9 Free Frank Vignola Jazz Guitar Lessons

9 Free Frank Vignola Jazz Guitar Lessons

Although Modern Method has been created by one of the great jazz guitarists of our time, the techniques Frank Vignola shares here are highly applicable to any style of guitar playing. The principles and concepts work as well for rock and metal as they do for the most complex jazz.

In this series of lessons and flowing jam sessions, you’ll be engaged and inspired, plus you’ll emerge on the other side with a greater new understanding of your instrument that will jumpstart your playing to new heights.

The Cycle of 4ths (and 5ths)

The cycle of fourths (also called the cycle of fifths) shows the relationships among the twelve notes and tones of the chromatic scale, their corresponding key signatures and related major and minor keys. Refer to the diagram of the cycle of fourths. If you count letter names counter clockwise from C you see that the next key, F, is 4 notes away. Counting clockwise from C the next key, G, is 5 notes away, hence the name cycle of fourths or cycle of fifths.

In the lessons that follow, we will often practice our exercises around the cycle of fourths, C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-B-E-A-D-G, rather than the chromatic scale. Using the notes that make up the cycle of fourths as a starting point is a more musical approach because it emulates chord changes you find in a piece of music.

Horizontal & Vertical Minor Scales

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Combining Horizontal and Vertical Arpeggios

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In this lesson, we cover 4-note arpeggios. We take the same approach we used to play the C major scale more than 100 different ways. We will use Cmaj7 as an example but your goal is to play all arpeggios in all keys using this same methodology. We know that to build the major 7th arpeggio we start with the triad and add the 7th note of the major scale. In the key of C the major 7th chord is made up of C-E-G-B. For more info, Check out the lesson on TrueFire.

Harmonizing Melodies

In this lesson I show you how to harmonize a melody. This is a good example of applying theory and technique to creating music, which is what it is all about. We use the first 8 bars of the song, “All of Me”. We record the melody and build on the recording by adding the 3rd above and the 3rd below. We will start with 3rds since they are the most popular interval to harmonize with. For the following segments, see the video demonstration and the notation that follows.

Learning Chord Progressions: The I-vi-ii-V

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Voice Leading

For more info, check out the lesson here.

Minor Pentatonic Play-along

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In this segment we roll the minor play-along track and trade fours. I play four bars and then you play four bars. You can copy what I am doing, or play something in response to what I play. Throughout the video demonstration I tell you what I am focusing on so you can follow me, if you like.

Super Locrian Tonality

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In this segment we roll the G7 play-along track and trade fours using the super locrian tonality. I play four bars and then you play four bars. You can copy what I am doing, or play something in response to what I play. Throughout the video demonstration I tell you what I am focusing on so you can follow me, if you like.

I-vi-ii-V Play-along

Download the tab and notation for this lesson.

In this segment we roll the I-vi-ii-V progression play-along track and trade fours. I play four bars and then you play four bars. You can copy what I am doing, or play something in response to what I play. Throughout the video demonstration I tell you what I am focusing on so you can follow me, if you like.


These lessons are just the tip of the iceberg. In the full course, Vignola shares the techniques and exercises he has refined over 10 years of teaching private lessons. He also lets you in on how he develops and maintains his staggering technique, and shows you how to build yours. Vignola also discusses his music philosophy as it applies to the art of improvisation–which is at the core of his method. Check it out!