Main Subject Guitar Jazz & Pop 0

Module code
Curricular domain
Practical Classes
n/a, this module is not part of the Bachelor's curriculum
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 45-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
23 hours
Study load

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop guitar main subject preparatory course.
See Competencies Matrix.
Developing the technical aspects of the students' musicianship in the broadest sense of the word, as well as stimulating their musical awareness and personal taste in music. Students will be able to play the pieces described under Content or similar material (self-chosen pieces, other genres) with a band and to improvise over the pieces, demonstrating their ability to incorporate more complex structures with respect to harmony, melody, rhythm and musical form. For more detailed descriptions and examples, see Contents.
Relation to other modules
The level of instrument proficiency is consistent with the level of the preparatory course band lessons; the ear skills are in line with the preparatory course theory lessons.

Posture: introducing the main playing postures, making adjustments where necessary, preventing unwanted muscle tension.

Understanding simple harmonic progressions.

Understanding the use of the guitar, amplifier and effects.

Solf├Ęge in relation to the instrument: intervals and chords, singing in tune with the guitar, playing what you hear, reproducing by ear.

Studying effectively.

Tonal imagination, singing themes/rhythms, phrasing.

Training in rhythm, meter and tempo; developing a sense of tempo by using a metronome and drum computer, rhythmic techniques and patterns, different meters, parts of bars, accents, syncopation, groove, laid back.

Listening to examples: input, reference.


Pick technique: playing a simple melody (after a brief preparation) with alternate picking.

Left hand: introduction in playing positions; mastering the system of closed and open positions; effectively fingering a simple melody, posture.

Pick technique: introduction to alternate picking, developing tone production, articulation and dynamics.

Basic understanding of the different scales: playing the major scales on call in simple sequences and arpeggiated triads and tetrads, also over simple chord progressions.

Specific pop concepts: horizontal and vertical scale positions of the minor pentatonic (blues) scale (blues, rock, funk);

Specific pop techniques: bending, pre-bending, vibrato, hammer-ons and pull-offs.


Using simple triads (root, third, seventh) in logical progressions and with effective use of rhythm (swing, Latin); also with extensions.

Using basic drop 2 and drop 3 voicings in natural progressions and with effective use of rhythm (swing, Latin, funk).


Playing simple Real Book pieces a prima vista (level of complexity: Satin Doll, In a Sentimental Mood) and in different octaves; playing a simple chord progression at sight, indication of difficulty level: William Leavitt: Melodic Rhythms for Guitar.


Acquiring an understanding of melody and solo development.

Effectively and consciously using expressive techniques: rhythm and timing, dynamics, articulation, use of motifs, tonal density, pitch, tonal color.


Studying representative pieces in genres like (jazz) blues (Sonnymoon for Two, Billie's Bounce), pieces with simple II-V-I progressions (Tune Up, Solar, You Don't Know What Love Is), modal pieces (So What, Cantaloupe Island, The Chicken), and pop songs.

Developing the corresponding idiom and style-specific skills, e.g., swing, Latin and funk rhythms and licks.
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons and group lessons focused on a single theme.
Material & Tools
Study material indicated by the instructor (reading, accompanying, harmonization, analyses, theory, chord, scale and arpeggio studies, schemes, etc.).

Reading skills: William Leavitt: A Modern Method For Guitar (vols 1 & 2), and Melodic Rhythms;

Real Books;

Jamey Aebersold: Play-a-Longs;

Videos: Frank Gambale: Modes No More Mystery; Scott Henderson: Melodic Phrasing; Les Wise: Bebop Bible.
Student activity
Independently organizing a performance (three pieces) in the context of the entrance audition.

Examination and assessment

Mode(s) of assessment
Assessment by the main subject instructor at the end of each semester.
The student should have mastered the elements described under Aims. Specific criteria are: creativity, expression, improvisation, technique, sound, intonation, timing, reading skills, repertoire knowledge, progress, self-reflection, session participation, attitude and lesson preparation.
Pass requirements
The student has completed this module if he is awarded a minimum grade of 5.5 at the end of the second semester.
Examination procedure
At the end of both semesters the instructor fills out an assessment form designed specifically for this module. Assessment is comprised of a verbal evaluation and a concluding grade. The instructor reviews this assessment with the student during the first subsequent lesson. Assessment at the end of the autumn semester is formative and expressed in terms of satisfactory/unsatisfactory. It indicates a student's progress in this module. No ECs are awarded and there is no resit. Modules can only be absolved, and ECs awarded, after the end of the spring semester.
Resit options
See the Education and Assessment Plan.

Module summary

The preparatory year is intended to prepare students through weekly lessons for the entrance exam of the main subject course.