I offer Jazz Guitar and Improvisation private lessons, and regularly present various Workshops, and Seminars.


I'm a very patient and caring instructor and have been teaching now for over 25 years.

We will cover all levels of Music Theory & Harmony and apply that knowlege directly to the guitar fingerboard. This includes various scales, patterns, chords, arpeggios and lines. The idea is that we want to improve our instrumental technique (pick control, relaxation of both hands, etc.) but still express ourselves musically.

We will study (and play !!!) standard tunes and common chord progressions, and I will guide you through Improvisation exercises and techniques that will eventually help you develop your own voice/style.

I have a lot of hand-outs available, including chord solos (harmonized melody of standard tunes) and comping studies (fingered chord progressions).

I can also specifically help you with ear-training and reading.

I currently teach Music Theory, Harmony, and Ear-Training at the SF Academy of Art University, and have taught a variety of Guitar Classes, Music Theory, Jazz Composition and Improvisation Workshops at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, WI and at the Conservatory of Music of Cannes, France.

I teach privately at Russo Music in Noe Valley (on 24th St. near Sanchez St.) and at the Guitar Novatory/Sunset Academy of Music (Irving & 15th Avenue) http://samsf.org/

Group classes, Seminars and Workshops are held at the SF Musicians' Union.


I also teach through SKYPE and FACETIME !!!

If you cannot travel to San Francisco and meet in person for lessons, you can still study with me in front of your computer with the help of SKYPE or FACETIME !!!

(Lessons can be in English or in French)
(Les cours peuvent être en anglais ou en français)

Scroll down the PayPal menu box below to see the available bulk discounts:

Purchase Skype Lessons


You can download SKYPE for free here: http://www.skype.com

You can also record the lesson either through your computer's cam or with this free software: http://www.ecamm.com/mac/callrecorder

Contact me for details.


Special discount on Skype lessons for members of La Chaîne Guitare or The Guitar Channel who hold a Backstage Pass !!!

Please contact me directly for details.

Prix réduit spécial sur les cours Skype pour les membres de La Chaîne Guitare ou The Guitar Channel détenteurs du Backstage Pass !!!

Veuillez me contacter directement pour les détails





CHORDS STUDIES AVAILABLE in pdf format !




Go to the Home page.




PLEASE SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE FOR A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION OF ALL UPCOMING JAZZ GUITAR SEMINARS:



GUITAR SEMINAR: JAZZ BLUES COMPING
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 2-4pm.

You already know about the 12-bar Blues and its basic 3 chords, but you are not quite sure how to make it sound like Jazz? Are you having a hard time making the transition from Blues to Jazz? Or do you already play Jazz but you find it difficult to come up with good chord voicings when playing a Blues?


We will take a close look at the typical "Jazz Blues" chord progression: the very same one that is used for countless Jazz blues compositions such as "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser", "Billie's Bounce" or "SonnyMoon For Two". It is still a 12-bar form but is has a few more chords...

I will provide hand-outs with notated chord studies for several Blues choruses in F (one of the most often used keys for Jazz). Those comping studies will focus on various types of chords: with or without bass notes, top four strings or middle four strings only, walking-bass line, two-feel, etc...

All studies are written out with diagrams (you will not need to know how to read traditional music notation to read them).

This class is for beginning to intermediate guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are already a Jazz guitarist, a Rock/Blues player who wants to add a Jazz flavor to their style, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

The seminar will be on Saturday, March 26, 2011 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to the Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

If you sign up for both "Blues Comping" seminars, the total price will be $70.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 415/648-6992




GUITAR SEMINAR: ADVANCED JAZZ BLUES SUBSTITUTIONS
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Now that we know what the common Jazz Blues chord progression is, it's time to spice it up with variations and substitutions!!!

We will go through some Diatonic substitutions, Tritone substitutions, Diminished substitutions, Passing chords, etc...

We will also look at a variety of Subs for the Turnaround (the last 2 measures of the form) as it is a really important part of the progression.

I will also present some Minor Blues progressions, and some other interesting variations such as Modal Blues and Bird Blues (a more challenging Blues progression created by Charlie Parker).

I have many hand-outs illustrating all of the information. They are written out with chord diagrams-- which means that you will not need to know traditional music notation to read them. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

This group-class is for intermediate to advanced guitarists. A basic knowledge of Music Theory is required.

The Seminar will be on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

If you sign up for both "Blues comping" seminars, the total price will be $70.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 415/648-6992




JAZZ GUITAR SEMINAR: CHORD SUBSTITUTIONS
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

SF Musicians' Union
116 Ninth St. (& Mission)

You already know a good number of chords, and you have been playing a few Jazz Standards for a while... but you might find yourself a bit tired of playing your tunes the same way every time? Now is time to learn about Chord substitutions!

I will begin by explaining the crucial difference between chord inversions, and chord substitutions. We will then examine the different types of substitutions that are available to the Jazz guitarist:

Diatonic substitutions, Tritone substitutions, Diminished substitutions, Passing chords, Blues substitutions, Subs for Turnarounds, etc... we will even look at some more advanced substitution concepts like Coltrane changes.

I will pass out many hand-outs illustrating the concepts, and you will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

This class is for intermediate to advanced guitarists, and for other instrumentalists as well. A basic knowledge of Music Theory is required .

The seminar will be on Saturday, May 21, 2011 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to the Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 415/648-6992

For those of you who are interested in taking both Seminars this month, the total price will be $70.




JAZZ GUITAR THEORY: "UNDERSTANDING THE FRETBOARD"
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, May 11, 2010 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Do you know your way around the guitar fretboard? Can you locate the notes quickly or are you still confused by some "shady" areas? Can you instantly find the scales or the chords you are looking for?

Because of the odd tuning of the guitar (in perfect 4ths, except between the 3rd and 2nd strings) all of those things may not be so obvious... but THERE IS a logic behind it all!!!

I will present the 5-position system (also known as the "CAGED" system). Based on 5 simple chord shapes, this system clearly delineates 5 regions on the fretboard, no matter what key we are in. Those shapes generate Major scales, modes, arpeggios, and even Pentatonic scales!

Furthermore, those 5 shapes can also be seen as Major, Minor and Dominant-- each one generating the corresponding scales and/or arpeggios.

I have many hand-outs illustrating the concept. They are written out with diagrams-- which means that you will not need to know traditional music notation to read them. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

This class is for beginning to intermediate guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are a Jazz guitarist, a Rock/Blues player, a classical guitarist, a fingerstyle picker, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

The seminar will be on Saturday, May 11, 2010 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to the Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 415/648-6992




JAZZ GUITAR SEMINAR: THE ALTERED DOMINANT SCALE presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, September 18, 2010 from 2-4 pm

What is the Altered-Dominant Scale? What does it sound like? Where does it come from? When can we use it, and how can we use it? Those important questions (and more) will be addressed during this class.

We have all heard of the scale, but most people seem to only have a rather vague idea of what it actually is: "oh, yeah, isn't it the one that should be played over ALT chords?... but what are those ALT chords to begin with?"

I will present the Scale clearly, explain how it is derived from the Melodic Minor Scale, and thoroughly examine the harmonic system that it generates. I will point out various Triads and 7th chords that convey the Altered-Dominant sound when used as arpeggios (or upper-structures) over a Dominant chord. To complete our exploration, I will discuss some less conventional Pentatonic scales that can be played in our Altered-Dominant context.

I will show examples of lines and chords making use of the Altered-Dominant scale, and will pass out many hand-outs illustrating the concepts. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

This class is for intermediate to advanced guitarists, and for other instrumentalists as well. A basic knowledge of Music Theory is required.

The seminar will be on Saturday, September 18, 2010 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to the Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 415/648-6992




GUITAR SEMINAR: BUILDING INTERESTING JAZZ CHORDS presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, July 10, 2010, from 2-4pm.

Are you a bit confused by Jazz voicings? Do you know what to play when the chart calls for a Dm7(11) or a G7(b9)? Can you tell the difference between a diminished and a half-diminished chord? Are you able to play a chord progression in the same area of the neck or do you tend to jump around from top to bottom? What are Tritone subs?

We will review the different kinds of 7th chords: where they come from, how to voice them in a simple and logical way on the guitar, and how to color them with the appropriate extensions (9ths, 11ths, or 13ths). We will also cover some basic chord substitutions.

To illustrate our topics, we will begin with simple diatonic chord progressions, and then examine some Jazz Standard tunes (starting with a few Jazz Blues progressions). I have many hand-outs, comping studies written out with diagrams (you will not need to know how to read traditional music notation to read them). You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

There is no reason to try to memorize 3,476 different chord fingerings... it make a lot more sense to understand how chords are built, and how to instantly create the ones we need!!!

This class is for beginning to intermediate guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are already a Jazz guitarist, a Rock/Blues player who wants to add a Jazz flavor to their style, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

The seminar will be on Saturday, July 10, 2010 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to the Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions: 415/648-6992




JAZZ GUITAR THEORY: "THE MELODIC MINOR SCALE: CHORDS, MODES, ARPEGGIOS, & HOW TO USE THEM!"
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, May 29th, 2010 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

We are continuing with our exploration of Harmony for the Jazz Improviser and/or Composer with a practical introduction to the Melodic Minor Scale!!! This scale is so important that it is often referred to as "the" Jazz Minor Scale...

Just like we did with the Major Scale, we will begin with the most useful fingerings for the 1-octave scale. Yes, THERE IS a logic behind it all!!! I will present the 5-position system (also known as "CAGED"). Based on 5 simple minor chord shapes, this system clearly delineates 5 regions on the fretboard, no matter what key we are in. Those shapes are fundamental because they generate scales, modes, arpeggios, and even Pentatonic scales!

Next, we will look at the diatonic chords generated by the Melodic Minor Scale: first the Triads, then the 7th chords. We will also examine some simple chord progressions, and then analyze a few Jazz Standard tunes.

I have several hand-outs showing essential fingerings for those chords. Additionally, the 5-position system will help establish fingerings for their Arpeggios.

We will now extract the Diatonic Modes from the Melodic Minor Scale, and thanks to our 5-position system (once more...) we will find logical ways to finger them on the guitar.

I will explain how those modes may be used in an Improvisation context, as we discuss their relationship with chords. Special attention will be brought to the Altered-Dominant Scale, which happens to be one of the Modes generated by the Melodic Minor.

I have many hand-outs illustrating all of the information. They are written out with diagrams-- which means that you will not need to know traditional music notation to read them. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

I do want to make a point that all of the Theory that I'm presenting should be applied directly onto the guitar. Therefore, I will always show you the most practical ways to play AND USE all of those theoretical concepts!!!

This group-class is for beginning to intermediate guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are already a Jazz guitarist and/or composer, a Rock/Blues player who wants to add a Jazz flavor to their style, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

This One-Day Seminar will be on Saturday, May 29th, 2010, from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

For those of you who are interested in taking both May & June Seminars, the total price will be $70.




JAZZ GUITAR THEORY: "THE HARMONIC MINOR SCALE: CHORDS, MODES, ARPEGGIOS, & HOW TO USE THEM"
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, June 5th, 2010 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Our third Seminar of this exploration of Harmony for the Jazz Improviser and/or Composer with a practical introduction to the Harmonic Minor Scale!!! Even though it is far more exotic-sounding than other scales, this scale is still an important addition to the serious Improviser.

Just like we did with the Major & the Melodic Minor Scales, we will begin with the most useful fingerings for the 1-octave scale. Yes, THERE IS a logic behind it all!!! I will present the 5-position system (also known as "CAGED"). Based on 5 simple minor chord shapes, this system clearly delineates 5 regions on the fretboard, no matter what key we are in. Those shapes are fundamental because they generate scales, modes, arpeggios, and even Pentatonic scales!

Next, we will look at the diatonic chords generated by the Harmonic Minor Scale: first the Triads, then the 7th chords. We will also examine some simple chord progressions, and then analyze a few Jazz Standard tunes.

I have several hand-outs showing essential fingerings for those chords. Additionally, the 5-position system will help establish fingerings for their Arpeggios.

We will now extract the Diatonic Modes from the Harmonic Minor Scale, and thanks to our 5-position system (once more...) we will find logical ways to finger them on the guitar.

I will explain how those modes may be used in an Improvisation context, as we discuss their relationship with chords. Some important modes that are generated by the Harmonic Minor Scale will allow us to discover some very colorful sounds over all types of chords: Minor 7ths, Major 7ths, Dominants, etc...

I have many hand-outs illustrating all of the information. They are written out with diagrams-- which means that you will not need to know traditional music notation to read them. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

I do want to make a point that all of the Theory that I'm presenting should be applied directly onto the guitar. Therefore, I will always show you the most practical ways to play AND USE all of those theoretical concepts!!!

This group-class is for beginning to intermediate guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are already a Jazz guitarist and/or composer, a Rock/Blues player who wants to add a Jazz flavor to their style, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

This One-Day Seminar will be on Saturday, June 5th, 2010 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

For those of you who are interested in taking both May & June Seminars, the total price will be $70.




JAZZ GUITAR THEORY: "THE MAJOR SCALE: CHORDS, MODES, ARPEGGIOS, & HOW TO USE THEM"
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

SF Musicians' Union
116 Ninth St. (& Mission)

We are about to examine the basic tools of the Jazz musician. This class is a practical introduction to Jazz Harmony, starting with its most basic foundation: The Major Scale!!!

We will begin with the most useful fingerings for the 1-octave scale. Yes, THERE IS a logic behind it all!!! I will present the 5-position system (also known as "CAGED"). Based on 5 simple chord shapes, this system clearly delineates 5 regions on the fretboard, no matter what key we are in. Those shapes are fundamental because they generate Major scales, modes, arpeggios, and even Pentatonic scales!

Next, we will look at the diatonic chords generated by the Major Scale: first the Triads, then the 7th chords. We will also examine some simple chord progressions, and then analyze a few Jazz Standard tunes.

I have several hand-outs showing essential fingerings for those chords. Additionally, the 5-position system will help establish fingerings for their Arpeggios.

We will now extract the Diatonic Modes from the Major Scale, and thanks to our 5-position system (once more...) we will find logical ways to finger them on the guitar.

I will explain how those modes may be used in an Improvisation context, as we discuss their relationship with chords.

I have many hand-outs illustrating all of the information. They are written out with diagrams-- which means that you will not need to know traditional music notation to read them. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

I do want to make a point that all of the Theory that I'm presenting should be applied directly onto the guitar. Therefore, I will always show you the most practical ways to play AND USE all of those theoretical concepts!!!

This group-class is for beginning to intermediate guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are already a Jazz guitarist and/or composer, a Rock/Blues player who wants to add a Jazz flavor to their style, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

This One-Day Seminar will be on Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 2-4pm at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.




JAZZ GUITAR SEMINAR: BE-BOP SCALES & CHROMATICISMS
presented by Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert

Saturday, February 13, 2010 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

SF Musicians' Union
116 Ninth St. (& Mission)

Most Jazz players have heard of Be-Bop Scales. In fact, people usually think of one particular scale being called "the" Be-Bop scale: a dominant (Mixolydian) scale with an added M7 (aka the Leading-Tone) making it an 8-note scale.

What most people don't realize though, is that there are MANY different types of scales called Be-Bop Scales... Major scales, Minor scales, etc...

We will see how those scales are formed, and of course, how we can use them: that is, finger them on the guitar, and use them over chord changes.

I will begin with a review of the Chromatic Scale with some important tips on how to finger it on the guitar (you might be surprised...!!!)

We will then move on with how to use chromaticisms as passing-tones within arpeggios-- still using a very practical approach in fingerings.

We will then do the same with various scales, and discuss how "colors" are being added into our playing.

You will receive many hand-outs, written out with diagrams (you will not need to know how to read traditional music notation to read them) AND traditional notation. You will definitely go home with enough studying material to keep you busy practicing for a long time!

This class is for intermediate to advanced guitarists. A knowledge of basic music Theory will be helpful-- but not completely necessary, as we will review those points that apply directly to the seminar. Whether you are already a Jazz guitarist, a Rock/Blues player who wants to add a Jazz flavor to their style, or a Jam band improviser, you will benefit greatly from this information-packed session.

This group-class will be on Saturday February 13th, from 2-4pm at at the Musicians' Union Building located on 9th Street & Mission Street in San Francisco. It is easily accessed by public transportation and is close to Civic Center BART/MUNI station.

Price is: $40 per student (to be paid in advance). This fee will be non-refundable 3 days before the seminar.

For those of you who are interested in taking both Seminars this month, the total price will be $70.










I am available for private lessons on SKYPE or FACETIME for more information on this topic, or on anything related to Jazz Guitar, Improvisation or Music Theory.

Click here for details.



See all topics from the Various Thoughts page.

Go to the Home page.

All Content © Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert 2005 - 2015