Proper Practicing Part 2 (Guitar Lesson)

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Matt Brown

Proper Practicing Part 2

Learn how to incorporate arpeggios, chord progressions, diatonic intervals, comping, walking bass lines, learning tunes, and more into your practice sessions.

Taught by Matt Brown in Jazz Guitar with Matt seriesLength: 32:00Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (07:45) Arpeggios Learning and memorizing all five arpeggio patterns for Dominant 7th, Major 7th, and Minor 7th chords is an essential step in becoming an effective jazz soloist. Many jazz solos and melody lines are based on arpeggio patterns.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for MA7 arpeggio patterns in the key of C. Arpeggio patterns for Minor 7th and Dominant 7th chords can be found in "Supplemental Content" in jazz lesson 4.

Practice arpeggios by outlining the chord changes of a tune that you are familiar with. Matt demonstrates this process with a twelve bar blues progression in the key of Bb. The first measure of this progression features a Bb7 chord. Outline this measure with a Bb7 arpeggio played in eighth notes. The chord progression changes to Eb7 in the second measure. Use an Eb7 arpeggio pattern in the same fretboard position to outline this chord. When you practice this process, stay in one position for the entire duration of the tune. For example, play through the entire 12 bar blues progression in Bb using arpeggio patterns in 5th position. Then, repeat the entire process using 8th position arpeggios. Repeat this process until you have played through the arpeggios in all five possible positions on the fretboard. Your knowledge of the fretboard will increase exponentially by completing this process.

Diatonic Intervals

Most guitarist practice scales by racing through memorized vertical scale patterns. It is important to practice scales in this manner. However, this process doesn't increase your knowledge of the fretboard. This process also ignores how a certain note relates to a specific key. For this reason, it is important to practice scales using diatonic intervals. This will force you to think about each and every note you play and how it relates to the key you are playing in.

A. Vertical Intervals

Matt demonstrates how to play a C major scale using vertical diatonic intervals. Begin with the root note of the scale. Then, play the note a diatonic third above the root. Next, move to the second note in the scale, D. Then, play the note a diatonic third above it. Repeat this process until you have ascended as far as you can go in the scale pattern. Then, descend the scale using the same process. When descending the scale pattern, you are going to play the note that is a third below any given scale degree.

Once you complete this process using diatonic thirds, repeat the process using diatonic fourths, fifths, sixths and octaves. Practice this exercise with a new scale pattern each day.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab in Lesson 7 for tablature to this exercise.

B. Horizontal Intervals

The same exercise can be performed horizontally across the fretboard using a pair of strings. Start by playing diatonic thirds, fourths, and fifths on the B and E strings in the key of C major. For larger intervals such as sixths, sevenths, and octaves, you must use the E and G strings. Practice this process using all possible pairs of strings. For example, repeat this process using the G and B strings. For sixths, sevenths, and octaves, use the G and D strings.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for tablature to this exercise.
Chapter 2: (04:43) Comping "Comping" is a jazz slang term that means "accompanying." So far, Matt has shown you two forms of jazz comping the Charleston rhythm and The Freddie Green rhythm pattern. Apply these comping styles to common jazz chord progressions. The two most common progressions in jazz are the ii V I and the iii VI ii V I. Play both of these progressions in all 12 keys using both the Charleston and Freddie Green rhythms.

Walking Bass Lines

Walking bass lines provide a third comping option. Walking bass lines can be performed on guitar, because the bass range of the guitar overlaps with some of the range of the bass. A walking bass line is an especially effective comping option when no bass player is present. It is also an effective option when playing rapid bebop tunes in a guitar duet setting. Tunes played at 200 BPM or higher sound pretty ridiculous when played with a Freddie Green rhythm. A walking bass line provides a smoother, less chaotic sound.

Note: Matt will discuss how to perform a walking bass line in a future lesson. To learn the basics of this process, study Steve Eulberg's bluegrass lessons that pertain to playing bass lines between chords.
Chapter 3: (07:38) Learning Tunes Classic jazz tunes that have withstood the test of time are referred to as "standards." Lead sheets to these particular tunes can be found in the jazz Real Book. The title of this book was chosen to differentiate itself from jazz “fake” books. The Charlie Parker Omnibook is another great source for learning standard bebop tunes.

If you are just beginning to play jazz, focus your time learning standards. Do not jump right into crazy hybrid styles of jazz that involve advanced theoretical concepts. Matt will cover these areas of theory in due time.

Standards are typically grouped into four specific jazz styles. The original New Orleans (Dixieland) and Chicago styles evolved into what is most commonly referred to as the “swing” style. Famous performers of this style are Duke Ellington and Count Basie. In the 1940's and 50’s many jazz performers felt that this style was too limiting. As a result, a faster, more aggressive form of jazz was created. This style is known as bebop. Pioneers of this style are Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. Later, Miles Davis took jazz in the complete opposite direction of bebop. This style become known as "cool." This style was named after Miles' 1949 album "Birth of the Cool." Later, modal jazz was developed. This style features infrequent chord changes, quartal chord voicings, and modal improvisation.

For the time being, focus on learning one tune in the swing, bebop, and cool styles. Modal jazz will be discussed in later lessons.

Follow the following process when learning any jazz tune:

1. Learn and memorize the title.
2. Note the form of the tune. Most jazz tunes follow the 32 bar form of AABA. In this particular form, the tune begins with an A section that spans 8 measures. This section is then repeated with little or no alterations. Then, a B section is performed. This section lasts 8 bars, and is typically in a different key from the A section. Finally, the A section is repeated once more. Another common jazz form is the 12 bar blues.
3. Learn the melody. Listen to as many recordings of the tune as possible. Always listen to the original recording! This will give you some ideas regarding how the written melody should be interpreted. Remember that jazz musicians never perform the melody or "head" exactly as it is written in the lead sheet. The melody is the most important component of a jazz tune.
4. Learn and memorize the chord changes. Learn the chords in terms of how they function within the key not by their letter names. For example, the 12 bar blues begins with the I7 chord. It then moves to the IV7 chord in bar 2.
5. Improvise over the chord changes. Learn as many licks as you can from books and recordings to get an idea of how jazz licks are created.
Chapter 4: (11:57) Public Domain Licks In this scene, Matt presents some public domain licks that he has learned and memorized. These licks are not copyrighted and can be used by anyone in the course of a live performance or recording. Memorize these licks and transpose them to a variety of keys. Then, insert them into your own improvised solos.

Note: Open the "Supplemental Content" tab for tablature to these licks.

Philosophy on Reading Music

It is very important that you learn to read music and learn music theory as early in your guitar training as possible. Learning these concepts will never harm your playing. Learning to read music will only open up doors and options that you never knew were possible. Start this process by checking out the following books:

1. Beginning Guitar Method by Gary Turner and Brenton White.
2. A Modern Method for Guitar Volumes I and II by William G. Leavitt.

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.

dwightcassdwightcass replied

Is there any more stuff on walking bass lines? Sounds cool. How do you do it? Thanks.

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Dennis has a lesson on walking bass lines in his jazz series.

jpfanboyjpfanboy replied

Haha never mind. I got it now xD

jpfanboyjpfanboy replied

Hey when your playing the perfect 5th your not always playing it you somtimes play tritone intervall. Can you call it a perfect 5th then?

kevinacekevinace replied

Lot of info here, I like!

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.

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