Truefire Lessons – There are a variety of ways to approach improvising when playing solo jazz guitar. Some players intersperse melodies with their chords, and some might play long sections of single-note lines without any supporting harmony.
We’re thrilled to welcome Tim Lerch to the TrueFire family with his first interactive video guitar masterclass covering his unique and creative approaches to jazz improv.
“The approach that’s always been near and dear to my heart is crafting an improvisation that maintains the elements of bass, rhythm, harmony, and melody — all resulting in an orchestral effect with lush chord changes, soulful melodies, and a nice groovy pulse throughout.
Imagine you’re accompanying a singer in a duo or you’re playing a solo arrangement and after you’ve played the theme, and now it’s time for you to improvise. What do you do then? You need a deep palette of meaningful melodic material and a variety of harmonic options to keep the song swinging and feeling great. That’s exactly what I’ll share with you here in this edition of Solo Jazz Pathways.”
Tim has organized this course into short sections, each of which presents creative ways to approach improvising over commonly encountered jazz progressions while keeping the chords ringing and the groove swinging. Each section includes an improvised performance illustrating a real-world application of each concept.
We’ll start with a focus on the most essential changes in jazz, the two five one progression in the key of C. We’ll work on chordal improv approaches for a two five one six in D. Then we’ll flip things around with a set of lessons focusing on the one six two five progression in Eb. There’s a minor two five set in D. Then we’ll focus on Jazz Blues in Bb.
In section 6, Tim takes you through an inversion crash course highlighting options for some of the most commonly encountered changes in jazz. Then, you’ll dig into some flat five subs and tricks for getting more juice out of the changes to the standard, All the Things You Are.
Section 7 highlights chordal improv approaches for longer and more sophisticated, but popular jazz progressions. And finally, Tim wraps up the course by giving you five solo jazz performance studies where he’ll improvise melodies and talk about some of the ways he approaches the changes to the classic standards such as Georgia on My Mind, Autumn Leaves, Body & Soul, Alone Together, and last but not least, you’ll play a funky, gospel original called, “Can I get an Amen?”
Tim will explain and demonstrate all of the key concepts and approaches along the way. You’ll get standard notation and tabs for all of the performance studies. Plus, you’ll be able to use TrueFire’s learning tools to sync the tab and notation to the video lesson. You can also loop or slow down the videos so that you can work with the lessons at your own pace. All of the backing tracks are included to work with on your own as well.
Grab your guitar and find your pathways with Tim Lerch!