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  1. #1
    Total newbie to Jazz guitar. But I am not new to guitar playing (rock, metal).

    What should I learn first ? The internet is giving me random ideas and so many ppl talking different things and I am overwhelmed.

    Help !

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Chords and arpeggios, and tunes. Try to learn as much as you can by ear as possible. Push yourself to hear it.

    Listen to as much jazz as humanly possible.

    But learn tunes. Try to learn the melodies by ear if you can. Jazz is music first, not technique, not theory. Music.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazznoob_2021
    Total newbie to Jazz guitar. But I am not new to guitar playing (rock, metal).

    What should I learn first ? The internet is giving me random ideas and so many ppl talking different things and I am overwhelmed.

    Help !
    You've made an excellent first step by joining this forum, where a wealth of knowledge awaits you in the form of lessons, tips, and general advice from our (generally) well-informed*membership. Welcome aboard!

    * Also handsome

  5. #4

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    I agree with Jeff: Listen a lot and learn tunes.

    I would only add that having a good teacher can give you a real head start. Find one. They'll help you cut through the clutter of random ideas and focus on what you really need.

  6. #5

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    Jens Larsen on YouTube is a great resource. Here is a set of his lessons:

    Code:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hmSQuMIf-w&list=PLWYuNvZPqqcHcRM5XL8rGFh1Xqkft77Qk
    His lessons are short, well explained, and include notation. Nothing drives me battier than a yakky lesson where the presenter wheedles.

  7. #6

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    As someone who relatively recently (in the last ten years) tried to learn "jazz guitar" from a mostly blues background, my advice would be to first define what you want to learn. Like everything in life, there is no one thing called "jazz guitar".

    Do you want to play arrangements for solo guitar like Joe Pass? Do you love the way Larry Carlton adds spice to his blues lines? Do you love the smooth intricate lines of Wes Montgomery? Do you love Charlie Parker, and want to play that on guitar in a jazz trio or ensemble? Do you love the blistering out there sounds of John Scofield?

    Your goals will change as you get deeper into the musical traditions, but it is helpful to know where your interest lies to know the best path forward. The first step for most rock players is to let go of the notion of what "key" a "song" is in, and to begin to focus on small transient moments of harmony sometimes as short as two beats over a single chord before changing your tonal reference. Beyond that, what you want to learn to do with that can diverge a lot depending on your musical goals.

  8. #7

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    Play tunes, chords and melody.

    Check Frank Vignola's Jazz Studio.

  9. #8

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    Yep, agree. The very first step is learning tunes. From there you can figure out what to work on next. Things after that would be how to harmonize the melody or how to build single note solos.

  10. #9

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    I think that it's difficult to ignore distractions.

    Great jazz players have done it all kinds of ways. There is no one way that's clearly better than the others. But, there is an absolutely mind-boggling array of information and opinion available.

    How do you pick a path and stay on it?

    I don't think on-line advice can be well-enough tailored to the individual. A key issue, to take one example, is how well your ear is developed. Do you need to focus on ear-training or can you spend that time on something else?

    Are you quick at learning and retaining licks or is that difficult for you? Are you interested in the full history of jazz guitar or do you want to gloss over some of it? Etc Etc.

    I agree with the suggestions to find a teacher.

  11. #10

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    This is a really interesting discussion for me. Like the OP, I'm struggling with getting started. Unlike the OP, I've been stuck at this stage for years! I get interested in learning to play jazz but invariably get completely overwhelmed with the enormity of the task and freeze, like a rabbit in the headlights. As a result, I've never progressed beyond a few arpeggios, chord changes and have almost no ability to improvise.

    I found @rhrlett's post above incredibly interesting. I've never really narrowed down what I want to learn - duh!

    If someone came to me and asked for advice on learning to play "rock guitar", I'd definitely find out if their interest was rootsy blues/rock, heavy metal, progressive rock etc. before suggesting anything. Even then there are countless sub genres and variations and I'd spend a lot of time trying to find something that the beginner would enjoy playing, along with being enough of a challenge to develop while not being so overwhelming as to require weeks of study for a bar or two of music!

    When I have dabbled in jazz tuition books, the usual thing is endless chord and arpeggio exercises and typically the instruction to "now memorise that in all twelve keys". I suppose I'm being a bit of a spoiled brat but I'm not sure I have the willpower to do through months and months of exercises before being able to attempt to play anything resembling a melody or a tune.

    I've recently had a revelation that many of the jazz guitarists I like play a lot of tunes over the "jazz blues" changes. These are very simple (in jazz terms) and basically just use the standard I-IV-V "12 bar" changes with various additions, typically a II-V-I at the end, instead of a V-IV-I. I keep hearing that set of changes in Grant Green tunes and have started working out the basic melodies ("heads" I think the jazzers call them) and playing the chords along to the tunes. The solos are still way beyond me but I'm wondering whether to start learning some note for note (along with similar sounding stuff from Kenny Burrell) as a nice starting point.

    Sorry if I'm not adding much. Just wanted to chip in that you're not alone and that there's a lot of great advice and help on here. YouTube is an amazing resource but it's easy to be overwhelmed by choice. It's nice when people can narrow down the choice a bit for you!

    Good luck @jazznoob_2021 and enjoy the journey!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrome Dome
    I keep hearing that set of changes in Grant Green tunes and have started working out the basic melodies ("heads" I think the jazzers call them) and playing the chords along to the tunes. The solos are still way beyond me but I'm wondering whether to start learning some note for note (along with similar sounding stuff from Kenny Burrell) as a nice starting point.
    In my opinion, this kind of thing is EXACTLY what you should do, it’s what I did.

    I have read comments by so many people saying ‘I was so overwhelmed by all the theory and exercises and playing it in all 12 keys before even learning a tune, that I gave up’, it’s depressing.

    Learn some tunes, learn the melodies, learn the chords, start figuring out a few phrases of the solos, have fun with it!

  13. #12

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    Without a teacher you may waste an awful lot of time spreading your focus too thinly, or focusing on the wrong thing, or not focusing on the right thing for the right amount of time—there are so many books, so many internet discussions, so many videos with 3-10 great jazz tips every guitar player should know!

    A good teacher will listen to you play, consider your goals, and hone in on a couple of things you need to work on to help get you there. (A bad teacher might not do anything for you at all.) I've had 3 or 4 lessons with a great teacher in the past 18 months. I've been working on the stuff from my last lesson for like 6 months. My teacher stresses that most people underestimate how long it takes to truly master something, but also talks about mastering everything by mastering a few things. You have to find a good cadence and just slowly and surely plow through the material.

    I spread practice time between my lesson material (fundamentals, solo guitar arranging concepts) and participation in various threads here on the JGF to apply those things to a growing repertoire.

  14. #13

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    https://www.amazon.com/Rhythm-Guitar...6866341&sr=8-2

    Somebody gave me this book when I was about 18. I pushed myself to go through the exercises. They are kind of dry but worth the effort. It changed my playing; both rhythm and lead. However, get direction from a good teacher because knowing the chords is one thing but applying them takes guidance.

    after you get a good handle on that, download the pdf on this page: Learning your Chord Inversions -- Jimmy Bruno Method - My Jazz Guitar Journey. It has all the chords that are in the book but with additional forms and inversions. All these are strictly foundational.

    Of course, as everybody else said: Learn tunes!!

  15. #14

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    Welcome jazznoob, you're in the right place. Lots of great ideas for you so far and I've been/still am at the same place as you are. In addition to a teacher as noted already, I'll point you to the top right of this page where there are links to the material that you can get from this site. I'd suggest the 'Beginner's Guide to Jazz Guitar' as a start and there are also a couple of 'intro' to jazz blues that are very usefull. As noted above, the blues is a big part of jazz music but it's not the Blues 'blues' you might be familiar with.

    That's were I started and the material is great. Oh, and yea, listen and play/learn the melodies to jazz tunes. It's a fun journey.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chrome Dome
    This is a really interesting discussion for me. Like the OP, I'm struggling with getting started. Unlike the OP, I've been stuck at this stage for years! I get interested in learning to play jazz but invariably get completely overwhelmed with the enormity of the task and freeze, like a rabbit in the headlights. As a result, I've never progressed beyond a few arpeggios, chord changes and have almost no ability to improvise.

    I found @rhrlett's post above incredibly interesting. I've never really narrowed down what I want to learn - duh!

    If someone came to me and asked for advice on learning to play "rock guitar", I'd definitely find out if their interest was rootsy blues/rock, heavy metal, progressive rock etc. before suggesting anything. Even then there are countless sub genres and variations and I'd spend a lot of time trying to find something that the beginner would enjoy playing, along with being enough of a challenge to develop while not being so overwhelming as to require weeks of study for a bar or two of music!

    When I have dabbled in jazz tuition books, the usual thing is endless chord and arpeggio exercises and typically the instruction to "now memorise that in all twelve keys". I suppose I'm being a bit of a spoiled brat but I'm not sure I have the willpower to do through months and months of exercises before being able to attempt to play anything resembling a melody or a tune.

    I've recently had a revelation that many of the jazz guitarists I like play a lot of tunes over the "jazz blues" changes. These are very simple (in jazz terms) and basically just use the standard I-IV-V "12 bar" changes with various additions, typically a II-V-I at the end, instead of a V-IV-I. I keep hearing that set of changes in Grant Green tunes and have started working out the basic melodies ("heads" I think the jazzers call them) and playing the chords along to the tunes. The solos are still way beyond me but I'm wondering whether to start learning some note for note (along with similar sounding stuff from Kenny Burrell) as a nice starting point.

    Sorry if I'm not adding much. Just wanted to chip in that you're not alone and that there's a lot of great advice and help on here. YouTube is an amazing resource but it's easy to be overwhelmed by choice. It's nice when people can narrow down the choice a bit for you!

    Good luck @jazznoob_2021 and enjoy the journey!

  17. #16

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    One of the most important things is NOT to look at jazz (any artistic skill actullly) as if it is behind a blind wall to which someone would give some sacred knowledge how to get there.

    it is an open valley and you are free to go yourself...
    Good musicians are good from the beginning... you learn skills but since you are attracted to music you hear the stuff at the beginning already.
    Trust yourself you may be musically better than those who got some skills.


    I always assume that those who approach jazz have some tunes/solos/songs in mind they want to play...
    and I often wonder why they do not try just to play that stuff instead of getting to studying some 'mysterious overwhelming conceptions that would giver the key to revelation of playing magical solos')))

    Why not just try to figure out something by ear? Trying to listen to inner voice?

    excercises are important to develope fretboard knoledge and orientation...

    You do not have to learn everything at a time.
    Especially if you do not have critical dead lines to perform...

    Actually only quite limited set of tools is really important at the beginning...

    I think I will never get equally comfortable in every key for example - and I think it is ok... becasue I hear keys differently and working around different keys on guitar can be very different physically... why should they be equal after all?

    Actually I have different ways of going through different keys... and in most cases I developed them because there were tunes in thse keys that I like.

    i tis just an exmple... I treat it as road of fun... there are things left unknow? Great there will be thing to do tommorow then...

  18. #17

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    Looks like the OP has left the building?

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by alltunes
    Looks like the OP has left the building?
    Wouldn't be the first time someone posted a question and didn't return to pick up his replies...

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Wouldn't be the first time someone posted a question and didn't return to pick up his replies...
    He got scared and dicided it would be safer to retreat back to metal before it is too late

  21. #20

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    He posted on the 19th and today is the 22nd. Not everyone comes back here every day!

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonah
    He got scared and dicided it would be safer to retreat back to metal before it is too late
    Metal is fuckin hard.

  23. #22

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    To quote Eleanor Roosevelt

    " The best way to begin is to begin "

    I learned the most by attending music camps.

  24. #23

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    All right, I'm new to this forum, but about five months ago I picked up an Ibanez AF55 and got my yen back to getting into guitar.

    No, I'm not new to jazz: I play piano and Hammond, and in a previous lifetime used a Gibson SG Special from the mid-seventies to try to copy Jimmy Page.

    I don't know if I should give advice on anything, but this is just abstract from how I learned to play or do anything.

    I picked three tunes, simple.

    "Love Walked In," I do in Ab, GG does it in C. Medium swing.

    "Solar" Cm. Fast as a mofo, way on top of the beat.

    "Easy Living" Eb. Ballad.

    Obviously I know a lot of tunes, but that's how I'm rolling it starting over again: just three exemplars of simple tunes.

    And I spent maybe three hours at a bar today with some blank chord/fret things trying to plot out Steve Khan's transcription of Jim Hall's full comping chords behind Bill on "My Funny Valentine."

    I don't know, but for me, my only thing is to not do like when I was a kid, so I only play in flat keys, Eb, Ab, Db, C, F, Bb. No open strings.

    And no shortcuts: I look at a "classical guitar" printout of where each note is on the neck.

    Well, I answered that question as far as I'm able to in my own experience.

    As a kid I was never precise at up-down picking technique.

    So, I find it's pretty easy, especially as a keys player, to grab with the thumb and even index and middle of the RH: good enough for Wes, I guess. I don't know if it's worth the effort to begin again using some fat Dunlop picks with strict discipline.

    And, yes, the AF55 came with, along with the floating bridge, I'd guess they are 10s or 11s up top. I was shocked how much Thomastik GB014 were per set (flats, with the wound G), but I should probably learn how to play the guitar first.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzereh
    He posted on the 19th and today is the 22nd. Not everyone comes back here every day!
    Maybe not. Wound G, low on the neck.


  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazznoob_2021
    Total newbie to Jazz guitar. But I am not new to guitar playing (rock, metal).

    What should I learn first ? The internet is giving me random ideas and so many ppl talking different things and I am overwhelmed.

    Help !
    Happy birthday - seriously!