Tag Archives: Jens Larsen

Peter Bernstein – How to be Musical in a Modal Context

Most of the time Peter Bernstein is associated with more traditional moving harmony in jazz and not modal jazz as he is playing here, but it is clear that he feels quite at home in the modal setting. The lines are still the signature groovy and melodic ideas that he is known for and we hear him play many more modern devices such as Quartal Arpeggios and Super-imposed Pentatonics on the chords of the song.

Peter Bernstein is probably most known for his work with Organ Trios. Albums with Melvin Rhyne, Mike LeDonne and Larry Goldings. The Solo I am analyzing some phrases from in this video is on the Joe Henderson Original: Inner Urge. It also features Sam Yahel on organ and Brian Blade on drums.

This series of Jazz Guitar Lessons has been running for some time and if there is somebody that you would like me to do a lesson on then please leave a comment!

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Chord Melody – This is How To Play Solos

You already play chord melody guitar arrangements of standards, but Improvising in a solo guitar setting where you are playing chords and an improvised melody can be really difficult and seem impossible to learn.

In this video I am going to show you how to use chords as a position to create a scale where you can improvise with and in that way solo in a Chord Melody setting.

This is one of the ways I approach improvising in a solo guitar setting and it is technically much less demanding than trying to for example harmonize every melody note. In fact you can probably get started right away, and a bonus is that practicing this will make you a lot better at making your own chord melody arrangements.

This video came about because I was making videos for my Patrons discussing how I prepared a solo gig. It was a request to demonstrate one of the approaches I use for soloing.

A Practical Approach to improvising

The best way to demonstrate my method or approach is to just give you some examples and in breaking them down showing you what the idea is.

The first example is a II V I lick in C major.

I would assume that you already know the basic chords that are shown as diagrams above the sheet music.

The way I see this II V I lick is basically as a melody using these basic chords.

Try playing this example

Building a Scale for each chord voicing

The way I see the available notes for the Dm7 and G7 vocings I have the two “scales” associated with both chords.

Notice that I actually have two voicings for G7 but again these two voicngs are (for me at least) variations on the same voicing. Probably centered around the 7th and 3rd on the D and G string.

Variations of voicings

One way to build vocabulary is to have several options for the combinations of voicings. In this video I am doing this by using different Dm7 voicings.

The example below is using a different type of chord voicing.

Here the notes available with the Dm7 is a little different and is shown here below.

Variations and more chords 

The example here below is using several voicings on the G7. Again the focus is on using voicings that are variations of the same chord. You can see that it is that thinking that I use on the G7 chord.

The line is using a variation of the previous Dm7 chord, now with a 3rd in the melody instead of the 9th,

I also added some more interesting rhythms to the line and really use a chord to emphasize the top-note of the melody on the G7.

Chord Melody Survival Kit

If you want to develop your skills with chord melody then you can check out this lesson where I break down my basic process for making a chord melody and demonstrate how to turn this into an arrangement.

The lesson contains 3 arrangements and video lessons describing how they are made.

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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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Fretboard Visualization – How To Develop A Complete Overview

Using limitations to check and develop your Fretboard Knowledge.

In this video I am going to go over a way to practice that teaches you how to find material and use it everywhere on the neck when you are improvising. One thing is to practice all the things you need like scales and arpeggios in all positions. You also have to make sure that you get it to a point where you can use it in music. And ironically the best way to become free all over the neck is it to limit yourself to limit yourself to one position while playing a song.

For me this was an essential way of building my ability to move around the fretboard freely. I have, by now, spend a lot of time with this and still keep coming back to it to work out a bit on tunes I am studying. You can always find new things here and develop further.

Content:

0:00 Intro

0:22 Limit Yourself to remove your limitations

0:53 The Exercise – Practice to be Practical

1:28 The Four step process

1:51 #1 The Song/Progression

2:35 #2 Choose the Position

3:08 Be realistic and practical with position playing

3:14 Prepatory Exercises

4:33 Think in Long term goals

5:03 #3 Playing the Song

5:42 Solving problems you come across

5:57 How to Look for basic material

6:44 Be Practical!

7:54 #4 Creating Variations and New Material

8:43 Practicing while making music

9:00 Improvising only with Scale Movement

9:45 Like the video? Check out my Patreon Page

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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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6 Types of Easy 3-Note Arpeggios That You Need To Know

You should always try to learn new melodies that you can use in your solos. And in Jazz, Arpeggios are a great place to start.

In this video I will go over 6 different types of 3-Note Arpeggios which are really useful because they are 3 notes, so they are easy to study and also very easy to use in solos giving you a lot of material that you can use when improvising over a song.

An Arpeggio is a Melody and a Great Building Block

What a lot of people miss is that an arpeggio is really just a short melody. We think about what the notes are and what alterations and extensions it is over the chord, but you often forget to listen to it and just realize that knowing this arpeggio is really knowing a very strong melody that you can use in your solos.

If you play jazz and especially more modern jazz then knowing these structures is really something you need as a part of your vocabulary and you will find it everywhere in the playing of people like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreisberg and Lage Lund.

The way I made this video is that I played a short solo on minor blues that I will take apart and talk about all the different arpeggios, give you some exercises and ideas on how to use it.

Content:

0:00 Intro – Arpeggios are Melodies!

0:52 The Minor Blues Example

1:42 Phrase #1 The Essential Triads

2:25 A few thoughs on Triads and Finding Triads for a chord

2:50 Practicing Triads and Inversions

3:26 Phrase #2 Quartal Arpeggios and Altered Dominants

5:11 How To Practice Quartal Arpeggios

5:51 Phrase #3 Shell-Voicings

6:43 Break up the groove with 4-note groupings

7:24 Exercise for Shell-voicings

7:42 Phrase #4 Quintal Arpeggios and Sus4 Triads

8:17 Sus4 Triads8:37 Quinatal Arpeggios Exercise / Message in a Bottle

9:04 Sus4 Triads on a 2-string set

9:40 The Two “Weird” Sus4 Triads (That Joe Henderson Knew)

10:25 Phrase #5 – Spread Triads

11:05 What are Spread Triads or Open-Voiced Triads

12:09 Technical exercises with Spread Triads

12:51 Phrase #6 – The Major b5 Triad (That you didn’t know you knew)

14:37 Move the b5 triads through the scale (as a 1 3 4 structure)

14:55 Thoughts on moving Interval Structures Through a Scale

16:02 Like the Video? Check out my Patreon Page!

Music Theory on Guitar Hour Podcast

I was a guest on the guitar hour podcast this week. 😎 

We are having fun disucssing some heavy Jazz Harmony with Dan Smith, David Beebee, Tom Quayle and myself!

It’s always great fun to hang out with these guys! I am hoping to get them on the channel as well!

The Topics

How to understand harmony, analyze chords and assign scales to them.

But also what types of tunes it works on and taking the melody into consideration.

Hope you like it!

Check it out here: https://buff.ly/2Sbtjz7 

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

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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How to Solve the “I Have no Practice Motivation” Problem

It is very difficult to keep motivated and figure out how to practice guitar so that you feel like staying with it. This is especially true if you practice and learn something complicated like Jazz Guitar. But you also know that you have to be consistent and dedicated to book improvements in your playing and develop you skills. If you don’t practice you probably will just end up in a vicious circle that will stop you playing all together.

In this video I am going to go over 5 things that helps me keep motivated and inspired to practice. Things that are coming from my own experience but also from having taught a lot of students and been around a lot of jazz musicians in general.

This video will give you some ideas to keep inspired and working and also some other perspective on what playing an instrument and playing music is about. Not all of these tips are really about the practice situation but about what else you do.

Hope you like it!

Content of the video:

0:00 Intro – Staying Motivated Why it is important

1:17 #1 Is You Practice Session Fun? How To Improve it!

2:24 #2 Check out Live Music – Get Inspired!

3:43 #3 Track You Progress and Keep Track of Your Work

4:56 #4 Play With Other People

6:28 #5 Taking Lessons

7:06 What Keeps You Motivated? Leave a Comment!

7:24 Like the video? Check Out My Patreon Page!

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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:

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

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.

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:

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Download the Free PDF of the Donna Lee Guitar Solo

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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?

Rene Thomas – Is This an Overlooked Bebop Hero?

Rene Thomas is maybe not the first Jazz guitarist to come up in a conversation, but his very melodic and strong bebop inspired jazz lines are very much worth checking out. The Rene Thomas Guitar Legacy includes sideman gigs with Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and Chet Baker. Besides that he recorded several albums under his own name.

The excerpts in this video are form his first US album “Guitar Groove” an album that features Rene Thomas and saxophonist Bobby Jaspar with whom he recorded and worked very frequently.

The story goes that Stan Getz heard a trio with Thomas once in London and hired the band on the spot.

These examples arereally illustrating how he manages to use modern jazz sounds and a lot of bebop tradition in his playing. The melodies are often very refined and the ideas very long which is of course also a trademark of a master improvisor.

If you want to check out some other performances then I have a short playlist of videos here: Rene Thomas Live Videos

Especially the solo on Oleo is burning!

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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. 

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