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Five Inspirational Jazz Guitar Performances

Musical ruts are a very real thing. It’s completely natural to occasionally feel like you’re hitting a plateau with your playing, no matter how often you practice. Sometimes, all it takes is watching a fellow musician perform for you to catch a second wind of inspiration.


Whether you’re learning new jazz guitar chord progressions, working on soloing or just looking to incorporate something new into your playing, we hope these jazz guitar performances give you the inspiration you need to push forward and excel.


Dave Stryker - God Bless the Child


ArtistWorks jazz guitar teacher Dave Stryker really knocks this cover out of the park. In this soulful rendition of Billie Holiday’s iconic tune “God Bless the Child,” Dave manages to make his impressive solo work seem tactful yet subdued. When he isn’t taking center stage, Dave is a master of comping for his fellow musicians, playing a variety of different jazz guitar chords. This clip is essential viewing for anyone struggling to perform backup.


Wes Montgomery - Round Midnight


If you’re looking to get inspired, you just can’t go wrong studying the playing of Wes Montgomery. Considered to be one of the most influential guitarists of the 20th century, Montgomery’s unique approach to playing has drawn praise from countless musicians, from the jazz world and beyond. Looking for a playing challenge? Try ditching the pick and playing with your thumb, much like Wes did!


Chuck Loeb & Eric Marienthal - Puentes


Of course, we would be remiss if we did not include the late great Chuck Loeb in this list. Chuck’s legacy as a master improviser needs no introduction, which is why his playing could be the perfect thing to snap you out of your musical funk. Here, Chuck performs “Puentes” with fellow ArtistWorks teacher Eric Marienthal, which can be found on their duo album Bridges. If this performance is inspiring you to take some improv guitar lessons, check out Chuck’s course right here at ArtistWorks!


Pat Metheny - Kin


Pat Metheny’s blend of contemporary jazz, Latin jazz and jazz fusion has earned him numerous accolades throughout his career, including a mind boggling 20 Grammy Awards. The true definition of a prodigy, Pat began teaching at the Berklee College of Music before he was 20 years old! Pat’s performance of “Kin” is certain to help motivate you to work on your jazz guitar scales.


Martin Taylor - All The Things You Are


Multi award winning British guitarist and composer Martin Taylor has taken full advantage of our current stay-at-home orders, hosting a weekly ‘Self-Isolation Session’ on his YouTube channel for all of his fans. In this episode, he performs an impromptu solo improvisation of the Jerome Kern classic “All The Things You Are,” adding some reharmonization and linear movement. As ArtistWorks’ resident fingerstyle jazz guitar master, Martin can certainly help bring some more life into your playing.





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