In this 2006 masterclass, watch Sid Jacobs demonstrate the real depth and importance of guide tones for building strong solo guitar arrangements, counterpoint, comping and improvising melodically strong single note melodies.

Sid Jacobs shows the connection between Bach and Charlie Parker’s sense of harmony while taking notes from Bill Evans and Lenny Breau. Discover how to use lush voicings and to get beyond using drop-2 or drop-3 voicings. Sid shares his insights after studying and arranging music over many years so that you too can stop thinking like a human capo.

You will see how to start combining a musical view of voicings, guitar friendly counterpoint and a melody chord approach that uses guide tones to create beautiful voicings.

This masterclass will provide much food for thought as well as plenty of musical examples that you will able to dig into. There’s a wealth of knowledge from Sid Jacobs in the entire session. This masterclass is well suited for intermediate and advanced jazz guitarists who know about guide tones but may have not fully examined the depth of it all.

With the newly segmented videos, you’ll be able to locate specific examples easier for repeated study and analysis when needed.

  • 13 Pages of PDF materials in standard notation and TAB.
  • Notes on Guide Tones for jazz lines, comping and chord melody
  • “Waltz For Debbie” – arranged for guitar by Sid Jacobs
  • “Very Early” – arranged for guitar by Sid Jacobs
  • “My Bells” – arranged for guitar by Sid Jacobs
  • “Frankie and Johnny” – arranged for guitar by Sid Jacobs

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Class Content

Guide Tones for Jazz Lines, Comping and Chord Melody
Guide Tones for Jazz Lines, Comping and Chord Melody 01:18:00
Intro – Single Note Improv Solo 00:04:31
Similarities between Bach and Charlie Parker 00:02:28
Guide Tones, The Melody and Jazz Lines
Shell Voicings and Guide Tones – The Essence of the Bebop Lines 00:04:25
Blues in Bb and Using the Blues Scale 00:04:50
Making Lines Using Guide Tones 00:01:31
II V I and Using Chromatic Embellishment 00:01:20
Have You Met Miss Jones – Melody and Guide Tones 00:02:36
All The Things You Are – Melody Notes as 3rds 00:04:59
Using Line Cliches 00:02:02
Comping and Chord Voicings
II-V-I Voicings 00:02:45
Stop Thinking Like A Human Capo 00:07:27
The 2 Ways The Guitar Is Like An Orchestra 00:06:32
Chord Melody – Waltz For Debbie Peformance 00:02:46
Using Lush Voicings 00:01:51
Comping Through a Blues 00:02:39
Not Getting Into The Math – Just Using Familiar Shapes 00:02:40
Putting The Melody On Top and Voice Leading 00:04:07
Dmin G7 – Something We Learn From Charlie Parker and Bach 00:04:05
Individual Notes of The Chord and The Melody 00:03:02
Not Thinking Of The Scales 00:03:20
When Do Scales Work – Ask Me Now by Thelonious Monk Example 00:03:00
Outro Performance and Closing Words 00:06:22

Course Reviews


2 ratings
  • 5 stars2
  • 4 stars0
  • 3 stars0
  • 2 stars0
  • 1 stars0
  1. aha moments galore with


    Love Sid’s teaching style and his choice of material and effortless mastery , wonderful helpful lesson

    by Shawn Loudermilk
  2. 5

    I’m giving this a 5 star rating because of the content. Although the sound was a bit off, which was somewhat distracting, the material was outstanding. It as if I was let in on some of the big secrets that are self evident to great jazz guitarists, but are hidden behind clouds for many of us. This is the kind of lesson that will absolutely improve my playing.

    by John Bushong
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