Soul is a facet of jazz that is commonly found throughout many genres of modern music. Neo-soul, modern funk, urban-driven pop, and R&B are just some of the styles of music in which soul jazz plays an important role. While Mark Whitfield’s musical origins come from more straight-ahead, traditional jazz, he has cultivated an affinity for combining his early jazz influences with the innovations of today’s music. And, in his course, The Soul of Jazz, Mark explores ten musical “situations” that players may encounter today in a jam or in the studio.
Here are six free video guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Mark Whitfield’s The Soul of Jazz on TrueFire!
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Maximize the Changes: Improvisation: Performance
I “jump right in” to the track with a quick melodic statement. I repeat the first part of the melody then I allow the chord progression to lead me through an improvisational exploration that builds in intensity with every 4 bar section. This is a great formula to employ because I want my guitar solo to be interesting & exciting whether it’s 8 bars or something much longer without becoming repetitive or anticlimactic.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Maximize the Changes: Conceptual Analysis & Approach
Now for the fun part! Since the rhythm track naturally suggests a melodic motif, we can start our improvisation with that idea.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Joe Hen’s Major Seven Reharm: Situation Study 2
Here I illustrate how the use of a short chord progression can enhance the impact of a simpler rhythm track and how emphasizing the bass note of each can fill the space left by a missing bass drum creating and filling space in a cool and innovative way.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Creating Track Motion in Vamps: Comping: Performance
Now watch as I use melodic motifs and chromatic approaches to create a cool comping pattern.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Creating Track Motion in Vamps: Analysis & Approach
Follow along as I demonstrate my process for building a comping pattern that is flexible. This can be manipulated to be more complicated and intense, or simplified to become more supportive as needed.
Jazz Guitar Lesson – Melody & the Arc of a Solo: Improvisation: Performance
Here, I delve into a melodic-based guitar solo over the “Joe Hen” vamp.
Digging these free lessons? Check out Mark Whitfield’s full course, The Soul of Jazz.