Tips for beginning jazz guitarists

Never skip your warmup routine

Learn the “jazz language”

  1. Listen to recordings
  2. Run through Real Book jazz charts while listening to the recordings. (Ralph Patt Vanilla Book online, The Fake Book Index)

Melody and phrasing

  1. Make your own small melodies over ii-V-I progression
  2. Record your melodies and listening to yourself
  3. Play the melodies in all keys and in all of your five scale positions (Use Band-in-a-box to create a ii-V-I in all keys, chromatically (C, Db, D, Eb, E…) and in fourths (C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab…))

Timing and rhythm

  1. Use Transcribe! or similar “slow down” software and record your favorite jazz musicians and imitate them.
  2. Set the metronome to click on beats 2 and 4. Practice tapping your foot on the 2 and 4 while playing.