Jazz, Rock, Blues, Folk, Improvisation



Fingerpicking is a prominent technique in folk music and a great alternative to strumming. While it can be very intricate, it’s common to have the same fingerpicking pattern continue to repeat as the chords change. Here are four of the most common patterns. You’ll hear players like Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and  James Taylor use these all the time.


Common in jazz guitar, chord melodies are a great way to get a birds eye view of a tune as well as a working rendition right off the bat. This will set you up nicely to later add single note improvisation, intro/outro, bass lines, substitutions, and rhythmic freedom. Check out players like Joe Pass, Ted Greene, Jody Fisher, and Pat Metheny to hear some of what can be possible.

Chord Melody

Whenever you have a chord whose bass note is a note other than the root, you have a slash chord. Changing the bass note can alter the sound of any chord in a remarkable way! Here’s an introduction to some of the possibilities...

Slash Chords

Over my past 20 years of teaching I’ve created over 2,000 pages of original, custom lessons material, which has been edited and upgraded through the course of over 30,000 lessons. All printed material is provided in lessons, no books necessary! In addition to the included written material, audio of the lesson (song) is available online via the many online music streaming sites, or on iTunes (if the student wishes to purchase the song). A video of myself performing the material at a slower tempo is also available on youtube, with an explanation of anything the student had trouble with during the lesson also included on video. Check below for samples of both the written material and video. So that gives you a very experienced teacher, written material, digital audio, and video! Feel free to call (503)893-2525 or click here to ask any questions or to sign up for lessons.

all written material, audio, and video is included with lessons


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The ii V I is the most common chord progression in jazz. As a jazz guitarist, the more ways you can voice this progression the more you can contribute as an accompanist. Below are 12 variations, all in the key of G. Play through them and mark your favorites, then start putting them into tunes right away.

ii V I Variations

Intervals are the building blocks of music! An understanding of chords, scales, and harmony in general is dependent on a thorough knowledge of intervals. Being able to identify them on your instrument, as well as by ear, is key...

Fingering Exercises

These fingering exercises are great for both the fretting and picking hand. Use a metronome along with alternate picking and you’ll have a warm up exercise that will also help push your technique forward. One warning: since you won’t actually play these exercises in a real life performance, it’s important not to spend too much time on these. Five or ten minutes would be great and well worth it!

Read an interview

with Jonathan

Sample Guitar Lessons Written Material



An interview with Jonathan that touches base on what made him start playing guitar, practice tips, and more about guitar. Lots of guitar... Originally taken from a Workshop Live interview, around 2006.

Below are examples of some of the concept handouts used in lessons in PDF format. All lessons follow the following format: 1) Present the concept, 2) Illustrate the concept with a real life example, 3) Provide printed material, audio and video for the examples. The examples are typically songs by the artists you love. A book is in the works... Download the material below for your own personal study.

Sample Guitar Lessons Video Material

Sample Play Along Tracks

An important part of working on improvising is being able to hear your ideas over the chord changes in the song, being able to play in time, and gaining confidence keeping track of what bar you’re on. Playalong tracks are a perfect practice tool! Most of the tracks have multiple tempos and arrangements. There’s currently over 600 tracks available for students and I’m creating more all the time!

All the videos used in our lessons are online and available in one easy to find place! Since the videos are for students only (they aren't searchable on YouTube), being a current student in lessons is the only place to get them. It's a great way to see and hear exactly what your lesson material looks and sounds like. Each video plays the guitar part at a slower tempo and exactly as written on the page.

Rock/Blues Guitar Solos

The main reason to work on scales is improvisation. By exploring guitar solos of the masters you’ll see how these scales are put to use as well as moving your own technique and ability forward. Here’s a few examples featuring Clapton, Hendrix, B.B. King, and Slash.


Working on a concept (chords, rhythm, scales, technique, theory, etc.) through real life examples (songs) is the best way to learn the fundamentals of the guitar. Check out a few sample songs used in lessons here.

Jazz Guitar Solos

One of the best ways to move your improvisation abilities forward to is to study transcriptions of the great jazz musicians. And not just the guitarists, great players of any instrument. Here are a few samples featuring Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, George Benson, Pat Martino, and John Coltrane.