For so many people out there, learning a musical instrument of any kind is a fun goal to focus on. It seems like an excellent skill to have, but it can be a major task to get to a certain level of expertise.
The good news is that learning how to play any type of music is easier than ever. No matter what type of guitar playing a person is into, they can take lessons in person, online, or ultimately teach themselves.
Jazz guitar and jazz guitar tone is commonly thought of as a rather challenging style of play. It’s a fantastic skill to have, but is it attainable? Many people ask, is jazz guitar hard to learn or how hard is learning guitar in general? While no one is going to learn without putting in some effort, it’s a lot easier than some people think to get to a solid level.
The myths surrounding jazz guitar
The advanced jazz musicians out there would make people think that it could take an entire lifetime to learn how to play properly. Realistically, a person is probably not going to be an all-time great if they are starting later in life, but that doesn’t mean that a person can’t learn how to play the songs they want and the style they love.
There are a lot of myths that discourage people even to give learning a try. Most of these myths are huge generalizations, and it really comes down to having realistic expectations.
Jazz music is refined
A lot of popular jazz guitar songs have been around for years, so the easy guess is that it takes a certain type of technical play to replicate it. The truth of the matter is that some of the most well-known jazz guitarists out there never learned advanced techniques, and didn’t even read music for that matter.
Playing the jazz guitar is no more refined than any other guitar playing. It comes down to finding a technique that works, and sticking with it. Most people get into jazz guitar playing because they like the songs, so playing something a person enjoys just makes sense.
Hours and hours of practice consistently is the only way
One of the biggest problems people run into when getting into any type of plane is burning themselves out early on. People have the right idea by practicing a lot and putting in the time, but it needs to be done in some type of moderation. It can be tough to learn any kind of guitar playing and put in hours and hours early on, especially if the fingers start to feel very sore and guitar playing fingers hurt.
Sometimes, taking a mental break from learning something new is the best way to move forward. A lot of people do this when they are exercising, but the same can be true with music. This will motivate a person again to jump right back into things once people start to feel a little more comfortable.
Keys to successful jazz guitar playing
Now that some of the myths have been covered, it’s time to get down to the keys to making the process easier. It’s very hard to answer accurately is jazz guitar hard to learn, simply because what might be hard to one person is just nothing more than a challenge to others.
Think of these options below as a bit of a cheat sheet on how to see success early on. It’s still going to take time to get to certain levels of play, but seeing great results early on will definitely keep a person motivated.
Listen to jazz
Most people who want to learn jazz guitar already listen to plenty of jazz, but make sure to specifically listen to the genre when first starting to learn how to play. This is a very passive way of getting structure down and a basic understanding of how things work.
It is one thing to listen to a type of music, but it’s another thing to start listening to particular parts. Paying attention to the guitar part of the song and different sections of the song can improve a persons learning process.
Build a fundamental base
As mentioned above, a person doesn’t have to know everything there is about music to have success with jazz guitar. There isn’t a need to even read music accurately. However, just about every player has some basic fundamentals down that set the tone for virtually any type of song out there.
Any lessons will focus on scales, chord shapes, standard tunes, and so much more. Taking the time to get these basics down might seem a little tedious, but it’s going to help build out the skill overall.
Since these are the fundamentals, a person doesn’t necessarily have to rely on lessons to work on these basics. Instead, they can do it from the comfort of their home at any time to get the process down.
Improvisation comes with time
A more advanced skill that people start to learn is improvisation with jazz guitar. This is when a person who knows the basics can take their playing to the next level. It takes time to develop the year for this type of play, and the technical skills need to be there as well.
The good news is that there are very different ranges of improvisation out there. A person can take a few breaks here and there to spice up a song, without feeling too overwhelmed. More advanced players will have the opportunity to make songs around.
Switch up learning methods when stuck
They are so many different ways to learn how to play jazz guitar, and it can be overwhelming for someone to make a decision early on the process. Instead of sticking to one specific way to learn, try our different methods to see what works.
There are times in which a person is learning the guitar and staying motivated without any teacher to push things. In other cases, a teacher might be able to fix what is a fundamental problem someone can’t figure out on their own. Don’t be afraid to try new things.