Playing a fast jazz guitar solo isn’t every player’s goal.

Feel, tone and touch are the most important things to work on in the practice room. However, many jazz guitarists combine playing fast with great feel, time and touch.

Having the technique to play fast gives guitarists another colour to paint with.

This article aims to teach a 2 different approaches for playing a fast jazz guitar solo tastefully.

The chord progression used in the example is from Sweet Georgia Brown, a standard that is usually played at fast tempos.

This fast jazz guitar solo practice exercise will work with any tune that you are working on and help better your jazz soloing skills.



2 Fast Jazz Guitar Solo Approaches


Playing at a fast tempo, doesn’t mean you have to play fast.

The first approach demonstrates this by focusing on creating strong melodic lines.

As great as strong melodic lines are, there is nothing like hearing a strong flowing eighth note based lick which is what the second approach demonstrates.

Both of these approaches are demonstrated in the musical example below.

The etude alternates between four bars of each approach, starting with approach 1.

Many jazz musicians start and finish their solo referencing the melody and that is how this solo starts, by referencing the opening Sweet Georgia Brown lick.

The second approach is demonstrated in the next set of four bars with a long flowing line using enclosures.

Using longer rhythmic values on the off beats of the bar is a great starting point for creating melodic lines at fast tempos, demonstrated in bars 9 -12.

The solo is concluded with a sequence of 1235 patterns ascending in fouths, an idea that Joe Pass liked to employ.


fast jazz guitar solo fast jazz guitar solo


Practice Tips


  • Apply the 2 speed approach to the rest of the Sweet Georgia Brown chord progression
  • Reverse the exercise by starting with approach 2 then moving to approach 1
  • Mix and match the approach. For example do 6 bars of speed 1, then 4 bars of speed 2
  • Listen to a famous fast jazz guitar player playing at a fast tempo and make a map of their solo. Do they use the 2 approach technique?


I hope that you have enjoyed this fast jazz guitar solo lesson. What are some of your favorite ways to practice playing fast?

Share your thoughrs in the comment section below.



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