Whether you write solo jazz guitar pieces or play in ensemble settings, it is helpful to always be upgrading your harmonic palette. New grips, chord shapes, and ways to arpeggiate chords are just some of the enhancements you can include in the continued refinement of your jazz playing.
In his course, Harmonic Supernova for Jazz Guitar, Peter Mazza delves into his take on these techniques so that you can rise to the next level of jazz guitar playing.
Here are eight video guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Peter Mazza’s Harmonic Supernova for Jazz Guitar on TrueFire!
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Superimposed Chords & Arps: Major – Overview
I would deem this one of the most important videos in the course. So again, freshen up and hunker down. I really drive home the concept that in advanced jazz harmony, that each chord in a II V I VI is its own key. I take a II V I VI progression in C major and I sight the 4 keys used. Then I proceed to spell each chord up from its R 3 5 7 9 11 to 13. Any 4 consecutive notes inside a 13th chord, spell a seventh chord of some kind. I call the seventh chord arpeggios inside a 13th chord, arpeggio superimpositions. This concept has simultaneously been the most comprehensive in mastering harmony, and yet a fast track to accessing that mastery. It turns out that it’s a great ear training and fingerboard study, plus it applies to both lines and chords!
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Superimposed Chords & Arps – Performance Demo
Although there are so many chord voicings, chord and linear licks to soak in from this course, the concept of playing through all the superimpositions of 13th chords moving down in steps, over a II V I VI is one of the most valuable concepts I’ve found and presented. This is the most practical yet expansive harmonic tools in my own arsenal. I call this movement of superimposed chords, my “golden sequence!”. I present this in various chord shapes and with accompanying arpeggios.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Drop Two Inversions – Demonstration
In this demo I run through my “golden sequence” of superimposed chords over II V I VI in MAJOR, first in 2nd inversion-drop 2 voicings, then in 1st inversion-drop 2 voicings, while adding melodic lines on top. I explain parent keys (scale per chord) then I walk you through the “golden sequence”. This is the “core of the supernova” so get ready! I walk you through the inversion fingerings, and generally ascribe the 2nd inversions to being a bebop sound, and the 1st inversions to a more modern sound (because of the clusters in the middle of each voicing). Whether it is bebop or beyond, you will find it here!
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Drop Two Inversions – Performance
Just in case you needed a demo devoted to learning your inversion shapes and the “golden sequence” over II V I VI in MAJOR, here that all is played in root position, then 1st inversions, the 2nd inversions, I lay that out in full so you can see each one clearly! I’m also using some rhythmic counterpoint when playing against the track.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Superimposed Arpeggios – Demonstration
If there is one definitive way to learn to make the chord changes, learn my “golden sequence” here. I break down each superimposed chord as they are layered and descending down over a repeating II V I VI in Major. I relate each arpeggio to the played chord in the sequence, sighting what intervals the superimposed arpeggio spells out from the original played chord. Not only is this a great tool for knowing harmony, it is great ear training, and a way to really learn your notes in your 13th chords.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Superimposed Arpeggios – Performance
This video is more of a demo than a performance, but it further elaborates on superimposed arpeggios. I play 2 octave then 1 octave superimposed arpeggios using my “golden sequence”. I also demo a sequence of add 2s superimposed arpeggios (1235 arpeggios) that move through the “golden sequence”. These are all perpetual lines and chord ideas (they move through all the possibilities and seamlessly resolve to where you started). Having perpetual lines and chords to draw from, allows you to create phrases of any length, that can resolve at any point.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Consecutive Voiced 7ths – Demonstration
While guitarists most frequently use drop 2 and 3 voicings, you can learn and play actual consecutive R357 voicings as superimpositions and get infinite value from them. Here they are used again, on II V I VI in MAJOR. Johnny Smith was famous for using these chord voicings. In this video, I’ve mapped them out in full and suggested some special usages.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Consecutive Voiced 7ths – Performance
Just to further clarify these voicings and their uses, I briefly play through the voicings and employ some syncopated rhythms, groove and tremolo.
Digging these free jazz guitar lessons? Check out Peter Mazza’s full course, Harmonic Supernova for Jazz Guitar.