To jazz or not to jazz

That is the question.

I was digging into triads, 7ths, and all that jazz. This then has progressed into playing some simple progressions and chord melodies and all that jazz.

I am, of course, only just touching the simplest of jazz, but I am finding it really fun to play with and aligning with what interests me (for the moment…look a squirrel!).

The problem is, I don’t particularly like jazz. I tend not to listen to it by choice, at least not that much of it. I tend to enjoy smoother jazz rhythms but not the more challenging ones.

So, what to do about the schism where I find it fun to play yet don’t like to listen to it? Should I dive in and see if I develop a new appreciation for jazz? I suppose that would be cool, I mean, hip.

I don’t see a downside in giving jazz a shot. Even if you don’t get into stuff like hard bop or take a deep dive into Miles Davi’s enourmous career, you can still find something you like in jazz-influenced stuff. You can give Bossa Nova a shot, for example. You will find lots of interesting chords there and practice new rhythms you probably haven’t tried yet.

It’s not bossa nova, but I’ve been learning Djavan - Samurai recently and it’s actually my first go at some quadad shapes and diminished chords. The groove is pretty cool too and I’m having a lot of fun. And the harmonica is played by Stevie Wonder!

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Zappa has a lot of jazz influence in his guitar playing i think. There are a lot of bands that use Jazz in there rock. Even some punk bands, Kings of Siam for instance. You could incorporate jazz into your normal stuff and see how it sounds. Look at what the Red Hot chilli peppers did with Jazz and Funk. They incorporate a ton into their stuff. No one calls them a Jazz band but they definitely lay down some jazz sounds.

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You said it was fun, so definitely :sunglasses:
(As long as no one is hurt in the process (animals included :rofl:)
I find Jazz an unhelpful term for genres, as it covers the big band swing of my grandparents’ generation to the incomprehensible bebop and free jazz.:roll_eyes:
I do find it useful as a term to describe elements in a song.
Maybe I need another ‘hip’ replacement…

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BlockquoteMaybe I need another ‘hip’ replacement…



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Don`t be "that"guy :grin:



Rogier’s back in meme-land:roll_eyes: :rofl:


I developed a new appreciation for Classical Music by trying a couple of pieces…I felt like I wanted to dive in, but to be honest I wasn’t listening to much Classical Music before…now I listen to it everyday, at least a couple of pieces, often more and find new ones that meet my taste…some I literally fall in love with and it feels like when I was a teenager and that re-wind button on the audio-tape player…some kind of compulsive listening syndrome.

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Age did that to me…

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I am completely down this rabbit hole and the most fun I’ve had since picking up a guitar. Essentially, all I’m doing now. Aside from liking how the chord tones ring out, it’s all music theory in action. I can now see patterns all over the fretboard that I couldn’t see strumming cowboy chords. The options are limitless and any song can be played in any number of ways. Multiple options for chord voicings and rhythms. Just using 7th and 6th chords, but I understand that 9,11,13 additions just enhance those essential chords and can be omitted when first learning. Seems to me that if you learn “jazz”, then all other genres will be under your fingers. Only problem is that I am now craving an archtop guitar that sounds good amplified or acoustic.

Good to know I am not alone! I think what you are enjoying about it is what I am noticing as well. It is like I see a pathway to learn what the heck I am actually doing when playing.

Well, if it seems fun, it is fun, right?

What resources are you using? I am looking at Justin’s Jazz course and will look at Justin’s interview with Jens Larsen. Then I may do Jens Larsen’s course, it looks good.


Wouldn’t hurt to try. I’m not into that weird, discordant jazz that grew out of the 60’s. DH and I tried listening to 60’s era Miles Davis and company the other day and we still couldn’t get into it, we seem to need some sort of melody line even if it’s just the bass player doing it but every one of those guys in the band sounded to us like they weren’t even pretending to mesh with each other.

We tend to like guys like Grover Washington, Jr. So, I may check into that sort of jazz if I ever get through power chords and blues but if you can develop and appreciation for the weird stuff, more power to you!

I’ve been finding that jazz is a pretty broad genre, catering to a variety of musical tastes.
I found my way to it through the blues, and have found it has opened up a whole new world of sounds and voicings with extended chords, phrasings etc.

Cheers, Shane

No, you’re not alone.

So, I’m following a pretty simple, but structured approach starting with essential foundation components and building on that gradually. I like structure. Fortunate in that I have a neighborhood friend who is very skilled. We meet weekly for a couple hours and I always have (homework) for the following week.

Started with basic chord construction with root notes on the 5th and 6th strings forming Major 7, Dom 7, Min 7, Half and Full Diminished chords. Then, Shell chords on those strings with the Root and without the Root. 6 chords next followed by rootless chords on strings 4, 3, and 2. Next, all of the same chords again on strings 1, 2, and 3. The next step will be extensions on all of these same chord structures.

To facilitate learning and using the above, I play Autumn Leaves and a few other songs using lots of different voicings and rhythm changes. A song like Autumn Leaves is great because it makes you use all of the above chords and play roots on different strings. I also change the key and play the same song. It just sounds good no matter how you play it and it’s a perfect template for learning. Another option is playing a combination of chords and individual notes of that chord in each phrase. Lots of skills learned all at once.

For anyone who thinks jazz is just a weird cacophony of unpleasant sounds, I’d suggest taking a minute to listen to Girl From Ipanema. If you think you hate Miles Davis, listen to Kind of Blue (1959). Many think this may be one of the finest recordings of all time.

There’s just no end to the learning and it’s all great.

Thanks! That is very interesting and helpful. I do love the jazz/funk and boogaloo. You don’t need to have rhythm to play that stuff, do you?

To OP: only you know if you are interested enough to discover jazz in more detail. But the term is like “classical music” in the sense that there are dozens of varieties depending on the period and the size/instrumental makeup of the groups.

If you find Miles or Trane too difficult to get into, try some Art Blakey for instance, or Horace Silver (to name just 2 of the great masters). Bill Evans (the pianist) is also praised, but I find his music a bit too mellow for my liking. But there is tons of “jazz” around.