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Scales and Chords Together (Guitar Lesson)

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Matt Brown

Scales and Chords Together

Matt will show you which scales work best with each different type of chord, and why.

Taught by Matt Brown in Jazz Guitar with Matt seriesLength: 43:00Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (07:09) Introduction In the previous lesson, Matt introduced scale theory concepts and how they apply to jazz music. He introduced the Dorian mode as an effective option when improvising over a minor chord. The Mixolydian mode is the most effective choice when improvising over dominant chords. In this lesson, Matt will explain the music theory that links each scale or mode to the corresponding chord type that it works with. Also, Matt will present some new scale options that work over dominant and minor chords.

Note: In conjunction with this lesson, we strongly recommend that you watch Brad Henecke's Phase 2 Classic Rock lessons that pertain to scales and modes. Matt will reference these lessons frequently in this lesson and lessons to come.

Before you dive into the current lesson, take some time to review some concepts from Lesson 4. At this point, you must be able to play the jazz form of the 12 bar blues in several keys. The materials presented in this lesson and the following lessons expand upon blues concepts discussed in Lesson 4.

Here's a quick review of the chord changes in a 12 bar blues progression:

A. Basic 12 Bar Form
Bars 1-4: I7
Bars 5-6: IV7
Bars 7-8: I7
Bar 9: V7
Bar 10: IV7
Bar 12: I7
B. 12 Bar Jazz Blues
Bar 1: I7
Bar 2: IV7
Bars 3-4: I7
Bars 5-6: IV7
Bar 7: I7
Bar 8: VI7
Bar 9: ii7
Bar 10: V7
Bar 11: I7
Bar 12: V7
The jazz version of the blues sounds much busier as a result of more frequent chord changes.

Now, apply these chord changes to some specific keys. All blues examples presented in this lesson series will be in either the key of Bb or F. These are the two most common blues keys in the jazz genre. In a jazz band, a horn player most frequently performs the melodic line and solos. The trumpet and saxophone are transposing instruments. This means that the written pitch that the trumpet plays is not the same as the note that actually sounds. For example, a C sounds when a trumpet plays a Bb from the musical score. Due to the transposition of the instrument, it is easiest for trumpet players to play in the keys of Bb and F. Here is a breakdown of the 12 bar blues chords in these keys:

A. 12 Bar Jazz Blues in F
Bar 1: F7
Bar 2: Bb7
Bars 3-4: F7
Bars 5-6: Bb7
Bar 7: F7
Bar 8: D7
Bar 9: GMI7
Bar 10: C7
Bar 11: F7
Bar 12: C7
B. 12 Bar Jazz Blues in Bb
Bar 1: Bb7
Bar 2: Eb7
Bars 3-4: Bb7
Bars 5-6: Eb7
Bar 7: Bb7
Bar 8: G7
Bar 9: CMI7
Bar 10: F7
Bar 11: Bb7
Bar 12: F7
Remember that you can substitute any dominant chord that is written as Dom7 in a lead sheet. For example, a chord written as Bb7 can be replaced by any of the following chords, as long as the chord does not clash with notes in the melody. This concept will be explained in greater detail in lessons to come.

Bb7, Bb9, Bb7(#9) Bb7(b9), Bb13, Bb7(#11), Bb7(#5)

The Mixolydian Mode
The Mixolydian mode is formed by lowering the seventh scale degree of the major scale. Matt demonstrates how to play the Bb Mixolydian mode. Compare the notes of the Bb Major scale to the notes contained in Bb Mixolydian.

Bb Major: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb
Bb Mixolydian: Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb

As you can see, each scale degree is identical in both scales with the exception of the 7th scale degree. Listen to Matt play both of these scales back to back. Notice the overall difference in tonal color between them.

The Mixolydian mode is usually the scale of choice when playing over dominant 7th chords. Why does this scale work so well over these types of chords? Compare the formula for the Mixolydian mode with the formula for dominant 7th chords.

Mixolydian Mode = scale degrees 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, b7
Dominant 7th chords = scale degrees 1, 3, 5, b7

The notes Bb, D, F, and Ab form a Bb7 chord. All of these notes are contained within the Bb Mixolydian mode. The b7 in the mode aligns with the b7 in the Bb7 chord. This is why Mixolydian is a great choice when improvising over dominant sounds.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for five patterns of the Bb Mixolydian mode. Refer to the notation to locate the root notes within each pattern.
The Dorian Mode
The Dorian mode is formed by raising the sixth scale degree of the Natural Minor scale. Compare the C Natural Minor scale with C Dorian.

C Natural Minor: C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb, C
C Dorian: C, D, Eb, F, G, A, Bb, C

Now, compare the formula for MI7 chords with the formulas for the Dorian mode and Natural Minor scale

MI7 chord = 1, b3, 5, b7
CMI7 = C, Eb, G, Bb
Natural Minor scale = 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, b6, b7
Dorian mode = 1, 2, b3, 4, 5, 6, b7

Both scales contain a b3 scale degree. This gives them an overall minor sound. They both also contain a b7 scale degree. The b7 note in both scales aligns with the b7 in a Minor 7th chord. For this reason, both scales are excellent choices when improvising over Minor 7th chords. Over a minor chord, the b6 scale degree is a dissonant interval. The Natural Minor scale contains this scale degree. A natural sixth scale degree is consonant when played over a minor chord. The Dorian mode features a natural sixth scale degree. As a result, the Dorian mode is a slightly more effective option when playing over Minor 7th chords.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for five patterns of the C Dorian mode. Refer to the notation to locate the root notes within each pattern.
The Incorrect 4th
Note: A natural fourth scale degree is not considered a dissonant tone when played over minor chords. If you play this scale degree over a minor chord on a downbeat, it will sound pretty good. However, the natural fourth scale degree is considered a very dissonant interval when played over major or dominant chords. For this reason, you should avoid playing this scale degree on a downbeat over major and dominant chords. If this note is played on a downbeat, it is referred to as an "incorrect fourth." However, the natural 4th can be used in passing over these two chord types. Make sure you limit use of this note to upbeats.

For example, the note F is the natural fourth scale degree of C major. F can only be played as a passing tone on upbeats over any type of C major or C dominant chord.
Chapter 2: (13:31) Do's and Do Not's Mental Approach to Improvisation
Matt begins this scene by explaining his mental approach to playing an improvised solo. Regardless of what genre or style he is soloing over, his mental approach is exactly the same. The typical rock or blues solo will not utilize more than a couple scales. However, in the jazz form of a 12 bar blues solo, it is quite common to use several different scales or modes. As a result, beginning jazz players are completely overwhelmed by learning scale patterns and arpeggio patterns. It is absolutely crucial to learn these patterns when you first dive into jazz guitar. Practicing scales is very important from a technical standpoint. However, it is even more important that you know the individual notes that spell each scale. When improvising a solo, your goal is to transcend your knowledge of scale patterns. Many guitarists rely on certain fingering options within a pattern to generate licks. They may be playing consonant notes that work with the chord progression, but the resulting solo does not sound musical. When playing a solo, use your ears to dictate what lines you play. Do not allow memorized scale patterns determine what you play. This will severely limit the number of possibilities available to you. When Matt improvises any solo, he thinks of a phrase in his head. He then applies what he is hearing in his head to the fretboard. This requires a significant amount of ear training.
Ear Training
Note: Audiation ability is a natural phenomenon. Some people have a natural gift for it, while others may struggle. However, anyone can gain this ability through practice and hard work.

In order to become an effective improviser, you must be able to audiate a phrase in your head before you actually play it. Then you must be able to transfer this same phrase to the fretboard of the guitar. Gaining and honing this ability is literally a lifelong process. It takes years of diligent and focused practice to achieve this goal. Matt gives a few tips to get you started on this process.

The most basic component of ear training and audiation is interval identification. You must be able to identify the sound of every music interval. For example, if you know what it sounds like to play an F# followed by an E above it, you will know whether or not it will sound good when improvising over a given chord. JamPlay is currently planning a large ear training series. This will involve basic ear training quizzes that will help you with identifying specific intervals. For now though, play specific intervals on the guitar and make mental note of how each interval sounds. Here is how Matt Brown practices interval identification.

Make a list of 50 interval examples. Use all interval types, and mix them up. You might do something like this for the first five:
a. major third
b. octave
c. tritone
d. minor sixth
e. minor second
Once you have completed the list, record yourself playing all fifty interval examples. Say, no. 1, no. 2, etc. before you play each one.

Put the list of intervals away in a safe location A week later, quiz yourself on the intervals recorded. Allowing a week to pass will ensure that you have forgotten the answers so you can't cheat.

Check your answers with the answer sheet you created the previous week.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for a complete list of all musical intervals.
Playing Phrases
The musical phrase is often compared to the spoken or written sentence. Make sure that each phrase that you play is a logical complete thought. Do not play the musical equivalent of sentence fragments. Most beginners simply doodle within a memorized scale pattern. They pick and choose individual notes that will work over the chord at the moment. Instead, you must think of a whole logical phrase of notes that work together to form a logical, musical statement. Keep in mind that a phrase may span a couple measures and several chord changes. As a result, multiple scales and arpeggios may be used within a single phrase.
Whenever you learn a new jazz tune, you must memorize the melody as well as the chord changes. It is very difficult to simultaneously read a lead sheet and improvise a solo. The brain can only handle so many tasks all at once. If you're constantly looking up from your guitar to read the lead sheet, your focus is taken away from improvising. On the other hand, if you do memorize the chord changes, the only thing you have to think about is playing a great solo.
Write Out Solos
If you are having problems keeping up with the rapid chord changes in the jazz genre, write out a solo. Combine your own licks and licks you've learned from your favorite recordings. Then, weave them into your own written 12 bar blues solo. This process has several advantages. This forces you to write out logical phrases. You will also be able to ensure that you are providing adequate space between phrases. This process will allow you to take inventory of which licks are working and which are not. When you return to playing an improvised solo after completing this process, you will not feel so overwhelmed.
Chapter 3: (14:21) Chord Types Improvising Over Major Chords
When a lead sheet indicates a C major chord, you have options. You can play any type of C major chord as long as its extensions do not clash with the melody line.

The most obvious scale choice when improvising over major chords is the major scale. However, remember the Incorrect 4th rule discussed earlier. Compare the spelling of a CMA7 chord to the spelling of the C Major scale.

CMA7 = C, E, G, B
C Major scale = C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C

F, the natural fourth scale degree from the scale is a dissonant tone against a C major chord. However, if we raise the fourth scale a degree to F#, it becomes a consonant tone. This forms the C Lydian mode.

C Lydian = C, D, E, F#, G, A, B, C

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for five patterns of the C Lydian mode. Refer to the notation to locate the root notes within each pattern.

Note: Refer to Matt Brown's Phase 2 Rock Lessons for 5 fretboard patterns of the major scale.
Improvising Over Diminished Chords
There are two types of diminished chords: half-diminished and fully diminished. Half diminished chords are indicated with a circle with a slash drawn through it. In the jazz genre these chords are usually referred to as MI7(b5) chords. Matt will discuss how to improvise over MI7(b5) chords in a later lesson pertaining to jazz tunes in minor keys. A fully diminished seventh chord is written like this: Bo7.

The diminished scale is an ideal choice when soloing over a fully diminished seventh chord. There are two forms of this scale. The scale starts with the root note of the chord. It then alternates whole and half steps, or vice versa. When playing over a diminished 7th chord, begin with a whole step. The second version of the scale is typically used over altered dominant chords.
Lydian Dominant Mode
Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for a common fingering of the Lydian Dominant Mode

The Mixolydian mode features a natural fourth scale degree. This note is dissonant when played against a dominant chord. However, if this scale degree is raised by a half step, it becomes consonant. This forms a new mode called the Lydian Dominant Mode. Compare the spelling of the Bb Mixolydian Mode to the spelling of Bb Lydian Dominant.

Bb Mixolydian = Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, Bb
Bb Lydian Dominant = Bb, C, D, E, F, G, Ab, Bb

Due to its raised fourth scale degree, this scale is an ideal option when improvising over Dom7(#11) chords. A #11 is a #4 an octave higer.
Bebop Dominant Scale
This scale adds some chromaticism to the Mixolydian mode. Chromaticism is prevalent in the bebop style. The ascending pattern of this scale is exactly the same as the Mixolydian mode. However, the descending pattern adds some chromaticism. These chromatic notes work within the descending pattern of the scale, because they occur on the upbeats. These notes cannot be added to the descending form of the scale, because they would occur on the strong downbeats. This scale is a great choice when playing over dominant chords.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for a common fingering of Bebop Dominant Scale.
Chapter 4: (08:30) Improvising The two most common chord progressions in jazz are the turnaround (ii7 V7 I) and the turnback progression (iii7, VI7, ii7 ,V7, I). To effectively practice your improvisation skills, record yourself playing these progressions in all 12 keys. Then, play the tape back and improvise using the scale options listed above.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

rbaidoorbaidoo replied

I was looking for the diminished scales in the Supplemental material. None. Can I get that anywhere?

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hello rbaidoo! You should check out the "diminished" category in our Scale Library:) Here is a link that you can copy and paste into your browser: | You can also c&p this link to go directly to a lesson on diminished scales from Jane Miller (she's a Jazz guitarist, but the same techniques apply regardless of genre): | I hope that this is helpful! HAPPY JAMMING!!

bunkybunky replied

I was looking at the Sample Blues Solo in the supplemental content and trying to determine the best mode to play over each chord. I ran into problems with the D9 chord. My first thought was D mixo, but the solo plays Gb, E, C, and Bb notes. D Mixo has no Bb in it. What do suggest to play over the D9.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hi! Great question! In jazz melodies and solos, you'll find a lot of chromatic notes. I would say that jazz music generally has more chromaticism than any other style of music. When playing over any sort of dominant chord that doesn't have any altered extensions (#5, b9, #9, #11), the Mixolydian mode and the bebop dominant scale are your go to choices. Within these two scales though, you can add some chromatic notes on the weak beats. For example, over D9, you could play D-C#(Db) - C...As long as the C# is not played on a downbeat. Generally, the faster the rhythms you are playing, the more chromatic notes you can get away with using... These same general chromatic principals can be applied when playing over other chords with other scales...It seems like you have a good understanding of which scales work with certain chord types. I should also note that some players generally play with more chromaticism than others. To make a long story short, to create an effective solo / melody, emphasize the strong chord tones on the downbeats for the most part. Then, chromatic notes or other notes from the scale you are using can be used in passing.

bunkybunky replied

Thanks for answering so quickly. Your great Matt.

bunkybunky replied

Here is what I have so far. Chord C-Tones Mode Key / Notes I F9 F A C Eb G F-Mixo Bb / F G A Bb C D Eb b7 ii Gm7 G Bb D F A F-Ionian F / F G A Bb C D E - iii Am7 A C E G Bb F-Ionian F / F G A Bb C D E - IV Bb7 Bb D F Ab C F-Dorian Eb / Eb F G Ab Bb C D b3,b7 V C9 C E G Bb D F-Ionian F / F G A Bb C D E - vi D9 D F# A C E D-Mixo G / D E F# G A B C

bunkybunky replied

Sorry I can't get this in a tabular form.

bunkybunky replied

Chord C-Tones Mode Key / Notes I F9 F A C Eb G F-Mixo Bb / F G A Bb C D Eb b7 ii Gm7 G Bb D F A F-Ionian F / F G A Bb C D E - iii Am7 A C E G Bb F-Ionian F / F G A Bb C D E - IV Bb7 Bb D F Ab C F-Dorian Eb / Eb F G Ab Bb C D b3,b7 V C9 C E G Bb D F-Ionian F / F G A Bb C D E - vi D9 D F# A C E D-Mixo G / D E F# G A B C

bunkybunky replied

Some please check my logic here. Suppose I am play a ii,V,I in Bb using the Chords Cm7/F9/BMA7. Over the Cm7 I would play C Dorian which is the key of Bb. Over the F9 I would play F Mixo which is again is the key Bb. Over the BMA7 I would play Bb Lydian, Key of E As a starting point it seems I would play the Bb Ionian pattern over the ii,V chords the Bb Lydian over the I chord. This would keep my hand located over needed notes. Under the ii chord I draw attention to the 6th, Under the V chord I draw attention to the b7. And on the I chord I brig out the raised 4th. Please check to see that I have identified the correct keys.

bunkybunky replied

The chord are Cm7 / F9 / BbMAJ7

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Cool...yeah, those are the scale choices I would go with as well. You can also play Bb major (same as Bb Ionian) over the I chord (Bb). If you use Bb major over that chord though, you have to use the 4th note (Eb) in passing only. Emphasizing an Eb note over some sort of Bb major chord is going to sound pretty rough. When playing over any chord, you want to emphasize the important chord tones - the 3rd, 7th, the 5th, 9th, any altered extensions, and the root...I listed the chord tones in order from most important to least important.

johnnyrockitjohnnyrockit replied

Great Stuff! Thanks Matt!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

No prob! Glad you found those useful / enjoyable!

bluesheavybluesheavy replied

I know you are speaking about improvising and not being tied to the scale so much that you forget about expression, but I'm certain that in the beginning there is going to be some academic playing until the changes and scales blend and you are playing from your subconscious. I would suggest to anyone really focusing on Jazz you should listen to interviews from your favorite players it really gives you insight to their thinking. I recently watched an interview with George Benson, who I consider to be one of the greatest guitar players, and his approach is so different than what you would think. I agree with Matt don't get so caught up with theory that you forget that jazz is all about improve and playing from the heart it's one of the few genres that combines theory and heart.

johngfrostjohngfrost replied

Matt, when you're playing the charlie parker rhythm it sounds like you're putting a very slight upbeat when you move to the next measure. when i try to duplicate it it doesn't sound the same - not as subtle. what am i hearing and how do you play it.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

ok...I see...Sometimes in the context of Freddie Green you'll hear an upstroke on the "and" of 4, or less commonly, on the "and" of 2. I think it's best to use these upstrums very sparingly...I think the important thing to remember is that there are accents on beats 2 and 4 when playing a swing rhythm. So, the upstrum after that heavy accent on "4" is naturally going to seem subtle by comparison. All you really can do is use trial and error to imitate what you're hearing...That's all I've ever done.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I assume you're talking about the Charleston rhythm...The most basic form of this pattern features a short note on beat 1. Beat 2 starts with an eighth note rest. Then, an eighth note is played on the "and" of 2. Typically, the measure ends with a half note rest. Then, an "answer pattern" as I like to call it is played in the next bar: eighth note rest, strummed eighth note, staccato quarter note. This measure typically ends with a quarter rest. However, you can hold the chord out at the end of both measures if it sounds appropriate at the time. There are lots of variations on this basic Charleston pattern. I might be playing one of the variations...I put them all into the supplemental content section of this lesson: What I recommend you do is listen to some recordings of standards that feature a guitarist...Charlie Christian is always a good go-to person to start with. Listen and pay close attention to the comping...Try to pick out which Charleston variations are being used...Generally, the busier the solo or the melody, the more sparse your comping should be.

johngfrostjohngfrost replied

sorry Matt. I actually meant the Freddy Green rhythm that you describe in lesson one. I probably should have posted my comment there. When you change chords it almost sounds like there is a subtle upbeat. i try to duplicate it but it just doesn't sound like what you are doing.

raskewraskew replied

"turnback" vs "turnaround" - is there a difference?

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Yes, there is a difference. A "turnback" is a special type of turnaround. This progression is a I VI ii V or a iii VI ii V. The VI and V chords are dominant. The I chord might be dominant too if you're playing over a major blues of some sort. The "turnaround" as commonly referred to in the jazz genre is a ii V progression. Again, V is dominant.

ryanwalsh91490ryanwalsh91490 replied

For interval training, there is a program called macgamut .. its 50 bucks but there is harmonic dictation melodic dictation, intevrval recal plus much more its amazingg i highly recommend to anyone taking music seriously

mattbrownmattbrown replied

I second that...I had to use it my freshman year of school...It's a great program. I don't know if it's still available, but there's a free demo version of it too.

ryanwalsh91490ryanwalsh91490 replied

lol love the tool shirt

dahndahn replied

Some sites for interval eartraining

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Hey! Thanks a lot for posting those links!

dash rendardash rendar replied

I love the ii-V-I exercise going round the Circle of 5ths. It's great practice in mixing up the chords, and less monotonous than practicing in the same key over and over again...

jpfanboyjpfanboy replied

Are you a tool fan?! Tool is awsome

will315will315 replied

I'd like to see a video on the song, "all of me". I'm not crazy about the song but style and the chords are kinda cool and different. The music and the backing track is already in the tools section.

Jazz Guitar with Matt

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In this lesson set, Matt will teach you everything you need to know to fluently play jazz guitar.

Intro to JazzLesson 1

Intro to Jazz

Check out this lesson to learn some basic jazz theory & chord voicings.

Length: 31:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Voicings & MelodiesLesson 2

Voicings & Melodies

Learn some more advanced chord voicings as well as the Charleston rhythm.

Length: 19:13 Difficulty: 3.0 FREE
Set II VoicingsLesson 3

Set II Voicings

Learn a handful of Set II voicings & round out your knowledge of the basic jazz chords.

Length: 27:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Applying Chords / Solo IdeasLesson 4

Applying Chords / Solo Ideas

Apply the chords you've learned & experiment with some solo ideas.

Length: 32:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Scales and Chords TogetherLesson 5

Scales and Chords Together

Learn which scales work with which jazz chord voicings.

Length: 43:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Circle of FifthsLesson 6

Circle of Fifths

Matt sheds some light on the circle of fifths.

Length: 28:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Proper PracticingLesson 7

Proper Practicing

Learn how to get the most out of your time when practicing.

Length: 31:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Proper Practicing Part 2Lesson 8

Proper Practicing Part 2

Here's the second installment of Matt's proper practicing lesson.

Length: 32:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Physicalities of PlayingLesson 9

Physicalities of Playing

Learn how to avoid carpal tunnel and other hand injuries by using proper technique.

Length: 46:19 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
All of MeLesson 10

All of Me

Matt Brown teaches the jazz standard "All of Me."

Length: 31:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lead and ScalesLesson 11

Lead and Scales

Matt Brown explains how to improvise over the changes to "All of Me."

Length: 7:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Estudio No. 1.Lesson 12

Estudio No. 1.

Matt Brown begins talking about solo arrangements in this lesson. He teaches Carcassi's "Estudio No. 1" as an introduction to this concept.

Length: 18:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Reviewing the ii V I ProgressionLesson 13

Reviewing the ii V I Progression

Matt Brown returns to his Jazz series with a review lesson. He applies the standard ii V I progression to the circle of fifths.

Length: 18:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Turnback ProgressionLesson 14

Turnback Progression

In lesson 14, Matt discusses the turnback progression in the jazz style.

Length: 22:20 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Set Three VoicingsLesson 15

Set Three Voicings

Matt brown discusses and demonstrates the set three voicings used in jazz guitar.

Length: 25:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Jazz Solo ArrangementLesson 16

Jazz Solo Arrangement

In this lesson, Matt demonstrates how to practice jazz solo arrangements by taking a look at "Here's That Rainy Day."

Length: 35:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Expanding on the 12 Bar BluesLesson 17

Expanding on the 12 Bar Blues

In lesson 17, Matt reviews and expands on the jazz version of the 12 bar blues form.

Length: 23:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Adding VoicesLesson 18

Adding Voices

In this lesson, Matt adds to your voicing repertoire while playing the Charleston rhythm.

Length: 14:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Key of B Flat MajorLesson 19

Key of B Flat Major

Matt Brown talks about lead options when playing a blues in B flat major.

Length: 23:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Key of FLesson 20

Key of F

Matt Brown provides instruction and examples of playing jazz heads in the key of F. Once again, all examples follow the 12 bar blues form.

Length: 18:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Jazz Heads in B FlatLesson 21

Jazz Heads in B Flat

Matt Brown takes another look at blues heads in the key of B flat. In this lesson, he covers a head by Thelonious Monk.

Length: 10:03 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Tools for Solo ArrangementsLesson 22

Tools for Solo Arrangements

Matt Brown takes a look at a solo arrangement and provides thoughts and tools necessary to complete this type of guitar playing.

Length: 23:13 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Introduction to Bossa NovaLesson 23

Introduction to Bossa Nova

Matt Brown starts breaking down the rhythmic tendencies and patterns to the Brazilian Bossa Nova style of playing.

Length: 17:56 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Blue Bossa #1Lesson 24

Blue Bossa #1

In lesson 24 of his Jazz series, Matt takes a look at the melody to Blue Bossa.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Blue Bossa #2Lesson 25

Blue Bossa #2

Matt Brown takes a look at the available chord voicings for Blue Bossa.

Length: 10:39 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Matt Brown

About Matt Brown View Full Biography Matt Brown began playing the guitar at the age of 11. "It was a rule in my family to learn and play an instrument for at least two years. I had been introduced to a lot of great music at the time by friends and their older siblings. I was really into bands like Nirvana, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins, so the decision to pick up the guitar came pretty easily."

Matt's musical training has always followed a very structured path. He began studying the guitar with Dayton, Ohio guitar great Danny Voris. I began learning scales, chords, and basic songs like any other guitarist. After breaking his left wrist after playing for only a year, Matt began to study music theory in great detail. I wanted to keep going with my lessons, but I obviously couldn't play at all. Danny basically gave me the equivalent of a freshman year music theory course in the span of two months. These months proved to have a huge impact on Brown's approach to the instrument.

Brown continued his music education at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. He completed a degree in Classical Guitar Performance in 2002. While at Capital, he also studied jazz guitar and recording techniques in great detail. "I've never had any desire to perform jazz music. Its lack of relevance to modern culture has always turned me off. However, nothing will improve your chops more than studying this music."

Matt Brown currently resides in Dayton, Ohio. He teaches lessons locally as well as at Capital University's Community Music School. Matt's recent projects include writing and recording with his new, as of yet nameless band as well as the formation of a cover band called The Dirty Cunnies.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.

Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

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Miche Fambro Miche Fambro

Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

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Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Tyler Grant Tyler Grant

Tyler Grant is back with an introduction to his new series "Classic Country Chops." In this series, Tyler goes in-depth...

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Rich Nibbe Rich Nibbe

Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.

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Mitch Reed Mitch Reed

Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...

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David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.

Glen Drover Glen Drover

Lesson 25 from Glen presents a detailed exercise that firmly builds up fret hand dexterity for both speed and accuracy.

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Jeff Gunn Jeff Gunn

Now that we have explored the various distances needed to sound artificial harmonics, will learn how to move between artificial...

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John DeServio John DeServio

JD teaches the pentatonic and blues scales and explains where and when you can apply them.

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Larry Cook Larry Cook

In this lesson, Larry discusses and demonstrates how to tune your bass. He explains why tuning is critical and discusses...

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Dan Sugarman Dan Sugarman

Dan Sugarman gives us an introduction and preview to his series - Sugarman's Shredding Revolution.

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James Malone James Malone

James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.

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Andy Wood Andy Wood

So how does Andy Wood pick so quickly and with such precision? Level up your speed and accuracy with Andy's near-flawless...

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Steve McKinley Steve McKinley

Steve McKinley talks about evaluating your bass and keeping it in top shape. He covers neck relief, adjusting the truss rod,...

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Braun Khan Braun Khan

In this lesson, Braun teaches the chord types that are commonly used in jazz harmony. Learn how to build the chords and their...

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Kenny Ray Kenny Ray

Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.

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Join over 515337 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

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Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 126 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
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Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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