top of page

Jazz Fundamentals

Demystify the beauty and style of Jazz guitar step-by-step with a Jazz Studies Degree holding instructor.

Sheet Music

Learning Jazz doesn't have to
be a pain

With the endless amount of information on the internet, it's always a daunting task to know how to proceed, let alone know where to start.  

Our school takes a "song first" approach by teaching a student how to analyze and break down tunes and their relevant scales, and chords.  Learning this skill sets students up for success for building a repertoire of tunes they can perform on their own, or at jazz jam sessions.

Gain performance experience at our recitals

Many students of jazz often have a desire to join their nearest jazz jam session, however are nervous due to lack of performance experience in front of others.  

Preparing and performing tunes at our recitals twice a year is a great way to get your feet wet with performing, and is a great stepping stone to begin to start to attend jam sessions

Recording guitar in Music Studio

Enjoy exploring Jazz in a bilingual environment

Recommended for students who would like to learn in environments that use both English and Japanese.

①English Only

Students with English as their primary language, and/or who would like to enjoy lessons only in English.

②Japanese and English Mixed

Students who would like to work on their English or Japanese,

with some support in their primary language.

③Japanese Only 

Students with Japanese as their primary language and/or would like to

enjoy lessons only in Japanese.  

Get constructive feedback 
on your work

Each lesson comes with written feedback on your progress and your work.  Understand your strengths, and have a clear idea on what your areas to improve are. 

Gain a solid perspective on what you need to reach your musical goals.

Book of guitar Chords


Students who are interested in jazz guitar start from a wide variety of skill levels, therefore no curriculum is created equally. However the general guideline is to become familiar with scales and chords and concepts most commonly used in Jazz guitar.  

These concepts are learned gradually by learning what are called "Jazz Standards". 


What is a Jazz Standard?  

Jazz Standards are songs that are considered the "must learn" songs in the genre of Jazz music.  They are songs that every accomplished Jazz musician knows.  These are songs that are also used as the base of the tradition of Jazz.  

Learning these songs not only teach you the genre of jazz, but they also serve as a repertoire for playing jazz with other musicians.  

For a list of some recommended jazz standards to learn ranked by difficulty, see my blog here.  

Jazz Theory

  • Chords used in Jazz

    • Maj7, min7, 7, min7b5

      • Altered chords (7b9, 7#9, 7#11, 7b13, 7#13)​ ​​​etc.

  • Scales used in Jazz​​

    • Major, Natural minor, Dorian, Mixolydian, Altered, Whole tone, Lydian dominant, Phrygian dominant, Harmonic minor​, etc.

  • Cycle of 4ths (usage)​

  • 2 5 1 chord progression variations

  • Popular jazz styles​​

    • Rhythm changes, Jazz blues, Minor jazz blues, ​

Chord Melodies

Many students are also primarily interested in playing chord melodies of popular jazz standards.  Chord melodies are playing the chords and the melody of the jazz standard at the same time with some embellishments.  Example below:

Students usually start by learning a few prepared chord melodies in order to strengthen their hands, and work on the clarity of the chords and notes.  Once comfortable, learning how to arrange their own chord melodies is the next step.  

Finding the perfect combination and balance with these topics that align with students goals is the key to enjoyable lessons, and an enjoyable time with the guitar.  Students are encouraged every step of the way, with constructive pinpoint feedback on what they can do to improve once they have left their lesson.

Recommended Books

Jazz Standard Bible (Blackbook・Kurohon)


For jazz musicians in Japan, this book is a must-own.   This comprehensive book contains lead sheets for all of the most played jazz standards not only in Japan, but around the world.  While not mandatory for lessons, it will serve as a reliable companion for any serious jazz learner, especially for those hoping to attend jazz sessions in the future.  


"I have been taking jazz lessons from Ryan for about three months. Ryan's teaching methods are excellent, especially for someone who is just getting started with jazz.


He focuses on learning songs and improvisation intuitively, while also explaining the theory behind what he is teaching.

" -University Student


Come in for a trial lesson, and you will receive a consultation to create a solid plan to reach your musical goals.

bottom of page