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.
There may be opportunities for class members to perform at one of the Student Concerts that takes place on the evening of the final class of each half-term.

Safety Information
We want to keep you safe while you are at RHACC and as such all on-site classes will have additional hygiene procedures in place, as per government guidelines. Please note that if guidance changes, we may need to make changes to your course, such as reducing numbers attending onsite, or in the event of lockdown, postponing or moving the course online. Please act responsibly and do not attend the class if you display any of the symptoms of Covid-19 or have been in recent contact with someone who has. Please see government advice here.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for this course you must be 19 or over on the start date of the course.

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 .


Remote Learning:
Some of our courses are now delivered through remote learning, including video conferencing (using Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype) and email contact with your tutor.

If your course is indicated as an ONLINE COURSE, you will need either a PC (with a camera and microphone), laptop, tablet, smartphone and access to the internet to be able to join the lessons. Lessons will run at the published time – so be ready and set up to join in.

We hope you will enjoy this new approach to learning – many of our learners have commented on how they are enjoying the classes and have improved their IT and digital skills in the process.

Please don't worry if some of this is new to you - you are not alone! See here for guidance on how to use our simple software. If you are experiencing any problems with connection or installing software for your online class please contact our eLearning support team via the Student Intranet Portal: We are here to help you.