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Beginner Jazz Players

Warm Up

Before you embark on your very first practice session, and the ones to follow, you’ll want to make sure you’re good and warmed up. You can do this by warming up your fingers by playing up and down your fretboard. When your fingers are warmed up, you’ll be better able to make the somewhat difficult finger movements requires when you play guitar.

Even a basic chord will require you to put your fingers in positions they aren’t accustomed to. So just like a singer, you need to warm up your tools (fingers and hands) before you get started. If you already know how to play a tune or two, start with what you know to launch your practice session.

Get Technical

Next, you’ll want to explore your technical side. You should spend approximately 10 percent of your time in guitar practice studying technical guitar scales. Learn the basic chord and scales for at least two octaves to shape the way you approach your practice.

Learn the Language

Another part of your routine should be spent learning the language of music, particularly jazz guitar. After all, the most important part of jazz is improvisation, without understanding the language of this genre you won’t be able to do solos. If you want to sound like a professional, study like a professional. Learn to speak the language to be successful.

Transcription is an important part of this. When you learn it correctly, you will begin to internalize the music which helps you kill it once you start playing it. Practice your jazz phrases first harmonically and then rhythmically to get the best use out of your time spent doing so.

Strive to learn a new lick every single week during your practice, if you’re serious about developing your understanding and jazz language. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to 8 or fewer bars. Guitar practice has to be somewhat entertaining for you to keep it up, so don’t press yourself to complete more than that in a given 7-day span.