Jazz Guitar – Finger Board Notes

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 72,996
    Expert guitarist Dan Leonard demonstrates the most common chord forms for jazz guitar.

    Dan Leonard

    Guitarist Dan Leonard has been a full time performer and teacher since 1987. He has taught hundreds of students jazz, blues and rock improvisation; from intermediates to working professionals. Over the years he has distilled his approach into the basis for his forthcoming instructional book “Organizing the fretboard for improvisation”. Dan began his career playing in regional rock bands. After studying classical guitar and composition in college he turned his focus to jazz, which is where it has stayed to this day. He is currently guitarist with Blind Pig recording artist Deanna Bogart as well as leader of The Dan Leonard Trio. His first solo recording “Time Alone” was released in 2000 with the follow-up, “The Middle Path” due out in the fall. His many performances include The Vaison Jazz Festival in France, The Monterey Blues Festival and The Clearwater Jazz Festival.

    Dan Leonard: Hi! I am Dan Leonard and welcome to how to play jazz guitar.

    Ill start with a little background about myself. I studied classical guitar and composition in college and jazz privately with several really good teachers. I myself have been teaching for 25 years and performing for just a little less than that. I currently divide my time between teaching and performing in the Washington DC area.

    So, lets get stated. Due to the broad nature of this topic, I am going to be focusing in on the basic tools that you all need to know to get started playing Jazz Guitar, Ill be covering chords, scales, arpeggios, some techniques and talking a little bit about practicing as well. Ill mention here that some knowledge of the instrument and a basic understanding of music theory will help you get the most out of this video.

    Were going to start by showing you how to learn all the notes on the fingerboard. Probably the most thorough way to do this is to work through a Method Book that covers reading in every position, thats a great way to do it. But even if you dont read music, herere a couple of things you can do to familiarize yourself with all the notes on the neck.

    Isolating single strings and practicing scales, well start with a C, Major scale, thats all the natural notes, no sharps or flats. You want to find C; well start on the high E string, find the note C and then learn the whole scale up-and-down that string and youre going to want to name the notes as you go. So, weve got C D E F G A B C, and as you work backwards B A G F E D C, go all the way as low as you can to the open string; B A G F and E.

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    You want to do that on every string and through repetition you want to do that and so you have a pretty good idea of where all those notes are.

    A second exercise you can do to cross reference with that is to pick an individual note. Lets take the note B for instance, and find it; you want to find that one note everywhere you can on the neck. So, you want to start by finding it as low on the neck as possible. There is a B here at the second fret of the A string, and then you can use octaves to find all the other locations. You can go up one octave to this B on the G string at the fourth fret and then using an octave, you can find B on the high E string at the seventh fret, and on the seventh fret, the low E string you have another B, and then an octave up from that on the D string at the ninth fret and an octave up from that at the 12th fret up to B string and you have another B, and of course, you have the open B.

    So, those are all the note locations for the note B up to the 12th fret and you can repeat the process in the higher octave as well.

    So, if you do that exercise in conjunction with a single string, C Major scale exercise, once again through repetition, you should get a really good idea of where those notes are and to improvise jazz, its really crucial that you are very familiar with all those note locations.