When & Where

Quick Facts

  • Availability Yes
  • Tutor Billy Marrows
  • Course Code W24JPMH05C
  • Suitable For 19 year olds and up are permitted on this course

What you will learn

A course designed for more experienced guitarists looking at developing their jazz vocabulary, understanding of harmony, solo strategies and comping.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Play a short set of jazz tunes in different styles, knowing the melody and harmony
  • Understand and access the scales and arpeggios needed to improvise over more complex changes
  • Understand and access the chord constructions needed for jazz standards and how to manipulate them and voice-lead creatively through changes
  • Play as part of an ensemble and effectively comp
  • Be able to play in a multiple jazz styles by employing typical rhythmic, melodic and harmonic ideas in solos and comping
  • Implement effective practice and transcription methods

Class format and activities

In each term you will learn a selection of more advanced jazz standards in a variety of styles (swing, Latin, blues, modal, funk, ballad, etc), leading towards a group performance at the end of term; the end of the summer term will culminate with a jazz guitar concert with a professional rhythm section. Using the tunes as a framework we will look at the following fundamental topics: - Deepening our melody playing, looking at phrasing, feel, expression and improvising with the melody. - More advanced Jazz harmonic building blocks and accessing them on the guitar with voicings, understanding how to create and adapt them - further expanding fretboard knowledge - More advanced scales and arpeggios needed for jazz improvisation and accessing them on the guitar - further expanding fretboard knowledge - Turning theory into music using a variety of improvisation tools and techniques - Diving deeper into ‘comping approaches and feels, developing sophisticated ‘comping skills, including chord melody. - Approaches to transcription and developing ear-to-instrument relationship You will meet other guitarists and be part of a community of other jazz guitar students. Gain confidence playing with others in different roles, eg melody, comping, baseline, soloist, by being part of the class jazz guitar ensemble. Each term will build on the fundamental skills we are developing and dive deeper into a variety of different topics. The classes are tailored round students and content/repertoire requests are accommodated where possible.

Entry requirements

At least 2 years playing the jazz guitar idiom. Knowledge of the major scale and major/minor pentatonic, all in the E and A shaped positions (starting with root on the low E and low A strings) ideally as a minimum. Familiarity with basic chord symbols (triads and sevenths). Time to practise between classes and commitment to attend every week. The ability to read music notation would be an advantage but if you can’t do that it will be necessary to at least be able to study the notated melody line using TAB and chord progressions on the handouts and / or by listening to recordings of the music at home.

What you need to know before you enrol

Clear practice tasks will be given every week and students must be prepared to spend time working on the assignments and preparing the repertoire for class. Frequent listening to jazz recordings will increase your knowledge and appreciation of the repertoire and of important jazz guitarists.

What you need

You will need to bring your guitar and lead to lessons. Amps will be provided if/when needed. Manuscript paper, notebook and writing materials.

What you can do next

Join one of our Jazz Guitar 2B or 2C courses