4 Jazz Rhythms You MUST Know

4 Jazz Rhythms You MUST Know

Improvisation and soloing might get all the attention in jazz, but rhythm is what jazz guitarists spend most of their time doing. It’s important to be well versed in playing several different styles of rhythm – including anything from bebop, swing, gypsy, blues, Latin, and other subgenres – in order to be an in-demand player.

In these lessons taken from Frank Vignola’s 30 Jazz Rhythms You MUST Know, we’ll sample four rhythm styles and voicing techniques that are important for and guitarist to have at their command. And, if these have interested you, make sure to check out the full course on TrueFire. There are several other voicing techniques and rhythms to be found, all with included tab, notation, and jam tracks to play along with. Check it out now!

Rhythm #1: Voice Leading Blues

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this jazz guitar lesson.

Voice leading is the term used to describe the linear progression of melodic lines (voices) and their interaction with one another to create harmonies, according to the principles of common practice harmony and counterpoint. In other words, we’ll be moving a line within the chord, still keeping the common tone on top of the C blues.

Rhythm #2: Miles’ Fourths

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this jazz guitar lesson.

Now let’s look at a rhythm called “Miles’ Fourths”. We use the chord in fourths, which Bill Evans used quite a bit of on the Kind of Blue recording. It’s a great chord to use with this classic jazz rhythm. This is yet another example of how the chords we choose can make these rhythms really sound awesome.

Rhythm #3: Walking Minor

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this jazz guitar lesson.

This rhythm is titled “Walking Minor”, a must know rhythm style where we use a walking bass line while comping chords in the style of Joe Pass and Martin Taylor. We use a two chord progression, Gmin7 and Cmin7.

Rhythm #4: Jazz Bossa

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this jazz guitar lesson.

“Jazz Bossa” is an essential, must know rhythm for jazz guitarists. This is a functional jazz rhythm that can be played when a jazz bossa is called at a jam session of gig. We use the 2-5-1 progression to get used to laying this must know rhythm.


If you’re yearning for more jazz rhythms to build up your chops, make sure to head over to TrueFire for the rest of 30 Jazz Rhythms You MUST Know. TrueFire’s Frank Vignola will guide you through 26 more lessons that will make you a more versatile and in demand jazz rhythm guitarist. Go the full course now…