Tommaso Zillio

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guitar jazz tricks

What’s the best way to learn how to play Jazz music?

Many guitar players and musicians alike want to be able to pull out certain Jazz vocabulary at the right times or play along with Jazz standards, so how should you do this? How do you master the Jazz sound?

If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be playing Jazz in no time.

Step 1: Quit your job

We’re gonna need to clear up some time in your schedule to practice, so this one is a no-brainer.

Step 2: Liquidate all your assets

You’re going to need some moolah so you can afford a degree in Jazz performance, a Gibson ES-335, and a fedora.

Step 3: Acquire a degree in Jazz performance

This should take no longer than four years + your mental health.

Step 4: Practice 6 hours a day for 20-30 years

This should take no longer than 20-30 years. Like I said: "in no time"!

Step 5 (optional): Die of a heroin overdose

Again, this one is totally optional.

Then you’re set!

But wait… what if you don’t want to do any of that? What if you want to sound like a Jazz player with little to no effort?

Then you’ve come to the right place!

You see, there is one type of person who will be impressed by someone with a complete, sophisticated understanding of Jazz vocabulary and theory, and that is other Jazz musicians.

If all you want to know is how to sound somewhat jazzy, and how to impress anyone other than Jazz musicians, you can cut that 35-year timeframe down to 35 minutes (as long as you have a good understanding of how chords work…).

How do you do that?

All you have to do is check out the video linked below, and I’ll show you exactly how to sound like a Jazz expert to everyone on the planet except actual Jazz experts.

A massive part of being a true Jazz player is understanding chords inside and out. If you want to improve your chord knowledge on the guitar, check out my Complete Chord Mastery guitar course.

Video Transcription

Hello internet, so nice to see you, let's say that you are a rock or blues, or pop musician, or you in general play some kind of musical just started. And you want to get started into jazz music. That's not a goal for everybody. Some people like jazz music, or three people don't like jazz music.

But if you do want to play jazz music, and you are not a jazz musician, right now, one thing it would be really, really useful for you is to know how jazz is different than other kinds of music, what kind of things you need to change on the music, you know, are ready to make it jazz.

So essentially, jazz for rock musician or jazz for blues musician, or if you want jazz for pop musician, this kind of thing. Okay. A student of mine asked me exactly that. They wanted to start into jazz, and they're already a fairly good player in other styles. So that's the answer I gave them.

So I was wanting to get into a little bit of jazz. I have zero background in it. And I was wanting to expand my creative toolbox with just a mental mindset of how a jazz musician would approach playing writing.

Okay, so first of all, jazz means two things today. I forgot we were very politically and politically incorrect. Answer again. But for some people jazz is sounding like it's 1940. Okay, okay, so bebop, and essentially, like, that's jazz. And that's it. For some other people. Jazz is simply a progressive thing, meaning, find a way to put in different kinds of chord different kinds of sonorities inside what we have make sense.

Okay, so just try to expand the sound palette we have think Jacob Collier, Collier, okay, have you ever known Jacob Collier, okay, now, something to write down later, Jacob Collier and see what he can do with sound that's jazz, effectively, but it's not jazz in the 1940s. So the first thing is to see what you're interested in, you want to sound like the 1940s. Or you want to sound in general, like, I don't know, jazz and fusion and all this extra thing and use jazz to find ideas.

Probably the second because when I think of 40s, I think of swing and big bands. And I'm not thinking of that, you know that I'm thinking of more like piano at a high end diner with the jazz bands. Okay. Okay, that kind of style.

Makes sense. Okay, fantastic. So the first idea, okay, there are several ideas and to cover all of them, it would be impossible in a short amount of time. So I'm just going to give you kind of started. Okay, so one of the most basic idea of jazz is that you're not gonna play only triads. Okay.

Okay, so you're not gonna play a C major chord or arpeggio, you're not gonna play an E minor? At the very least, you put in the silent at the very least. Okay? So C major seven, a minor seven, I know a minor seven on this kind of thing. So just to make the chord sound a bit sweeter, okay to put some slight dissonance inside.

Following me so far, you know what the seven is in a chord? Yes. Fantastic. Then you might have stuff on a server you guys are putting in the night. Okay, so I'm gonna explain, you know, what, the 9 is?

Me? Yes. I don't know all the chords. But yes.

The thing is, you could sit down and learn all the patterns. But it's better if you understand how the chord is built. So you can build it yourself. Okay. Okay, so let's try it is built by taking the root, the third and the fifth. Okay, major scale and take that 113 And five, the seventh is the seventh easy.

Okay, the nine, the scale is only seven notes, and the eight is the starting note at the top, and we're not gonna have higher than nine is the same as the second note of the scale usually played an octave higher, but you don't have to you can play to the lower right. Okay, so essentially the 9 it's two frets above the root. So let's see. The ninth is going to be a D. Okay, you could have played in the same octave of this difficulty ourselves that it played at the higher octave.

So in this case, I'm playing C which is the root ie the third be the major seventh and the the ninth. The fifth of the chord is the one you can typically eliminate, okay. Okay. So eliminate the fifth and make space for the seventh. The ninth, possibly or not, okay, okay. But the idea is you should never if you play want to play this kind of jazz, ever this kind of just sound you don't want us pure triads in general.

Okay, okay. So that's idea number one. So whatever you can do would be to take a simple chord progression and you could progression you want, and start playing the chord progression using the sevenths and then maybe the ninths. In the case of E, you're gonna have gonna flood nine, and you're gonna and then you're going to have an idea.

The idea is, rather than getting a big book, of course, or a big set of patterns, idea is just think, what are the notes inside and build your own chord? Yeah, that simplifies it a lot. Yeah, we because it's like you said it understand how the chord is built, where the notes are found. And before, you know, you kinda have a working knowledge of those shapes, as opposed to just memorizing 100 of them. If you build your own, you remember them.

Or you remember this kind of thing, okay. So, just start with that. That will be the first concept. Okay, vertical is picking, you don't use only triads. And there is the horizontal concept in in the progressions. Jazz, you have a series of typical chord progressions, okay, most of them, many of them follow the circle of fifths. Ever heard of the circle of fifths?

Yes, good. So, whatever is that you start from the root chord. When you play another chord in the scale, pretty much any recording scale, okay, I'm gonna play on a minor 7. And then you go down, in fifth, so, down a fifth or up a fourth, which is the same as down a fifth. And starting with a C major seven, I'm getting an A minor seven, which is the 6th.

Down a fifth I get a D, so I put the D, the D chord, D minor seven. In this case, I'm going down a fifth searching for the G chord in that key, which is the g7. And you've heard this progression.

Right? Good idea I used to learn how to follow the circle of fifths. Okay, I could have done C and then jump on E minor. I could have done this in minor, C minor. C minor, A flat major seven, which is the sixth chord, D minor 7 flat 5, which is the second chord in C minor and just taking the one three and five starting from that note in that scale.

And then the g7 and then C minor seven again, on the vertical direction, put more than the trial at the seventh, or the ninth, or the sixth. Okay, on the horizontal direction, learn a few of the standard chord progression, the circle of fifths progression, it's super standard. Basically, wherever you go, you follow the circle of fifths until you go back to one the find the ending is always 251. You may have heard of 251.

In jazz, which is a very common chord progressions because wherever you start anywhere else in the key when you search for the circle of fifths, eventually you get to a 251.

So can you get to essentially make a infinite or extremely long chord progression?

You can using this is one of them. And the first one I will suggest you look into there are many other typical chord progressions of jazz, okay, many of them you know, it's like, I didn't know D minor seven, the mighty minor is sorry, the minor with a major seven, D minor with normal seven D minor with a six then basically have these on top of the D minor seven that will be the thing to learn and whenever you see a jazz song or something is identify if you see those things going on. So look within the chords are so sevens, or six or something else great.

And then you play a few of them. Where are the chord, the chord progression a circle of fifths or not? If a 40 percent of the time you're gonna find a circle of fifths, it's a very, very, very common question. But the other 60 percent they're gonna find something different. They're gonna find different fragment of this I got a fifth joined together somehow. Okay, so it's absolutely amazing. This button that will be the first place to start. Awesome. Makes sense. Yeah. Fantastic. Thank you so much. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

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