This set includes a healthy dose of Duke Ellington songs, along with a couple other classics. It also has two tunes we classify as for beginners (It Don’t Mean A Thing and Bessie’s Blues), but this still assumes good knowledge of chords and scales already.
Jazz tunes are generally done in an ensemble setting, rather than solo, and these lessons cover the chord accompaniment and lead melodies as separate parts.
Most of the lessons are brought to us by Max Rich, although Satin Doll starts with Neil going through the accompaniment and melody, with Max adding sections on improvising over the progression.
Lesson 1: It Don't Mean A Thing - Jazz Standard Guitar Lesson
Perhaps one of the most recognizable melodies of the 20th century, this Duke Ellington classic is a great way for you to establish a foundation in jazz.
With relatively simple chords and a catchy melody, this lesson will walk you through all the parts step by step so that in a few short minutes you’ll be jamming along to one of the most played jazz songs of all time!
Lesson 2: Bessie's Blues by John Coltrane - Guitar Lesson
If you're a blues player who's looking to dip your toe into the ocean of jazz, then this is the lesson for you. This John Coltrane song is a blues tune, with a standard blues progression but utilizes some very jazzy phrasing and melodies.
In this lesson we break down the melody and show you how it corresponds to the chords beneath it and why these specific note choices give you that "jazz sound".
Lesson 3: Satin Doll - Jazz Standards - Guitar Lesson
Satin Doll is undoubtedly one of Duke Ellington’s signature tunes. It was co-written with long time collaborator Billy Strayhorn and published in 1953, with lyrics added by Johnny Mercer after it had become an instrumental hit.
This lesson covers a few ways of fingering the chords, some suggestions on the rhythmic accompaniment, a short look at picking out the melody, and some sections on improvising over the changes (from Max Rich). Part 6 is a basic backing track that can be your accompanist while you take the lead.
The solo arrangement of Satin Doll is mostly straightforward fingerpicking but using what I call anticipated bass notes. This means the first bass note of a chord is played on the ‘and’ of the beat before the change, rather than on the beat. We do this more commonly with melody notes and that shows up as well. Most of the chord shapes are the same as the ones in the standard accompaniment but there are some nice short cuts demonstrated too.
Lesson 4: Take The A Train - Jazz Standard - Guitar Lesson
If you’re looking for a jazz standard that will not only be a familiar and pleasant tune, but also one that will give you a slight challenge without going too far on the jazz theory, then this is the lesson for you.
Take The "A" Train is a classic jazz tune that has been played by virtually every famous jazz musician, and for good reason. Utilizing some interesting chord progressions as well as a melody that accents an unusual rhythmic pattern, there is a lot to learn whether you’re a jazz novice or a seasoned player.
Lesson 5: Autumn Leaves - Jazz Guitar Lesson
This standard is a must-know for any aspiring jazz guitarist. Loaded full of ii-V-I progressions, this song is not only tons of fun to play, but will also help you understand and visualize the theoretical parts of jazz that make the genre seem so daunting.
If you’re looking to become a more proficient as a jazzer, this lesson is for you!