Theory into Practice – What is Music Theory

2:00 Apply Music Theory to Music

2:34 Study the theory that fits the music you play.

2:51 Enter Sandman does not have an Augmented 6th Chord

3:13 Recognize the stages of Having a skill – The Blues

4:07 Recognize the stages of Having a skill – The Secondary Dom7th

5:26 Learn a lot of music! Something to understand the theory with!

6:07 Some examples of Songs with IV IVm

6:27 Some Songs that modulate a major 3rd up

6:41 Use Theory to understand styles.

6:48 Go beyond your own genre and try to understand the music

7:40 How do you use or study Theory?

8:02 Quick Analysis of Creep – comparing it to a few other songs

9:13 Like the video? Check out My Patreon Page!


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

You may think that this is a guitar technique video about major scales, but there is more to scale practice than moving your fingers. Most musicians study major scales as part of their practice routine. In this video I want to talk about what you want to learn, what you need it for and how you use it to build on when making music. Hopefully you can recognize and maybe re-shape your practice and connect things more.
 For a lot of you this may be a big check list that you can cross a lot of stuff off on, but it will also give you some new ideas on where to go and connect the things you already know. I may give you the advice to learn a bit of theory.

List of Content:

0:00 Intro – What you need to know, what is going to make you play better

0:18 It’s more than moving your fingers

0:57 Step 1 – Learn the scale on your instrument

1:07 Learn the notes of the scale

1:31 Combine The theory and the scale practice

1:50 Learn the Fretboard using the scales

2:29 How knowing the notes helps in a solo and how you use it

3:26 Step 2 – Learning the Diatonic Chords and Arpeggios

3:39 The chords are in the scale

3:58 Construction Diatonic arpeggios in the scale Cmaj7 and Dm7

4:32 What you need to know about the diatonic harmony

5:19 Knowing the notes of the chords in the scale and using that.

6:01 The 7th chords in Jazz and the Triads

6:30 Triads and how they are built

6:47 Triads in Jazz: Upper-structure triads and how they are used

6:56 Em triad as upper-structure on a G7

7:24 Step 3 – Beyond the Basics

7:44 The “Diatonic” Minor Pentatonic scales – Modern Jazz Sounds

8:11 The three Pentatonic scales

8:45 Connecting knowledge to understand the pentatonic scales

9:01 Super-imposing Pentatonic scales on Extended chords

9:32 Example of how to relate a pentatonic scale to a Cmaj7 chord

10:00 Improvising with the super-imposed scale

10:32 Quartal 3-part arpeggios

10:47 Playing the arpeggios and Quartal chords in the scale

11:02 The mysterious chords and how we use them

11:33 How to use the Quartal Arpeggios in your playing

11:56 Example of analyzing some chords against a Cmaj7

12:45 The Many other subsets, arpeggios and structures to work with

13:25 What you need to learn and use!

14:00 Do you have a favourite scale exercise or approach?

14:48 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!