If you’re like me, you started your guitar journey rooted in classic rock, cutting your teeth on the stylings of Jimi Hendrix, AC/DC or Led Zeppelin, to name a few. You then pivoted into more aggressive bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, or perhaps Pantera. As your passion blossomed, you discovered virtuosos like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and the rest of the G3 gang.
Lost in all of this evolution, however, was your exposure (or lack thereof) to the vaunted genre of jazz. Sure, you had a general idea of what that kind of music was like, but nothing really compelled you to venture past the generic licks you’d distill the entire category of jazz down to. It’s a strong possibility that to this day, you only have one or two go-to riffs that you’ll whip out if someone asks, “Do you know any jazz?”
Here’s your chance to expand your vocabulary with some silky smooth jazz techniques. Being a blues rocker at heart, I’d dub these tips to be of the jazz/blues variety, which is a great way to frame the information and help it sink in if you’re new to this type of guitar playing.
From chord structures to tone adjustments to altered notes, implementing a jazzy tonality into your guitar playing is a great way to become a more versatile musician. As the great slide guitarist Dave Tronzo once told me, “You’re never smarter for NOT knowing something.”
Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric brand Music is Win. His insightful, uncomplicated guitar lessons and gear demonstrations along with entertaining, satirical content about life as a musician receive tens of millions of video views per month across social media. Tyler is also the creator of the extremely popular online guitar learning platform, Guitar Super System. A graduate of Berklee College of Music, Tyler has been teaching guitar for over a decade and operates a production studio in Nashville, TN.