What are the first things to learn for jazz style guitar?


Question by WOO!: What are the first things to learn for jazz style guitar?
I’m a noob to jazz guitar and well…jazz period. But I’ve reached a point in my playing, that I’m ready to branch out from the genres I normally play. (Blues, Rock, Metal, r&b, ect.) Can someone give me help? Video links? Anything really. Thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by Guitarpicker
Learning a vast array of guitar chords is your primary goal and then using them in the songs of your choice. You must understand chord progressions in the key signatures and be able to quickly form and play them instantly without thought.

Getting a quality chord book from your music store is a good step. Learning them with all their associated chromatic applications is another. Some of the chords used exclusively in Jazz are major and minor sixths, ninths, elevenths, and thirteenths. Altered chords, such as those indicating sustaining a certain note in a chord, is also required to know.

Given the opportunity, study the techniques of the late Wes Montgomery and renown George Benson.

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!


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Scales & modes & chord theory are critical to jazz guitar. Learn as much music theory as you possibly can. I have a great book called Jazz Chops for Guitar which also came with a CD. I also have the Blues Chops for Guitar. It’s a great introduction to exercises and lessons designed to make you a better jazz guitarist. There’s probably a lot of other great books you could get from your local music store or online.

Gtarczar – I think you left out the punch line to your joke:
A rock guitarist plays 3 chords to a thousand people, a jazz guitarist plays a thousand chords to 3 people. Very funny though and good advice.


Get a hold of a book By Al Di Meola Chords and scales, most practical way to learn the chords you will need.

Mark Lavine Has a book out called Jazz Theory, get it.

Need something to play along with get Band in Box or Jamie Ambersold Play alongs.

Theater Dork

For Jazz.. you need to understand MUSI THEORY, be able to READ MUSIC and be good at FINGER PICKING.. and you MUST be very, very good at IMPROVISITION

Arthur Lucas

try 7 chords, min pent scale, and jazz/melodic minor scale first off

Joe Echols

Everyone has to start somewhere. The important thing is to get started. There are plenty of great resources on the Internet to get you started with songs, chords, videos. Below is one of the best sites to get you started.


I tried for many years on and off trying to learn the guitar but never got the hang of it untill I started using oline lessons as I was able to learn at my own pace as the home tutor I had cost me a fortune

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