Mickey Baker Jazz Guitar

I had the Mickey Baker Jazz Guitar tutor when I was 14 years old. I couldn’t make much sense of it then, so started listening to Muddy Waters instead. The following is for any 14-year old kid (or 14 at heart) who is starting with this book.

Lesson 2:

Lesson 3: 

Lesson 4:

Lesson 6:

Lesson 8:

Lesson 13: 

Lesson 20:

Lesson 21:

Lesson 22:

Lesson 31a Blues No.1:

Lesson 31b Blues No.2:

Lesson 31c Blues No.3:

Lesson 34: 

Lesson 35a:

Lesson 35c & d:

Lesson 35e:

Lesson 35f:

Lesson 36:

30 thoughts on “Mickey Baker Jazz Guitar”

  1. Anonymous said:

    Very good videos. They have helped me slog through Mickey Backer over the past year.

  2. Anonymous said:

    Excellent work Rob, I found your videos really useful and very easy to watch, thanks!

  3. Uri Ben-Gal said:

    Thank you for your wonderful generosity.
    These videos really make all the difference for me.
    All the very best.

    Uri Ben-Gal

  4. Anonymous said:

    Thank you for doing this!

    Buffalo, NY USA

  5. Anonymous said:

    thx for ur help\

  6. Thanks for putting these recordings on your site they are going to be very helpful this next year as I am just getting into this book.

    Regards Trevor

  7. Really helpful videos. I’m still only on lesson 6, but it’s great to hear your playing of each lesson sounding like mine. Reassures me that I’m heading in the right direction. Thank you! 🙂

  8. Great work man,I studied book one when I was 27(I’m now 60) and then later book 2.These books are real gems.Glen Turner.

  9. Hi Rob for a beginner in jazz guitar, your videos helped me understand better Mickey Bakers book 1. My favorite is lesson 13. If it’s not too much to ask, hope you can also do Lesson 14, 15 & 16. Thanks for your generosity!

    • Thanks, Steve. I think it would be better for you in the long run if you worked it out yourself. I’ve given you a start, but it is up to you to take it further. However, I am available for Skype or FaceTime lessons… 🙂

  10. Thanks Rob. I’ll work on it, though I’m still on Lesson 2.

  11. Rob …great videos …. great lessons … thanks so much … I bought this book when I was a bit older than you … about 21 I think … I still have it and now playing uke instead of guitar …so I’m thinking of going back to the book with the help of these videos and seeing if I can apply it to the uke?…

  12. p.s. now 65 years old by the way …..

    • Hi Barry. I think this style would work well with the uke. No awkward strings to mute – just make them all four-note chords, and remember that you don’t always need a root note in the chord. Good luck!

  13. Pekka Niemi said:

    The Mickey Baker book was the only tutor for jazz guitar on 1976 or so in Pori, Finland.
    I did learn almost every chord prog. But did not hear the beauty in them. This is the first time hearing them played with skill and style. I have had so great time listening you playing and commenting ” mother on all stretchs” and so on. Take care Rob.

  14. Philip Springer said:

    Hi Rob,

    I clicked on your link at Jazz Guitar Online and found this. I bought the Mickey Baker book in the ’70s, then went back to classic rock. Still have the book. Now studying jazz more seriously, primarily Django and Charlie Christian. Have gone through several of your videos. Excellent. Thanks!

  15. Thank you so very much for your generosity in sharing the Mickey Baker videos! Your examples make the book come alive and made the material more accessible to me. My playing has improved due to your teaching. Cheers!
    Best Regards for the New Year –

  16. Your videos are great: wonderful to hear these played with skill! Thank you!

    Two Mickey Baker stories:

    About 1970 I recall seeing a transcription book of songs by The Who, sanctioned by Pete Townshend. This was the only accurate music book of Who songs at the time, including many songs from The Who Sell Out album. In the notes to one of the songs (Sunrise, I think…) he “admits” that in about 1967 he had decided that he needed to “really” learn how to play guitar, and went to the Mickey Baker book. And then nicked the chord progression of Lesson 2 for a number of songs on the record. And it’s true, listen to the songs Sunrise, Odorono, Our Love Was Is – it’s all there!

    I worked at Bell Labs for a while with an older gentleman who claimed to have been a mid-level “teen idol” type singer in the late ’50s – “Little Bobby Abbott”. He was from Pennsylvania but won a talent contest and moved to NYC. He said he became friends with Mickey Baker, who liked his style and gave him guitar lessons. He claimed he had a guitar that a young Carol King had inscribed with her name in nail polish, He had all sorts of stories, but I could never corroborate any. One day he left a package on my desk: it included a copy of a lead sheet for the song Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, signed by MIckey Baker! He claimed that Mickey thought the song would be a good vehicle for him, but he thought it was stupid so he passed on it…Of course it became a worldwide hit for Brian Hyland. After that he quit music and burned all his memorabilia and sold all his guitars but that one. But that lead sheet and a concert poster was all I ever saw.

    • Brilliant stories, SledDawg! Mickey’s book was hugely influential. Too bad his own albums are not that great, to my tastes. Carol King can inscribe my guitar any day she wants. I was just listening to her on YouTube this afternoon. What a genius!

  17. Thanks Rob! I really enjoyed playing along with you to my Mickey Baker boo, which I got as 15 year old! (46 years ago 🙂 Happy Xmas! — cheers, Toby

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