The long road to jazz

Hi,

I know there are no shortcuts in learning guitar, but the road to the jazz lessons seems to take a extended trip past the blues.

I am only on beginner Grade 3 and obviously have a long way to go but was wondering if there is a way to have a look at jazz stuff before I get to the second half of Grade 6.

I would imagine there is no harm in trying to learn the basic jazz chords in the interim.

The Jens Larsen lesson with Justin was very interesting but way over my head - as are the JL lessons.

Any advice from more advanced players would be appreciated.

Regards,
T

Hi Tobi -

Got to say right up front, I’m not a jazz player. So take this with a pinch of salt, but I do play blues, improvise and ‘play the changes’ as much as I can.

I would recommend learning the fretboard really really well. Learn the notes and the intervals (be able to find any interval from a given note). So for example be able to quickly find the 3rd of Eb in different positions. This is something I work on actively and it really helps improv and playing the changes.

This is a skill that will benefit any type of improvising. Learning the intervals on the fretboard will allow you to understand and create your own chord extensions too.

Hopefully some jazz players will pop along shortly and give you more focused advice, but I would argue that learning the fretboard inside out is going to be a core skill for Jazz regardless.

Oh, I should add that learning to play the changes over blues has to be a great start to jazz improvisation.

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Hi Toby, I would echo what Paul suggests. Guitar is a long story and Jazz is different again, Start where Paul suggest, get a good grounding in Blues and then sometime in the future look at Jazz. And enjoy the journey :smiley:

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Hi Toby,

It is a bit scary to see Grade 6, but if you are looking for a start with jazz on this site, you can take a look at this, I started it before I had properly gone through the beginning of grade 3 and I found the basics of Autum Leaves a easy start to do and I didn’t break any fingers :sweat_smile:

It is certainly important to first thoroughly complete grade 3 to really delve deeper into Jazz, because grade 3 is a very good and important basis, but poking around and getting a feel for it can be very pleasant. :sunglasses: …Have fun

Greetings ,Rogier

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Hi, thank you for the advice.

I have started learing all the notes but still have a very long way to go - also looking more at music theory to understand what people are talking about.

Funny enough I have started looking at the melody of Autumn Leaves…

Best,
T

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I have some formal musical education, and Jens Larsson’s lessons are too hard for me. I would just start from playing songs. Almost all jazz standards are just old pop songs, mostly from Broadway musicals.
I can recommend Frank Vignola’s channel on TrueFire. His approach is based on learning songs, not on full control of the guitar.

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I also second Rogier’s advise. Good lessons on Autumn Leaves, Misty and Blue Bossa here.

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Nothing wrong at all with checking it out.
If you take a liking to it, learning a few shapes can get you playing some stuff.
Chords like 9th chords etc are common, as well as various 7th type voicings.
I’m certainly not a jazz player, but I do like delving into some jazzy blues at times; and can see myself doing some more.

Jazz is in the more advanced section on JG as it requires layers of skillsets that take some time and focus to build up. Alot more difficult chord changes in jazz, often quite quick too. Lots of key changes etc as well, that you won’t really find alot in other genres.
But, again, go for it. Lots of basic jazz stuff on Youtube.

Cheers, Shane

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Well, it depends what is your abition ? In jazz there is often complex chords and many changes so it is really demanding a lot of the player. Learn the fretboard well like with the Justin app ! Then there ar two ways of fretboard learning i.e. learning rhe position and name of each note and learning the patterns of the scales. I guess at your present level start the Justin theory course at once. It is a good start - you need to understand how chords are built and not only maj and min but also the advanced chords used in jazz. I.d. dom7 maj7 , the difference between add 9 and 9 , 11, 13 , diminished, half diminished, augumented and so on and so on.
With the fretboard and theory you can build chords, learn triads , spread triads and box chords (quadrads) . With that you can do jazz rytm playing.
It is a very rewarding journey step by step if you like harmonies and it will also develop your ear hearing those harmonies.
If you are really into this a simple keyboard is of use since I personally finds it easier to get the theory on the keyboard where it is in plain sight.

Do Justins mocking around with the open chords its a good start.
With theory and the e and a barrée chords you can on your own learn to change these into 9, 13 and so on.

It is very important to always know the relation of every note you are about to use to the
root note.

good luck and keep going !

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What sort of jazz would you like to play? Bebop? Fusion? Hard bop? Free jazz? Jazz is just as diverse as classical music and the complexity can vary from style to style.

Also, you mention “the basic jazz chords”. Even though I’m far from being a theory expert, any kind of chords can be used in any style of music. “Jazz” (insert here your preferred varieties) has a tendency to use extended chords much more often than it’s customary in pop/rock music. So I’d recommend you check out Justin’s practical music theory course if you haven’t done so yet and start at the beginning:

The other thing you could do, and it’s not specific to jazz, to practice transcribing melodies (start with short ones; whether you write them down or not is up to you) that will help develop your musical hearing.

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Dear all,

thank you for taking the time to anwer my admittedly fairly vague question.

Lot’s of good advice in there. I appreciate your help.

Off to practice now :wink:

Best,
T

Justin also has a short series in grade 7, Jazz up your Blues. Might be worth a look it is old but IMO very good.

I have started learning some of the chords and it is quite a stretch at times :wink:

I have also looked at the opening chords of a Wes Montgomery piece and realise, I am totally out of my depth - can’t even figure out which fingers to use:

Screenshot 2024-04-15 093336

First chord I assumed you use a bar for the B and G string but then by the 3rd chord I realised that cannot be the case?

How do you even hold down those chords?!

Those darn tricky jazz chords …

image

e - 4
B - 1
G - 1
D - 3

image

e - 4
B - 1
G - 2
D - 3

image

e - 4
B - 2
G - 3
D - 1

image

e - 2
B - 4
G - 3
D - 1

image

e - 2
B - 1
G - 3
D - 1

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wow, that was fast - thank you - I will try it out later and then ask you for tips how to unknot my fingers after practice !

If you would like to learn Autumn Leaves I would recommend Sandra Sherman (GuitarVersum) she does some very good beginner tutorials and is a specialist Jazz musician. I learned a great deal from her tutorials, and the spin off is that you learn to be a lot more creative with use of chord inversions in songs other than Jazz. Some of it will be way over the top for you but there’s no harm in dipping your toes in the water, you never know you might find it fun!

Thank you - I will have a look at that. I am actually trying to learn Atumn Leaves off a tab i found.

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Have you seen Justin’s video for Autumn Leaves? It’s good but I felt it was a bit advanced… I’m just starting Grade 3.
IMO, it’s good to attempt something that is a bit beyond my current level - just keep it slow & simple - also keeping in mind that it’s for fun & not getting discouraged if things don’t “click”!
Have fun!

Tod

Hi,
I second DarrelW’s advice. Sandra Sherman is the Justin of the jazz world. Great tuition, good pace, nice style. Her Autumn Leaves video on Youtube and her learning pack (paid for but not expensive) are terrific. I am also learning from her jazz rhythm lessons and Blue Bossa learning pack.
Greg

Yes, I saw that - thank you - it is a loooooong road…