This modern jazz guitar class examines the roots of the modern style and includes a discussion of the right and left hand techniques that many of the modern players use.

Modern Jazz Guitar Complete Series
The twenty-first century has, so far, been an exciting time for jazz with a flurry of creativity and innovation energized by the newest generation of jazz musicians.  The guitar has become a more important instrument in jazz than ever before, and jazz groups featuring guitarists are now the norm rather than the exception.

Guitarists with unprecedented virtuosity and originality have driven the instrument’s rise in prominence and have established a new “modern sound” that is becoming part of the jazz vocabulary.  Players such as Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Jonathan Kreisberg, John Stowell, Gilad Hekselman, Adam Rogers, Lage Lund, and Nir Felder are inventive, ingenious, and forward-thinking while still managing to maintain a strong connection to the tradition.  If you have heard these and other modern jazz guitarists and wondered How do they get that sound?, then this series of classes is for you.

The Modern Jazz Guitar series was created for the intermediate to advanced jazz guitarist who already has a basic command of traditional jazz vocabulary including the basics of improvising over chord changes, comping/chord vocabulary, and knowledge of standard chord progressions.  This multi-part series examines the modern jazz guitar style in systematic detail and is divided into five classes that cover melody (single note improvisation), harmony (using chords for  comping, chord soloing, and self-comping), rhythm, and tone/equipment. An informative introductory class examines the roots of the modern style and includes a discussion of the right and left hand techniques that many of the modern players use.

Numerous musical examples, including specific licks, phrases, and chord voicings in the style of several modern jazz guitarists, are demonstrated during the classes and provided in the written materials in traditional notation, tablature, and/or chord grid form, but the lessons have been designed to be open-ended enough that you will be encouraged to find your own path and work toward developing your unique musical voice.

Modern Jazz Guitar Part 1 covers:

  • an overview of the roots of the modern jazz guitar style and a discussion of how modern players’ styles evolved along a direct line from their predecessors
  • brief surveys of the styles of Charlie Christian, Wes Montgomery, Grant Green, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Bill Frisell
  • analysis of specific elements of the styles of the above players that influenced the modern players
  • discussion of use of single note lines as well as chords/harmony from each player, with examples
  • discussion of technique with emphasis on achieving relaxed and fluid movement from note to note and efficient use of energy
  • overview of the basics of alternate picking, economy picking, and fingerstyle, with examples of each
  • suggestions for exercises using one, two, three, and four notes per string
  • discussion of hammer-ons and pull-offs, with examples and suggestions for practice
  • pick and fingers techniques for playing chords and single note lines
  • backing MP3 play-along tracks used in the video for all examples available for free download at
  • running time: 106 minutes
  • includes 18 pages of written examples and exercises

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Class Content

Modern Jazz Guitar - Part I
Modern Jazz Guitar – Part I 01:46:00

Course Reviews


9 ratings
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  1. 5

    After having gone through quite a few of his classes, Tom’s thoroughness and commitment to teaching comes as no surprise but this installment has the icing on the cake of specific examples by specific players. I was delighted to see Metheny’s, Scofield’s and Frisell’s renditions of Lonely Woman, Secret Love and Days of Wine and Roses respectively. A fun one.

    by Pedro Munoz
  2. 5

    The choice of material works – Tom has a knack for picking good teaching examples. I am in. There is a lot of work here, as it should be. Nice one Tom.

    by peter crane
  3. 5

    This class is excellent. Tom’s breakdown of the player’s contributions to jazz guitar and analysis of the phrases is very useful. He is an excellent teacher and and a monster musician.

    by Clint Perron
  4. 5

    If you want to get to the roots of modern jazz guitar then this is it. Tom runs through some of the big names and players who have influenced todays modern players. The Bill Frisell analysis is fantastic.

    by Gareth Rennick
  5. 5

    I can’t recommend this series highly enough! These videos are an EXTREMELY good value. The time and care that went into explaining and presenting this difficult material in a way that makes it accessible and easily digestible for the intermediate to advanced level jazz guitar player is obvious from the get-go. I have many Mike’s Master Classes videos and I love them all, but Tom’s Modern Jazz Guitar Series stands out as a model of what is truly possible in the quickly evolving world of guitar video instruction.  Why the videos in this series don’t cost twice what they do is a mystery to me (though I am surely not complaining!). Each one in the series is nearly 2 hours-long and comes with Tom’s detailed, well-organized, easy to follow PDFs that cover virtually every note Tom plays. This series is astonishingly good and comes with my highest recommendation. Thanks Tom!

    by Josh canning
  6. 5

    After getting the first installment of Modern Jazz Guitar, the value of Tom’s presentation and research was such that I immediately bought his second class. After I work through these two, I plan on gradually working through his whole series. A treasure trove of ideas and an unbelievable value. Thank you Tom!

    by Andrew Boyce
  7. 5

    Tom gives a succinct and clear review of the "Forefathers" of modern Jazz guitar and some brief transcriptions, as well as some basics of playing that no one seems to talk about much.

    Very valuable and Highly recommended!

    by Michael Jaramillo
  8. 5

    Hats off to Tom for an outstanding class. I thought his teaching approach, class materials, and content were carefully thought out and expertly executed. For me this class was important in helping to understand where modern players got many of their ideas and strategies.

    by Steve Howard
  9. 5

    After checking out Modern Jazz Guitar 2, I just had to see what Tom had to offer in MJG 1.

    Modern Jazz Guitar 1 traces the origins of jazz guitar beginning with Charlie Christian and on down to Wes, Grant Green and Jim Hall. But rather than being a mere collection of licks, Tom zeroes in on some specific playing idiosyncracies of each player. And this is why this video so unique!

    The approaches of Metheny, Scofield and Frisell are also covered in MJG 1, providing the perfect jumping off point into the modern, outside playing concepts of Modern Jazz Guitar 2.

    And like Modern Jazz Guitar 2, a hefty multi-page pdf spells out every note Tom plays, making every lick and idea easy to follow.

    Clinton Carnegie

    by Clinton Carnegie
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