About Sam Blakelock


Hi, I’m Sam Blakelock- your pickupjazz curator and kiwi jazz guitarist living in NYC.

I have something to confess to you. I am not strictly a jazz guitar teacher. I can confess to you right now, I don’t teach guitar on a daily basis. Why? I don’t TEACH these jazz guitar concepts everyday. I USE them everyday. I am first and foremost a professional jazz guitar PLAYER.

I wrote the bulk of these lessons while performing five hours a night in a jazz quartet on a cruise ship in Northern Europe. Right now, I am living in NYC studying my Master of Music in jazz guitar performance. Pickupjazz tutorials aren’t out of a text book or from the studio of a ‘teach-from-home’ guitar teacher/webmaster. These lessons come directly from the bandstand onto this page.

Why did I create Pickupjazz?

I have another confession: I am not the best guitar teacher for you.

Listen to Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass and Peter Bernstein. All the answers you need are on the records. On any day of the week in NYC, you can listen and learn DIRECTLY from todays jazz guitar greats; Jonathan Kreisberg, Gilad Hekselman, Kurt Rosenwinkel and many more killer players. Even if you live in Hobbiton (or New Zealand like I did for 20 years), you have Youtube; an amazing tool for finding inspiration.

Listening to jazz guitar greats is the BEST way to learn jazz guitar authentically. All I do, is neatly package for you what I have learnt from the masters. Pickupjazz is my opportunity to share with you an efficient and musical approach to learning jazz guitar that I wish I had been exposed to when I was beginning to play jazz guitar.

My Pickupjazz Journey

I am fortunate enough to have a background in graphic design, this website is for me an exciting crossroad between two of my passions. This project took me 6 months of planning and preparation to start up. It has been a challenging journey but the opportunity for me to combine my musical and design skills while sharing with you some handy guitar tips makes all the hard work worthwhile. I would like to share my appreciation of all the fantastic jazz guitar websites out there. I am excited at the direction I see jazz guitar is progressing in on the internet and as a relative new comer to this game I look forward to seeing what is next!

I have big plans for pickupjazz. I am fortunate to be living in one of the greatest cities in the world for jazz so stay tuned for some exciting articles and features of the world’s best jazz guitarists.

If you would like to learn more about me I also hang out at samblakelock.com. Thanks for stopping by, keep learning, and most importantly – don’t forget to have fun!


P.S. Follow me on twitter…

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Please feel free to comment on a lesson if you find it helpful or if it needs improving. There is always more to learn and new techniques to improve on; I am an eternal student of jazz.