Single note lines! Octaves! Chord Melodies!

These are some of the most common sounds that we hear in jazz guitar.

But what about something in between?

Harmonizing in thirds is something that many guitarists may have done for other styles but perhaps not so much in jazz. Learn from master jazz guitarist Howard Alden as he breaks down his process for harmonizing melodies in thirds.

You’ll study the classic, Out of Nowhere, as a vehicle to learn both his fingerings and the concept. To support your development, Howard has included exercises using the diminished scale and whole tone scale. These exercises are beautiful and are great workout for the fretting hand.

Along with the PDF handouts, you’ll get to study the ideas in standard notation and tablature with Howard’s personal fretting hand fingerings indicated. Howard also plays slowed down examples to help you see and hear the ideas more clearly. For any challenging part you may encounter, you can also use the built-in video speed control to help learn the examples by slowing it down while keeping the concert pitch.

With logical fingerings, you’ll be more comfortable to incorporate thirds into your arranging and improvisational language. After going through these great systematic workouts, you’ll also get to see Howard demonstrate the concept over Blue Monk and If I Had You. To wrap it up, you’ll learn an etude on All of Me to help level up your playing even more.

Included in this masterclass is a special BONUS duo performance of Howard Alden and Mike’s Master Classes founder, Mike Gellar performing Out of Nowhere as well as some candid behind the scenes footage.


  • Harmonizing melodies with thirds
  • Diminished Scale with thirds
  • Whole Tone Scale with thirds
  • Out of Nowhere
  • Etude on All of Me

Expected Outcome:

  • Add color and variety to melodies by adding harmonies using thirds.
  • Develop more confidence and technical facility in this technique.
  • Understand how to use this concept for your own arrangements and improvisations.


  • 9 pages of PDF written material notated in standard notation, TAB (with Howard’s personal fretting hand fingerings indicated)
  • Running time: 35 minutes (with 7 mins of BONUS content)

Add to Cart for $29.95 or Purchase with 1 Credit [What's This?]

Class Content

1: Harmonizing the Melody Intro 00:07:34
2: Song and Harmonizing in Thirds [Exercise] 00:06:39
3: Whole Tone Scale Thirds [Exercise] 00:02:17
4: “Out of Nowhere” – Playing the Whole Song 00:03:01
5: When to Use Your Third Harmonization 00:00:59
6: “Blue Monk” & “If I Had You” – Examples 00:01:28
7: “All of Me” – Howard’s Etude – Examples 00:10:44
8: “All of Me” – Slower Example 00:03:04
Bonus: “Out of Nowhere” Duo with Howard Alden & Mike Gellar 00:05:27
Bonus: Behind The Scenes 00:01:30
Full Video + Download
Technique’s for Harmonizing Melodies with Thirds Full Class + Download 00:42:42

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