Tech Tip:Jazz 101

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The following tips for aspiring guitarists are courtesy of John McCarthy of The Rock House Method, publisher of video lessons for musicians at every skill level.


Sam Ervin; Galveston, TX



Q: What are the most used chords for Jazz Guitar? I want to start to learn this genre and don't know where to start; all I have played so far is basic Rock songs. Thanks for the help.


A: It's great to hear that you are expanding your horizons and opening up your ears to new styles of music; it will make you a better and more versatile guitar player.


I suggest that you start with basic Major 7th and Minor 7th chords. Learn a 5th and 6th string root position for each. After you start to get a handle on this, then move on to Major 6th, 9th, and Dominant 7th chords while again learning a 5th and 6th string root for each species. This will give you a great start for learning Jazz chord progressions.


I would also recommend that you start to memorize the Major scales across the entire neck in all keys. Start with the key of "C" Major and learn the five positions spanning the neck.


Jazz is a very colorful music and can often be quite complicated so be patient, it will take a little practice to make it all sink into your fingers.


Hope this helps!


Yours in Music,
John McCarthy
Rock House