Welcome the Jazz Standards section for jazzguitarlegend.com. We are continually updating this section with new lessons and material.
Here is an outline of the course material along with an explanation of the methodology used in these premium lessons.
The Standards List:
In our ‘Standards lessons’ we focus on the practicing and performance of classic jazz standards, chosen from a list we compiled after many months intensive research. Our main aim was to find tunes that students liked and wanted to learn so initially we compiled 3 lists:
1. A search-based list of standards comprising commonly-searched tunes in web browsers and associated media / websites etc.
2. My personal list of favourite tunes that I love to play and call at gigs or tunes of interest that I’ve studied.
3. A list comprised of JGL student’s most requested* jazz standards.
We then cross-matched the 3 lists and came up with one super-list of tunes that were hit on each list – and the first JGL standards list was born! The list currently contains about 30 tunes, and we have just chosen the first 12 to be integrated into the site in the next 6 to 9 months or so.
*please leave your ideas for standards in the comment section below, we’d love to keep adding to our list!
The JGL ‘Tiered System’:
Once we had our list, the next goal was to divide the standards into 3 graded ‘Tiers’ of content, (which match the lesson tiers found in the premium members section of the JGL site) to ensure that the differing level of student abilities and needs would be met. This grading is partly represented by the difficulty of the melody and chord progressions, but more so by the chosen improvising concept that is applied to each standard.
The 3 categories are:
1.Fundamentals (Beginner level standards and improvising concepts)
2.Core (Intermediate level standards and improvising concepts)
3.Master-Class (Advanced to Expert level standards and improvising concepts)
The JGL ‘Standards Learning Method’
Each video is divided into 2 main parts. These are:
1. Melody and Chords
Primarily when learning a tune, I believe the student should be concerned with the composers own (written) melody and chords. Finding a lead sheet for each tune is the first step, the next is finding versions* of each standard you want to study. This is absolutely crucial to the process of coming to understand and eventually fluently improvising over any given tune.
*Google or YouTube search to find different artist versions, research the history of the tune in Wikipedia, take note of different stylistic approaches, tempos, keys, instrumentation, arrangements etc. And most important of all transcribe your favourite versions.
The first part to the learning method we devised for standards is based around:
The melody – including how to play it, where to play it, different articulations, focus on fingerings and technical approaches (where necessary).
The chords – including simple guide tone based chords, voicing options based around guide tones, root 5 and 6 common fingerings and stylistic / musical applications.
2. Improvising Concepts
The second part to each video is focused on giving students tools for improvising, through the application of one particular improvising concept for each standard. These concepts are also stand alone abstract ideas that could be applied to any musical context, jazz standard, improvising vehicle, chord progression or vamp.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the concepts we will cover in our standards series:
Swing Lines and swing phrasing (8th notes)
Bebop Scale applications
Playing in 3/4
Latin rhythmic comps
Plus plenty more!