Jazz Guitar - Intermediate

If you are a guitarist who is already competent in other styles, or has recently started to play jazz, this course will equip you with the basic technical skills and musical knowledge for playing jazz on the guitar.

The course is "hands-on", designed to help you develop your guitar technique and expand your knowledge of chords, scales, arpeggios and melodic patterns on the guitar. From the start you will learn to play jazz tunes - their chord progressions and melodies - and begin to improvise on them. You will receive guidance in developing your improvisation, accompaniment and performance skills and an understanding of music theory. We also study the work of the major jazz guitarists and other leading jazz artists.

Course Content

Your course will have a practical focus and offer you opportunities to learn and further develop your jazz guitar skills
Topics will include:

1. Basic chords for jazz guitar: Major; minor; dom.7; major 7; minor 7; half-diminished; dim.7; chord embellishment: maj 6; maj 7th; maj 9; 6/9
2. Chord voicings for common progressions: 11,V7,1; 111,V1,11,V7; etc.
3. Basic music theory for the jazz musician: Intervals; Cycle of 5ths; Harmonising the major scale; chord/scale relationships.
4. To identify and play common rhythms.
5. Basic scales – Major, minor, pentatonic in several positions and fingerings; Scale variations e.g. scale in 3rds; scale in broken 7th chords.
6. Major, minor and 7th chord arpeggios over 1 octave and 2 octaves with inversions.
7. “4-in-the-bar” rhythm guitar style: using 3-note and 4-note chord voicings.
8. To play chords, melodies, chord melodies, accompaniments and to improvise on several jazz standards such as the following: 12-bar blues (in F major); 12-bar blues (in Bb major); Honeysuckle Rose; Perdido; I Got Rhythm; Sweet Georgia Brown; Saint Thomas; Pennies From Heaven; One Note Samba; Yardbird Suite; Take the “A” Train; Satin Doll, Blue Bossa, Nuages, Autumn Leaves, It Had To Be You, Oh Lady Be Good, All of Me, Scrapple from the Apple, There Is No Greater Love.
Each term the class combines with the jazz piano class and additional bass and drums to practically explore the pieces you have learned as a group.

Entry Requirements

You will have played guitar for at least two years and have a good basic working knowledge of the guitar including chords and scales and be able to accompany songs, pick out melodies, etc. You will probably have some practical playing experience. This course is not for beginners on the guitar. Level 1 literacy is an advantage as handouts will be distributed at different times to reinforce learning.

First Class Requirements

Notebook, pencil and music stand if you own one.

Attendance Requirements

Attendance throughout the course will help you gain maximum benefit from the course.

Assessment Methods

There is no formal assessment on this course although you will be able to identify individual goals and later reflect on your development. Your tutor will assess your learning and progress through the practical nature of the classes.

Further Study Options

You may wish to progress to further practical jazz courses at RACC.

Additional Information

If you require further course information or advice and guidance that is not answered in this outline please email

If you would like general information about the college, for example, fees and finance, funding, term dates or opening times please email or drop in to our main reception area.

Please note that whilst most of the classes in your course will be classroom based, the final session of the course may be in the form of a cross college jazz concert evening and so may not be on the same day and time of your course .