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Imagine Taking Jazz Guitar Lessons From a Pro

If you are passionate about learning to play jazz guitar we can help. If you already play and want to play what you hear instead of just what you know, we can help. We have some of the best Jazz Guitar Lessons online. Tom Dempsey has proven himself to be a great Jazz Guitarist.

We also offer beginning and intermediate guitar lessons, as well as, lessons in every genre of music. Classes are offered in Accoustic, Blues, Country, Bass, Rock, and Jazz. Click here. 

Are you ready for this? The First Steps For Beginners is FREE. You read it right. The First Steps to learning to play guitar are FREE.

We love supporting companies that provide music lessons and support for people who want to learn to play instruments or musicians who want to improve their skills at a reasonable price

Jazz Guitarist From Way Back

Larry Warfield and I have both been musicians since our early years. Larry S. Warfield, got his first guitar at age 10. Read about his early adventures on “The Old Guitar Was Good For Something But Not Much.” He started learning to play jazz when he was 13. One of his first endeavors was learning to play Kenny Burrell’s “Chittlins Con Carne” on Kenny Burrell’s album “Midnight Blue.”  

While attending the University of Oregon, he played with “The Soulful Six“, later named “COAL”. He played with the jazz band  “Gow Dow” in Southern California.

I started learning to play piano at age 4. My teacher had to teach me the alphabet before doing much with music. In junior high I switched to trumpet. Louis Armstrong was my music hero.

The Jazz Music Experience

Jazz music is an exceptional style of music because of the way it plays on the listeners emotions. The improvisation of jazz creates a wide range of emotional responses for the listener.

The Jazz style is abstract and contemplative, which is usually associated with a relaxing, mellow mood. The beautiful harmonies, syncopated rhythms plus the improvisation can create a very soothing experience for the listener. But, that is just one of the moods that jazz music can evoke within the listener.

Research has shown that listening to jazz music promotes creative and abstract thinking. It improves the listeners cognitive processing and imagination. Studies also show the positive effects of jazz on memory and recall. When a person is energetic and optimistic, listening to jazz helps them come up with new and innovative ideas.

While working with young jazz soloists, Miles Davis once said, “Play what you hear, not what you know.”1 Davis also stated that a satisfying gig happens when the musicians allow their imagination to take over through solo improvisation, rather than patterns they have learned and practiced.1 

We are all fascinated by music creations that happen in-the-moment. That is proven by improv artists like Keith Jarrett or the rapper, Eminem, who regularly perform for packed venues.

Are you ready to take the jazz challenge and learn from the jazz heroes? Click Here. 

1.Thinking in jazz: The infinite art of improvisation by PF Berliner [Google Scholar]

Jazz Guitar Lessons by Tom Dempsey - Jazz Guitar Maestro

“…inventive, straight ahead and swinging.  (Dempsey) shows how creative the modern mainstream of jazz remains in the 21st century. Scott Yanow, Jazz Journalist/Author

Guitarist Tom Dempsey is a definite voice in the big apple jazz scene. He is known for his hard swinging sophistication and pure musicality.  He has performed and recorded with a virtual “Who’s Who” of world renowned jazz musicians.

Tom’s deep commitment to education has made him a highly asked for educator. In recent years he has taught Jazz at Lincoln Center, as well as other universities and music schools in the New York area. Tom also offers Jazz Guitar Lessons online.

As with every musician, Dempsey has a list of other musicians, past and present, who have inspired, influenced and helped shape his distinctive sound and style.

“Tom’s great improvisation and melodic interpretations simply sparkle and are played with wonderful groove, sometimes biting, sometimes bluesy, always on the money. ” Gene Bertoncini, Guitarist

Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Jim Hall, Grant Green, Pat Martino, and Joe Pass are just some of the Guitar Heroes that have greatly influenced Tom Dempsey’s sound. 

One of the most interesting guitar techniques is Wes Montgomery’s signature use of octaves in his solos.

Another unusual technique is Kenny Burrell’s seamless transitions between hard bop and blues. 

Have you heard of motivic development? Jim Hall uses motivic development to make subtle changes in the rhythm or melody to make the music more interesting.

Tom Dempsey also shows you how to use Grant Green’s well crafted lines for beautiful changes. Don’t forget Pat Martino’s virtuosic improvisational approach and masterful solo guitar playing.

In Tom Dempsey’s Jazz Guitar Lessons, he shares a number of the key elements that his Guitar Heroes have passed on to him.

First, he’ll show you some of the techniques and approaches that he picked up from each of them. He’ll play through a series of performance studies for musical context, complete with all of TrueFire’s learning tools to assist you as you play through the lessons.  

Also, you’ll be able to slow the videos so you can work with the teachings at your own pace. All of the backing tracks are also included. 

“Pay close attention to this gem of a course!!  Review by jncinn on 23 Dec 2019

Lightbulbs definitely have gone off right and left for me and I’m still barely halfway though Tom’s phenomenal course!! Don’t think strictly jazz either as many ideas translate excellently into blues!! There’s some discrepancy with some proper chord box diagrams which will be fixed but Mr. Dempsey skillfully and patiently takes us through so many great pertinent chord progressions and the theory behind them. It’s a blast too because it’s already set me on a course of so many new guitar playing horizons!!” Jim C, Read

Great course for developing knowledge of jazz progressions  Review by PaulGuitar101 on 1 Apr 2020

An excellent course that takes you from some simple progressions to some quite sophisticated ones with lots of advice on substitutions and chord options. The logical progress of the lessons means that absorbing new information is relatively easy. Nice encouraging instructor. The backing tracks are excellent for practicing. Recommended.” Review by PaulGuitar101 on 1 Apr 2020J

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Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay

Many “wanna be” guitarists think it looks easy and they can learn it on their own and many do. But developing the best guitar methods requires good instruction which can be taken online. Lessons also cut the learning time.

Many guitarists who are self-taught often develop bad habits that have to be later unlearned. Once it’s a habit, any habit, it’s difficult to shake off or change.

A few years ago, you either learned on your own with the help of books or watched others play on movies or videos. But today is totally different. You now have your choice of online guitar lessons and apps to help you learn.

Now, it’s a matter of choice. Who has the best lesson? Who has the ⁴est price? Where can you get the most help? I support TrueFire for several reasons. One of the main reasons is that they emphasize technique, first and foremost.s

Back To Guitar Lessons

One of the major problems people have with learning an instrument, but especially guitars, is patience. All of the books, videos, and online lessons emphasize taking it slow and thoroughly learning the basics to establish the best guitar methods.

No matter what you are trying to learn, be it an instrument, how to write, or anything else, learning the basics gives you the building blocks to continue and, possibly, be really good.

Many novice guitar players want to start shredding solos right from the start. Trust me, it won’t happen. Learn the basics.

Watch any really good guitarist. Style doesn’t matter. They all have the best guitar methods. They have put in the time and effort to learn the basics.

Best Guitar Methods: Image by Armando Maldonado from Pixabay

Good Ratings

When dealing with any company, local or online, I go by their ratings. I started supporting another company, which I won’t name, but they made it very difficult to quit. One review I read stated that the information received in the first lesson was not helpful.

All of my purchases from TrueFire have met or exceeded my expectations. The beginning lesson in all learning paths, or playing style, is free.

I wasn’t sure when they said it was free. How many times have you gone to order something online that says it’s free, but you have to enter your credit card number or when you get to the bottom line there is shipping & handling?

I started to order something the other day that was touted as being free. When I got to the bottom line shipping & handling was around $40. What’s up with that? When TrueFire says it’s FREE IT’S FREE!!


So you want to learn to play guitar. Are you ready? This ones FREE!!

You did it!!! You’re ready for the next steps. Don’t stop now!! Keep going!!

You have some experience, right? Then this is where you start. You’ll get there quickly!!

TrueFire’s Learning Path system assesses your current level of proficiency and creates a personalized curriculum of video lessons presented by TrueFire’s world-class guitar educators.
Come on!!! Let’s Get you Started

Jazz Guitar Lessons by Tom Dempsey



Guitarist Tom Dempsey is a definite voice in the big apple jazz scene. He is known for his hard swinging sophistication and pure musicality.  He has performed and recorded with a virtual “Who’s Who” of world renowned jazz musicians.

Practice Helps for Success

Download TrueFire’s app to your  device for access to over 50,000 video guitar lessons, 30,000 guitar tabs, and 20,000 jam tracks at your fingertips. 

The 25 Principles of Perfect Practice E-Book (40-page PDF download) should help answer the critical “how to practice” question. Download the  E-Book now.

There are 2 ways to learn: Individual Private Lessons (consultation) or Ongoing Private Lessons. All private lessons are viewed via video messaging. 

Beginner, intermediate or advanced guitar players all advance to the next level quickly with TrueFire’s accelerated, hands-on study plan. There is no reading music or struggling through tedious music theory or boring exercises. 
Still not sure???
The beginning lessons in every music style are FREE!!!
Grab your guitar and get started

Intermediate and Advanced Guitar Lessons

Tom Dempsey
Jazz Guitar Maestro.
Wanted to learn to play Jazz? 

Tim Pierce will teach you to play rock like your favorite rock star.  Got your guitar? Get started

You’re a Blues fan? Jack Ruch will help you add harmonics to your playing. Let’s get started.

There's Lots More...

Best Guitar Methods: Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay
Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay

How to toughen up your fingers.

Yes, your fingers and wrist are going to hurt when you start playing. The higher the action on the guitar, the more pressure it takes to press down the strings. Just about any guitar can have the action adjusted. Take your guitar to a local music shop and have them adjust it.

Adjust your grip on the neck of the guitar. Pressing the strings against the fretboard is hard work and it does make your fingers sore and your wrist ache. As you continue to play it will get better. But here are some tips:

  1. Most beginners press down on the strings too hard. Relax your fingers. Don’t press down so hard. Just make sure the string firmly contacts the fret.
  2. Don’t play with wet fingers.
  3. Hook your thumb over the top of the fretboard to get leverage. This causes you to press the strings more with the flat pad of your finger, rather than your fingertips.
  4. As your fingers toughen up, move your thumb to the back of the neck. This causes you to press the strings with your fingertips, which is more accurate, but harder at first.
  5. Keep your fingernails trimmed. It’s much easier to develop calluses with short nails. Long nails also make it more difficult to get good sound.
  6. Don’t bite, pick, or shave off your hard-earned calluses.
  7. Soak your fingertips in apple cider vinegar for about 30 seconds before and after
  8. Get the right strings. When you’re first learning, light gauge strings are easier to play than medium or heavy gauge. The light strings will cause less soreness. Lightly icing your fingertips before and after playing can also ease the soreness. Topical ointments containing benzocaine, such as toothache cream, can also be applied before and after playing.

Some guitarists use a spot of super glue on their fingertips as a makeshift callus, until they develop their own. If you develop a cut or split in your finger apply New-Skin or some other liquid bandage to seal up the cut until it heals.

Supposedly, Eric Clapton suggests “rubbing your fingertips with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol three times a day for a week or two for beginning guitarists or someone who hasn’t played for a while. Supposedly, this dries out the skins and helps the calluses to develop quicker.”

Your body position

Get a good strap and practice standing.  Yes, it’s harder at first, but when you sit you tend to slouch over the guitar looking at your fingers. If you do this consistently, it will become one of those bad habits you have to break. Always practice standing.

Take it slow

As we mentioned earlier, take it slow. Learn the basics and the best guitar methods. Don’t focus on trying to play fast. Good technique requires accurate fingering and hitting the right notes every time. Be precise with your fingering. The speed will come when you have everything else in place. You won’t have to develop speed it will happen all by itself.

Correct Fingering

Always focus on correct fingering. Don’t try to develop new moves. Stick to the tried and true fingering methods, which will lead to the best guitar methods.

Use a metronome

Image by 955169 from Pixabay

From the beginning, your very first exercise, use a click track or metronome so you develop a good sense of rhythm and timing. When you first start, take it slow. You can adjust the speed on the metronome. The idea is to get used to playing with a steady tempo. Remember, good guitar technique comes first then tempo.

Disciplined Practice

Make sure you practice some every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes. Pick up your guitar and practice the last lesson. The calluses won’t develop if your practice is haphazard.  Set up regular practice time. Develop a good practice habit.

not about how long or how hard you practice. The key is “how” you practice. TrueFire offers “Smart Practice” which is a step-by-step practice system just for guitarists. The system is designed so you get the biggest payoff for the time you invest in your practice.


TrueFire Video viewsIt doesn’t matter whether you are trying to learn to play guitar, or piano or learn something totally different, such as baseball. We all know we have to practice. The problem is that we really don’t know how to practice correctly.

Many who try to learn guitar on their own think that just picking up the guitar and strumming, trying to pick out the melody of their favorite song is practice, or having friends over to jam is practice. Wrong!!!

TrueFire lessons use Soundslice interactive Tab, go to their site for a full demo. The video gives you three views that you can slow down or speed up to facilitate maximum learning. The video lessons make it much easier to see what you are to practice and follow the instructor.

K. Anders Ericsson has researched what it takes to reach a high level of expertise in a skill. He states that practice is deliberate and not inherently enjoyable.

To become a good guitarist or to develop any skill, you must do the work and realize that enjoyment will follow.

Make up your mind that you will do whatever it takes to practice correctly. Quit just doodling around when it’s time to practice. Yes, at first your fingers are going to hurt, but keep in mind that it’s not going to last forever. Use some of the techniques above to ease the pain so you can work through it. Tips for Beginning Guitarists.

Setting Goals

Image by Dena Warfield Smart Goal Setting

No matter what you are doing or attempting to do, setting goals, especially Smart Goals, will help you achieve your desired results quicker and in an organized fashion. Goals will help you do activities that are specifically designed to improve your performance.

Before going any further, look at where you want to go as a musician, and specifically, as a guitarist.

Many people, when they are attempting to learn something new, like playing the guitar, learn bits and pieces assuming that it will all magically come together at some future date.

How do you know what you should be studying and practicing if you don’t know where you want to go or what you want to do with it? If you don’t have a firm goal or path you will end up frustrated.

In any new endeavor, your goals must include both long-term and short-term goals. It’s best to set your long-term goals first then work backward to include all the steps necessary to achieve your long-term goal. This will give you the items that you need to work on NOW.

Inventory Lists

Included in setting goals you need to take an inventory of your skill set and where you are in the present.

Productivity guru David Allen in his “Getting Things Done” lectures states that you need to take an inventory, which he calls a “Brain Dump”, of everything you already know is required in order to achieve your goal.

What You Know

To start, create a list of everything you know, in this case, about playing the guitar. Divide this list into sections: scales, chords, arpeggios, songs, exercises, fingerpicking styles, licks, tuning your guitar, and bits and pieces. This list will include everything you’ve worked on or doodled around with or have a “somewhat” knowledge of.

You need to be able to play all of the exercises listed above without looking at a tablature sheet or stopping to remember or starting over.

What You Are Learning

This list will change as you learn new skills. Enter everything that you are currently working on goes into this list. You will move these skills to “What You Know” and add more from “What You Need to Know.”

What You Need To Know

List all the things from your short-term goal list. As you come across things you want or need to learn add them to this list. This list will also continually change as you progress down your learning path.

One of the most important things is that you take the information out of your head and put it on paper so you have a better and more workable list.

Once your goals are on paper, proceed to develop an actual practice schedule.


Are you really motivated to do the work necessary to achieve your goals? Remember, as mentioned above, practice isn’t just doodling around and “playing” with your guitar. If you are serious about achieving your goals, about developing good guitar technique, you have to be motivated to practice correctly.

Remember, anyone you have ever admired for their skill at playing any musical instrument or any other skill has “put in the time, effort, and discipline to learn and execute basic skills and then apply them to build their performance mastery.” Anything worth having is worth working for.

As you achieve each incremental goal, your confidence, and the sheer joy of making it happen will not only be personally rewarding but will also inspire greater accomplishments.

If you are motivated and really want to achieve your goals, you will set aside the time and disciple to do the work. Find a practice routine, such as Smart Practice from TrueFire or a practice routine from your teacher. Then, discipline yourself to do the work necessary to achieve your goals.

by Dena Warfield

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TrueFire Lessons

When everything shut down with Covid, many lessons went to video. Video Music lessons have proven to be very beneficial. Read the articles below for more information.

All Music Things offers different types of video music lessons.

The guitar lessons are offered by TrueFire, founded in 1991. TrueFire has collaborated with 600+ top educators to produce what Guitar Player Magazine calls “the planet’s largest and most comprehensive selection of online guitar lessons. 2 million+ guitar players, from virtually every country in the world, learn, practice, and play.”

With TrueFire Guitar Lessons you get interactive video courses and patented learning systems for personalized and private online instruction.

And TrueFire’s Beginning Guitar Lesson in each style is FREE. TrueFire’s success, over the years, is largely due to the high-quality artists and educators that have collaborated with them.

First Steps for Beginners FREE

As with all the First Steps, in each music style, the first course is FREE, no credit card required. It’s FREE. It’s designed to have you playing quickly. No tedious music theory or boring exercises. These lessons are designed to have you playing the songs you love quickly and painlessly. Since they are free, check them out. What do you have to lose?

Next Step For Beginners

The Next Level Guitar Lessons is designed to get you playing quickly. You will learn more chords to expand your chord vocabulary. Chords you must know as a guitarist. You will also learn more strumming techniques and a single-note picking technique and songs. One of the most important elements in this Hands-On Method for Beginners is your first scale. 

TrueFire’s Learning Path system assesses your current level of proficiency and creates a personalized curriculum of video lessons presented by TrueFire’s world-class guitar educators.
Come on!!! Let’s Get you Started

TrueFire’s intermediate and advanced guitar lessons have an outstanding rating in the guitar lesson arena.
Still Not Sure??
All Lessons have a sample track. 
Check it out!!!
You won’t know until you go listen to the samples.
Come on!!! Give it a try. You won’t know if it’s for you until you try it.

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