Jazz truly illustrates the versatility of the guitar. From the intricate solos of progressive jazz to the understated jazz elements of modern pop music, this style has had a huge influence on just about every form of modern music and, of course, it has greatly affected the way we play the guitar.
Read below to learn more about jazz guitar and listen to some samples of its various styles and techniques. Each lesson is prepared according to the student's particular goals and the examples below provide only a general sense of the many things the potential guitar student can learn. Learn to play jazz with Paper Moon Music private jazz guitar lessons in San Diego!
Jazz music grew out of American Blues and Ragtime styles of the early 20th century and is noted for its emphasis on improvisation. When we think of Jazz, we often imagine a complex and confusing style of music full of difficult chords and wild instrumental virtuosity. This is indeed often the case, but Jazz need not be confusing or even hard to play; many Jazz and Jazz-style songs are in fact quite simple even for a beginner. This fact is evident in the widespread influence of Jazz (with the guitar figuring prominently!) in a vast array of popular music, some examples of which are listed and described below with sound samples of Scot playing each style that you can learn. Remember, you don't need to know how to read music or understand music theory to play the guitar; however, you are strongly encouraged to do so, as it will enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of both music and the guitar. Jazz guitar can be a theory-intensive musical genre, but the fundamentals of this style can be taught to the intermediate or beginner guitarist, just like any other style.
The "standard" Jazz of guitar legends Wes Montgomery and George Benson, the distinctive flair of Django Reinhardt's Gypsy Swing, and the fiery Spanish Jazz/Rock of guitarists like Al di Meola, are just a few of the styles that fall into the Jazz genre. More than any other form of music, Jazz offers the guitarist the widest range of sounds.