Main Subject Guitar Jazz & Pop 2

Module code
Curricular domain
Practical Classes
Group size
Number of course weeks
Class duration
One 50-minute lesson per week
Total contact hours
25 hours
Study load
339 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Guitar main subject year 2.
See Competencies Matrix.
Further 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 Content.
Relation to other modules
The subjects of the main subject lessons are in line with the partly self-chosen band lessons, theory lessons such as analysis, study projects, etc.

Posture: further stabilizing the acquired playing posture in order to always be able to play with a naturally relaxed and deliberate posture.

Analysis of pieces: recognizing recurring musical structures in jazz standards, harmonic clichés, common chord sequences, and different types of modulations.

Advanced and in-depth study of tone production and sound.

Applied harmony theory; solfège in relation to the instrument; transposing chord progressions and melodies;

presentation skills;

tonal imagination;

rhythm, meter and tempo;

training; listening to examples.

Coaching the student in various musical enterprises, including professional and organizational issues.

Gaining knowledge of the uses of technical equipment, amplifiers, effects, sound technology in various styles, distortion/overdrive, and sound processing (incl. hardware).

Acquiring a general overview and working knowledge of the quality and properties of commercially available equipment and instruments.


Pick technique: practicing the various pick techniques; alternate picking; overhang, combined with legato techniques, resolving problems and exceptions, bending;

perfecting left/right coordination, all common scales in the minor and major tonalities, more complexly-structured licks, harmonic minor and melodic minor scales, blues scale, whole-tone scale, octatonic, all minor, major and dominant pentatonic scales (practiced in various sequences), major second, major third, perfect fourth, minor/major sixth, using these on the guitar in a harmonic and modal context (alt, lyd7, maj7#5, etc.), practicing ready playing skills pertaining to jazz and fusion repertoire, including minor blues, Parker blues, rhythm changes, conscious use of different harmonic colors, such as altered, octatonic, whole-tone, mixo#11, lydian;

Specific pop concepts: all the other scales used in 'sophisticated' pop music (Steely Dan, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Frank Zappa).

Specific pop techniques: sweep picking, muting, tapping, extended arpeggios.


Advanced study of various chord systems, applying these in a varied repertoire and different styles, developing the expressive and improvisation aspects of accompanying (incl. choosing voicings and inversions), counterpoint and parallel harmony, using upper structures, sus-voicings, phrygian voicings;

using the scale degrees of melodic minor voicings, arpeggiated tetrads with fingerings, exploring modal tonalities, octatonic with voicings shifted over a minor third, whole-tone harmony, tritone subsitution;

practicing the writing of melody chord arrangements and chord solos; using counterparts; recital practice; difficulty level: Lush Life, Body and Soul, I'm Old Fashioned, Monk's Mood.

Walking bass accompaniment.

Specific pop techniques: open strings, movable chord shapes, power chord riffs, Jimi Hendrix-style fills (Little Wing), diatonic chord tone enclosure, funk rhythms, double stops, other tunings.


Developing different techniques of playing at sight: Solar, Bluesette.

Reading after preparation: bebop themes like Donna Lee, Anthropology in a medium tempo; fusion themes like Chromazone by Mike Stern or Techno by John Scofield.

Transposing, changing keys/octaves while reading.

Chord progressions with rhythm notation.

Playing a prima vista accompaniment over a simple chord progression;

melodic lines in different meters and keys with a difficulty level ranging from simple to complex.

Reading vertically: written chord solos, harmonized guitar arrangements, solos for two instruments.


Transcribing, analyzing, and playing along with themes, chord progressions and solos by guitarists, brass musicians and pianists in various styles, e.g., Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, Pat Martino, John Scofield, Scot Henderson, Allan Holdsworth, Jimmy Rainey, and Charlie Parker.


Applying all the elements described under Technique.

Developing a sense of rhythm and timing in various grooves (jazz, rock, Latin).

Intuitive improvisation.

Motivic improvisation, developing a motif, creating lines, horizontal playing over chord changes, rhythmic shifts.

Solo construction and musical tension curve.

Recognizing chord progressions, singing bass lines, use of silence, stop chorus, continuing to follow a theme with the inner ear.

Composing and writing solos.


Studying and memorizing a broad and representative repertoire (scores and recordings) in various styles, including jazz standards like All the Things You Are, Stella by Starlight, The Song is You; bebop pieces: Confirmation, Donna Lee, rhythm changes, modal pieces like Minuano 6/8,Protocosmos, fusion pieces Techno, Chromazone, Latin pieces like Triste, and self-written compositions.

Developing style-specific skills: timing, microtiming, interpretation, phrasing, rhythm.

Independently studying pieces in various styles and performing them from memory with the appropriate stylistic techniques. Recognizing the most important jazz and fusion guitarists by ear and describing the features of their playing styles.

Playing more complex pop songs.

Forms: studying more complex musical forms, with idiosyncratic numbers of bars, combined meters, etc.
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual main subject lessons, group lessons focused on a single theme and guest teachers.
Material & Tools
Study material indicated by the instructor (reading, accompanying, harmonization, analyses, theory, chord, scale and arpeggio studies, schemes, etc.).

Technical Exam syllabus.


William Leavitt: Melodic Rhythms For Guitar;

Howard Roberts: Sight Reading;

William Leavitt: Reading Studies For Guitar, part 3;

(New) Real Books, Charlie Parker: Omnibook.


Mel Bay: Complete Book of Jazz Guitar Lines and Phrases;

Les Wise: Bebop Bible;

Jerry Coker: Patterns for Jazz;

Howard Roberts: Guitar Compendium;

Prolicks (Jazz Rock).


Peter O'Mara: Chordal Concept for Jazz Guitar;

Mick Goodrich: The Advancing Guitarist.
Student activity
Self-assessment/study plan: learning to identify changes in the individual study aims in time and choosing new individual study aims where necessary.

Organizing a performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the annual Jazz & Pop guitar student concert; independently organizing a performance (five pieces) as part of the transition exam 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

This study year prepares students through weekly lessons for the audition at the end of the second year; the courses focus both on the teaching of advanced musical/technical skills and the development of the student's individual musical identity.