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Jazz Guitar Lesson: Basic Jazz Scales


For most aspiring jazz musicians, one of the more intimidating elements of the genre to learn is the art of improvisation. When first learning to improvise, it can feel daunting, and understanding where to begin can often feel like a mystery.


Scales and arpeggios are the best fundamentals to work on in order to begin improvising. Understanding scales and how they relate to chords and chord progressions will allow you to craft improvised solos, and, as you build your musical vocabulary, perform the melodic lines that you envision in your head.


In this online jazz guitar lesson, award-winning master guitarist, former member of the Stanley Turrentine Quintet, and ArtistWorks jazz guitar instructor, Dave Stryker teaches a handful of the essential scales commonly used in jazz. He begins by outlining the seven scales, or modes, that make up the building blocks of most Western music, including jazz. He then explains how these modes relate to specific chords or harmonies, and showcases how they can be used in an improvisational context.


LEARN MORE: Want to learn how to play jazz guitar from a master musician like Dave Stryker? Try some free online jazz guitar lessons now!


“When you’re learning to solo over your favorite tunes, it’s important to know what scales and tonal qualities are at your disposal so that you can achieve your desired sound,” Dave explains. “My goal is to provide a lot of that information in this lesson.”


In addition to teaching the seven modes and a handful of the chords and harmonies over which you can use them, Dave teaches the pentatonic scale, blues scale, and a variety of different variations on the bebop scale.


“We have a variety of different bebop scales at our disposal that we can use in our solos,” explains Dave. “These bebop scales simply add one note to our common modes and they completely change the texture and feel.”


To learn more about the many essential scales used in jazz and how to incorporate them into your improvisations and playing, dive into this online jazz guitar lesson from Dave Stryker:


Basic Jazz Scales with Dave Stryker:




Have you always wanted to learn how to play jazz guitar? Through our comprehensive jazz guitar lessons online and Video Exchange Learning platform here at ArtistWorks, you can learn from internationally renowned players, like Dave Stryker, and get personal feedback on your playing.


Dave’s course starts with the basics and teaches everything from beginner guitar to advanced performance techniques, classic jazz standards, improvisation, music theory, and beyond. So, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, all levels are welcome and all students will grow and improve their skills as jazz guitarists and musicians.


Sample some free music lessons here and see what makes ArtistWorks courses some of the best online music lessons around!



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