Jazz Blues for Rock Players

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Brendan Burns

Brendan teaches a series of lessons designed for the rock player to get their heads and fingers around playing in a jazz blues style.

12 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

100% Appoval

10 of 10 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.


Access this course, along with all other courses with Membership.

Full Course Breakdown

Brendan teaches a series of lessons designed for the rock player to get their heads and fingers around playing in a jazz blues style. He covers the basics of the 12 bar blues and discusses how the rock player can add their own flair to the style.


Series Introduction: Blues Basics

To get started with his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series, Brendan discusses the goals set out for the series and also covers the most basic elements of the blues; the 12 bar structure.

6:40 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Jazz Blues Chord Voicings

In lesson two of his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series, Brendan discusses common chord voicings and ways to use them in the style.

9:01 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Adding Melody

Stepping away from rhythm for a moment, it's time to start looking at the roll of melody in this style. Brendan breaks down some tendencies here and demonstrates some concepts.

12:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding the Flat 7

Lesson four of his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series is all about the Flat 7. Brendan discusses it's addition to the melodic scope of playing and how best to use it.

10:11 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Progression Changes

Lesson five in this series builds on the concepts taught in the last lesson and looks at how the chord progression changes to add a more jazz influenced sound to your blues rock playing.

7:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Improvising Over the ii-V Progression

Continuing with the theme of the chord progression change, it's time to start thinking about improv options for the turnaround. Specifically the 2-5 change that occurs with this new chord progression.

8:31 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Approach

Continuing with his lesson series, Brendan is transitioning to approach tones. To get started he'll discuss the minor pentatonic approach.

6:21 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Chromatic Approach to the 3

Adding more tools to our Jazz Blues arsenal, it's time to start thinking in chromatics. Brendan discusses this approach to the 3rd and how to use it best.

6:21 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


6 Flat 9 Chord

It's time to introduce yet another jazz chord variant to our standard 12 barre blues. This time in the form of the 6 Flat 9 voicing. Brendan discusses where you can find the grips for this chord and where in the 12 barre blues to insert it.

6:19 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Playing Over the 6 Flat 9 Chord

Now that we've added a new chord to the 12 barre progression, we need to be able to improvise over it. In lesson 10, Brendan discusses the changes and improvisation philosophy needed to solo over the new chord.

10:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


The Sharp 4 Diminished Chord

For lesson 11 of his Jazz Blues for Rock Players series, Brendan is offering up the final chord substitution for the 12 barre blues. This one is all about the sharp 4 diminished chord. Brendan will discuss it's placement and how it works in the scheme of a traditional blues.

5:51 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Playing Over the Diminished Chord

To wrap up his lesson series, Brendan discusses how to solo over the new diminished chord you've inserted into the 12 barre blues. Once finished with this lesson and series you'll discover that you've added the validity to the idea of playing a straight chromatic scale over a traditional blues. Brendan follows with a final discussion about how this relates to rock players in a Jazz-Blues setting.

14:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

Let's Start. Together.

Setup your account and explore our courses, teaching tools and resources.

Get Started
  • Nashville, Tenesse
  • Playing since 1988
  • 179 lessons at JamPlay
Brendan has been passionate about music since childhood. He began his studies on trumpet, in elementary school, and then moved to guitar as a teenager. He holds a Bachelor's Degree from Berklee College of Music, and has studied with Norm Zocher, Joe Stump, Bret Willmott, Bob Pilkington, Jay Weik, Tim Miller, & Charlie Banacos.

While at Berklee, Brendan was a member of the Music Mentoring Program, teaching private lessons to gifted high school students. He is currently teaches, and is chair of the guitar department at Brookline Music School. Brendan also teaches guitar for Tune Foolery & privately at his home in Cambridge, MA.

Along with educating, Brendan plays out often as a Solo Guitarist, performing standards, pop, and classical repertoire. He has recorded and played with the chamber-fusion band Ra Quintent, and as well as Vessela Stoyanova's Eastern Stories Under Western Skies Project. Brendan also performs as a leader, director and sideman for various Boston art-rock projects, and is former member of MIT's Gamelan Galak Tika.
Reviews & Feedback 100/100 with 10 ratings

It helps to know the whys of what is played rather than just running the scale and using instinct.


I’ve been looking for this type of blues jazz to break into! Excellent info and studies and easy to understand! Thank you!