Watch the Jazz Expressions online guitar lesson by Henry Johnson from Jazz Expressions

Hi, I'm Henry Johnson and welcome to Jazz Expressions. I started playing guitar at a very early - mostly gospel and R&B - but when I started listening to the music of Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, and George Benson, I knew immediately that was the direction I wanted to go myself.

In addition to my own solo recordings, I've been fortunate to be able to work, tour, or record with many giants of jazz like Jack McDuff, Freddie Hubbard, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy Smith, Sonny Stitt, Stanley Turrentine, and Joe Williams to name just a few. Over the years, I've developed my own sound and playing style that I'm excited to share with you here in Jazz Expressions.

I've organized this course into two sections. In the first section, I'll talk about some of the concepts and techniques I consider essential in my approach to jazz. Then in the second section, we'll work through a series of performance studies in a variety of styles and keys to help illustrate how I apply the concepts we covered in the first section.

I'll break down all the highlights and key approaches for each performance, you'll get tab and standard notation, and you'll get all of the rhythm tracks to work with on your own. You can loop or slow down any of the performances so you can work with the material at your own pace. So, grab your guitar, and let’s get started!

One last thing that I think is important to mention is transcribing. The key to learning ANY musical language, especially jazz, is transcribing. You should make it one of your most used tools. Transcribing is simply just playing along with the recording(s) that you are interested in studying and learning from. In order to do that, you need to slow the recordings down, and the best software for doing that I've used is called, "Transcribe".

When you're transcribing solos, other things are happening at the same time. Your sense of timing is being developed, your ear is being trained to hear complex harmonies and relative pitches, you learn to recognize stylistic characteristics of each player that you can incorporate into your own playing, and you develop your chops. All this happens at the same time without you having to focus on just one thing. So, whatever you do, start transcribing and include it in your daily practice routine for maximum benefits.