Steve Herberman – Complete!


42 Courses Included

Steve Herberman, one of the first MMC Masters, has produced over 40 classes since 2006! Get all of them with this bundle!!!

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Steve’s Classes:

Lenny Breau Style: How to Comp While Soloing Class Content | Steve Herberman

Breau’s use of 2 and 3 note comping chords while he played melodies was a big leap forward for guitarists. Learn the techniques Lenny used to achieve this swinging jazz piano sound and play some of his favorite phrases and comping chords.

  • 3 Pages in PDF
  • Class Length is 1hr 35min
Lenny Breau Style: How to comp while soloing
Lenny Breau Style: How to comp while soloing 01:35:00

Applications of Triad Motion Studies Inspired by George Van Eps Class Content | Steve Herberman

I often get requests to demonstrate how Van Eps’ triad studies in Harmonic Mechanism’s can be applied to comping and soloing as well as chord/melody.  In this masterclass we’ll see how his multi-line  triadic approach can add depth and interest to triads and upper structure triads. If you’ve never worked through Van Eps’ books than this class could be a real eye-opener. If you’ve checked out Harmonic Mechanisms and need a fresh look at how to put the concepts into practical use over tunes than don’t miss this masterclass!

Applications of Triad Motion Studies Inspired by George Van Eps
Applications of Triad Motion Studies Inspired by George Van Eps 01:31:00

Chord melody arranging & soloing inspired by George Van Eps Class Content | Steve Herberman

Utilizing ideas for voice motion and chord substitution inspired by George van Eps, Steve will take the often played “Autumn Leaves” and send out a chord melody arrangement in the Van Eps style. Discussions of techniques used and full explanations of the entire arrangement will be given.As usual all questions will be answered on the spot! To encourage early registration Steve will include a bonus arrangement of “Autumn Leaves” arranged in 2 part counterpoint that will demonstrate soloing above a half note bassline and also a melody line. The former helps deal with the question “After I play the head, now what?” Improvising chord melody can be one of the most gratifying of endeavors. It kept George Van Eps playing steadily into his 80’s!

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Chord melody arranging & soloing inspired by George Van Eps
Chord melody arranging & soloing inspired by George Van Eps 01:31:00

7-String Jazz Guitar for All Levels Class Content | Steve Herberman

7-String Jazz Guitar for all levels will cover a wide range of topics for the 7-string player. From foundational exercises in chord playing, to single note solo lines employing the low A-string, to comping and arranging (and even composing on the 7-string.)  Exercises will be given that illustrate inner line motion within a 7-string voicing as well as motion from chord to chord. Questions from participants in the masterclass always lead the discussion/demonstration to interesting places and are welcomed at any time during the class! Get the concepts in mind that you’ll need to take your 7-string playing to the next level.

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7-String Jazz Guitar for All Levels
7-String Jazz Guitar for All Levels 01:29:00

Contrapuntal Improvisation Class Content | Steve Herberman

This Saturday morning class on Contrapuntal Improvisation for pickstyle and fingerstyle guitar will be live from the IAJE in NYC.  A refreshing alternative to block chord soloing, Steve will show you techniques to expand your playing into 2 and 3 part multi-line improvisation. Written examples will begin with the basic principles of contrapuntal playing and progress towards melding single note lines seamlessly into modern chordal structures. Add these vital and flexible concepts into stream of consciousness improvising. This type of playing sounds great in a bass/guitar duo or guitar/bass/drums trio.
Break out of those chord boxes and let your creativity flow! All examples are written for 6 string guitar and are easily adaptable to 7 string guitar.

Contrapuntal Improvisation 1
Contrapuntal Improvisation 1 01:10:00

Triads and Seventh Chords of the Melodic Minor Scale Class Content | Steve Herberman

Triads and seventh chords of the Melodic Minor scale and their practical applications over altered dominants and two-five-ones.

Take your comping and chord soloing to the next level by utilizing the harmonized Melodic Minor scale. In this class you’ll receive examples to practice resolving altered dominant sounds through the use of these rich chordal textures. Many of these chord forms are familiar to many guitarists though we’ll be stringing together chords to create a refreshing chain of altered dominant sounds and lead them to satisfying resolutions. This really breaks a player out of habitual chord patterns and licks to create fresh and interesting new patterns. The goal of this class is to firmly establish this concept in your ears and mind and, most importantly, to get it under your fingers so it becomes second nature!

Harmonized Triads and Seventh Chords of the Melodic Minor Scale
Harmonized Triads and Seventh Chords of the Melodic Minor Scale 01:08:00

Motion and Chord Voicings – Part I Class Content | Steve Herberman

Joe Pass always talked about the importance of motion as it pertains to solo guitar.  In this Master Class, Steve illustrates techniques to create motion using common chord forms.  You and he will begin with triads and create lines in parallel and contrary motion while maintaining some common chord tones.  After examining many kinds of voice motion within one chord, you’ll apply these concepts to  a progression.  This is in essence what the George Van Eps volumes were all about: looking at chords as several voices forging ahead over time to arrive at familiar destinations along the way.  You’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover many new shapes getting from one chord form to another by sending the voices in motion.  Steve will also show the application of these principles over familiar standard tunes.  You will never look at those chord forms the same way!

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Motion and Chord Voicings - Part I
Motion and Chord Voicings – Part I 01:37:00

Motion and Chord Voicings – Part II Class Content | Steve Herberman

George Van Eps used to say that “Guitarists put too damn many notes in their chords.”  In this class we’ll heed the maestro’s advice and examine 10th intervals with a moving inner line.  Also, we’ll look at other intervals such as 6th’s and 12th’s with inner line motion and apply these to a progression.  Exercises outlining these principles will be provided, allowing you to become more familiar with the techniques necessary to play these smoothly.  It’s a refreshing approach to enhance your chord melody playing.

Motion and Chord Voicings - Part II
Motion and Chord Voicings – Part II 01:26:00

Practicing and Memorizing Tunes Class Content | Steve Herberman

Practicing and Memorizing Tunes: A Systematic Approach For All Levels

Steve will take you through the process of learning new tunes with an emphasis on hearing the melody and changes and how they fit together. A step by step method, thorough to the point of reaching a deep understanding of the tune at hand. Transposition will be made much easier after following logical steps including singing, root motion, chord functions, guide tone lines, logical fingerings, a variety of chord/melody concepts and much more. When tunes are internalized in this way, long term memorization will be possible with greater flexibility. Expand your repertoire while maximizing your practice time!

Practicing and Memorizing Tunes
Practicing and Memorizing Tunes 01:31:00

Single Note Soloing Concepts on Rhythm Changes Class Content | Steve Herberman

The chord changes to “I Got Rhythm” are required study for any jazz musician. Hundreds of tunes are fashioned after the Gershwin standard as well as the most popular turnarounds using the one-six-two-five progression and its substitutions. In this class I’ll outline many of the useful soloing concepts including reharmonization, guide-tone lines, arpeggio usage, chord scales and motivic development using arpeggios and scales. Other topics will include reducing the changes down to basic cadences such as five to one and four minor to one as well as running the changes playing off of each chord. Learn simple and effective tricks to making the changes and handling up-tempo playing. This will be packed full of information that can be applied quickly. If rhythm changes have always been hard to handle or if you are just in need of some new ideas then this class is for you!

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Single Note Soloing Concepts on Rhythm Changes
Single Note Soloing Concepts on Rhythm Changes 01:37:00

Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses Class Content | Steve Herberman

Wes Montgomery and Kenny Burrell are two guitarists that loved to imitate a horn section with chordal riff figures. Wes used them in his solos and while he comped, even while a pianist was comping along to a soloist. Often overlooked by guitarists, riff figures are an important part of jazz history rooted in the blues, making the music swing hard. So much of Wes Montgomery’s style comes from riffs in octaves and chords sometimes straight from big bands like Basie and Hampton. In this Master Class I’ll go over many of these swinging riff figures and shout choruses and adapt them for guitar.

These are deceptive animals in that they sound easy but are often very hard to negotiate in a chordal style. For example, many figures are quite syncopated and the chord changes occur in what seem like unusual places.

Many times call and response type of motifs are employed to create very interesting solos and comping, with good use of space. This is important work for the jazz guitarist that often gets ignored. For the guitarist who is looking to improve his or her time feel and play compelling chordal motifs created by the swing masters, this class is for you!

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Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses
Swing and Big Band Chordal Riffs and Shout Choruses 01:28:00

Exploring the Chord/Single Note Line Connection Class Content | Steve Herberman

Harmonically rich single note lines are embedded in many chord forms!
Certain chord forms can be arpeggiated to yield beautiful single note lines and then connected to make satisfying musical phrases. In this masterclass we’ll examine the shapes that translate best in making interesting single note lines. All string sets will be covered over the entire fretboard using every chord quality. This practice helps the guitarist see the fretboard as “one big position” while giving important visual landmarks for both chordal and single note playing. The deeper a player gets into voice leading chords the easier it is to make strong harmonic connections via single note lines.

The other side of the coin is what I refer to as “Gradual Chords”. “Gradual Chords” often begin as a scalar single note line that builds as string crossing occurs. Each time a new string is employed a note gets added from the previous string. The evolution of the chord begins with single notes becoming two notes sustained below a melody line. Then it becomes three notes sustained below a melody until we run out of fingers! So we arrive at a four note chord beginning modestly as single note run. Open strings can always be added to get further interesting results.

Both of these techniques can dramatically affect the way a guitarist looks at music. The wall comes down between chords and single note lines so that the improviser can move freely and naturally between the two so that they really become one entity. As always there are many pages of written examples that accompany each class.

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Exploring the Chord/Single Note Line Connection
Exploring the Chord/Single Note Line Connection 01:27:00

Comping Concepts Part One: 4/4 swing Class Content | Steve Herberman

In this class standards such as Stella By Starlight, In A Mellotone and Confirmation are used to demonstrate a variety of comping concepts applied to many different group formats a guitarist will find themselves playing in.

Concepts include:

  • Essential tone (shell voicings), guide tone lines, pedal points, muti-use voicings (including rootless voicings), common tone, chromatic and stepwise voice-leading, Freddie Greene style, walking bass/comp, “over the barline”
  • comping thru use of hemiolas, rhythmic “snare drum” comping, leaving space for a soloist while giving the soloist a solid “cushion”and overall techniques to help make a rhythm section swing.

Formats that will be discussed include:

  • Guitar/bass duo
  • guitar/voice
  • and even comping for yourself while you are soloing!


Comping Concepts Part One: 4/4 swing
Comping Concepts Part One: 4/4 swing 01:30:00

Odd Meters Class Content | Steve Herberman

Although utilized for many years in jazz and other styles, odd meters has become an essential part of today’s jazz. The uses of odd meters are many: As a phrasing device enabling a player to solo and comp over the bar line in 4/4 time. As an effect to utilize in one’s original compositions and to create fresh arrangements of standards and much more!
Once the 5/4 and 7/4 common rhythmic patterns are examined and practiced, soloing and comping can feel as natural as it does in 4/4.

In this masterclass we’ll be looking at the many useful rhythmic patterns in odd meters and applying them to 4/4 tunes as well as standards arranged in 5/4 and 7/4.  Pairing these rhythmic concepts with melodic/harmonic concepts will be stressed to enable the musician to more rapidly integrate odd meters on their instrument. An example of this would be arpeggiating diatonic 9th chords in an even stream of 8th notes. The 9th chords contain 5 notes that will give a 5/8 phrasing to the line. Take one triad and its neighboring diatonic7th chord and you have 7 notes that will yield 7/8 phrasing. This is one of many exercises that will be in the written examples accompanying the class. Other examples will include:

Applying odd meters to solo guitar, arranging standards in odd meter, pattern picking odd meters, comping and soloing with odd meters and more.

Take your playing into the future with rhythmic assuredness and confidence!

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Odd Meters
Odd Meters 01:36:00

Fundamentals Checkpoint Class Content | Steve Herberman

We all know how important fundamentals are. But are they mastered to the point that they can be called upon at any instant during performance? For instance when a guitarist comps, he/she must be able to put any note of their choosing on the top of their voicing quickly and accurately. Without knowing at least the common chord voicings in all of their inversions one’s comping may fall short of the mark. When soloing, having complete command of chord scales and arpeggios in a variety of positions is crucial. Getting serious about really knowing one’s fundamentals allows the musician to focus on the business at hand: music making.

I often ask students how well they know triads. The answer I typically receive is “sure I know those.” But can they be played quickly and accurately in all inversions on all adjacent string sets? Very seldom in my teaching experience. It’s an easy enough gap to fill along with possible other deficits in a player’s mastery of the fingerboard. Next we’ll review all of the inversions of the “Freddie Greene” voicings of all chord qualities and there will be examples of how to apply them to tunes. Seventh chords on all adjacent string sets will be reviewed and plugged into tunes such as Wes Montgomery’s “Cariba”. Other exercises will include minor 6th diminished chord and arpeggio studies a la Barry Harris and will conclude with a chord inversion system  featuring many non-adjacent string chords, a more advanced system that show all voicing possibilities of seventh chords. Grand arpeggios (R,3,5,7,9,11,13) studies will also be addressed.

All common scales in five positions (Berklee method) including interval exercises and arpeggio studies will be covered. To really know a scale is to be able to play it in any sequence of intervals, for example a C real melodic minor scale in diatonic 5ths. Having one’s fundamentals in check will provide a solid foundation needed for improvisation. This class should be helpful for players on all levels, filling in any gaps allowing the player to better play what they hear.

This class includes 24 pages of material prepared by Steve!

More info on this topic can be viewed by going to my March ’08 Modern Guitars column entitled Jazz Scope

Fundamentals Checkpoint
Fundamentals Checkpoint 01:33:00

Composing and Improvising Strong Melodies Class Content | Steve Herberman

Creating memorable melodies can be challenging, especially in the midst of an improvised solo.  In this class we’ll examine a wide array of great melodies and see what makes them eminently sing-able and memorable. The makings of a great melody involve the balancing of the three elements of music: harmony, rhythm and melody. By studying a wide variety of melodies of the master American popular song composers and jazz improvisers, I’ll illustrate the concepts behind what make these phrases work. Once these devices are explored they can translate into the creation of consistently strong and swinging melodies. Concepts will include: weaving guide tone lines into a melody, melodic and rhythmic repetition, scale and arpeggio usage, line contours, rhythmic displacement, phrase length considerations, how to build lines that swing, creating lines from chord extensions and melodic embellishment. Also I’ll demonstrate chord visualization as an aid to see the melodic/harmonic connection on the guitar fingerboard. Using existing melodies as a springboard for your improvisations can be invaluable and there will be written examples of all of these as well as video demonstrations. Get ready for a fun and meaningful study of melody.

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Composing and Improvising Strong Melodies
Composing and Improvising Strong Melodies 01:39:00

Electric Fingerstyle Guitar Class Content | Steve Herberman

Playing fingerstyle on an electric guitar or steel string acoustic can be a very different experience than on a classical guitar. If you use nails you need to keep them in prime condition and steel strings can sure be tough on nails! In this class I’ll demonstrate which techniques have personally worked for me though years of experimentation in various playing situations. The material presented is also applicable to acoustic steel string guitarists and the jazz nylon string player.
For most guitarists playing single note lines on an electric is frustrating because it’s hard to equal the tone, conviction and swing of an expertly flat-picked line. But it can be done and can often give a fuller sound than a flatpick possibly with more tonal variation and nuances. The class will address many issues: principals in achieving a full sound before plugging into an amp, ideal free stroke angles, muting techniques, all things nail; nail lengths, nail shapes, filing etc, left hand slurs, right hand one finger sweeps, discussion of string gauges and types, alternating index and middle, alternating index and ring, using the same finger to play 2 and 3 consecutive notes between slurs, pattern picking, and more.  Written examples accompany the video that further clarify the right hand fingerstyle picking techniques applied to distinct musical phrases. In the examples the left hand notation is also given to show the optimal positions that make the lines swing, project and yield a horn-like phrasing and articulation that can only occur when both hands are in sync and balanced. Fingerstyle guitar can add another dimension to your electric playing by expanding the variety of textures and adding counterpoint much more easily. Join me for a fun and informative class on fingerstyle electric guitar techniques.

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Electric Fingerstyle Guitar
Electric Fingerstyle Guitar 01:27:00

The Inner Line Class Content | Steve Herberman

Improvising in the chord melody style can be taken to new heights when inner lines are employed that are musical and played with finesse. This class will deal specifically with inner lines, or lines that are played between a melody note and a bass note. The melody and bass notes are important providing the necessary framework for solo chord melody playing. As an alternative to the common chord form approach to chord soloing we’ll examine how to make something unique and musical happen between the bass and melody. The inner line concept can be a satisfying way of personalizing one’s chord soloing. Often the success of a good inner line depends upon choosing a good melodic line that resolves well and having a good flexible technique to make the line seamless, maintaining the independence of the two parts. A flexible technique can be achieved by practicing the studies set forth in this class so that true improvisation in this style can happen naturally. Using principles that were inspired by the materials George Van Eps outlines in his harmonic mechanisms books, some of the lines will be given a bebop/hardbop update and I’ll demonstrate the types of fingerings employed to make these lines happen between 2 outside sustained notes. The class should make it possible for the player to improvise more interesting arrangements in the chord melody style. Be prepared for a true left hand finger workout leading to much greater finger independence!

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The Inner Line
The Inner Line 01:29:00

Comping Concepts Part Two: Ballads and Jazz Waltz Class Content | Steve Herberman

In this second class on comping we’ll look at ballads and jazz waltzes and the types of comping that work well for each. Tunes will include My Romance, In A Sentimental Mood, Emily and West Coat Blues. On ballads, chordal fills will be demonstrated along with the integration of single notes and double stops in appropriate places backing the melody. Voice leading with usage of upper structure triads and passing chords will be shown using both rootless voicings and conventional drop 2 and drop 3 shapes. On jazz waltzes we’ll add aspects of rhythmic displacement and the use of half notes to create “over the bar line” phrasing. Also we’ll continue with essential tone comping and expanding the voicings to include extra notes. Some of the phrases that are included in the written examples are reminiscent of Ed Bickert and Jim Hall’s comping. Having a clear idea of voice leading through chord changes along with rhythmic diversity and swing, will make comping more effective, creative and fun!

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Comping Concepts Part Two: Ballads and Jazz Waltz
Comping Concepts Part Two: Ballads and Jazz Waltz 01:31:00

Melodic Embellishment 1 Class Content | Steve Herberman

Wes Montgomery, Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, and Louis Armstrong were true masters of the art of melodic embellishment. In this class we’ll look at the techniques utilized by these jazz greats and others who excelled at melodic invention on the popular songs of the day.
Developing strong skills in melodic embellishment is one of the most important ways to truly connect with a song. It is also very effective as a springboard for improvisation while still maintaining the essence of the song. Topics that will be addressed will be guide tone lines, countermelodies, leading improvised lines into melody notes or chord tones, approach note patterns with target tones and upper and lower neighbor tones, ornamentation, “musical asides”, rhythmic displacement, and more. Common standard tunes will be used with pages of written examples outlining different types of melodic embellishment principles. Many of the techniques discussed in the class are also applicable to improvised single note soloing where target tones or goal notes are employed. At the end of the class these principles will be demonstrated in a polyphonic manner using 2 and 3 note structures where melodic embellishment meets modern harmony.

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Melodic Embellishment 1
Melodic Embellishment 1 01:31:00

Developing A Personal Practice Routine Class Content | Steve Herberman

Practice is always changing and evolving. One key is to let the actual music be the guide keeping practicing fun, interesting and most importantly, practical. Different types of tunes (tempos, key signatures, harmonic rhythm, time signatures, etc.) place certain demands on one’s technique, knowledge of theory and aural abilities. With all that there is to practice, often working on a limited practice schedule, it can easily be overwhelming! In this class important core principles are identified and each player, after honest self-evaluation, can “laser in” on areas that are weak or strengths can be identified and built upon. This class is a survey of practical exercises that can be paired down to the essential tools that will benefit a player beginning from where they are presently to any point along their musical journey. From transcribing one phrase at a time of a classic solo to voice-leading arpeggios in 8th notes this class will be comprehensive in its scope. Learn how to practice away from the instrument using visualization, chord spelling and pitch axis exercises. From working on your time feel to sightreading from a fakebook to basic time management skills this will be an information-packed session that will help you focus on getting more out of your practice time. 

Developing A Personal Practice Routine
Developing A Personal Practice Routine 01:34:00

Comping Concepts Part 3: Rootless Voicings & Chord Substitutions Class Content | Steve Herberman

Often guitarists will reach for chord ‘grips’ that have roots in the bass, sometimes out of habit. This can be effective when playing without a bass player, playing Freddie Green style rhythm guitar or Latin-style comping. On the other hand, it can be limiting in other contexts when a freer more harmonically rich approach is desired.

Rootless chord voicings, voice leading, and chord substitutions over standard tunes and modern jazz compositions will be the focus of this masterclass. Master compers like Jim Hall and Ed Bickert love to play clusters to get a more pianist sound adding interest to their voicings. We’ll examine many multi-use voicings that can get a lot of mileage in comping. Concepts outlined will include adding open strings to voicings, quartal voicings, and a variety of interesting comping rhythms. In order to freely use the upper structures of chords and substitutions, the chord theory has to be solid. We’ll get deep into the theory and discuss the reasoning behind substitutions that work. Also we’ll take a look at bossa comping, polychord reharmonization, and chord expansion techniques.

Written examples will include tunes or selected measures from: Come Rain or Come Shine, Windows, Desafinado, What Is This Thing Called Love and Gone With The Wind. TAB is included along with standard notation.
Learn to comp creatively and confidently while expanding your chordal vocabulary.

Comping Concepts Part 3: Rootless Voicings & Chord Substitutions
Comping Concepts Part 3: Rootless Voicings & Chord Substitutions 01:31:00

Quartal Harmony and Intervallic Soloing Class Content | Steve Herberman

With TAB and standard notation.
Quartal harmony can really spice up ones comping and soloing bringing them into the modern realm. Being well-versed in quartal shapes and appropriate fingering and picking techniques can help intervallic soloing come out naturally in one’s playing.
This class is a continuation of the earlier masterclass “Exploring the Chord/Single Note Connection.” Picking up where that class left off we’ll delve into the world of quartal harmony applied to tunes such as Inner Urge, Freedom Jazz Dance and Maiden Voyage. Memorizing the quartal shapes, practicing them in chord scales and applying them to modal playing as well as denser harmonic changes can unlock interesting comping and soloing possibilities in the modern style. By practicing the fingered exercises that accompany this video class, the mechanisms will be in place for improvising naturally in an intervallic manner. Once the chord shapes are mastered in various keys we’ll add in scale tones and approach note patterns for inside/outside effects through single note soloing. Also included in the written material is an intervallic-style solo on Inner Urge that draws from the quartal voicings and mixes in plenty of chromaticism.
We’ll take a detailed look at left hand fingerings approaches such as finger alternation and finger “rolling.” This will help give the intervallic lines clarity and definition. Right hand techniques will also be addressed to include both pickstyle and fingerstyle technique. Expand your quartal chord knowledge while enhancing your single note vocabulary with this fun and detailed class on intervallic playing!

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Quartal Harmony and Intervallic Soloing
Quartal Harmony and Intervallic Soloing 01:36:00

Chord-Melody 101/201 Class Content | Steve Herberman

Chord-Melody 101/201: Making Great Sounding Arrangements with Block Chords

With TAB and standard notation.

You already know a handful of cool sounding voicings but chord-melody arrangements may still be tough. Ever listen to Wes Montgomery’s few unaccompanied chord solos and marvel at how beautiful they are in their simplicity yet they sound so incredible? You may recognize every chord shape Wes is playing, (mostly drop 2 and drop 3 inversions) but how did he arrange it to be so musically satisfying? I’ll offer my insight to this important question and others, recorded live so that questions can be asked at anytime during the recording!

Using the tunes “The Days Of Wine and Roses” and Horace Silver’s “Peace” we’ll compare a variety of choruses on my arrangements included in the class materials (in TAB and/or chord diagram form as well as standard notation.) We’ll look deeply into arranging chord solos that use common chord forms but incorporate some very important musical devices and theory/harmonic principles. Some of these include phrasing (rubato and tempo), the many types of chord substitution principles; introducing color tones or extensions to common chord shapes, changing chord qualities, approach chords, tritone subs, line clichés, and more. Simple yet effective harmonic devices will be shared, the ones you hear the greats use; stock chordal phrases and the more creative ones, along with the theory behind what makes them work. Often simple chromatic motion within a chord form can go a long way in creating interest when the melody is at rest. At times the music may call for dense chords, or inversely, sustained chords with melody notes played over top. We’ll also examine some simple types of single note fills that can be incorporated into an arrangement.  If arranging chord-melody has been slow going, I hope you’ll join me for an insightful look into what makes a simple chord solo work.

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Chord-Melody 101/201
Chord-Melody 101/201 01:34:00

The Diminished Scale In Improvisation Class Content | Steve Herberman

The Diminished Scale In Improvisation

The diminished scale is perhaps the most fun and challenging scale used in improvising adding spice and a modern vibe to melodic lines.
Gain a thorough understanding of the diminished scale through 12 pages of exercises and discussion in this in-depth 90-minute masterclass. Harmonizing any of the 3 symmetrical diminished scales will yield 16 different triads, and 16 seventh chords! This class looks at many of these possibilities in close detail.

Highlights include:

Jim Hall’s “Careful”
Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” similar to Wes Montgomery’s classic version
Single note and chordal resolution exercises
Intervallic studies
The dominant/diminished connection
Classic sequences and patterns
Chord/Scale Visualization techniques
Triad usage and arpeggios
Diminished chord functions/substitutions
Memorization techniques

Fewer scales are as much fun and rewarding as the diminished. Get control of this valuable improvisation tool and enjoy the results!

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The Diminished Scale In Improvisation
The Diminished Scale In Improvisation 01:36:00

Artful Intros Class Content | Steve Herberman

If you are looking for both basic and new concepts to devise intros and endings, then this class is for you!  The 16 pages of written material (including TAB) along with the 90-minute video will aid in learning the theory behind what makes great intros, beginning with the progressions themselves, and then many arrangements of rich chordal intros.  Coming up with your own intros, both in practice and on the spot, is a fun and useful technique that can raise one’s level of overall musicianship.  Once you are playing great sounding intros, you’ll always look forward to starting tunes!

Highlights of this class include:
Chord substitution
Common root motion
Pedal points
Sequential patterns
Contrapuntal-style intros/endings
Essential tone comping below melody
Solo guitar style with a bass presence
Specific examples meant to be used with bass accompaniment
Guide tone lines
Chord inversions
2 and 3-part chordal intros
Single-note intros

90 minute video and written materials in standard notation and TAB for finger-style, pick-style and hybrid picking.  After working through the class, you’ll never want to say “right on it” when counting off a tune again!

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Artful Intros
Artful Intros 01:28:00

Open String Voicings for Guitar Class Content | Steve Herberman

Using chord voicings that feature open strings can help create a rich and complex atmosphere for comping, chord-melody playing and soloing. They are a perfect way to enhance a composition with textural nuance and are adaptable to fit any style of music.

While many guitarists know a handful of useful open string voicings there always seems to be new ones waiting to be discovered. This unique class deals with the principles and theory involved with building these voicings, using them in a standard progression (ii-v-iii-vi) with chord substitutions in all major and minor keys. Most every chord quality is addressed with hundreds of useful voicings shown in progressions in all 12 keys as well as several sample sheets devoted to inversions of specific chords. Moveable diminished/dominant seventh voicings using open strings are shown alongside specific chord shapes that work for each of the three diminished families.
This class comes with 12 pages of written material that feature rich, open string voicings often with clusters imbedded in the chords. Everything from big, expansive chords to smaller voicing types. Though the emphasis is on larger chords with low roots (often useful for solo guitar and comping without a bassist) many inversions are included. The progressions shown exhibit melodic continuity, and where possible, close voice-leading that help the voicings gel as a whole. Each written example is recorded on the video with either an even eighth note feel, swing feel, ballad etc. Every guitarist is sure to benefit from this detailed look at open string voicings.

90 minutes, with written examples notated in chord diagram form for 6 string guitar in standard tuning.

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Open String Voicings for Guitar
Open String Voicings for Guitar 01:29:00

Contrapuntal Improvisation Class Content | Juampy Juarez

“My goal in this Master Class is show my own investigations and variations on Jimmy Wyble’s concept, called Two line improvisation.  In this video you will see Hybrid Picking, Contrapuntal Scales, Chord Fragments, Intervalic Improvisation, Counterpoint Ideas and more.  These concepts are applied to jazz blues and famous standards.  You will be introduced to an original musical world with plenty of new ideas, really interesting for playing solo jazz guitar or in a jazz combo.  Also, you will expand your harmonic vocabulary.  The clinic is great for beginning to look at the guitar in a completely new way.”

Class includes written materials in standard notation and TAB.

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Contrapuntal Improvisation
Contrapuntal Improvisation 01:09:00

Guide Tone Lines: Soloing on a “Bird” Blues Class Content | Steve Herberman

Guide Tones lines can be the missing link for many improvisers when soloing over chord changes. Knowing the chord tones of each chord and their possible chord scales are only part of the equation. Using the Charlie Parker tune “Blues For Alice” we’ll explore the many benefits achieved from the study and practice of guide tone lines for both soloing and comping.

This in-depth class comes with 12 pages of material written in standard notation that accompany the 90 minute video. Each guide tone line (both ascending and descending) is followed by notated solo choruses and/or excerpts that illustrate each line. Various lines are mixed together to create endless possibilities outlining several approaches: Voice-leading triads and 7th chords and upper chordal extensions and voice-leading intervals through a progression.


Other highlights of the class include:

Rhythmic approaches to soloing with guide tones

Bebop phrasing

Guide tone lines on turnarounds

Mixing common tones with guide tone lines

Balancing phrases off one another

The use of sequences and repetition


If you’ve wanted your solo phrases to have a more logical flow then manipulating the guide tone lines can give you that needed structure. Solo lines become more sound benefitting from an important compositional approach used by the great composers and songwriters. Good line architecture can greatly strengthen one’s soloing abilities. This class offers an enjoyable look at guide tone lines focused on an interesting variation of the 12 bar blues.

View a clips from Steve’s class

Guide Tone Lines: Soloing on a "Bird" Blues
Guide Tone Lines: Soloing on a "Bird" Blues 01:27:00

Going for Baroque Class Content | Steve Herberman

This class is an introduction to Baroque-style counterpoint filled with harmonic resources to aid in the ability to compose and improvise within this style. Focusing on contrary motion and the authentic cadence employing secondary dominants, cycles and modulations, the written exercises are designed to help get strong compositional elements in the ears and hands of the player.

Once the finger mechanics and harmonic concepts have been practiced, two-line improvisation in this style can occur more easily.

We’ll be dealing with quick harmonic rhythms, chords lasting one or two beats and played in cycles resulting in music with forward motion that contain interesting modulations.

Highlights of the class include:

  • Single note Baroque-style etudes,
  • 2-part exercises in contrary motion,
  • melodic embellishments,
  • conversational bass techniques,
  • cycle 4 and cycle 6 target chords using secondary dominants. IV V I
  • cadences in various keys,
  • chromatic counterpoint in contrary motion,
  • an original arrangement of All cadences in various keys
  • chromatic counterpoint in contrary motion,
  • an original arrangement of All The Things You Are written as a Baroque/Jazz hybrid for 6 string guitar with additional pages included for 7 string guitarists.
  • The class comes with 21 pages of written material in standard notation.
  • Any player wishing to get deeper into composing and improvising in the Baroque style will not want to miss this class!
  • 65 Minutes
  • 21 Pages of PDF materials
Going for Baroque
Going for Baroque 01:05:00

Chordal Solo Choruses Class Content | Steve Herberman

(in TAB and standard notation)
The inspiration for this fun and challenging class comes from the exciting chordal solo choruses George Van Eps recorded for the Jump record label with his small group. Those solos were all about motion in any voice at any time!

This advanced-level class deals with arranging solos in a contrapuntal 8th note-based chordal style using fingerstyle or hybrid picking. Through the discussion and demonstration of four written solos, arranging techniques are shown to help you compose and eventually improvise solos in this style. The written solos used in the class are an expansion on the rhythm changes etude used in Steve’s class Applications Of Triad Motion Studies inspired by George Van Eps from Sept. 2006 for mikesmasterclasses. Through 2, 3 and 4 part harmony, with an emphasis on triads, we’ll look at independent moving lines which travel in and out of familiar chord forms in a myriad of combinations. The etudes in this class use the progressions of Groovin’ High, It Could Happen To You, Sunny Side Of The Street and All God’s Chillun Got Rhythm. A bar by bar analysis of the techniques are included in the written materials and are expanded in the video. Some of the concepts and techniques demonstrated are: Rootless voicings, minor line clichés, inner line motion, imitation in alternate voices, reharmonizations and substitutions, chromatic lines, and triads up through 13th chords. The aim of the class is to help the musician see how this particular chordal style works and to get some of the language and finger mechanics under the fingers to use in a personal way.

This in-depth 90 minute class comes with 20 pages of written material with TAB included and is
arranged for the standard-tuned 6 string guitar.

View a clip from Steve’s class

Chordal Solo Choruses
Chordal Solo Choruses 01:30:00

Double Stops for Jazz Guitar Class Content | Steve Herberman

Single note lines can be given greater depth by using two notes played simultaneously in a variety of
interval combinations. These harmonic intervals that can be mixed and matched implying harmony
with just two notes weaving in and out of chords and single note lines for interesting textural changes.
Guitarists such as Ed Bickert, Barney Kessel, Johnny Smith and Howard Roberts are just a few who
have used double stops extensively in their playing.
The class is divided into two sections:
Part 1, harmonic scale studies (of every interval smaller than an octave) including 10th intervals, a
veritable pillar of harmony. Both major and melodic minor scales are shown for each interval. The
studies are logically laid out on the fingerboard for ease of memorization and use.
Part 2, II-V-I and minor II-V-I lines in every interval (octaves and smaller.) The lines are great for
helping to build a jazz vocabulary and employ good finger mechanics. (Alternating pairs of fingers are
used whenever possible.) The 62 separate II-V-I examples (in TAB and standard notation) are in a
variety of keys and registers and are a good mixture of scalar and arpeggiated lines. The lines are
between two to four bars long, ideal for alternating with phrases of single notes and chords. Wherever
possible an explanation of the lines are given with discussion about chord scales, neighbor tones, and
altered sounds over dominant seventh chords.
If you are in a rut using the same kinds of double stop patterns than this class will help give you some
new direction and awaken both your fingers and mind with refreshing possibilities. Prepare for a fun
journey with special sounds that reside between single note lines and chords!
Approximately 90 minutes with over 20 pages of written materials in TAB and standard notation.

View a clip from this class

Double Stops for Jazz Guitar
Double Stops for Jazz Guitar 01:27:00

Altered Sounds Class Content | Steve Herberman

In TAB and standard notation, 25 pages of written material

Western music is based on the idea of harmonic cadence, tension and release. It’s easy to balance tension and release once the principles are clearly understood. This in-depth masterclass will have you playing those spicy sounds you hear on recordings by your favorite jazz guitar artists.

Through close examination of the principles and theory necessary to master these sounds including organizing them on the fingerboard, you’ll find it easy to improvise great sounding altered lines. A thorough understanding of altered dominants requires knowledge of raised and lowered fifths and ninths, b5, #5, b9 and #9 from all roots. We’ll use landmarks on the guitar’s fingerboard by way of chord forms and root locations to quickly find all of the altered tones.

Additionally there are simple shortcuts to group these 4 tones together using scales such as the minor pentatonic scales you already know, the dorian mode, super locrian (melodic minor mode) and more. Many examples leave room for you to weave your own line into a written line. We’ll use triad pairs, a special mixolydian pentatonic scale, bebop scales, harmonic major and harmonic minor scales, altered chord fragments/arpeggios, altered chord shapes, diminished sounds and the alignment of scales to make important harmonic connections on the strong beats.

The section on sequential playing makes the altered lines simple to derive by moving the scales you are comfortable with up and down the fingerboard using repetition and structure to your advantage.

This class starts simply and covers a lot of ground making it useful for all levels, beginning to advanced jazz guitar players.

Altered Sounds
Altered Sounds 01:46:00

Jazz Line Construction Class Content | Steve Herberman

In TAB and standard notation 22 pages of written material

This eye-opening 98 min. class quickly gets to the root of problems many players have with constructing strong lines that really “nail” the chord changes. A step by step process is outlined in great detail with five written studies along with a Wes Montgomery transcribed solo of Airegin (TAB included) with analysis of this great solo.

By following the course it will make it easier to play longer lines that arrive at target notes at just the right times. Some guitarists tend to rely on short, stunted lines and others may limit their range to the upper three strings. Another common problem is soloing in one position much of the time or having difficulty transitioning from one position to another. The directional studies included with this class make good practice of using the entire range of the instrument, breaking the guitarist out of habitual patterns when soloing. Lines will have better balance and purpose with fewer “run-on sentences.”

With target notes in mind along with scales and arpeggios readily available in all 5 position from any degree, voice leading the lines is the next step outlined in the class. It’s a step that some guitarists don’t get around to practicing and can be extremely valuable!

On certain tunes guitarists may play either mostly from a scale approach or from an arpeggio approach. Jazz Line Construction will have the player utilize both scales and arpeggios sometimes within the same phrase. Striking a good balance with target notes in the right places and adding rhythmic variation, the solo can both swing and sing. The solo examples included with the class employ guide tone lines, approach note patterns, delayed resolutions, anticipations, sequences, hemiolas, bebop scales, and other useful compositional devices. If you have trouble conceiving those convincing single note lines you hear by your favorite players, than this class may be for you! By following this step by step approach you will be on the path to playing solid and swinging single note lines.

Jazz Line Construction
Jazz Line Construction 01:38:00

Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 1: Close-Voiced Triads Class Content | Steve Herberman

Exercises in standard notation with fingerings, TAB and chord diagram form.

This fun and challenging class combines altered sounds and major and minor triad pairs from melodic minor with loads of counterpoint.

The eight pages of written examples are comprised of ii-V-I examples in several keys that employ low open strings, perfect for solo guitar, comping, and chord soloing. Included is a chord grid page of “visualizations”, a quick way to memorize altered sounds over dominant 7ths using major and minor triad pairs. You won’t hear II-V-I’s the same after working with this class!

In my previous harmonized melodic minor scale class, strings of triads and seventh chords were put together and used for comping and chord soloing. Now we’ll take those chords and give them a thorough workout with all types of line motion utilizing the Van Eps super and sub series in all possible voices. This can really add a lot of interest on top of something that is already harmonically pleasing. And most importantly the sound will get in the ears, and in turn, the hands of the player.

After working with the techniques in this class for a while in practice and performance you’ll be ready to explore open voiced or spread triads in part two of the class. Wrap your fingers around some fun and ear opening sounds used for years by the great pianists.

Running time: 79 minutes

Other Classes from the Jazz Guitar Series:

Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 1: Close-Voiced Triads
Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 1: Close-Voiced Triads 01:19:00

Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 2: Open-Voiced Triads Class Content | Steve Herberman

This continuation of Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 1 features open voiced triads played in a conversational chord-melody style. The active eighth note melodies weave in and out of all 3 voices creating musical lines in the upper, middle, and lower voices. Two sets of triad pairs are used over altered dominant seventh harmony in short II-V-I examples and also on longer 8 measure etudes that feature the all important II-V-I progression in both major and minor keys. The two triad pair sets used are two major triads one whole step apart and two minor triads one whole step apart.

For variety the augmented triad is also used in addition to some four part chords. The sets of triad pairs presented here give the player a concrete approach to achieving great sounding altered dominant sounds coupled with the rich sound of open voiced triads, minor sixth chords and minor major seventh harmony.

All of this is explained in the video and outlined in the musical examples. An analysis of the examples are given on this jazz guitar instructional video to help the player understand the material and to encourage the guitarist to compose and improvise in this style.

Throughout the class tips are given to be able to tap into the triad pairs easily without relying on any intermediate steps that can sometimes interfere with creative flow. This fun and challenging class will surely steer the guitarist down some interesting roads with new chordal twists through weaving melodic lines. Fingerstyle or pick and fingers technique is necessary to be able to play most of the examples.

  • 13 pages of written materials notated in both TAB and standard notation with fingerings.
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 2: Open-Voiced Triads
Contrapuntal Triad Pairs part 2: Open-Voiced Triads 01:33:00

Blues-Part I – Call and Response Class Content | Steve Herberman

The call and response concept is the foundation of the Blues and in this Master Class for all instruments this important concept is examined in-depth. As part of many of the examples there is space for YOU to improvise!

Some of the exercises in this class are appropriate for solo guitar and many are perfect to play with a bassist and with a group.  Issues such as phrasing, dynamics and articulation are discussed along with the following devices: “Verbatim” repetition and fingerings on different octaves, repetition at different pitch levels, keeping track of target tones, improvising in the spaces between chordal hits, mixing single note lines with octaves, 3rd and 6th intervals, and block chords. There are also contrapuntal examples pedals against 8th note and triplet-based lines and some incorporation of tritone-based comping below melodic lines.

Give your blues playing a sense of structure, direction and clarity and get the “big band in your hand” sound together!

  • Running time, 110 Minutes
  • 16 pages of written examples in standard notation and TAB
Blues-Part I - Call and Response
Blues-Part I – Call and Response 01:50:00

Diminished Sounds with Major Triads Class Content | Steve Herberman

The major triads of the symmetrical diminished scale are a treasure trove of modern sounds used for everything from “outside” improvisation to the Blues and beyond. Equally useful for soloing, comping, chord melody playing and composition, achieving fluency with these triads can elevate your improvising to an exciting new level.

Pairing these spicy melodic sounds with the similarly interesting rhythmic devices shown in this class yields a recipe for exciting improvising and composition. Opportunities in using diminished sounds for jazz improvisation are many since they can be used over both diminished chords and dominant sevenths. This class is an in-depth examination of major triad usage in achieving diminished sounds from the symmetrical diminished scale. You’ll learn many ways to negotiate these sounds using both closed and open voiced major triads in all inversions and most every conceivable combination.

The blueprint is given to compose original exercises of your own and includes practice tips and visualization techniques so these sounds can be accessed more easily while improvising.

The class features an original composition “Blues For 4” based on the blues progression with a melody derived from some of the exercises in the class. “Blues For 4” uses Dom.7 13b9 chords as its harmonic foundation yielding all twelve major triads (four major triads from three tonal areas.) The theory is
explained in-depth with equal weight given to all twelve major triads so that you’ll be better prepared to use these sounds over diminished and dominant seventh chords occurring so often in jazz improvisation.

Take the “Diminished Leap” into an exciting new aural territory and have fun exploring!

  • 29 pages of written materials notated in both TAB and standard notation with fingerings.
  • Running Time: 133 minutes
Diminished Sounds with Major Triads
Diminished Sounds with Major Triads 02:12:00

Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman

Lower pedal points can provide a great sense of suspense through harmonic tension. Commonly used for intros, endings, and interludes, lower pedals can aid the musician in finding rich chord substitutions.

Comping can become more interesting when pedals are employed and chord melody playing can sound fuller while adding spice to both contrapuntal and chordal approaches.

Guitarists will find pedal points easy to play when utilizing open strings in the bass register but much trickier when fretted pedals are desired. In this in-depth class on lower pedals, specifically designed exercises will aid in developing a legato technique through utilizing pedals often beneath contrapuntal upper lines in contrary motion.

Written examples outline important chord progressions such as I, VI, II, V, Blues progressions, Rhythm Changes, and an arrangement of John Coltrane’s Naima transposed to allow the use of open lower pedals. The examples prominently feature clusters, triad pairs and quartets, diminished, augmented and melodic minor sounds and quartal harmony.

George Van Eps and Jimmy Wyble were my inspiration for putting this class together. They were both masters at holding down fretted pedals while the upper voices were at play (and masters at much more!) It’s my hope that this class will provide insight into working with lower pedals and help build the technique necessary to get a step or two closer to improvising in this style.

  • 18 pages of written materials notated in both TAB and standard notation with fingerings.
  • Running Time: 162 minutes
Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals
Pedal Points, Part 1: Lower Pedals 02:42:00

II-V-I Motivic Phrases Class Content | Steve Herberman

This six part Master Class utilizes some useful tricks in aiding the guitarist in devising their own motivic II-V-I single note lines. Not only will the lines have a solid structure but the dominant sevenths will contain some spicy altered sounds.

The best part about these concepts is that they are relatively simple to apply to the guitar fingerboard.

The six parts are broken down into using the following scales over II-V-I’s in a structured manner:

Real melodic minor scales, Dorian scales, Minor 6 pentatonic (Coltrane pentatonic) scales, Bebop Dorian scales, Minor 6/diminished (Barry Harris scales) and Harmonic Major scales used over minor II-V-1’s.

The examples are played over a backing track and thoroughly analyzed. Different keys are used to get the player into all positions of the fingerboard.

Check out this fun Master Class on single note line II-V-I lines getting these concepts firmly in your mind and fingers. Your soloing will be filled with some new motivic and exciting altered lines.

  • 12 pages of PDF examples including TAB and standard notation
  • 95 min. running time


II-V-I Motivic Phrases
II-V-I Motivic Phrases 01:36:00

Pedal Points Part 2: Inner Voice Open String Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman

This masterclass will explore the inner (or middle voice) pedal point designated to open strings. Most often pedal points are employed either in the lowest or highest voice of a chord or chord progression. The use of open pedals will not only give the guitarist an “extra finger” but can often create clusters and other interesting effects when used inside of a chord. These exercises can be used as intros/interludes and endings but also as compositional textures for original music. Once the concepts are studied it will be easy to create your own inner open string pedals. The examples range in styles and consonance/dissonance.

Contrary motion never gets old! The PDF examples included with the class lean heavily on contrary motion concepts. Paired with contrary motion are diminished and whole tone exercises and also some parallel motion examples. A blues etude is included as well as George Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm” served up with a variety of open string inner pedals. Triad pairs paired with inner pedals are included as well as altered scale (melodic minor) over altered dominants and odd meter examples. This lesson will offer a great creative charge in working with inner open string pedal points. The next class on this subject (Pedal Points part 3) will continue along this road only with fretted notes, allowing us to explore different keys, fingerings and textures. Dig into inner pedals and learn a useful concept that will inspire creativity and offer some new and exciting textures.

16 pages of PDF examples with TAB and standard notion

Running time: 67 minutes

Pedal points part II 01:07:00

Pedal Points Part 3: Inner-Voice Fretted Pedals Class Content | Steve Herberman

This masterclass explores the inner (or middle voice) pedal point designated to fretted notes. Most often pedal points are employed either in the lowest or highest voice of a chord or chord progression. The use of inner pedals in one’s chordal playing adds a unique and very satisfying sound sometimes with an abstract harmonic underpinning. Working with inner pedals are great for building left hand technique and coordination between left and right hands.

These exercises can be used as intros/interludes and endings but also as compositional textures for original music. Once the concepts are studied it will be easy to create your own inner voice fretted pedals. The examples range in styles and consonance/dissonance. Some of the harmonies are purposely ambiguous yet harmonically interesting. There are a wide variety of pedals used in the examples, many are pedal 5 and pedal 1 but you’ll notice pedal 2 (or 9) and more.

Many of the PDF examples in this class feature contrary motion between the outer two voices in the three-part harmony, a most satisfying sound. There are also chapters on diminished and whole tone exercises, as well as examples of minor blues and dominant blues progressions. Some examples demonstrate finger gymnastics of the fretting hand. The exercises will do wonders for left hand finger dexterity and right and left hand coordination.

The use of inner pedals can open up a whole other realm in one’s playing. Learn a very useful concept that will inspire creativity and offer some new and exciting textures.

  • 14 pages of PDF examples with TAB and standard notion
  • Running time: 80 minutes
Pedal Points Part 3: Inner-Voice Fretted Pedals 01:19:00

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