Larry Carlton's 335 Improv

Improvisation is a bit of a paradox for musicians. The freedom a player enjoys when improvising might appear to be at odds with the rigid discipline of study and practice necessary to achieve that freedom.

However, with study and practice comes fluidity and the ability to craft compelling improvisations. The more knowledgeable and practiced the player, the more creative and daring a musician can be without being preoccupied by technique and theory. But what should you study and practice? What theory needs to be mastered? How do you learn how to improvise?

Video Introduction

Click below for a sample video from the course

About the Guitar Lesson Plan

Interactive Video Guitar Instruction

guitar courseLarry Carlton's 335 Improv will guide your journey with an approach that is highly enlightening and extraordinarily accessible.

 Nineteen-time GRAMMY nominee and four-time GRAMMY winner Larry Carlton is certainly one of the most versatile and accomplished guitarists walking the planet today. With over 3,000 sessions, 200 hit records and 100 gold albums to his credit, Carlton has improvised thousands of memorable guitar solos, comps and parts over the course of his career. Suffice to say that Mr. 335 is uniquely qualified to present this curriculum.

"I get asked all of the time about my improvisations," Larry tells us. "Am I thinking scales and arpeggios when I improvise? Do I have stock approaches to progressions? Do I use modes? I have certainly studied and am very much aware of these principles, but my personal approach is quite different when I'm improvising."

Carlton's passion for education has fueled his enthusiasm for producing this course. "I'm excited about 335 Improv and the opportunity to present my own approach to improvisation," he says, "which, as I demonstrate in the course, works just as well for me over rock, blues and pop as it does with jazz."

335 Improv is organized into six sections. Each section covers a series of related topics and each uses a vamp or section from one of Carlton's tunes as the practice track. The tracks were cherry-picked by Larry to provide a range of harmonic and rhythmic situations, in a variety of musical styles that will satisfy players of most every discipline.

335 Improv also features a distinctive multimedia toolset for you to work with as you progress through the course. Every video lesson can be viewed three ways: in a multi-split screen view, in full view, and in fretboard view. TrueFire's video lesson player further expands your video experience with PIP, full-screen, looping, keyboard shortcuts, tab, notation, practice rhythm tracks, plus smart rewind and fast-forward.

New Bonus FootageNEW! 335 Improv has just been updated to include 2 hours of bonus video with Larry drilling down even further on 335 Improv concepts. Larry answers questions from students who participated in the online 335 Improv workshop, which accompanied the launch. 335 Improv now includes over eight hours of video lessons with alternate views!

335 Improv is meticulously transcribed and annotated including tab, standard notation and Power Tab so that you can see and hear the notation played out at any tempo, without a change in pitch. You can also print out the notation for your reference. Larry provides annotations in all of the transcriptions to point out how he approached a particular section of the improvisation. All of the backing tracks that Larry works with throughout the course are also included as practice rhythm tracks.

Whatever your preferred style, Larry Carlton and 335 Improv will open your eyes and ears to the art of improvisation. More significantly, 335 Improv will lay out the knowledge base you must acquire, the techniques you must develop, and the creative skills you must cultivate to 'free' yourself and become a monster improviser.

About Your Instructor

Larry Carlton

Larry CarltonEighteen-time Grammy nominee, three-time Grammy winner and all time guitar great, Larry Carlton established himself from his first recording, A Little Help From My Friends.

His studio credits include musicians and groups like Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, Sammy Davis Jr., Herb Alpert, Quincy Jones, Bobby Bland, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and literally dozens of others. He went on to perform with the Crusaders and then with the multi platinum jazz super group Fourplay. With 30 albums to his credit and having performed on over 100 albums that have gone Gold or Platinum, Larry Carlton has set a standard for artistry that spans three decades.

In 2008 Larry Carlton received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Guitar Player magazine at the historical Ryman Auditorium and was presented the "Titan of Tone" award from Premier Guitar Magazine at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Larry also picked up 2 more Grammy nominations in 2009 bringing his career total to 19 nominations with 4 Grammy wins! Larry's "Greatest Hits Rerecorded Volume One" released by 335 Records was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Album and "Fortune Teller" from Fourplay's Energy was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.

Watch Now

Watch video samples on TrueFire TV. Enrolled students have full access.

Check out sample lessons from this course on TrueFire TV

Video Order Options

Student Discounts and TrueFire Cash can be applied!


For PC, Mac & Linux computers only. Not compatible on iPad, iPhone, Android or other mobile devices. For a list of our mobile apps, click here >>

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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...

  • - 377 Minutes of Video
  • - Text Commentary
  • - Tab
  • - Standard Notation
  • - Jam Tracks
  • - Power Tab


Intermediate - Advanced

Table of Contents

  1. Comping 2-Chord Pattern
  2. Expanding Comp Choices
  3. Approaches to Soloing
  4. The Triad Approach
  5. Breaking Down Triads
  6. Chromatics
  7. Concepts in Play
  8. Comp & Solo: 1 Chord
  9. Shifting the Raised 9
  10. Comping on a Raised 9
  11. The Diminished Scale
  12. Shifting Diminished
  13. Concepts in Play
  14. Chords & Melody
  15. Complementing Melody
  16. Comping Performance
  17. Improvising Over Changes
  18. Connecting Chord Tones
  19. Concepts in Play
  20. Pedal Tones
  21. Blues Rhythm Voicings
  22. Melodic Minor
  23. Concepts in Play
  24. Melody & Rhythm
  25. Thinking Through Changes
  26. Soloing Concepts in Play
  27. I-VI-II-V Progression
  28. Available Scales
  29. Soloing Over I-VI-II-V
  30. Making Music with Scales
  31. Concepts in Play
  32. Conclusion
  33. Bonus Workshop Video 1
  34. Bonus Workshop Video 2
  35. Bonus Workshop Video 3
  36. Bonus Workshop Video 4

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