Tag Archives: jazz guitar rhythm

3 Ways To Play More Interesting Rhythms In Your Solos

Learning to play solos where the rhythm really sounds like Jazz is difficult and it is probably the most important part of Jazz. Jazz Rhythm is a language that you need to develop.

What you want to focus on is practicing things that help you hear phrases that have those rhythms in them. They have to be in your ear and in your system if you want them to come out into your playing.


0:00 Intro – Jazz Rhythm – Hearing Phrases with great rhythms

0:30 #1 Themes and Melodies

0:45 Internalizing melodies = internalizing rhythms

1:34 Using Theme Rhythms in Solos – Tenor Madness

2:04 The other elusive skill for Jazz Playing

2:18 Rhythmical Target Notes

2:33 The Different Kinds of Target Notes

2:53 Example: 4& as Rhythmical Target on a Turnaround

3:40 #3 Rhythmical Displacement

4:13 Example Motif from Bernie’s Tune

5:20 More than just the notes

5:40 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

How to Improve your vocabulary of Jazz Rhythms

We don’t often talk about is how rhythm is actually also a melody, and how to work on your vocabulary for jazz rhythm. But,of course, a very important part of playing jazz is interesting and great rhythms.

In this video, I am going to go over some great examples of rhythms used in a jazz solo taken from Chet Baker, Kenny Burrel, and Jim Hall. I also discuss how you might want to work on improving this part of your own playing.


0:00 Intro – Adding New Rhythms To Your Solos

0:14 Getting Inspirations from Kenny Burrell Jim Hall and Chet Baker

0:32 Example #1

0:39 Kenny Burrell – Mastering Medium Swing

1:06 How To Use Simple (but great 8th Note Rhythms)

1:24 Example #1 Slow

1:34 How To Use The Material

1:57 Example Lick #1

2:14 Example Lick #2

2:22 Ideas with more of a concept

2:40 Example #2

2:46 Chet Baker – Strong Rhythm and Simple Notes

3:02 Analyzing the line

3:58 Example Lick #3

4:26 Example Lick #4

4:52 Example #3 

4:59 Jim Hall – Rhythmical Diversity and Strong Melodies

5:36 Motif and a Scale Sequence

5:59 Example #3 Slow

6:07 Getting More Out of the Pattern and understanding why it is great!

6:30 Example Lick #5

6:40 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Check out more lessons on Jim Hall

Here are a few more Lessons I did on Jim Hall and his fantastic playing that always contains a strong and interesting rhythmical concept as well as beautiful melodies.

Jim Hall – Ingredients Of The Best Solos

Jim Hall on Autumn Leaves – Can it get any better?

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Get the PDF!

The PDF with examples for this video is available through Patreon. You can check out my Patreon Page here: https://www.patreon.com/jenslarsen

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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.

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Better Rhythms in Your Guitar Solos

As Jazz guitar players we spend way too much time on worrying about scales, arpeggios and target notes! This means that we forget to worry about playing more interesting rhythms and in Jazz the most important thing is Rhythm and you want to have better rhythms in your guitar solos!

In this lesson I am going to go over a simple exercise where you can limit the amount of notes to create a simple set of a few notes that forces you to play more interesting rhythms! This is an exercise I have done quite often with students and also have done myself with great success! Have a look!


The form and how to find a nice set of notes

The examples that I am playing in the video are all on a Blues in G major. The progression is shown here below: 

I have not written out the examples that I play, mainly because I am not trying to get you to play those solos, I am trying to get you to work on your own ability to come up with lines focusing on rhythm!

Finding 3 suitable notes

When choosing notes I start with a simple motif on the G7. Since I want to have something that is easy to both move around on the chords and make melodies with. For this purpose it is probably nice to keep it close and not take for example a complete triad.

For the G7 I am using the notes B D and E. With this notes I can easily make some small simple melodies and as you will see it is easy to “voice-lead” them through the changes and still have note sets that we can improvise with.

To get used to the idea of improvising with the 3 notes you can take the first B,D,E motif and try to play a bit over a static G7 chord just to try to feel how that works.

This motif moved through the entire form is written out in example 1.

Basically we have a 3 note scale for each chord and we can use these 3 notes to improvise with and improvise with more focus on the rhythm that we use.

If you want to check out players who have phrases like this in their solos you should check out some Barney Kessel or some of the early Jim Hall albums.

In the video I play example 1 and also a solo demonstrating how to improvise over the form with first the basic motif and then expanding more on it using more notes.

Rhythmic motifs combined with the 3 notes

One way to expand your vocabulary is to start with a rhythm and find a way to play that with the 3 notes. Then use the G blues and the note sets as a way of practicing this.

In the video I do this with the rhythm shown here below:

A more free approach

You can also be more free and then start with the motif and gradually move away from it and vary it. I do that with the example shown here below in example 3:

It don’t mean a thing..

Rhythm is the overlooked part of playing in 99% of the cases. At the same time you want to have strong and inspired rhythms in your guitar solos! I think this approach is really useful to develop your rhythm. The inspiration for it is Barney Kessel and Jim Hall as I already mentioned, but it also reminds me of more swing oriented phrasing from Lester Young or even big band arrangements.

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


Get the PDF!

You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Better Rhythms in Your Guitar Solos

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better 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.

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