Free Jazz Guitar Lessons

I started posting free jazz guitar lessons on my Youtube page last week.  My thought here, is that there is so much information out there about the theoretical aspects to playing jazz that a lot of aspiring players forget about simple things like melody and swing.  My goal is to give students something to play and then encourage them to go out and play it in a tune.  I just saw an interview with Scott Henderson (great player and educator) on Youtube the other day where he was asked about improvising or something and his comment was something to the effect of…

Hey, anybody who is out there playing this music well, spent a lot of time transcribing the masters.

My guess is that Scott feels as many of us do, that jazz is a language and in order to play it well you first learn to imitate, then assimilate, then finally innovate.  When I arrived at the Berklee College of Music, I was already making my living as a guitarist.  I could play all my scales in all the positions, but when I sat down and played a tune with my teacher he said, “Well, your playing a lot of guitar but your not playing a lot of music.”  From there we just tarted learning Wes Montgomery solos.  Then it was on to George Benson and Grant Green.  It wasn’t until I learned to play ( and I mean play them with only my teacher playing the chords, not just playing along with the recording) did I start to hear the sound of jazz.  It was then that I started to play “jazz” on the guitar as opposed to playing “jazz guitar.”