The Best of Both Worlds: When Rock Meets Jazz - Jon Finn & Az Samad

Az Samad
5 ratings

What if you could discover the most powerful secrets of rock guitar & jazz guitar to use in your playing now?

You like rock guitar.
You like jazz guitar.

(OK, maybe you like some of each but not every single album or song from these two styles)

But you know that they both have strengths that you can use in your guitar playing.

  • Maybe you like the sound of jazz chords & reharmonisation.
  • Maybe you like blistering shred guitar licks at hyper speed.
  • Maybe you like the loud of a Marshall amplifier feeding back till your neighbours almost complain.
  • Maybe you like the chromatic power of jazz lines that confuse your sense of keys.

What if you could use the best elements of both styles?

What if you could take the best of both worlds and COMBINE them in your playing?

These are weird times

In this worldwide quarantine era, musicians have to get even more creative to thrive and not just survive. Now the question is how?

Lots of musicians have been posting virtual jams and collaborative videos. Zoom meetings and meetings have become the new normal.

But how do you create:

+ even more interesting collaborations

+ creative music that goes out of the box

+ get the attention of your fans (and new fans)

+ push you beyond your comfort zone

+ express your creative potential

+ expand your musical horizons

+ challenge you creatively

The Best of Both Worlds

As you know, different styles of music bring different strengths to the table. Virtuoso instrumental rock is known for combing the technical precision of classical music with the intensity rock guitar sounds into a powerful musical style.

Jazz on the other hand thrives on the freedom of improvisation, harmonic complexity and increasing chromatic dissonance depending on which era of jazz you're into.

Some of the best guitarists in the world draw upon the strengths of both styles. Just look at rock guitarists such as Guthrie Govan, Tom Quayle, Martin Miller, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai. And also, check out the playing of jazz guitarists like Tim Miller, Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Bryan Baker, Nir Felder, Ben Eunson and Scott Henderson. 

Over time, the thin line between rock and jazz becomes increasingly blurred. Because of this, modern guitarist can't afford to live in silos of individual guitar styles even if they choose to be labelled "Rock" or "Jazz" guitarists. 

Power up your creative inspiration

In this unique collaboration, join as Berklee professor Jon Finn & Malaysian guitarist-composer-educator Az Samad share with you:

+ their personal approaches to composition, improvisation & practice

+ their musical experiences working in diverse setting from orchestras, bands, solo performances and more

+ what to do in musical settings that make you sweat and nervous

+ how to prepare effectively for shows, gigs, musical challenges beyond what you're used to

When Rock Meets Jazz...

... brings forth Jon Finn's unique perspective and experience teaching at the prestigious Berklee College of Music for the past 30 years -- in a 2-hour 40-minute session for only the most dedicated, driven musicians who want to have a musical edge for these challenging times.

Az Samad will also share his jazz tinged perspective after playing guitar for the past 24 years, teaching all over the world, working in different projects from Tex-Mex bands to playing Final Fantasy as a classical guitar soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Even though Jon & Az are on opposite ends of the planet. Physically and stylistically in different locations, yet they’re able to find common ground.  

Who's Jon Finn?

A guitarist since age six, Jon Finn has been a professional musician for most of his life. Today, he’s been repeatedly acknowledged within the international community of musicians as being a clear leader in Modern Rock Guitar as a performer, composer and educator. Joining the guitar faculty at Berklee College of Music in Boston in 1988, he started the Jon Finn Group later that same year. To date, they have three internationally released CDs, Don’t Look So Serious (Legato Records 1994), Wicked (SEP Records 2000), “Bull in a China Shop” (SEP Records 2010) several independent releases, and countless performances worldwide under their belts. 

For over three years, Jon wrote a monthly instructional feature for a national magazine called Guitar. Jon has also authored several books for Mel Bay Publications: Advanced Modern Rock Guitar Improvisation, One Guitar, Many Styles, Blues/Rock Improvisation, Riffs: Volume One, and a few more currently in production. In his freelance pursuits, he’s played guitar for the national touring companies of many contemporary musical theater productions such as Rent, Aida, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, High School Musical, Grease, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Copacabana, and many others. Today Jon frequently performs and records with the Boston Pops Orchestra and Boston Symphony Orchestra. With them he’s performed with Josh Groban, Andrea Bocelli, Amy Grant, Vince Gill, Rockapella, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Natalie Cole, Carly Simon, Bernadette Peters, New York Voices, Demi Lovato and many others. He’s been involved in a plethora of concerts and recording sessions, including 6 CDs (two of which were Grammy nominated), 8 US concert tours, and one tour in Asia.

Jon has also performed with some of the world’s premier guitarists as a co-featured performer: John Petrucci, Guthrie Govan, Carl Verheyen, Dweezil Zappa, Dave Larue, Andy Timmons, Vinnie Moore, Steve Morse, Tom Scholz, Barry Goudreau, Tom Morello and others.

One of his songs, “Berlin Wall” appears in the motion picture release “Refusenik”, a documentary about Soviet Jews and their struggle to escape to the US during the Cold-War era. Jon’s guitar is heard on the NFL Theme Song during the football season.

Jon spends his spare time with his family.

Selected Press Clippings:

“Finn, You Rule!”  – Keith Lockhart, Conductor Boston Pops Orchestra

“One of the Hub’s hottest guitarists!” –  Liza Orbach, Fox 25 News

“Jon Finn has the chops to make his music flash, but he pulls his music above the loud-guitar din.” – Mac Randall, Boston Pheonix

“Everyone has given up on how to label the genre Finn plays and records. Is it prog-rock? Is it jazz-fusion? Is it explorative instrumental rock? Who cares! It’s good” – Bill Copeland, Bill Copeland Music News

“Jon Finn’s new CD entitled “Bull in a China Shop” showcases the many facets of Jon’s composing, improvisation, and musicianship. Complex arrangements complimented by lush melodic harmonies are delivered in a technically soulful way.” – Robin Stone, Berklee College of Music “Open Position”

“His dazzling fretwork on ‘Don’t Look So Serious’ combines the deft picking of a virtuoso with such techniques as a personalized triplet echo style and smoth two handed work. Above all, the guy is tasty.” – Jeff Vanda, Guitar Shop Magazine

And who's this Az Samad person?

A 3-time TEDx Speaker, Guitarist-Composer-Educator Az Samad has recorded with Grammy Winners Flaco Jiménez & Max Baca; graduated & taught at Berklee College of Music; performed in the United States, Europe & Asia; and appeared on 22 CDs ranging in styles from Tex-Mex, Contemporary Jazz to solo acoustic guitar. His first book, Jazz Improvisation Uncovered received critical acclaim from jazz guitarist Julian Lage. In addition to that, Az has released 9 other educational jazz products including instructional videos and eBooks.

Az is an advocate & performer of Malay Jazz, focusing on the music of P. Ramlee & Jimmy Boyle. He has given talks & performed internationally including Jarasum International Jazz Festival (South Korea), Hong Kong International Jazz Festival (Hong Kong), multiple appearances at the Penang Islanad Jazz Festival (Malaysia), Borneo Jazz Festival (Malaysia), Mosaic Music Festival (Singapore), Thailand International Jazz Conference (Thailand) & Taipa Houses Museum Amphitheatre (Macau) invited by the The Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau and the Cultural Bureau, in collaboration with Macau Jazz Promotion Association. Az has also performed the top jazz venues in Kuala Lumpur including No Black Tie, Bobo KL, Alexis Great Eastern Mall & Mezze Lounge.

An experienced performer, Az has performed with virtuoso violinist Roby Lakatos, former Guns N’ Roses guitarist Bumblefoot, singer-songwriter Zee Avi, funky fingerstyle guitarist Adam Rafferty and percussive fingerstyle guitarist Mike Dawes. Az has performed as part of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and was the classical guitar soloist for the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy Kuala Lumpur concert conducted by Arnie Roth.

Az is a guest composer for the upcoming music-based action-adventure video game, No Straight Roads. His DK West song combines rap with Malaysian traditional music elements including Dikir Barat.

What Students have said about Az's teaching:

"I've been taking jazz guitar lesson from Az for the past 13 months. It's a really satisfying process as Az slowly 'demystify' jazz to me step by step. I came to realise that jazz is not as scary as i thought when you have the right guidance and a great teacher. Az made the process of learning to play jazz really fun. I strongly recommend to anyone who wanna learn how to play jazz or improvise to take lesson with Az! His enthusiasm and passion will definitely make you a better player!"

– Seng Jinn, Jazz Guitar Student, Singapore


"The Az Samad Jazz Improvisation workshop was fantastic, it gave me the opportunity to see what is supposed to happen at practice for it to be effective. The fact that it was done over two instruments (the keyboard and guitar) gave further insight to how this can be applied. I feel like I've hit a plateau in my guitar playing due to the way I practiced, because I wasn't aware of practicing effectively, as I am a self taught musician. But this workshop truly helped me in the sense that I am now more aware and practice deliberately with the tips I've learnt rather than just doodling with my instrument as I have before. Loved the puns, the content and a chance to watch Az perform!"

– Joshua Khor, Jazz Improvisation Workshop Participant


"I just want to say that these last 11 lessons with Az helped open up an entirely new world for me in terms of playing finger-style jazz guitar. While I’m still struggling to get my playing to a level of professionalism that is required for a public performance I believe I will get there some day if I continue to be diligent in rehearsing and practicing.

Az, you have not only been a great mentor and a kind and patient teacher but extremely generous in sharing your skills, wisdom and experience with me. For this I cannot thank you enough. What I have learned from you are not just the half a dozen standards or so but more than that I have learned how to work out songs by myself, thanks to your tutoring.

I wish you the very best in your teaching and performances and will do my best to catch your gigs wherever you play."

– Joe Edwin, Jazz & Fingerstyle Guitar Student


"Taking the 2 months Jazz Masterclass with Cikgu Az was really an interesting and important journey for me as a Jazz guitar student. I learn tons in these 2 months studying with him about jazz. He covered with me so much materials in just 2 months time, from basic chord voicings to good tone quality and I really appreciate his enthusiasm and also his patients as he teaches. Through these lessons I learn the importance of learning tunes in different parts. Learning the melody and to be really familiar with it. Learning aspects of harmony in terms of comping and also chord voicings. Improvisations through the melody lines and also chord melodies.

There was an advice which I also will remember is when I said I am very scared in performing in front of people. Cikgu Az bluntly but kindly told me that if I continue to be scared why would I want to perform in the first place? That made me think real hard. I wouldn't say that I have overcome my fears completely but I trying to overcome them step by step.

I really learn a lot from Cikgu Az and he really helped me alot in improving my playing. I hope to have more masterclasses with him in the future and also hopefully one day I could actually perform with him. Thank you so much Cikgu Az! "

– Eric Tan​, Jazz Guitar Masterclass Student


"During my 7 years as a guitar student, I took private lessons with over 10 guitarists. Some of them being classical guitarists, some rock guitarists, and some jazz guitarists. Some of them being world-class performers, Berklee College of Music professors, or active guitarists in the local scene. But studying with Az Samad was definitely one of the most profound and musically enriching experience for me. His continuous and incessant passion and curiosity in guitar, motivated and inspired me to constantly work harder. Az also showed me that there is no limit when it comes to guitar, and there is always something to practice. On top of that, it is clearly evident that Az wants all of his students to succeed. Every single week, Az would go over and give feedback on all the materials I worked on, and he constantly gives information and opportunities that will benefit me or his other students. Lastly, it is absolutely unbelievable how much knowledge Az has. For almost every lesson, I would come in with different topics and questions. We covered so many different styles and topics such as: bebop line building, compositional techniques, classical guitar techniques, solo guitar, transcribing, Bach, pentatonics, soloing strategies, and so much more. For every one of these topics and questions, Az always seem to know the detailed answer, and more importantly, ways to improve and solve the question/problem I had. Az, thank you so much for all that you've taught me!"

– Chris Lee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Jazz Guitar Student)


"Sometimes I feel that Az Samad is like a mini Berklee to me, I know it sounds weird...

I come from China, before I met Az, I’ve already play guitar for years, and really tired of this instrument, I’m not just hit the wall, walls are the only thing happen when I play guitar. I’ve seen many guitar players and I know that they can’t help me, probably I could help them (sorry for my arrogance). Also, I’ve seen some high level guitarist too, and they still can’t help me, because teaching is a totally different thing, just like I don’t know how to teach you my mother language.

Then occasionally I met Az, watch him playing, he’s so good, and I go back home google him... Worth trying... you know...

Every time I taking the class is like a Jazz Improvisation Session, me and Az, nobody knows what’s gonna happen, so much fun and efficient, coz I won’t spend times on the things I already know."

– QuYuan Leo, Sound Engineer, Former Radio DJ, Guitarist


"I have been a guitarist for almost 10 years and thought I could just get by with chords and melody. Learning from Az has been an amazing experience, every lesson has multiplied my knowledge of music and just went I thought I learned enough about a particular thing, he amazes me with his depth of knowledge and wisdom. I always look forward to the next lesson, never knowing what I may learn and discover every session. Az Samad's lessons are tailor made for anyone, be it an aspiring musician, a music enthusiast or an advance player, he has always something to offer and in spades. He is a brilliant maestro but an equally great mentor if not better!!"

– Benjamin Khong, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Completed The Jazz Guitar Masterclass Course)


"Like most guitar enthusiasts, I started off young, enthusiastic and eager to learn, but eventually lost my zeal and got stuck in a rut with the same licks and chord progressions. Even though I wanted so much to learn about jazz guitar playing, the online resources available kept me away with their complex lingo on jazz standards and music theory. So when I heard about Az, I immediately called about classes.

I can remember the first class with Az so vividly, the way he handles guitar classes is truly a breath of fresh air. Always smiling and warm, he unravelled the basic jazz chords, as well as their arpeggios within the first lesson. I remember driving back and trying to recall all that I had learnt, and telling my mom how much I had enjoyed the class. Moreover, taking classes with Az has reinvigorated my desire to improve and practice harder than before. He has also opened up my playing from being a purely 'pentatonic scale' player to venture beyond my comfort zones on the fretboard. To put it in a nutshell, I've truly rediscovered my passion for the guitar.

From my experience with guitar teachers, I can testify that not all great guitar players make great guitar teachers. But Az is the exception to this rule, and I can't wait to get back to classes with him, so that I can continue learning! "

– Arwin Goo, Jazz Guitar Student, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


"Studying guitar with Az Samad is awesome. The 2 months of Jazz Guitar Masterclass is a kickass journey for me, made my money well spent. Haha. Az Samad's teachings is so well structured. Talking about soloing over changes, I spent most of my time finding more licks to solo, so that I don't play the same licks over and over again in every song. After I started Az Samad's lesson, I understand that being able to play a good solo is more than just practicing licks ! Hahaha. Good one.

We talked about how to explore and practice chord voicings, melodic comping, writing lines over changes, rhythmic and melodic motif development . Trust me, Az Samad is a friendly guy and it's really easy for me to get information from Teacher Az in any topic related to guitar. At least enough for a year to practice I can say. Hahaha.

Now that I've completed this 2 months Jazz Guitar Course, I feel better at understanding about Jazz Guitar. One of the most important information that I've got from Teacher Az Samad is, there are too many things for us to practice, we have to be sure what is our goal and we want to achieve so that we can have a good direction to plan for our every practice session. Really appreciate all the information I got from classes and I'm PROUD to be Az Samad's student ! =)"

– Chee Seng, Guitarist, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Who is this for?

Although this will most benefit guitarists who enjoy rock & jazz genres, if you're a guitarist playing any style of music, you still can learn to apply these real world lessons to your musical situation.

Even if you've only been playing for a few months, or been playing professionally for 20 years, this opportunity is meant for you.

If you play other instruments, you can also benefit from this info-packed session.

What is this exactly?

This was originally a Zoom session conducted to a group of 18 guitarists on Sunday, 31 May 2020. 

The recorded version of the class is now available for you to help level-up your guitar skills.

What did participants say?

This is what Shonny Music @ Sean Dansen said right after the session. He e-mailed me this to describe his experience:

7x Bonuses

✅BONUS #1: (VIDEO) Jazz Guitar Strategies Volume 1 (6 Videos - Total time: 28 minutes)

You get both:

🎼1080p HD (High Definition) Video Version so that you can watch it on your laptop or PC

🎼360p Video Version - (smaller size files, in a ZIP folder) so that you can download it & watch in your phone or tablet offline, without using up your data.

If you want to:

+ find out how to make your own UNIQUE jazz chord voicing using a SIMPLE method (even if you never learned basic jazz chords before)

+ discover the important BASIC concepts of Reharmonization so that you can HARMONIZE and REHARMONIZE melodies confidently

+ add chromatic note choices into your soloing so that you don't get stuck playing the same guitar licks you always have

Then. JAZZ GUITAR STRATEGIES VOL. 1 might be for you.

In this, you'll find out about:

1) Chord Painting

An easy way to create your own chord from ANY mode or scale so you don't have to play the same BORING chords over and over again.

2) Color Point Reharm

A simple to understand technique that makes it fun to harmonize and reharmonize melodies. You'll find out step by step how to do it. This works for any level of guitarist as long as you know basic chords & some diatonic chord knowledge.

3) PAS Chromatic Strategy

A practical way to add chromatic notes into your licks, that you can use to make a lot of licks. This can help get you out from cliches or from simply randomly adding chromatic notes.


Well, you can't buy this separately. 

This is ONLY AVAILABLE as a BONUS in When Rock Meets Jazz. 

✅BONUS #2: (VIDEO) Soloing in D Dorian Lesson by Jon Finn 

✅BONUS #3: (VIDEO) Jon Finn & Az Samad at Berklee - Jam & Lesson

✅BONUS #4: (eBook) Jazz Guitar Licks & Etudes by Az Samad

✅BONUS #5: (PDF) Modes of the Major Scale

✅BONUS #6: (PDF) Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale

✅BONUS #7: (Video) Effective Lick Practice Tips

Here's what you're getting:

✅(VIDEO + PDF) When Rock Meets Jazz Class ($30 Value)

✅(VIDEOS + PDF) Jazz Guitar Strategies Volume 1 ($20 Value) 

✅(VIDEO) Soloing in D Dorian Lesson by Jon Finn ($5 Value)

✅(VIDEO) Jon Finn & Az Samad at Berklee - Jam & Lesson ($3 Value)

✅(eBook) Jazz Guitar Licks & Etudes by Az Samad ($10 Value)

✅(PDF) Modes of the Major Scale ($3 Value)

✅(PDF) Modes of the Melodic Minor Scale ($3 Value)

✅(VIDEO) Effective Lick Practice Tips ($3 Value)



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The Best of Both Worlds: When Rock Meets Jazz - Jon Finn & Az Samad

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