When learning jazz guitar, notably when preparing to play in a trio setting, it’s imperative to know when to punch chords during a solo. This helps keeps the harmony and rhythm top of mind to your audience.
In her course, Jazz Chord Punches, Mimi Fox explores 8 important approaches to take for punching chords and comping.
Here are 6 free chord punches jazz guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Jazz Chord Punches on TrueFire!
The Beatles had three guitar players playing together to make their wonderful music! Jazz guitarists combine two of these guitar parts at any given time (and sometimes all three in the case of solo guitar!) It seems daunting at first, but once you begin to dig into this material, the guitar will open up for you in a new way!
Arpeggiating the Changes
I highly recommend my Mel Bay book, Guitar Arpeggio Studies on Jazz Standards, as a logical supplement to this course. For years, I used this book with my students at all of the colleges and music schools that I taught at. The results were stunning…students were playing stronger and more logical solos by learning their arpeggios instead of scales alone. Once again, the trick is to only attempt to master arpeggios for one chord at a time.
Thinking Like a Drummer
If you really want to add musical sophistication and interest to your playing, work on putting in rhythmic hits! For years, I recommended that all of my advanced students work out of various drum books. One of my favorite books is Syncopation for the Modern Drummer. Work on tapping out the rhythm first with your hands or a set of drumsticks and then play them on the guitar. Applying these hip concepts to the guitar will greatly improve your time and your confidence as a player!
Rhythm Changes in Bb: Overview
There are many great songs that make use of this important progression. “Oleo”, “Anthropology”, “I Got Rhythm” (from which the name “Rhythm Changes” originates), the Flintstones theme song, etc. I recommend that you listen to many versions of songs with “Rhythm Changes”. Better yet, try to transcribe some of the solos that are being played.
Rhythm Changes in Bb: Performance
One of the things that I hope you’ll hear when you listen to this performance is how closely I’m aligned with the bass player and drummer. Whether I’m playing single lines or chord punches, simple rhythms or complex jabs, I’m always locked in to the groove. I hope you’ll steal as many of my licks as you can, but please don’t forget to swing hard!
Rhythm Changes in Bb: Breakdown
There are a lot of cool ideas in this video segment. As with anything new that you’re trying to learn, practice slowly and carefully. Eventually, these ideas will become integrated into your playing and will feel natural to you.
Digging these free chord punches jazz guitar lessons? Check out Mimi Fox’s Jazz Chord Punches.