Sebastian Noelle


Teaching Topics and Philosophy

topics you will explore with Sebastian Noelle include: basics triad and 7th chord voicings and inversions on all string combinations, triad and 7th chord arpeggios in all positions, pentatonic, major, melodic/harmonic minor, diminished, augmented and whole step scales and modes in all positions, swing eighths note phrasing, right hand technique isometric exercises, left hand alternate picking exercises, jazz standard repertoire, transcription of influential (mostly) bebop solos, ear training, sight reading

advanced topics: compositional concepts, harmonic concepts: Messian modes, symmetrical/hybrid 8/9/10-tone scales, Lydian Chromatic Concept, advanced technical studies: wide intervals, economy picking, soloing over odd/mixed meters

While all of the above mentioned topics are important, guitarists sometimes tend to focus on the technical aspect of their instruments to an extent that makes them forget that jazz is primarily a language, a means of communicating ideas, in the moment. As a guitarist I am very much aware of this and address it in all my lessons. Learning the language is not a means in itself, it serves the purpose of expressing the inner spirit of our personalities.


Guitarist-composer Sebastian Noelle has spent much of his life traveling the elusive path between two worlds. In life, he journeys back and forth between his native Germany and his adopted home of New York City; in his art, he navigates the more fluid boundaries between the abstract and the emotional. Throughout that nomadic existence, music has provided a constant source of shelter, an idea that unifies the wide-ranging music on Noelle’s fourth CD.

On ‘System One,’ Noelle leads a stellar quartet that brings together some of the most forward-thinking and limitless musicians in modern jazz: pianist Matt Mitchell (Dave Douglas, Tim Berne), bassist Chris Tordini (Chris Speed Trio, Becca Stevens), and drummer Dan Weiss (Rudresh Mahanthappa, Dave Binney). His last album, ‘Shelter,’ was called ‘rewarding’ by The New York Times and hailed for its ‘embrace of both lyrical intricacies and rockish swagger’ (Nate Chinen).

The compositions on ‘System One’ spotlight Noelle’s far-reaching interests, bringing together disparate musical influences, inspiration from documentary film and German literature, and his studies of North Indian rhythms. The album’s ten compositions also manage the tricky feat of melding ambitious complexity with emotional communication.

His credentials since arriving in New York in 2002 include more than a decade with Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society (appearing on two Grammy-nominated recordings), the BMI Jazz Composer’s Workshop Orchestra, the Chris Potter Big Band, the Aaron Irwin Quintet, Joe Phillip’s Numinous, The Rob Garcia Quartet, and the New York Jazzharmonic. He has performed at 55 Bar, Cornelia Street Café, Blue Note, Jazz Gallery, Iridium, Merkin Hall, The Knitting Factory, BAM, and the Jazz Standard, and at numerous prestigious jazz festivals such as Newport, North Sea, Montreux, and Moers. He has toured extensively in the US, Europe, Canada, Brazil, and Japan.

Noelle has released four CDs on the European FreshSound-NewTalent label: “Across The River” (2006), featuring Donny McCaslin, Ben Street, and Ari Hoenig; “Koan” (2011), with Loren Stillman, George Colligan, Thomson Kneeland, and Tony Moreno; “Shelter” (2016), with Marc Mommaas, Matt Clohesy, Matt Mitchell, and Dan Weiss; and the aforementioned “System One.”

“Noelle’s music is comprised of animated choruses and accelerated by brisk bop grooves. He chooses his notes wisely, as he digs deep from within.”
-Glenn Astarita (ejazznews)

“Noelle is part of a growing group of musicians who stretch the boundaries of jazz rhythm.”
-Owen Cordle, News & Observer

“Music that soars, inspires, challenges, and at times even soothes.”
-Andrea Canter (jazzpolice)

“Highly original and brimming with inventiveness.”
-Budd Kopman (AllAboutJazz)

Private Lessons


Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Students


DurationTrial Class4 Lessons8 Lessons12 Lessons
30 Minutes
60 Minutes$105$442$862$1260
All Lessons packages can be paid in installments.


Home Studio
NYJW Studio

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