How to Play Jazz

Jazz for Absolute Beginners –> Jazz Starter Kit
Jazz Starter Kit –> Dominant 7th Land

Hello Eat Sleep Guitarist. I am back after a brief hiatus. So make sure you have your guitar in your hand and get ready for a lot more posts, videos, and learning tools!

This post is going to be a basic introduction into the smoke-filled, dimly-lit world of Jazz. If you want to be a jazz player then you need to learn some standard tunes so that when you show up to play with the big dogs, you have already memorized and practiced a few. You can buy a “Real Book” (usually stored out of sight behind the music store counter) and it is completely normal to show up to jam sessions or gigs with it. I included an online version at the end of this post.

Obviously the best way to get into any new genre is to begin listening to the essential albums. Here is a really cool chart about getting into jazz music. And here are the albums written out in case you cannot read them on the image.

Jazz is a challenging genre so it must be assumed that you already have a good grasp on major, minor, major 7th, minor 7th, dominant 7th, and full diminished chords. If you are still learning those chords then check out Jazz for Absolute Beginners, also a great place for intermediate players to practice the inversions and shapes of Dominant 7th Land.

To make your life easier, I have chosen 4 new chords for you to learn and developed a list of standards and popular jazz songs (with sheet music) that you can now play through (click here for backing track sites). But first, here are your new chords:

Sixth Chord (6th)

Guitar 6th moveable E-01Guitar 6th moveable A-01Guitar 6th moveable D-01

Minor 7th flat 5, AKA Half-Diminished Chord (-7b5, or ø7)

Guitar half dim moveable E-01Guitar half dim moveable A-01Guitar half dim moveable D str-01

Dominant 7th flat 9 Chord (7b9)

Guitar 7b9 moveable NEW-01Guitar 7b9 moveable Astr-01Guitar 7b9 moveable D str-01

Augmented Seventh Chord (+7)

Guitar +7 moveable E str-01Guitar +7 moveable A str-01Guitar +7 moveable D str-01

* Most Played Jazz Standards

All of Me * AllMe
6th chord; Backing Track to practice melody/solo

All the Things You Are * Sonny+Rollins+-+All+The+Things+You+Are+-+LP+RECORD-402789
+7; Backing Track

Autumn Leaves * MI0002438625
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9; Backing Track

Blue Bossa * | easy changes MI0001648177
-7 flat 5; Backing Track

Blues For Alice  index
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9

Blue Trane 410BVK4BZAL._SL500_AA240_
-7 flat 5
Body and Soul | lots of changes | chord inversions images
6th Chord, -7 flat 5, 7th flat 9

Cherokee  1316886247_54
+7, -7 flat 5
Days of Wine and Roses | easy melody Days_of_Wine_and_Roses_1
-7 flat 5, (7th flat 9); Backing Track

Don’t Get Around Much Anymore DE4008c-Don'tGetAroundMuchAnymore-Victor26610A-carl-Optimized
+7, -7 flat 5, 7th flat 9

Fly Me To The Moon 58490-large
6th chord, -7 flat 5, 7th flat 9

Girl from Ipanema * DSCF2899
7th flat 9; Backing Track

Green Dolphin Street * | easy melody | chord inversions cover 2
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9; Backing Track

How High the Moon | easy melody MI0002039970
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9, 6th chord

It Don’t Mean a Thing | chord inversions 8.120526
+7; Backing Track

I’ve Got You Under My Skin images
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9

Misty misty_big
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9, 6th chord; Backing Track

Ornithology | challenging melody | chord inversion images
-7 flat 5

Round Midnight * | lots of chord changes MI0002444124
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9; Backing Track

Satin Doll * 41RK37YFK3L
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9; Backing Track

Scrapple From The Apple images
7th flat 9

Stella By Starlight * 18021-2
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9, +7; Backing Track

Sweet Georgia Brown * B00020VWM8.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_

There Is No Greater Love dizzy gillespie chano pozo in concert
-7 flat 5

There Will Never Be Another You 220px-There_Will_Never_Be_Another_You_(album)
-7 flat 5, 7th flat 9; Backing Track (fast)


Online Jazz Real Book


Click here to donate if you have learned something from this site and have the price of a guitar lesson to spare. Also, feel free to check out the Gifts Galore page!

If you learned something and cannot spare a donation, following me on youtube is a great (and free) way to show your support. Every new subscriber not only helps to legitimize my content, but more importantly: it keeps me going!

Feel free to SHARE SHARE SHARE any of my content, anywhere!!! While giving visible credit to