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Guitar Blog Q and A:
Jazz Guitar | Jazz Theory

Q: I'm 14 and I have been playing a lot of guitar in the past year or so. Recently, I have been getting interested more in jazz guitar. I teach myself guitar and i have been using books and the internet for resources on the subject. I have been reading about jazz music theory and trying to learn it, but there is just so much of it.

I wanted to ask you what approach I should take to learning jazz guitar and jazz music theory. I have been trying to memorize the major scales, learning the arpeggios across the guitar neck, practicing the pentatonic/blues scales, etc.

So I want to know if you would suggest a particular way of learning all of this theory (like what to learn, and in what order).

A: I would suggest to begin with learning; the key signatures, then do intervals, then triad and then seventh chord harmony. Next, learn how to transpose and understand the use of Modal Intercahnge and Secondary Dominants. Then, move to Diminished and Altered Chord Theory.

I would also highly suggest reading a few solid Music Theory books. Two I can recommend are Music Theory: A Practical Guide for all Musicians and Harmony and Theory: A Comprehensive Source for All Musicians. Both excellent books.

- Andrew Wasson


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