Click any title name to download the lesson.
12 Essential Tunes
This is my “short list” of tunes I used in many years of teaching. All are good tunes for a beginning jazz student to learn. They are all very common “jam session” tunes and many have other tunes based on the same chord changes. There are probably several hundred other tunes that would be just as good to learn, but this is a good starting point.
Practice Tips for Learning Tunes
A step by step method for learning tunes.
A concise guide to chord/scale relationships. This guide is a “what to use when” type guide, according to common practice.
Guitar Ensemble Article from Jazz Educators’ Journal
I wrote this mainly to help high school and college guitar teachers get their jazz guitar ensembles started. Be sure to see the publications page for sample sound clips and score pages.
Major Scale Fingerings
These are simply some of the more comfortable major scale fingerings on the guitar. They can also be easily converted to other scale types (pentatonic, blues, various forms of minor) by changing, adding, or deleting notes as needed.
Cherokee Etude #1
Cherokee Etude #2
Cherokee Etude #3
Cherokee Etude #4
Cherokee Etude #5
This series of etudes are primarily studies in picking technique. Each study uses a different melodic fragment which drills a particular picking pattern. All of the studies are written on the chord changes to “Cherokee”.
3 Note Voicings
These are some easy to play root position voicings. They sound great for “Freddie Green” style rhythm.
4 Note Voicings
These chord voicings are all root position and are a good introduction to rhythm guitar.
This system will produce 28 voicings for any 4 note chord on the guitar.
This is a system for building root position voicings with 9ths, 11ths, 13ths, and/or altered 5ths. Be sure you understand the 3 note voicings first.
4 Octave Major Triad Arpeggio Study for 7 String Guitar
4 Octave Minor Triad Arpeggio Study for 7 String Guitar
I found these 7 string, 4 octave arpeggios helpful when first trying to learn 7 string guitar. I still use them as a warmup.