#1 Jazz Guitar Lesson | Video

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What's up everybody? Anders here, doing a guest hosting of the Guitar Tricks channel. I got Neil tied up in the back here because we're doing some jazz stuff today. We got a request from Ebenezer, one of our Facebook friends, for some jazz stuff so I'll be taking over just for today. I'm going to start you off with a tip of the week, and my tip of the week is to practice while you're watching TV. Now if you're watching with someone there’s a good chance you're going to drive them absolutely insane by doing this, so here's the trick. Cover the strings with your right hand, and then practice anything that has to do with your left hand.

Right, if you’re a beginner you can practice some basic chords, we’re doing from E major to A major here, or like D major to G major, just make sure you’re practicing it right so that you don’t develop any bad habits. If you’re a blues guy you can practice your vibrato, build some strength there, right? If you’re a rock guy you can do Hammer Ons and Pull Offs. If you’re a jazz guy you can do some of the crazy chords that requires stretching and all kinds of stuff, bending, anything you can think of that has to do with the left hand.

And moving on to the lesson, and we’ve gotten a lot of requests lately for some jazz stuff so that’s what we’ll be doing today. Assuming that most of you guys are rock dudes, we’re just going to look at some pretty simple but very effective ways to add a little bit of that jazzy flavor to your rock or blues playing. These tricks are pretty cool and effective; and you may not be able to fool an actual jazz guy with them but most people will buy them, I think they’re pretty cool.
Now, the first one kind of sounds like this— [guitar playing] and all that is, is some pentatonic stuff with the jazzy sound coming from this pull-off. If you’re a rock guy you’ve probably played this--stuff like that right? It’s just in the blues scale for an A minor. If you’re a blues guy you definitely also played these notes. So the basic idea is that you pick this note with a down stroke, then do an up stroke and then pull off twice.

See if you can get the accent on the down beat here and then play the route up here on the D string in the seventh fret. So down, up, pull off, pull off, right? And we got this little – that’s the rhythm one, two, three, four. And you can resolve it up here on the D string to the route if you want and open octave, it sounds like this. Gives you a little of that bee-boppy sound that you know from guys like Robin Ford, George Benson and Larry Carlton. You can do it all over the neck, anywhere you have three notes and one string. If you start it on the four like we did right now it sounds very blues-y or very kind of rock, just for a little jazz flavor. If you start it on the sixth instead it sounds way more jazzy.

And the six, if you don’t know it, is up one whole step from the five. It’s the Dorian note if you’ve ever heard people talk about that. In this case, it’s in the seventh fret of the B string right? And if you start the lick here it sounds like this. We got the A minor chord, pretty useful stuff.

The next thing you can do is to add some totally random chromatic notes in between all the notes that you know. So for instance if we’re here in our good old A minor blues scale pattern, you go up to the highest note in the eighth fret of the E string and switch fingers. Same note, but now play it with your first finger. And then you go down chromatically, and chromatically just means that you’re doing every fret in between. See that it just follows it down and then you find yourself with your first finger in the fifth fret on the high E string and you’re back in your blues rock pattern here. You can end it in any rock lick that you know.

So, right – [guitar playing] And then you’re back here. Right, it sounds kind of cool. Now you don’t have to know what you’re doing. You can do this all over the neck with random chromatic notes if you just make sure to come out right, and coming out into a blues or a rock lick always works like a charm. So you can just go get really loose with it and just make sure you end up somewhere down here where you can find your way around and play a cool blues lick and you’re fine.

The next thing you can do to add a little more of that wacky chromatic flavor is to add sort of a pedal note and it doesn’t really matter what pedal note it is. In this case we’re going to do it on the B string with our second finger. It’s just going to follow your first finger down, right? And you can hear that it doesn’t have to be a note from the scale or anything. It’s just sort of-- more of that wacky, jazzy, chromatic sound. If you want to make it look really jazzy, you got to do the rock with the neck and people will buy it even more.

So that’s a couple of tricks that you can use to add some jazzy flavor to your blues or rock playing. Have fun with them and I’ll see you around.