As guitarists, an important part of our learning process is playing arrangements and transcriptions of standards and jazz tunes by great guitarists like Joe Pass, George Van Eps, Barney Kessel, Ted Greene, and many others, and then writing our own arrangements. It’s important to do this to learn about voicings, substitutions, common practice, and simply to feel what it’s like to play great jazz music – hopefully, we’ll continue to do this as part of our learning process, as there’s always something new to discover from them.

When it’s time to play, however, jazz gives us the freedom to play the tunes however we feel in the moment, or in any way suggested by our bandmates. To be able to be flexible, and not just play a specific arrangement we’ve either learned or written ourselves, we have to truly internalize the music – know the melody and harmony well enough that we can freely make choices in the moment, while still staying true to the tune.

Beyond the Arrangement takes a well known standard and goes through all the steps necessary to have this freedom. We learn how to take the melody from a lead sheet and play it like a jazz musician, with several Soundslice examples to try, examine the harmony in a way that makes it possible to internalize it, learn several ways to accompany the melody, including a Soundslice of an “off the cuff” version that demonstrates several different approaches. We also learn the common practice introduction which often is called for in a playing situation.

At the end of the course, there are two complete “off the cuff” performances of the tune, in completely different styles, to demonstrate all the principles learned in the course.


  • Chord Melody
  • Comping


  • Basic
  • Intermediate

Duration:   60+ Minutes

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Class Content

1. Beyond Intro 00:07:48
2. Beyond Melody 00:07:12
3. Melody Soundslices
3a. Melody 1 00:00:26
3b. Melody 2 00:00:24
3c. Melody 3 00:00:21
3d. Melody 4 00:00:23
4. To Do Melody 00:00:16
5. Harmony 00:08:12
6. Accompanying the Melody 00:11:04
7. All Things Melody Full Soundslice 00:01:29
8. Common Practices 00:01:05
9. Soundslice ATTYA Intro 00:00:30
10. Wrap Up 00:01:23
11. Performance 1 – Swing 00:04:28
12. Performance 2 – Latin 00:04:36

Course Reviews


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  1. Wish I had this earlier!


    This masterclass is the kind of video I wish I had when I started playing chord melody 24 years ago! It would really have helped me establish guidelines to learning this kind of playing. For anyone new to chord melody or arranging in a jazz guitar kind of way, get this masterclass now.

    by Az Samad

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