For about 20 years, I’ve been searching for a way to “learn how to play jazz”. Which is a stupid idea since there are thousands of jazz varieties so “playing jazz” doesn’t mean anything. But when you are a blues/rock player and you have always watched in awe those “jazz” guitar players playing these beautiful lines on complex chord structures, this is for you.
I have have tried to master “jazz” guitar playing in may ways, books, videos, more books, magazine articles, webpages etc. but I never got to the core. It was all so theoretical and non-practical. Until I combined some knowledge that I found on the web:
- In Jazz, only Major 7th, Minor 7th, Diminished and Augmented chords matter. For more on this subject, please check out my “Jazz” theory page.
- The majority of chord-progressions in Jazz are either a ii-V-I or Major-Minor progression (so if you know how to solo over these changes, you can master almost every Jazz song).
- If it sounds good, it is good, regardless of what the theory tells you.
Most important, I have never found a Jazz learning method that takes music as a starting point. It’s always the (boring) theory while your goal is not to become a theory professor but someone that has fun in playing music. I remember the famous ” Mickey Baker’s – Jazz Guitar” book which starts of with 26(!!!!) chords to learn by heart (I already forgot all about chord 1 when I was learning chord 6).
My “method” works more the way I learned to play blues and rock. It starts off with real songs and introduces you to the theory. You can immediately apply, and therefore understand, the theory and you have mastered a song as well.
For every song I worked out a solo. I urge you to learn this solo by heart. It will take you a lot of time to do so but you will end up with a handful of tricks, licks and ideas. Eddie van Halen copied Eric Clapton’s solos note-by-note, so did Wes Montgomery with Charlie Christian solo’s. The best way to learn is from the greats.
My “method” is not fast, you won’t become a Jazz guitar player in a matter of months as what other methods promise. It is only the starting point of a beautiful journey. And this journey has no destination.
So fasten your seat belts, here we go……
Lesson 01: So Wat
Lesson 02: Blue Bossa
Lesson 03: Solar
Lesson 04: OGD (aka The Road Song)