If you are looking for a way to add new orchestrations to both arrangements and improvisations using techniques you already have, then this is the course for you.  Unlock improvisations that you may already possess.

This class is an exploration into different ways to orchestrate our improvisations and arrangements. I like to call these orchestrations “environments”, since they create the musical environment in which our improvisations and arrangements exist.

More Insights from this Course

In this course, Christopher, a jazz guitarist and educator from Portland, Oregon, discusses the concept of “environments for jazz guitar.” He explains how different orchestrations or environments can influence the way musicians improvise and arrange their music. These environments are not just settings but are integral to the musical piece, affecting the improvisation process.

Christopher emphasizes the guitar’s versatility, highlighting its roles as a rhythm instrument in jazz bands and in other genres like pop and funk, as well as its capability as a lead instrument in styles like blues and bluegrass. He introduces the idea of “self-accompanied guitar,” which applies to both solo performances and small ensemble settings, where the guitarist uses various techniques to create a full musical texture.

He uses “Autumn Leaves” as a demonstration piece to illustrate his points, given its familiarity and the mix of major and minor chords it contains. Christopher showcases different guitar playing techniques that contribute to creating unique musical environments, such as folk-style picking, emulating the sounds of other instruments or musical styles (e.g., big band shout choruses, Latin rhythms), and employing different feels like stride or shuffle.

The overarching theme is the importance of imagination and creativity in jazz, encouraging musicians to draw upon a wide range of influences and techniques to enrich their playing. Christopher advocates for experimenting with different sounds and styles, even those outside traditional jazz guitar, to discover new ways to express musical ideas and create engaging environments for improvisation and arrangement.

This course reveals Christopher’s approach to teaching and playing jazz guitar, focusing on versatility, experimentation, and the integration of diverse musical elements to craft unique and expressive performances.

Sub-topic 1: Using techniques you already possess in new ways

Sub-topic 2: Emulation of sounds and styles outside of typical jazz guitar approaches

Sub-topic 3: Self accompanying techniques and concepts


  • Chord Melody
  • Comping
  • Mindfulness
  • Modern Jazz Guitar
  • Soloing


  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Duration:  1 Hour 5 Minutes

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Class Content

Full Class + Download
Environments for Jazz Guitar Full Class + Download 01:05:15
1: Intro 00:06:18
2: Playing what you know 00:14:00
3: Emulating 00:13:36
4: Changing the Feel 00:17:32
5: Putting it all Together 00:13:45

Course Reviews


2 ratings
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  1. stuck playing standard chord melody style? get this!


    This is a great masterclass for anyone who feels like they’re stuck in a standard chord melody solo jazz guitar approach or if you feel like you’ve been arranging every solo jazz guitar piece the same way again & again.

    by Az Samad
  2. Environments for Jazz Guitar


    What a great class!! Not nuts and bolts, no “play this over that”, but its every bit as important, every bit as useful, every bit as creative as anything you will need to express yourself. Highly recommended.

    by james seaberry

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