Main Subject Guitar Jazz & Pop 4

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
451 hours

Form / content / level

Admitted to the ArtEZ Jazz & Pop Guitar main subject year 4.
See Competencies Matrix.
Achieving the predetermined technical completion level, learning to independently resolve musical/technical problems and showcasing an individual musical taste which is translated to a personal playing style. The student demonstrates that through independent and in-depth study and exploration he is able to develop a solid musical identity and personality. He will be able to independently prepare the final audition and demonstrate an effective stage presentation.
Relation to other modules
The contents of the main subject lessons are for the most part tailored to the final audition, and may be related to e.g., Arranging or Band Coaching.

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

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


Developing and refining a playing style attuned to the student's individual preferences and abilities.

Studying the use of different techniques and playing concepts in individual musicians' styles; further developing the use of individual tonal colors on the instrument; rehearsal of all technical elements of previous years, where relevant.


Continued study of reading sheet music at sight in different styles and difficulty levels; themes, big band parts, chord progressions, guitar arrangements.


Transcribing, analyzing and playing along with solos by the student's favorite guitarists (e.g., Scofield, Metheny, Frisell, Rosenwinkel, Holdsworth); adapting other instrument solos (e.g., piano or saxophone) for guitar.


Further in-depth study of individual improvisation concepts in accompaniment and solos; modal techniques (expert level); using outside playing; free techniques; playing with motifs; rhythm changes and blues in all keys;

standards in different keys;

complex chord progressions in up-tempo pieces (e.g., standards by Coltrane and fusion pieces by Holdsworth, Henderson, etc.).


Composing an effective final exam program.

Choosing and studying a repertoire attuned to the student's individual preferences and skills (this includes pieces composed by the student).

Acquiring performance-ready knowledge of pieces in a broad and varied stylistic range (of which ca. 50 standards are memorized) and arranged for different instrument combinations (e.g., solo, trio).
Mode(s) of instruction
Individual lessons & occasional group lessons.
Material & Tools
Various real books, transcription books (e.g., by Scofield, Metheny, Stern) Aebersold Play-a-Longs, various software tools (e.g., iRealbook, Band-in-a-Box or Garage Band/Cubase/Logic, transcription software (e.g., Transcribe, Amazing Slow Downer); sheet music and recordings of the self-chosen repertoire.
Student activity
Self-assessment: based on their own musical preferences, students choose individual study focuses and aims, while learning to keep an open mind towards incorporating new influences in their playing.

Organizing a performance (band, repertoire, rehearsals) as part of the annual Jazz & Pop guitar student concert. This performance may be used to try-out elements of the final exam. Independently organizing and performing the final 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, attitude and class 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 module is intended to prepare students through weekly lessons for the final audition exam, with particular attention for the development of musical and technical skills required to perform the final exam program. Attention will also be paid to matters directly related to the final audition, including (but not limited to) composing a good performance program and stage presentation.