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About This Lesson

Welcome to 335 Improv!

I get asked all of the time about how I approach improvisation. What scales and arpeggios do I use? Am I thinking street key or parent key? Do I have stock approaches to progressions? Do I use modes? While the answer is "no" to most of these questions, I have certainly studied and am very much aware of these principles, but my personal approach is quite different when I'm actually improvising. 335 Improv will answer many of these questions, and I'm excited about be able to share my own approach to improvisation.

I've been blessed to work with, and learn from, so many accomplished musicians over the years. Now I get the chance to share many of these "tricks of the trade" with you. I've also been fortunate enough to work in all style of music and so, 335 Improv is not just a "jazz" improvisation course. The approaches that we'll cover here will work over blues, rock, pop - virtually any style of music!

I've organized 335 Improv into six sections, where each section covers a variety of topics and each uses a vamp or section from one of my tunes as the practice track that we'll be working with to demonstrate a specific harmonic and rhythmic situation.


1: 1 Comping 2-Chord Pattern

1: 2 Expanding Comp Choices

1: 3 Approaches to Soloing

1: 4 The Triad Approach

1: 5 Breaking Down Triads

1: 6 Chromatics

1: 7 Concepts in Play


2: 1 Comp & Solo Over 1 Chord

2: 2 Shifting the Raised 9

2: 3 Comping on a Raised 9

2: 4 The Diminished Scale

2: 5 Shifting the Diminished Scale

2: 6 Concepts in Play


3: 1 Chords & Melody

3: 2 Complementing the Melody

3: 3 Comping Performance

3: 4 Improvising Over Chord Changes

3: 5 Connecting Chord Tones

3: 6 Concepts in Play


4: 1 Pedal Tones

4: 2 Blues Rhythm Voicings

4: 3 Melodic Minor

4: 4 Concepts in Play


5: 1 Melody & Rhythm

5: 2 Thinking Through the Changes

5: 3 Soloing Concepts in Play


6: 1 I-VI-II-V Progression

6: 2 Available Scales

6: 3 Soloing Approaches for I-VI-II-V

6: 4 Making Music with Scales

6: 5 Concepts in Play

We've included many tools for you to work with as you progress through the course. For starters, each individual video lesson is available with three views; a multi-split-screen view, a full view, and a > Fretboard View. TrueFire's video lesson player further expands the ways you can work with the videos with controls like full-screen, looping, keyboard shortcuts, rewind, fast-forward and functions to easily call up tab, notation and the practice rhythm tracks.

Everything I play in the course, including the extensive improvisations, is notated in tab, standard notation and PowerTab so that you can "see" and "hear" the notation played out at any tempo without change on pitch. You can also print out the notation for your reference. Plus, I've made annotations in the charts to help point out how I'm approaching a particular section of the improvisation. All of the backing tracks that I use in the course are also included so that you can likewise work with the tracks as you apply the principles being covered.

In my opinion, the best way to work with 335 Improv is to first watch all of the videos, following along with the notation in hand. This will introduce you to the range of topics that we'll be covering and how they connect to one another. Once you've gone through everything, grab your guitar and dig in from the beginning.

There's likely quite a bit of work ahead of you to get a solid grip on many of the principles and concepts that we'll be covering. So, take it one step at a time and then apply what you've learned immediately by playing over one of the included rhythm tracks or one of your own tracks. And remember; practice what you must, but play what you love!