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A Jazz Guitar Primer Case School of Music. Suggested Equipment.

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Presentation on theme: "A Jazz Guitar Primer Case School of Music. Suggested Equipment."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Jazz Guitar Primer Case School of Music

2 Suggested Equipment

3 Full or semi-hollow body electric guitar Medium to heavy gauge strings, flat wound preferred or (jazz light gauge) Medium to heavy gauge plastic pick A quality guitar amp of 35 watts or more.

4 Tuning Your Guitar

5 Tuning your guitar is important - no matter how good a player you are, if your guitar is out of tune you’ll sound bad! To learn the tuning notes, memorize this sentence - Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears.

6 The best way to tune your guitar to these notes is with a battery powered guitar tuner, available at most music stores, or a free guitar tuner app for your cell phone.

7

8 You can also use a piano to tune your guitar – just play the notes (E,A,D,G,B,E) and match the pitches.

9 Getting Started Basic Moveable Chords

10 To begin playing jazz on rhythm guitar, you need to know a basic group of six moveable chord shapes. These chord shapes provide the foundation from which most jazz chords will be built upon. Memorization of these chord shapes is a must!

11 6th String Root Chords Root, 7th, and 3rd chord shapes; no 5ths. These chords are root chords and moveable up and down the neck of the guitar. They may be substituted for 9th, 11th, and 13th chords of the same type (Major, Minor, Dominant, Diminished). Only play the strings pressed; mute the other 3 strings.

12 5th String Root Chords Root, 3 rd, and 7th, chord shapes; no 5ths. These chords are root chords and moveable up and down the neck of the guitar. They may be substituted for 9th, 11th, and 13th chords of the same type (Major, Minor, Dominant, Diminished). Only play the strings pressed; mute the other 3 strings.

13 Diminished 7 th Chord Shapes Only play the strings pressed; mute the other 3 strings. These chords are root chords and moveable up and down the neck of the guitar.

14 Getting Started Improvising A Moveable Scale Pattern

15 The white circles indicate the root notes. This scale pattern is a root position pattern. Memorize this pattern and practice moving and playing it up the guitar neck, naming it as you go (fret 1=F minor pent., fret 2=F# minor pent., fret 3=G minor pent., etc). Moveable Minor Penatonic Scale Pattern

16 How Do I Know What Scale To Play When?? What Is In The Key Signature (flats, sharps)? What Key Is The Music In? If it’s a Major Key, What Is The Relative Minor? (C Major=A Minor; play A Minor Pentatonic) If It’s In A Minor Key, Play That Minor Pentatonic Scale.

17 What Do I Do With The Scale To Improvise?? Simply stay within the scale pattern playing the notes using various rhythms. Try adding bends, vibrato, and repeating various note combinations to add variety to your solo.

18 What’s Next?? If you want to continue your jazz guitar studies, contact Case School of Music at or us at


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