In TAB and standard notation, 25 pages of written material

Western music is based on the idea of harmonic cadence, tension and release. It’s easy to balance tension and release once the principles are clearly understood. This in-depth masterclass will have you playing those spicy sounds you hear on recordings by your favorite jazz guitar artists.

Through close examination of the principles and theory necessary to master these sounds including organizing them on the fingerboard, you’ll find it easy to improvise great sounding altered lines. A thorough understanding of altered dominants requires knowledge of raised and lowered fifths and ninths, b5, #5, b9 and #9 from all roots. We’ll use landmarks on the guitar’s fingerboard by way of chord forms and root locations to quickly find all of the altered tones.

Additionally there are simple shortcuts to group these 4 tones together using scales such as the minor pentatonic scales you already know, the dorian mode, super locrian (melodic minor mode) and more. Many examples leave room for you to weave your own line into a written line. We’ll use triad pairs, a special mixolydian pentatonic scale, bebop scales, harmonic major and harmonic minor scales, altered chord fragments/arpeggios, altered chord shapes, diminished sounds and the alignment of scales to make important harmonic connections on the strong beats.

The section on sequential playing makes the altered lines simple to derive by moving the scales you are comfortable with up and down the fingerboard using repetition and structure to your advantage.

This class starts simply and covers a lot of ground making it useful for all levels, beginning to advanced jazz guitar players.

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Class Content

Altered Sounds
Altered Sounds 01:46:00

Course Reviews


4 ratings
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  1. Lots of great information here


    Steve Herberman is an outstanding musician (I’ve had the good fortune of seeing him live many times) and an excellent teacher. I really like the way this class is set up: starting with the basics (scales, chords, arpeggios) and then building from there. I like the way the licks he uses incorporates just some of the altered notes at one time (as opposed to throwing everything at you all at once). He also encourages you to use your ears to get used to (for example) adding flat and sharp ninths at first, then moving on from there. The examples are really good but also allow you to build ideas yourself. I am very happy with this course and I think any intermediate jazz guitarist will benefit from it.

  2. 5

    Hi Steve,

    this is the best guitar lesson on altered sounds I have ever seen!!

    Your approach is really great and easy fo follow, especially thanks your pdf material provided.



    by Roberto Pagnotta
  3. 5

    I will preface my review by stating that I am a lifelong SERIOUS guitarist (40 of my 48 years) who has studied with MANY of the same people Mr. Herberman has (Ted Greene, Joe Pass, Joe Diorio).
    Learning altered sounds is something that takes some "stretching of the ar" at first, commonly.
    Steve has taken an IMMENSELY involved topic and has broken it down into learnable, digestible pieces.


    by Pat Carmody
  4. 5

    This is yet another great lesson from Steve. If you are looking for a way to spice up your lines, and learn to play "outside," look no further. Using a combination of scalar examples, and "shapes," Steve shows the student how to approach adding altered tones while improvising. There is an abundance of written material to aid in developing an "ear" for this concept. Although this is primarily aimed at novice jazz guitarists, more advanced players will benefit as well, as he reviews several less familiar approaches that are incredibly useful. Even limited study of these concepts will quickly result in dramatic improvement in the student’s ability to improvise.
    In the past I had to drive 8 hours round trip to study with Steve. Now, anyone with a computer can bring Steve into their own home. This and all his other classes are highly recommended.

    Jeff Todd
    Roanoke, VA

    by Jeffrey Todd
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