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Watch the Solo Jazz Pathways: Chordal Improv online guitar lesson by Tim Lerch from Solo Jazz Pathways: Chordal Improv

Hi I'm Tim Lerch. Welcome to this Chordal Improv edition of Solo Jazz Pathways.

There are a variety of ways to approach improvising when playing solo jazz guitar. Some players intersperse melodies with their chords, and some might play long sections of single-note lines without any supporting harmony.

The approach that's always been near and dear to my heart is crafting an improvisation that maintains the elements of bass, rhythm, harmony, and melody - all resulting in an orchestral effect with lush chord changes, soulful melodies, and a nice groovy pulse throughout.

Imagine you're accompanying a singer in a duo or you're playing a solo arrangement and after you've played the theme, it's time for you to improvise. What do you do then? You need a deep palette of meaningful melodic material and a variety of harmonic options to keep the song swinging and feeling great — that's exactly what I'll share with you here in this edition of Solo Jazz Pathways.

I've organized this course into short sections, each of which present creative ways to approach improvising over commonly encountered jazz progressions, while keeping the chords ringing and the groove swinging. Each section includes an improvised performance illustrating a real world application of each concept.

We'll start with a focus on the most essential changes in jazz, the two five one progression in the key of C. Then, we'll work on chordal improv approaches for a two five one six in D. Next, we'll flip things around with a set of lessons focusing on the one six two five progression in Eb. There's also a minor two five set in D, as well as a jazz blues in Bb.

In section six, I'll take you through an inversion crash course highlighting options for some of the most commonly encountered changes in jazz. Then we'll dig in to some flat five subs and tricks for getting more juice out of the changes to the standard "All the Things You Are".

Section 7 highlights chordal improv approaches for longer and more sophisticated, but popular jazz progressions.

And finally, I'll wrap up the course by giving you five solo jazz performance studies where I'll improvise melodies and talk about some of the ways I approach the changes to the classic standards.

All of the key examples and performances are transcribed and you'll be able to sync the tab and notation to the video using TrueFire's learning tools. You can also loop or slow down the videos so you can work with the lessons at your own pace.

Are you ready to get started? Grab your guitar and join me on this journey down the solo jazz pathways.

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