Can you play guitar in a jazz band? You definitely can.
The guitar has been an important part of both traditional and modern jazz ensembles over the years.
Playing guitar in a jazz band can be a challenge to get right at first, especially if most of your experience is from other styles, like rock, blues, country, really anything other than jazz.
It can be very easy at first to get overwhelmed or discouraged, and it can seem like none of your other guitar skills transfer over.
There are going to be a lot of new chords that you feel like you've never seen before.
The strumming patterns that you bring with you from your other styles don't sound quite right.
Your guitar sound might stick out like a sore thumb when the band is playing.
In this lesson, we're going to take a look at how to play guitar in a jazz band from a technical standpoint.
We'll look at the equipment you may need to get, and how to use the equipment that you already have to get a good jazz sound.
We’ll look at the types of chords you need to use and give you links to good resources you can rely on.
We’ll look at the comping and strumming patterns you’ll need for playing jazz and again, provide links to good lessons you can use.
And we'll also talk about how listening is the most important thing for you to do to be successful playing guitar in a jazz band.
Let's get started.
Comping is an important jazz guitar skill that doesn't get talked about enough until there's a problem. And even then, the advice on what to do is pretty limited.
We've talked before about how when we’re playing jazz guitar, chords are our main job.
Whether you're playing by yourself, whether you're playing in a band, or you're playing a duo with another musician, our main job is how we play our chords in rhythm and in time. That’s where comping comes in.
Comping is also potentially confusing at first, especially if you come from another style of music (which you probably do).
If you've been playing rock or country or blues or anything other than jazz before, you probably have a lot of ideas on how to strum your chords, and good patterns that you can use - but none of them probably sound like jazz.
In this lesson, we're gonna take a look at what comping is, some strategies you can use to get started, and then finally, how to take your jazz comping to the next level so you can be creative with it.
All right, let's dive in.