About the Site

I am a classical guitar student of modest guitar and musical skills. Recently I started exploring Chord Melody playing and Jazz guitar in general and I am overwhelmed by the volume of information available. There are tons of great resources for learning various aspects of Jazz theory and technique - and I've got way too many browser tabs open - so this site will be my continuing mind map of the material I'm exploring. Hopefully it will be interesting to the internet passer-by as well.

Jazz Guitar Resources

As I run across resources I'll post links here - mostly for tracking my progress and for my own future learning. So far I've been struck by the difference between the Jazz material I've encountered and the Rock/Blues material I've studied: many rock or blues lessons teach a single technique - maybe a lick, maybe a sweep or a pull-off or a harmonic. They may spend 10 minutes minutely examining the mechanics of the technique - pick angle, hand placement, picking direction, etc - and then it may take my an hour or two of practice to bring the technique up to speed. Frequently the lessons assume absolute beginner status - telling you the names of the notes and what fret positions to finger and showing you in detail exactly what's happening in picking and fretting hands.

In contrast Jazz instruction seems to have a higher barrier to entry. It frequently seems denser, more theoretical and requires a much greater investment of time to apply - something like "modification x to chord y makes it a substitution for chord z in some contexts - here are three different grips - work them out across all twelve keys in and four different positions..." One concept can lead to 10 or 20 hours of work to understand how to apply and work out all the variations. Seriously - look at this article about Pat Martino for an example of this sort of thing.

Or for another example - I'm starting Robert Conti's book/dvd Chord Melody Assembly Line. It's a great intro to Chord Melody as it is a very straightforward "follow the instructions" kind of book. But if you took out the explanations and the glossary it could be condensed to about 3 double-sided pages with the grips he uses and the examples to harmonize. Of course that's enough material to keep me busy for six months!

Keep at it!

I guess my point is that the novice to Jazz guitar (that's me) shouldn't be discouraged by the denseness of the lessons or the depth of the material. I read the Martino essay above, but I don't understand it yet. That's ok - I'll work through it and revisit it in a few months. In the meantime - there's lots more to explore.