Jamie Holroyd Guitar

Jamie Holroyd Guitar

Guitar Practice Week 6: One Scale Exercise Every Guitarist Should Know

Guitar Practice Week 6: One Scale Exercise Every Guitarist Should Know

This week my jazz guitar practice has included working on new tunes for my recitals, organising a first rehearsal, open triad voicings and cool scale exercises to become a better jazz guitarist.

Most colleges around this time are on a study/reading week, but not me. With my upcoming jazz guitar comping book coming out in just a few weeks it’s been tough to balance out editing the book, working on my ii-V-I newsletter series, writing new articles, teaching, and practicing, but I am getting more used to this busy schedule as the weeks go on.

Click here to read the other articles from my practice log series.



First Rehearsal


After a few weeks of postponing due to various commitments I managed to finally get a first rehearsal together playing some of my major recital tunes.

Unfortunately the drummer I asked couldn’t commit due to the project due to already being booked up, but it was a still a great jam.

The instrumentation was guitar, piano, upright bass, sax, and drums. and everyone played great with the choice of tunes flowed together nicely.

Here’s a list of tunes that we played


  • Lullaby of the Leaves
  • Evidence
  • Black Nile
  • Move


The rehearsal was only an hour, and because there was so many soloists each song lasted quite a while with everyone taking multiple choruses.

Playing the songs in a full line up not only showed my how good the project could potentially sound once the songs were properly rehearsed and arranged, but I also discovered a few things that still need some work.

For example, the rhythms for ‘Evidence’ still need to be tighter so I memorized every rhythm in the tune so I could really integrate them and know them better, so for the next rehearsal I won’t have to worry about sight reading them.



Tune Workout



The three tunes I have been working on this week are Evidence, Bright Size Life and James.

I have been furthering my study of triads and hexatonic scales over Bright Size Life from last week articles as well as working on playing the tricky melody which is coming together nicely.

For James I have been working on the melody by listening to how Pat Metheny plays it. This tune has a very guitaristic lyrical melody so it’s tricky to learn by reading sheet music, so I really had to listen to how Pat plays it and pay attention to the slides, hammer ons and other guitar techniques that he uses.

I have also been working on using some open triad voicings to comp over this tune as well as some cool ways to play over the changes.

As with Bright Size Life all the material I’ve been working on over James really needs separate articles in themselves to be explained properly which I hope to write in the future for the tune study section.



Scale Workout


No matter how long you’ve been playing jazz guitar or you think you know you’re scales; it’s still always a good idea to practice them in new ways.

This week I’ve been practicing scales over tunes starting from the 3rd degree instead of starting from the root to make things tougher, an exericse I learnt from my guitar teacher Jiannis Pavlidis.

If you feel like you roughly know your scales and want to work on an exercise to cement them into your playing, this is a great method for learning scales.

I wanted to get the full 7 note scales over each chord, so for bars with one chord I used eight note rhythms and for bars with two chords I used sixteenth note rhythms.



This technique is a beneficial way to practice any tune that you are working on, while getting better rhythmic chops at the same time. Do you practice scales this way? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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