Category Archives: News

Updates from Jens Larsen – Jazz guitarist

Donna Lee – Free Solo PDF

I was invited to participate in a jazz solo collaboration on the Jazz Duets channel by Nick Holmes. It is always fun to write solos and explore harmony so here is a 1 chorus Donna Lee Guitar Solo.

The idea was for  all 4 of us to compose a 1 chorus solo of only 8th notes (I decided to leave a few spaces though) and then play it and analyze it.

You can check out the video here:

Join Us on Facebook!

If you like this type of material and want to join a few hundred other Jazz Guitar Insiders then consider joining the new FaceBook Group:

It is a great community of people interested in Jazz http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

Download the Free PDF of the Donna Lee Guitar Solo

You want to download the PDF you can do so here:

The GuitarPro version of this solo is also available via Patreon.

Reharmonization – Are you getting it wrong?

Chord Substitution and Reharmonization are Jazz topics that are very often discussed together but are actually not really the same thing. This video is going to go over how I think while creating new chord progressions and how I use my reharmonization jazz skills to create several chord progressions for the same song.

The emphasis is on how to come up with chords and 5 examples of how to reharmonize a Blues in F. I also talk about how I improvise over the progressions, what to play and why.

If you only think of music as one chord at the time then you are really missing out! Reharmonization is a great example of how that which is another thing I am trying to illustrate in this video.

Content:

0:00 Intro

0:20 Improvising WITH the chords not just over them

0:39 A Better approach than just thinking substitution

1:40 The Chord is always in a context not just a Chord Symbol

2:08 Standard F Blues

2:29 Parker Blues

3:19 Reharmonization #1

4:06 Analysis of the harmony

4:45 Some Solo Tips for this progression

5:05 Example #1

5:20 Reharmonization #2

6:02 Example #2

6:18 Reharmonization #3

7:00 A Strange A7

7:32 Example #3

8:11 Reharmonization #4 – Re-interpreting Bb7

8:54 Example #4

9:08 Using Pentatonics to play Reharmonization #4

9:33 Don’t Tell The Rhythm Section!

10:01 Reharmonization #5 – Another Chromatic idea

10:35 Example #5

10:50 Method to changing the chords

11:23 This as a Chord Melody?

11:37 Like The Video? Check out My Patreon Page?

NEW Jazz Guitar Insider FB Group

If you want to be a part of the community around the YouTube Lessons then you should join me and the other Jazz Guitar fanatics in the new Jazz Guitar Insiders Group: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup

Be A part of the community

And of course if you join then I hope to hear from you what you are looking for in the group or on the YT channel. 

Let’s make it a great community for jazz guitar discussions and knowledge!

A place where there are other jazz enthusiasts, where you can:

  • Get feedback on your playing
  • Ask questions and get multiple answers and Input
  • Get Recommendations for great albums or concerts
  • Opinions and experiences with Guitar or Gear

And in time maybe it can go even further, who knows…

Jazz Practice Routine How To Find The Perfect Balance

If you have to make a 30 minute Jazz Practice Routine, what should you include?

We are all different so there is not one solution that fits everybody, but you don’t want to waste time, or leave out important things to practice.

In this video I am going to go over what I think a 30 minute practice session should include. I am of course a guitarist so it will be aimed at jazz guitar practice, but I am sure the philosphy and topics will fit all instruments. Some of the topics that I think are important for a jazz practice routine would be:

Technique, Repertoire, Exercises, Vocabulary, Theory, Ear-Training,
Transcriptions

I am really curious about how your practice routine is, so if you have a routine then please leave a comment with a list of stuff you work on. This is useful for people looking for inspiration and certainly also for you to evaluate how you work. I will do the same 🙂

Content:

0:00 Intro – A 30 minute Practice Routine

1:24 Technique and Warm-up

1:32 Warm up and Synchronization – 10 minutes

2:05 Arpeggios – Right hand warm up

2:31 Working out with Spread Triads (Steve Morse)

3:00 Technique – Musical Practice

3:19 My Basic Fretboard Visualization

3:41 Practice in all 12 Keys! (are there only 12 keys?)

4:08 Diatonic Harmony 4:40 Stay Flexible and Practice open-ended

5:43 Playing Music – 10 min

6:13 Play Songs and Put it all Together

6:47 What You Focus on and Learn

7:41 Ear Training – 5 min.

7:52 Moving Melodies through the scale

8:26 Using Apps or Computer Programs

8:50 Advantages to a schedule working with Apps

9:04 Transcriptions

9:28 Figuring Songs out from Memory

9:49 Vocabulary – 5 minutes

10:00 Use Composition and Create YOUR vocabulary

10:28 Share your Practice Routine! Give us some ideas!

10:50 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Jazz Guitar Solo – This Is What I Think About

What do I think in a Guitar Solo? A Jazz Guitar Solo is not as much thinking as you may assume. In this video I improvised a solo, transcribed it and then I go over the solo discussing what I thought or about or what I might have thought about when playing the solo.

This should give you some insight into how I improvise and also maybe what you should not worry about when playing a song. Jazz is a genre of music that lends itself to over-thinking.

Some of the topics I go over is how and why I think certain things like altered dominants or motifs. I also talk about the construction and thought process behind double-time lines and some polyrhythmic ideas.

Content of the video

 0:00 Intro – What I think about in a solo

0:20 The Driving a Car Analogy

0:42 Solo and Transcription.

1:17 Out Of Nowhere – The Song and the Form

1:48 The Solo

2:43 The Beginning – How to start a solo

4:04 How Target notes are a part of my playing

5:18 Ab Blues in G major?

5:49 The Added C7(#11) chord

6:33 The Gmaj7 Gm6 trick

7:09 Bm7 E7 – Thinking an Altered Dominant

8:39 I am not Pat Martino (surprised?)

8:50 A Tonic minor sound on the II chord

10:14 The Lydian Dom7th: Eb7

11:03 Double Time Line

12:31 Using Blues G Phrases in Medium Swing

14:22 A Simple Motif through a few bars

15:53 Bm Pentatonic to C7(13)

16:33 The Bm7 chord as a II chord not a III

17:25 4th note Triplet Poly Rhythm- Groups of 2 (displaced)

18:45 The Final turnaround and the ending

19:50 Blues in Medium Swing (Joe Pass)

20:54 How Not To Think About What I do

21:15 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

Jazz Guitar Comping 3 Things You Want To Think About

In short you want to work on your Jazz Guitar Comping. It is probably what you spend the most time doing when you are playing in a band. It is also one of the best ways to develop your ability to interact with the people you play with which can makes your solos much much more interesting to listen to and add a complete other dimension to it.

There are ways of thinking about comping that will improve how you comp and in this video I am going to talk about how you

  • Connect with the band
  • Support the soloist better
  • Help the song become a musical story

Comping is a difficult art to teach in a lesson because it is about interacting with several people at the same time, but it is also a huge part of what you do as a jazz musician, and for me a big chunk of what I do for a living, both as a sideman and in my own band. It is also something that I love doing because the emphasis is on playing together with other people.

Jazz Guitar Comping – The Content

 0:00 Intro – Comping and what you need to learn

0:33 Overview of Focus areas

1:32 Jazz Guitarists Can’t Comp – Who to learn from

2:04 #1 Lock in With The Drummer

2:23 Understanding interaction and groove in a swing groove 

2:57 Don’t Clash with the Drummer

3:42 Is Good Comping Predictable?

3:58 Listen to great examples

4:35 #2 Listen To And Don’t Get In The Way of The Soloist

4:39 What is your goal when you are accompanying?

5:03 Interaction?

5:52 The #1 Rule of when to play!

6:38 Use your “Comping Ears” To Improve your own Soloing

7:31 #3 Give the Music Form, Dynamics and Variation

8:33 The Masters of making variation and development

9:35 Other examples of interaction and variation.

9:55 Take the Responsibility!

10:37 Any Advice? Leave a comment

10:50 Like the video? Check out My Patreon Page

The 7 Questions You Need To Ask About A Solo You Love

We all have a jazz guitar solo that we really love and we dream of being able to play a solo like that. Often the advice that you get is to transcribe the solo and use that to learn to figure out what is going on, but that can also be a way for you to zoom in too much on the details. Often it isn’t that important if it is an E or and Eb, but it is much more important that he is developing a motif or only using short phrases or playing triplets in groups of 4.

In this video I am going to focus on what you can learn by listening to solos and focus on other things than what notes are being played, a lot of topics that are just as important and that we forget to talk about.

Hope you like it!

Content of the Video

0:00 Intro

0:12 The Problem with Transcribing

0:47 Focus on The Bigger Picture

1:22 How Long Are The Phrases?

1:37 John McLaughlin Vs Wes Montgomery

2:27 Using Phrase Length in Your Own Practice

2:44 What Is Happening With The Rhythm?

2:54 Pat Martino vs Herbie Hancock

3:27 Herbie going beyond the 8th note and in the groove phrasing

3:50 Intersesting ideas with 8th notes

4:00 Timing, Placement on the beat?

4:21 Is It Bebop Lines or Vocal-like Melodies?

4:50 Paul Desmond Vs. Pat Metheny

5:43 How Is The Development Of The Solo?

5:52 Mainstream Jazz and Dynamics?

6:05 Steve Vai vs Stan Getz

6:36 A Method for Solo Construction: Wes Montgomery

7:20 Is it In The Groove or Floating over it?

7:57 Joe Pass Vs Allan Holdsworth

8:31 Are The Phrases Connected, and How?

8:55 Wes Montgomery Vs Pat Martino

9:26 How Is The Soloist Using Space?

9:44 Use Space to Create Tension!

10:00 Like John Abercrombie!

10:28 Like The Video? Check out My Patreon Page!

How To Practice In All 12 Keys – This Is What You Learn!

How to practice in all 12 keys and what will it teach you! In this video I am going to show you some of the things that you will learn if you start practicing in all 12 keys and talk about some easy ways to get started practicing different things in all 12 keys from your scales to complete songs.

The video focuses on 3 main areas:

  • Technique – knowing scales and arpeggios all over the instrument and in all keys.
  • Theory – You can play everything in all keys but can you think in all keys – connecting the theory to what you practice
  • Songs – Taking Technique and the theory and use it to learn, understand and transpose songs and help us learn faster and improvise better.

Content of the video:

0:00 Intro

0:13 Overview of the Topics

1:04 #1 Technique And Scale Practice

1:39 Making a Routine That uses all 12 keys

2:08 How I do this

2:33 Example of Eb Major with 1st inversion diatonic triads

3:08 Scale Practice as Ear Training and Theory Workout

3:44 #2 Music Theory

4:11 Understanding harmony to see how songs are similar

4:29 All The Things You Are & Fly Me To The Moon

5:02 Understanding the Form – There Will Never Be Another You/Mellow Tone

5:45 #3 Learning Songs in All 12 Keys – Myths and Anecdotes

6:08 How to Start Practicing songs in all 12 Keys

6:36 How NOT to start

6:51 The Way I use it in playing

7:25 How to Transpose All The Things You Are To Another Key

7:45 The Melody

8:05 Transposing the Chords

9:00 Soloing in the other key

9:38 The places where you need to take care

10:33 What you need to do this on guitar?

10:45 Like The Video? Check out my Patreon Page

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.

Stella By Starlight – 6 ways to Harmonize a minor II V I

The Minor II V I is a difficult progression to have options for. In this video I am going to demonstrate 6 variations of Stella by Starlight Guitar chord melody options that you can use on this song and on other Minor II V I options.

It should help you get some different ways to approach the minor II V I and not play the same things all thet time.

The examples are going from the original and I also made one with Coltrane Changes, so there is a bit of Jazz history in there as well!

Most of the examples you can easily use on many minor II V I cadences, and some are a little more specific but can still give you some ideas for a way of working on your own arrangements and reharmonizations.

If you know one I didn’t talk about then please leave a comment!

The Content of the Stella By Starlight Video

0:00 Intro

1:25 #1 Original Changes of Victor Young

1:42 Analysis – The Original harmony and the dim chord!

3:18 Finding great harmony by NOT thinking in Chords

5:17 #2 The Real Book Changes

5:57 Analysis

7:01 #3 Eø Natural 9th

7:26 Analysis

8:30 F7 as a Lydian Dominant – Why It Works

9:11 #4 Phrygian Dominant

9:26 Analysis – What is a Phrygian Dom7th

11:15 #5 Major II V Cadence

11:33 Analysis – A great trick also for solos!

13:38 An Extra Level of Hancock in this version

14:13 #6 Coltrane Changes

14:30 Analysis

15:57 #7 Coltrane Changes 2.0 – a more musical approach?

16:44 What is your favourite Reharmonization for this song?

17:10 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Corinna Danzers Great Video with the original Changes: 

Favorite Jazz Guitar Album Recommendations From YouTube

One of the most important ways to stay inspired and motivated to keep on playing and practicing is to check out new Jazz Guitar Albums or Jazz Albums. The main way that I get introduced to new music is from recommendations so I thought it would be a fantastic idea to ask a lot of Jazz YouTubers what their favourite Jazz Guitar Album is and get some great recommendations.

Since I expect that you guys are probably also interested in some good music, so I made this video!

You should check out these channels if you like my videos. These are the people I check out on YouTube when it comes to music and Jazz Guitar!

I would like to thank Brent, Bob, Rick, Nick, Chris, Jacob, Ben, Levi and Sean for being a part of this video. I am really grateful for their help and recommendations!

Let us know what your favourite Jazz Guitar Album is!!

Brent Vaartstra – Learn Jazz Standards – https://www.youtube.com/user/Learnjazzstandards
Bob Reynolds – https://www.youtube.com/user/bobreynolds
Rick Beato – https://www.youtube.com/user/pegzch
Nick Homes – Jazz Duets – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqimxUbWsE26KSpx2_OcmmA
Chris Zoupa – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5A0eJ-bgtJddy0rG_prVog
Quist – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEXDaXzYhqYdLCQ3Ce7U2Og
Uncle Ben – https://www.youtube.com/user/BenEllerGuitars
Levi Clay – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCySQog_SBfX4-CnR2hWVBOQ
Sean Daniel – https://www.youtube.com/user/seandaniel23
Jens Larsen – https://www.youtube.com/jenslarsen