Watch the Dyads online guitar lesson by Christopher Woitach from Jazz Textures

Our last lesson is a brief look at an advanced texture, counterpoint. Counterpoint is the juxtaposition of two or more voices. There is some form of counterpoint in most music, in jazz, imagine the quarter note bass line against the eighth note melody. In this case, we are playing two lines at the same time, one line holding a note while the other line moves. This style is involved enough that we only touch on it here. Once again, I recommend the music of J.S. Bach to really dig in to this. I also recommend a great book by Jimmy Wyble, The Art of Two Line Improvisation.

Counterpoint, in Bach's time, was not only composed, it was improvised. Bach could improvise multiple voice fugues that were, by all accounts, every bit as interesting as his compositions. Even if you don't use this style in your improvisations, practicing counterpoint, whether Wyble or Bach, will bring greater facility to your playing, which never hurts anyone!