1. Chick Corea - Spain
2. Herbie Hancock - Cantaloupe Island
3. Herbie Hancock - Chameleon
4. Herbie Hancock - Watermelon Man
5. Jaco Pastorius - The Chicken
6. Kenny Dorham - Blue Bossa
7. Duke Ellington - Caravan
8. Grover Washington Jr. - Mister Magic
9. Kenny Burrell - Chitlins Con Carne
10. Miles Davis - Pfrancing
11. Wes Montgomery - D Natural Blues
12. Wes Montgomery - Road Song
Lesson 1: Caravan - Duke Ellington
This famous Duke Ellington song is a great way to get your feet wet in the jazz genre. Ultimately, it’s a pretty fast tempo, however most of the notes are held fairly long which allows you to play at a quick tempo but without having to “shred” a bunch of notes. This will allow you to concentrate on the melody and harmony, both of which you’ll learn in this in-depth lesson.
Lesson 2: Spain - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
Chick Corea’s mega jazz-fusion hit is one that any advanced player should spend some time on. The rhythmically complex melody and up-tempo feel make for a challenging exercise on their own.
Add in the chord changes and now you’ve got a beast of a song to learn. In this lesson, however, I will break down all the tricks and tips you need to master this tune, so that you can improvise freely, shred the melody and comp with confidence.
Lesson 3: Chameleon - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
Easily Herbie Hancock’s most famous instrumental song, Chameleon is a tune that every aspiring jazz, fusion or funk player must know.
From the simplistic but catchy bass line, through to the guitar licks and horn melodies, this all-encompassing lesson will show you the inside scoop on how to play all the parts to this epic tune!
Lesson 4: Watermelon Man - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
This funky Herbie Hancock song is going to be familiar to any blues player out there, even if you haven’t heard the song!
Based on a variation of a 12-bar blues progression, you’ll be able to play all your comfortable blues licks on this one. But before you do, we’re going to break down this song so that you can rebuild it using a looper pedal.
Starting with percussive sounds and a bass line, you’ll learn to layer chords and finally the melody so that you can be your own one-man band!
Lesson 5: The Chicken - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
This Jaco Pastorius song is an awesome way to get more familiar with complicated chord changes and a jazzier way of approaching the blues.
Based on a blues bass line, the chords involved are all dominant 7 chords, which allow for a huge variety of harmonies and melody lines while soloing.
In this lesson you’ll not only get a breakdown of the harmony and some interesting soloing concepts, but you'll also learn all the chords and the melody to help complete your knowledge of the jazz-fusion classic.
Lesson 6: Blue Bossa - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
One of the most popular jazz standards of all time, and an excellent way to step into some new territory, Blue Bossa is a perfect way to get introduced to the world of jazz.
Ask any jazz player, this song will be called at tons of jam sessions because it is such a perfect example of how jazz is chock full of ii-V-I progressions.
In this lesson we will be covering not just the chords and the head, but also what sort of extensions and substitutions you can use when comping. In addition there are also some great tips on soloing in a “jazzy” style while retaining the classic blues-rock foundations that so many players are built upon.
If you’re ready for a mental workout and some quick moving chords, then get ready, because this lesson on one of jazz music’s most popular tunes is about to get you in gear!
Lesson 7: Cantaloupe Island - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
Welcome to Herbie Hancock’s funky universe of sounds. He is renowned in the music world for his use “color” in his harmonies, and this particular song is a prime example of how to use common tones within your chords.
Originally released on his 1964 album Emperyean Isles, this tune has become a standard in the jazz and fusion scenes. By incorporating harmonies based loosely off the note F, and interweaving an incredibly catchy melody, Hancock laid the groundwork for a blend between musical styles. These jazzed up chords and the melodies that groove along with them are just part of this in-depth lesson; you will also gain a greater understanding for what scales and note groupings can flow easily over the solo section of this funk fusion masterpiece.
By learning the connection between the chords, their scales, and the melody or “head”, you’ll soon be on your way to improvising and soloing comfortably over this unique chord change and grooving rhythm!
Lesson 8: Mister Magic - Grover Washington Jr.
This funky jazz standard was made famous by Grover Washington Jr. and for good reason. His rendition is funky, rhythmic and extremely fun to play. In this lesson you’ll learn the harmony and the breakdown of the chord structure to this tune. In addition to the harmony you’ll learn the melody, in the fashion that Grover Washington Jr. played it, complete with horn-like embellishments. If you’re looking for a fun, catchy and easy jazz standard to learn, this just might be the one for you!
Lesson 9: Chitlins Con Carne - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
This blues song is one of the coolest and most accessible ways to get into jazz. Released by Kenny Burrell on 1953’s Midnight Blue and covered by Stevie Ray Vaughn, this classic is a guitar player’s dream.
With jazz oriented chord extensions and bluesy licks, this tune makes a great practice piece for improvising and expanding your guitar vocabulary. By incorporating the dominant#9 chord you can use a whole variety of scales and leading tones to navigate your otherwise standard blues patterns.
Whether you’re looking for some smooth guitar soloing ideas, or you want to dive head first into learning jazz, this is a perfect track to get you accustomed to not only the harmonic possibilities, but also the melodic and rhythmic styles that are on display in this Burrell masterpiece!
Lesson 10: Pfrancing - Acoustic Guitar Lesson
This Miles Davis song is based on a blues progression, but takes a few twists and turns. Using simplistic melodies and intricate harmonies, Miles was able to craft a blues song that doesn’t sound like a blues song. If you’re looking for inspiration and some cool new ideas for soloing, playing over changes, or even just a cool new way to approach the blues, this is the lesson for you!
Lesson 11: D Natural Blues - Wes Montgomery - Guitar Lesson
Any jazz guitar fan knows Wes Montgomey, and all want to emulate him.
This lesson will take you through this great blues based tune and introduce you to WesвЂ™s famous octave technique.
Learning how to phrase using octaves and just the thumb of your picking hand is a challenge that will keep you practicing and improving for hours!
Lesson 12: Road Song - Wes Montgomery - Guitar Lesson
A fantastic way to get introduced to jazz guitar, Wes Montgomery’s Road Song is a standard that all aspiring guitarists’ should know.
A personal favorite of mine, and one that I play all the time, this song was released on Montgomery’s twentieth studio album Road Song.
A pioneer on the instrument, Wes employed many techniques and harmonic ideas that are still being copied today by players of all styles. By making common use of octaves and his unique thumb technique, he crafted a style that was all his own, and yet fits seamlessly on the instrument.
By learning the licks, chords and melodic ideas in this song you’ll walk away confident in your ability to play and improvise over slightly more complex jazz progressions.
With this in-depth lesson, you will learn the ins and outs of what made Wes great and by the end you’ll have a good enough grasp on some jazz concepts to start applying them to the rest of your repertoire.