Here’s a short video on how to learn most effectively from MortensLessons.com:
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WHERE TO START
Suggested Path for MortensLessons.com Students
Although MortensLessons.com is a kind of À La Carte site, where you pick and choose whatever lessons that interest you the most, I know a lot of students have trouble knowing where to start. So here are some of my thoughts about that, and a suggested order that you could study in.
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1. THE BASICS SECTION
Unless you already are an advanced player, I suggest that you start with the BASICS section.
The BASICS section has one purpose, and that is to teach you the fundamentals that you build everything else on for the rest of your playing days. It will give you an understanding of the nuts and bolts of the instrument, so that you can really benefit from, and have a lot of fun with the more advanced lessons.
Here is my suggested order for this section:
1. BASICS – TECHNIQUE
These are just introductory lessons talking about the different technical approaches to playing the guitar. You probably know a lot of it, and so this should be a pretty quick section to get through.
2. BASICS – FRETBOARD KNOWLEDGE
This section simply drills you on the note names on all the notes on every string up to the 12th fret. (It repeats above that.)
‼️ I do suggest you do this course as soon as possible. However, you should not put off studying anything else while you do it, it’s perfect to go on with the next basic section right away, and do the fretboard knowledge drills for just a few minutes a day in between other lessons.
3. BASICS – SCALES
First in this section, check out the three pentatonic lessons. I know you probably know the pentatonic scale, but these lessons have been an eye-opener for many a player.
Second, check out the Modes Drilling course. This course is SUPER essential for understanding of any harmonic theory later on, as you’ll see that every formula we use later on, both on chords and scales, relates to the major scale, and this course will walk you through that, and at the same time expose your ear to the sounds of the different modes.
The Melodic Minor Drilling Course you could also do now, or save for later, that’s up to you. If you’re new to jazz, maybe you ear needs some time before starting to hear these sounds clearly.
4. BASICS- ARPEGGIOS
The Arpeggios Drilling Course will teach you the basics of arpeggios, and how they are built. Understanding arpeggios is so important in jazz, so this course also is absolutely essential.
The Extended Arpeggios section is pretty short, you could do it now, or save it for later.
5. BASICS – CHORDS
This section has three courses: Jazz Comping For Beginners, Chord Extension and Tritone Subs. You should work through all these courses, this is absolute essential knowledge that you need in order to move on from the BASICS section.
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2. THE ADVANCED SECTION
You know the expression «The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know»?
Well, isn’t it great that there always something new to learn in music? It really is a never-ending journey, and you’ll always find inspiration to find something new to say on your instrument.
This is what the lessons in the advanced section really are all about – inspiration for you to find new things to play, and new ways to express yourself.
The ADVANCED section almost could be summed up in three words:
Expand. Musical. Vocabulary.
By learning and analyzing the musical examples, you’ll get a deeper understanding of improvised music, and one that can not be learned any other way than by DOING.
ADVANCED SOLOING CONCEPTS
This is where I recommend you start in the ADVANCED section.
In this section I recommend that you start from the top with the very important “Developing Speed And Groove Oriented Phrasing”, which will lay a strong foundation for just about everything we do in advanced soloing. “Essential Jazz Vocabulary” is a great way to jazz up your playing if you’re new to jazz, and the «Superimposing» course, will REALLY deepen your understanding of tension/release in jazz. Continue to work your way through the rest of this section too.
‼️These are all essential concepts, and I guarantee that the content in these lessons will absolutely blow you away, and give you truly amazing feelings of really having understood more and more secrets of the jazz language.
I know this, both because this is what the content in these lessons have done for me, and because of what students have told me that they did for them.
That said, don’t feel that you have to stay in this section until you complete it –
that could very well take you several years! You can go back and forth from this section to any other section, or study several lessons simultaneously if you like that.
FLUID PHRASING – TASTEFUL SWEEPS
This section is a 30 part course that will take you from the very basics of sweep picking, all the way to where you can start using the technique without even thinking about it, just to play a musical idea.
I strongly recommend spending the time to complete this course, as it will open up so many doors with regards to executing so many great musical ideas!
In this section we learn from the masters, by transcribing their improvised solos, analyze it, and try to use those ideas in our own soloing. Obviously here you pick the guitarist that you are most interested in first.
When you really dig into these lessons, you probably will be surprised to find out how much artists that you would think of as very different have in common! It’s the universal musical language of jazz, heavily rooted in the blues.
Don’t forget about comping! This section you can also do from top to bottom, they are all essential lessons.
Studying the standards is mandatory, and an important «common ground» for all jazz musicians. In this section we go through a lot of them, and look at different approaches for soloing on them.