Mark Boling

Jazz guitar and improvisation lesson materials are posted below for free download.

At the bottom of this page, I have included a list of music books that have been most helpful to me.

Ten Recommended Solos for Transcription This sheet also includes some tips for the transcription process.



II-V-I Voice-leading Here are some common ways to voice-lead II-V-I progressions. Notice that the V7 chord may be altered in the major key II-V-I. The V7 chord is usually altered in the minor key II-V-I.





Drop 2 and Drop 3 Seventh Chord Voicings “Drop 2” and “drop 3” voicings are some of the most common in jazz guitar comping. To create a drop 2, take a four-part close voicing in any inversion, and drop the second note from the top down an octave. This creates a bigger gap between the top note and the next note down the voicing, accentuating the top (melody) note. To create a drop 3, take a four-part close voicing in any inversion, and drop the third note from the top down an octave. This creates a bigger gap between the bottom note and the next note up the voicing, accentuating the bottom (bass) note. Drop 2 and drop 3 voicings should be learned in all inversions and all roots for the following chords types: Minor 7, Half-Diminished 7, Major 7, Dominant 7, and Diminished 7.



Voicing/Arpeggio/Scale Here is an integrated approach to learning chord voicings, arpeggios, and scales on the guitar fretboard. There are two PDF files; one with the chord roots on the 5th string, and another with the roots on the 6th string.




Voicing/Arpeggio/Bebop Scale These sheets offer a fretboard overview of how to get started with metrically aligned chord-scales. In bebop scales, an extra chromatic passing tone is added in order to keep chord tones on the downbeat and passing tones on the upbeat when playing in 8th notes or 16thnotes.








Eight Ways to Practice Diatonic Intervals  These excercises help develop familiarity with scales that is very important for improvisation. The variations with chromatic approaches are especially helpful.


Open String Picking Exercises These tremelo excercises are great for loosening up the right hand. they will also help with feeling all the various subdivisions of the pulse.



24 Left Hand Fingering Combinations Great for developing left hand dexterity.




Almanac of Guitar Voice-Leading
by Mick Goodrick, pub. Liquid Harmony Books

Approaching the Guitar
by Gene Bertoncini, pub. Kjos

Creative Comping Concepts for Jazz Guitar
by Mark Boling, pub. Mel Bay

Effortless Mastery
by Kenny Werner, pub. Aebersold

Elements of the Jazz Language
by Jerry Coker, pub. CPP/Belwin

Exploring Jazz Guitar
by Jim Hall, pub. Hal Leonard

Free Play
by Stephen Nachmonovitch, pub. G. P. Putnams Sons

Inside Improvisation Series (vol. 1-6)
by Jerry Bergonzi, pub. Advance Music

Sheets of Sound for Guitar
by Jack Zucker, pub.

The Advancing Guitarist
by Mick Goodrick, pub. Hal Leonard

The Brazilian Guitar Book
by Nelson Faria, pub. Sher Music Co.

The Jazz Theory Workbook
by Mark Boling, pub. Advance Music