20 "Inside" Jazz Guitar Phrases for Practice and Inspiration
One of the best ways to develop your ability to play over chord changes is to compose your own phrases. In this PDF I have composed 20 jazz guitar phrases for practice over a ii V I progression in C Major, and also to inspire you to create your own phrases. Includes: video demonstrations of all 20 phrases and backing track for practice. The PDF includes both standard notation, tablature, and suggested fingerings. Also, these phrases have been composed specifically to develop smooth voice leading using an "inside" sound – an often neglected skill to many jazz students.
Hi, I'm Gary. I'm a professional guitarist and musician based in Los Angeles. I help recording artists and producers create compelling music in various capacities including: studio guitar work, producing, arranging, composing, and behind-the-scenes logistics. I've had the privilege to work with some of the top names in jazz, pop, country, and film. You can view my complete professional portfolio here. I'm married to my amazing wife, Roopa, and we have a son and a daughter
Grammy-Nominated Pianist, Composer, Producer, & Music Director (Monk'estra, Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, James Brown, Steely Dan, Lee Ritenour)
Gary Lee is a formidable and multi-talented musician. I've worked with him as a first rate guitarist on sessions and TV shows, as a personal aid, and as an Associate Music Director in numerous productions. When I need something extraordinary done, I know Gary will find the best way to execute a solution.
Grammy award winning Jazz Guitarist/Recording Artist
“Gary Lee is a multifaceted musician/guitarist that is the embodiment of the modern musician today. Not only extremely talented and versatile on acoustic and electric guitars, his production, arranging, coordinating, music editing, transcribing and music tech chops are evenly distributed from this outstanding musician. Gary has worked and collaborated with me for years in all those capacities and then some!
“I’m a drummer, and I think I have good time and feel, but Gary has always amazed me by his musicality and his feel and concept of what good time keeping is. Gary has better time than most drummers/musicians I know.”
Melvin Lee Davis
Bassist (Chaka Khan, Lee Ritenour, Robben Ford, George Duke)
“Gary's acoustic guitar technique…well, what can I say! His execution of melody, harmony and rhythm has that spiritual connection to the soul. I have had the pleasure of working with him on Lee Ritenour & Chaka Khan projects, as well my own recording endeavors. He also has given me the pleasure of recording for him on various projects that he has worked on as well. “I hold these truths to be self evident” to quote a great scholar! That Gary Lee is special in every way. The way he plays his guitar speaks to the way he lives his life….with honesty and integrity! The positive energy flows my friend.”
Guitarist (Huey Lewis and the News, Madonna, Herbie Hancock)
“I first met Gary working on the TV show “Duets” where we got to share guitar parts playing behind Jennifer Nettles, Robin Thicke, Kelly Clarkson and John Legend. This lead to giving, not really lessons to Gary but more a trading of ideas. Playing and talking about music and sharing my experiences with him. He is a terrific player and guy. Can play all the styles and writes and records his own wonderful compositions.”
TV/Film Actress (Spy Kids, Camp WWE, Broad City, Scandal)
“Gary has been composing our TV series this year and we couldn’t be more impressed by his work, his immediate understanding of what we were thinking (even when we couldn’t put it to words), and his incredible professionalism. He rises to the occasion and truly works to deliver outstanding work. I am so impressed by the way he approaches and attacks deadlines, his ear for composition, and his quick and speedy delivery. He is also just an amazingly kind person to work with. If you are looking for the best of the best in the music industry, this is your guy. Thank you Gary, for everything, we are so lucky to work with you!”
Drummer (The Yellow Jackets)
“Our wonderful, crazy world of music is a team sport and it’s a good idea to surround yourself with smart, capable people who are confident in the business of song willing to sacrifice, guide, and encourage through the ups & downs. I’m happy to have had Mr. Gary Lee on my team and proud to have experienced several victories with him.”
Drummer (Eric Hutchinson, Tommy Walker, The Walking Dead AMC)
“Gary Lee is incredible! Whether he is sitting in the producer chair, arranger chair or the guitar chair, he makes you feel confident. His ability to blend professionalism, high-level musicianship and camaraderie is brilliant. I love working with Gary because you know you are going to get is full attention and heart on every project. His guitar skills match anyone in the industry, but it’s who Gary is that makes him irreplaceable on any session.”
Bassist/Blogger (Startup Musician)
“Gary Lee is a great musician and hands down the best acoustic guitar player I know. He brings a delicate touch to the instrument and makes it sing! Also, he’s a pretty great individual to work with. Don’t be dumb, you should hire Gary.”
Audio Engineer (Cirque du Soleil, Mylie Cyrus, Saturday Night Live)
“I have had the pleasure of working with Gary Lee on a few different projects. As a producer, he understands the multi-dimensional aspects of music production. He approaches projects with a wealth of musical knowledge, and a firm understanding of the technical needs”
Jazz Vocalist, Composer (Teryn Ré Big Band)
“Gary Lee is one of the most prolific guitarists I know and have the privilege of working with. His ability to interpret my music and his sensitivity to what is happening in the moment is unparalleled! He continues to impress with not only his multi-faceted playing, but also with his songwriting. As a vocalist it is rare to find such a musician that is selfless, humble and a joy to work with on a regular basis.”
Vocalist, Songwriter, Recording Artist
“Gary speaks to and enhances the life of a song with his unique rhythmic disposition, tone, and innate naturalness of line and feel. He’s intricate and exact while his inherent musical choices have a natural, in the moment drive while encompassing a live producers perspective. I’ve had the privilege of sharing the studio and the stage with him and hope to for years to come.”
Guitarist (JJ Lin, Kylan Road)
“Gary Lee is my personal favorite solo acoustic guitar player. His technique and timbre are near perfect, but those elements do not define his music. Gary reaches deep inside his person producing soulful, heartfelt and honest music.”
Drummer, Percussionist, Educator
“Gary is a versatile guitarist who takes each piece of music he plays seriously. That attention to detail helps him work in so many situations. I believe that his own teaching has contributed to his unique abilities as a performer.”
Vocalist (Barbra Streisand, Glee, Amy Grant)
“I hired Gary for a gig that I would have been lost without his mad skills!! He was able to chart the music for everyone (30 songs I believe) with not a lot of time to do so, which was a step I was not able to do on my own!! Not only that, he was professional, on time, sounded amazing, and was nice, which was very important!! Especially in this business. I can’t wait to work with him again!!!”
Producer of Musician’s Creativity Lab (Yamaha Music Foundation)
"Gary is a tremendous guy to work with. He always goes above and beyond and gives more than what is expected. His preparation is detailed which helps us a lot with production. We will definitely ask to work with him again for future projects!"
Associate Professor, director of Guitar Studies at Azusa Pacific University
Gary Lee is one of the most astonishing guitarist/musicians on the music scene today. His rock solid technique and poise in public performance rivals that of any touring guitarist. Gary is, however, far more than just a player. His skill sets in music technology allow him to compose, arrange, transcribe, produce and edit music on a world class level. He is also an excellent teacher with a logical methodic approach that one finds only in the best pedagogy available for the guitar. It would be difficult to put Gary Lee in a musical situation where he would not excel. He has my most enthusiastic endorsement as a guitarist and musician.
Recording Artist, Song Writer
Gary Lee is one of the most professional musicians I have ever worked with. I have been performing professionally now for a decade and have never met someone who has set the bar like Gary has. Without asking, he put together charts for my entire new set list the week before the album release when I was super busy. He was more than happy to assist the other musicians with any questions they had and ensured I felt comfortable before the show started. Highly recommend working with him and eager to work with him again soon! He is as good as they come
Anthony Walls, M.D.
Medical Director, Healthcare For Justice
Gary Lee is by far an amazing and accomplished musician, but that is definitely not the best part about working with him. I have known Gary both personally and professionally for many years and his professionalism, respect, and love for people and his trade are what makes working with Gary worth every second and penny that we have. Gary produced and performed in two virtual concert fundraisers for our non-profit foundation that were extraordinary