Bruce Arnold's Beginner's Jazz

Learning how to play jazz guitar is no cakewalk but then that's what attracts most of us to the style to begin with. Jazz guitar is indeed challenging, however it's also extremely rewarding because the form allows you the ultimate freedom of expression as a musician. But before you can exercise that freedom, you have to put your time in listening to jazz, watching video jazz guitar lessons, and learning the requisite theory, chords, rhythms and vocabulary.

As is the case with all of the arts, you can read all of the books on the subject but the only way to truly learn the form is to study with a master. And the sooner you find your mentor, the better.

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course.

About the Lesson Plan

Beginning Jazz Guitar is not just a solid starter jazz guitar course, it's also your apprenticeship with a jazz master who is supremely qualified to be your guide throughout the many study phases you will undertake on your journey towards becoming proficient in all aspects of jazz guitar.

Bruce ArnoldBruce Arnold may likely be the most talented, most prolific and most accomplished composer, player and jazz educator on the planet. Bruce runs the guitar programs at Princeton University and New York University, hosts the Summer Jazz Workshops in NYC, and is widely respected by peers and students alike as a "powerhouse in the world of jazz education."

Arnold has published over one hundred books and courses on subjects including improvisation, ear training, sight reading and rhythmic studies. With over twenty five CD and DVD recordings to his credit, Arnold tours internationally and has played with a diverse range of musicians including Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lenny Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.

Arnold is enthusiastic about using software to accelerate the learning process. "Most beginner students realize that jazz is a complicated musical style and that they will need to develop a lot of tools to play it well. A famous jazz musician once said 'jazz can be taught in just three lessons; 1st lesson: practice for 10 years; 2nd lesson: practice and perform for 10 years; 3rd lesson: practice, perform and develop your art for 10 years.' Hopefully we can drastically shorten that 30-year cycle by leveraging some of the educational tools we have available to us today such as interactive video and online learning assets :)."

Jazz Guitar for BeginnersBeginning Jazz Guitar takes ready advantage of today's educational technologies. "Before we had tools like the Internet, DVDs, CD-ROMs and software, it took much longer to learn because it was harder to access relevant information. I've included all of the information in this course that I consider to be important components in your early development as a jazz musician."

All of the great players agree that the best first step is learning the basics no matter how arduous that task might be. "The exercises I recommend will range from inspiring to challenging. The inspiring ones will keep you coming back to the guitar each day; the challenging ones will build and strengthen your chops. You're learning a new language and this takes time and dedication. Stick with it and you'll reap rewards that you'll enjoy for rest of your life."

Arnold makes the learning process fun and engaging. "You'll "play" your way through the Beginning Jazz Guitar lessons by applying the scales, arpeggios and techniques that I teach you, over dozens of practice rhythm tracks that I've prepared for you. This way you put your newly gained knowledge to immediate use by learning how to improvise right from the start."

"Bruce Arnold may likely be the most talented, most prolific and most accomplished composer, player and jazz educator on the planet."

Check out sample lessons on TrueFire TV

Video Order Options

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What you Get:

Video software (Windows and Mac) with TrueFire's Lesson Player, PIP, full-screen, looping, slow motion, keyboard shortcuts, plus...

  • - 220 Minutes of Video
  • - Text Commentary
  • - Tab and Notation
  • - Practice Rhythm Tracks


Beginner to Early Intermediate

Table of Contents

  1. Understanding Jazz
  2. Tuning the Guitar
  3. Getting the Jazz Sound
  4. Music Theory
  5. Open Chord Voicings
  6. Chord Progressions
  7. Adding 7ths to Chords
  8. Barre Chords
  9. Barre Chords with 7ths
  10. Progressions with Tension Chords
  11. Major Pentatonic Scale
  12. Minor Pentatonic Scale
  13. Major Scale
  14. Dorian Scale
  15. Aeolian Scale
  16. Mixolydian Scale
  17. Using Numbers as Scale Degrees
  18. II-V-I Progressions
  19. Cycle 5 - Circle of Fifths
  20. II-V-I Chords
  21. II-V-I Chords with Tensions
  22. Applying Pentatonic Scales to II V I
  23. Applying Major Scales to II V I
  24. Applying Dorian Scales to II V I
  25. Applying Mixolydian Scales to II V I
  26. Applying Aeolian Scales to II V I
  27. Arpeggios
  28. Major Triad Arpeggios
  29. Minor Triad Arpeggios
  30. Major 7th Arpeggios
  31. Minor 7th Arpeggios
  32. Dominant 7th Arpeggios
  33. Apply Major 7th Arpeggio to II V I
  34. Apply Minor 7th Arpeggio to II V I
  35. Apply Dominant 7th Arpeggio to II V I
  36. Improvising with Arpeggios on II V I
  37. Reading Chord Charts Overview
  38. Reading Music Example
  39. Understanding Jazz Rhythms
  40. Organizing Time for Practice
  41. 6 Improvisation Examples
  42. Next Steps

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