How To Learn Guitar So You Can Play Your Favourite Jazz Tunes
There are so many different websites dedicated to teaching jazz music. These sites contain some good exercises and resources to help you learn. But what many do not contain are tips and resources that can help you how to learn guitar to play jazz.
There is no end to learning to play jazz, it is a continuous journey on which you embark. By this I mean that it is not enough just to sit down and say to yourself ‘today I am going to learn jazz’. Jazz is a commitment (usually lifelong), and the best approach to learning jazz is to understand what you need to be successful at playing it.
Learning To Play Jazz Physically And Mentally
Playing jazz music is not just about demonstrating an ability to play jazz on an instrument, but is also a mental process based on an awareness of what jazz is and where it comes from. Developing this awareness will guide your playing to a deeper level of understanding and appreciation. Below are a number of mental and practical tips to help you to think about your own jazz journey.
1. One of the first steps you should take on this journey of how to learn guitar is to listen to good jazz guitar music. There are a wide variety of styles and a lot of it around. Begin with listening to some of the greats of jazz – Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass, Ella Fitzgerald to name just a few, and there a many more. You will soon begin to recognise the differences in jazz styles of these artists.
For example, many jazz tunes are based on what are called ‘standards’. These tunes can be found in ‘jazz fake books’, that contain a collection of jazz standards, which usually give a brief lead sheet (notation) or as its referred to in many Jazz circles The Form of the melody and harmony (chords) of the tune. Now listen to how different jazz musicians play the same jazz standard tune, try “Satin Doll”. You will notice that every artist will play a different version of that tune in their own style.
2. Get to know the wide variety and how to learn guitar jazz music styles from swing, to bebop to blues, to free jazz and more. You will soon be drawn to those styles that you like the best. But always be prepared to shift your likes to suit the mood you are in.
Listening To Older Type Jazz Guitar Is Key
The more you listen and know how to learn guitar to the jazz standards played by different artists the more you begin to identify their different styles, for example, Charlie Parker- the father of bebop compared to Louis Armstrong- the master of swing.
Once you understand the difference in styles when you learn how to learn guitar playing jazz standards, you can branch out and listen to these artists playing their own non-standard numbers. For example listen to Miles Davis’s album – ‘Kind of Blue’ – on it you will hear how his style has moved on from pure bebop to what is called ‘post bop’ a style with minimal chord changes and an emphasis on improvisation – have a listen to the track – “All Blues”.
3. As your interest in jazz music starts to grow start reading about some of the pioneers of jazz music. Read about their lives and the historical background of the development of their music. For example, a good place to start is with the great horn player Louis Armstrong. Read about his life in New Orleans and about his early career in that musical city. Did you know that Louis Armstrong began his musical career whilst serving time in a juvenile offenders institution. (So did I) He became a keen member of the institution’s brass band and progressed from playing drums to blowing the horn. Who knows if he had not been sent to that institution he may not have become the great jazz musician that he was.
Music History Is An Important Ingredient To Learning Jazz Guitar
Knowing about the history and background of jazz music has given me an affinity (mental link) to the musicians of the jazz age. I feel that I am part of a greater movement, All jazz bands have guitar players in their ranks but guitar players were not as prevalent as some other instruments in the great Jazz era which has helped me on my jazz journey noting their differences. This has helped me to know how to learn guitar be it Jazz, Rock, Blues, Pop I truely love it all!
With the above mental resources in place you are now in a position to begin how to learn guitar jazz music on a deeper level.
The next step is the gathering of good learning resources around you, both local and global to help you on your journey.
You can learn to play guitar through guide books or other really efficient online guitar tuition programs like the ones I have listed just below for you and Good Luck.
I believe the best and fastest way to Learn Guitar in this day and age is by sourcing good online Guitar tuition like the ones I have found below for you. Below That Are Links To Some Great Jazz Guitar Lessons & Other Resources.
Heres My 2 Recommendations As The Best Online Guitar Tuition.
This Is A #Blues Guitar Course