Useful Resources

This website by supreme guitar maestro Mike Outram, has so much great content for aspiring jazz guitarists. I’ve spent countless hours practising exercises that Mike has posted on here, and I think it did me a lot of good! Click the image to visit the site.

Transcribe! is a great piece of software for transcribing complex jazz solos that you might struggle to figure out by just listening normally. It allows you to loop sections, slow it down, re-tune the audio and much more. I’ve used it many times, and have found it really useful!

The best way to learn a new tune (and chord changes), is to do so by ear from a recording (ideally learning a few different versions), and not by simply looking up the chords in an app… That being said, there are lots of other things that iReal Pro can do to help you improve as a musician, so I would definitely recommend having it as a practise tool.

‘Sølo’ is a great new app which focuses on locating notes through intervallic function on the guitar. This is something that students often struggle with when they are first getting into jazz, and this app does a great job at targeting that issue with super effective exercises.

Sight Reading Factory generates scores that you have to play along with on the spot. This gets as close as I’ve seen to simulating a ‘real-life’ rehearsal situation, which in truth, is the best thing for your sight-reading! What makes this better than most rehearsals, is that you can customise the auto-generated scores to focus on what you need the most work on.

Being able to read rhythm is such an important part of being able to sight-read in general. Get this book, stick on the metronome (slow at first!), play from beginning to the end (not in one sitting!). Repeat. You can also use the pages in this book to practice many other thing, for example: you could take 12 bars of rhythm in the book, and improvise your own notes so create a solo over a blues progression.

The Advancing Guitarist by Mick Goodrick is legendary. So much wisdom, and wit, as well as ideas for things to practise. He doesn’t tell you exactly what to do, but you’ll leave with loads of ideas of what you could be doing!

‘Fundamentals Of Guitar’ is a book that I only got into fairly recently, but I’m glad I did. Don’t let the name fool you! ‘Fundamentals’ doesn’t mean ‘Basic’… A life’s worth of guitar study can easily come from exploring the fundamentals, which is what Miles Okazaki lays out in this book.

The William Leavitt Books have now been used by many generations of aspiring professional guitarists, who have all been trying to play catch-up in the development of skills that their classically trained colleagues had been working at since day 1 of music lessons.

The thing that I have always found most challenging about the music in these books, is the task of staying strictly in position whilst playing the pieces. Even now, many years after first getting my hands on these books, I am still occasionally thrown off by some of the less familiar fingerings that I arrive at through sticking to the position rule. For me, this is the area in which I have learnt the most from this book, even more so than how to sight-read, which is what it is intended for. This, and it’s sequel ‘Advanced Reading Studies For Guitar’, have helped so much in developing my fretboard knowledge.

As well as being a source of great classical studies to sink your teeth into, I have found the pieces in this book to be really useful in practising technique. They are mostly relatively simple, but it is deceptively challenging to play simple things with a great sound, that is consistent, legato, and adheres to dynamics. It’s very easy for jazz guitarists to overlook sound production and focus solely on improvising lines, so I found this book really helped a lot with just getting me to focus on the sound that I was producing with my hands.

This is the go-to book for learning any style of Brazilian Guitar (of which there are many!). It has written out examples to learn, and listening suggestions too so you can hear it in context. Important to check out, even if you’re not trying to be the next João Gilberto!

Ben Monder would allegedly send this pdf whenever someone requested a lesson with him. I’d bet, whoever you are, that this would keep you busy for a long time. And, if you were willing to do the work, it would transform how you visualised harmony on the guitar.

Every musician needs a good metronome! I use Time-Guru, as it has lots of features that allow you to practise a range of different time signatures, and claves.

Harmonomics is the most comprehensive ear training app I have come across. It is particularly good for jazz musicians as it allows you to identify common jazz chords (like Altered, dom7#11 etc.) by ear.

Something that musicians are often told to do is to practise things in all 12-keys. I think this is incredibly useful and has so many benefits, so here is a link to download a pdf containing different cycles that you can use to practise all of your licks/scales/patterns/tunes etc. in all 12 keys.