How To Start Playing Instruments Like A Real Jazz Musician

The jazz genre has been around since the early days of music, and it is still just as powerful and fun to listen to today. Learning how to play an instrument like a real jazz musician can be intimidating at first, but with practice and dedication, it can be achieved. In this blog post, we’ll go over some tips on how to start playing instruments like a real jazz musician. We will also discuss some of the key elements that make up a good jazz performance. So, if you are interested in learning how to play instruments like a true jazz master, read on!

1. Learn As Many Jazz Scales As Possible 

The first step in learning to play an instrument like a real jazz musician is to learn as many jazz scales as possible. Jazz is all about improvisation and creativity, so it’s important to understand the basics behind each scale so that you can easily switch between them. Start by learning some of the more common jazz scales such as the blues scale, major pentatonic, minor pentatonic, and mixolydian. The blues scale is especially important considering it is one of the most often used scales in jazz. Another important element to learn is the use of modes, which are simply variations of scales. For instance, you can have a major scale and its relative minor, which will be the same notes but at different intervals. Or, you can learn the Dorian mode and its major counterpart, which will sound different but have the same notes. Additionally, you can learn the use of chromatic scales, which are scales that add an extra note in between two notes of a regular scale. This will add another layer of sound to your playing and make it more interesting. Furthermore, learning about harmony and chord structure will also help you become a better jazz musician.

2. Learn the Language of Jazz

Jazz is an incredibly expressive genre of music, and part of this expression comes from the language it uses. Just like any other language, jazz has its own vocabulary. Therefore, if you want to become a great jazz musician, you need to learn the language. This means that you must familiarize yourself with common jazz terms such as swing, blues changes, and bebop. Additionally, learning some musical terms related to improvisation — such as “riffing” or “comping” — will also help your understanding of the genre. Riffing is creating a musical phrase on the spot, and comping is accompanying another musician using chords. Learning about these terms and their meanings will help you express yourself with ease while playing jazz. So, make sure to brush up on your jazz language!

3. Practice With Different Tempos 

Jazz musicians are all about playing with different tempos. This means that you need to be able to practice with a variety of speeds and rhythms while still keeping your improvisations fresh and creative. To do this, try practicing with a metronome and slowly increasing the tempo until you can comfortably handle faster tempos. Additionally, practice playing songs in different keys to keep your skills sharp. This will also help you learn how to play with different musical styles. Furthermore, you should try to jam with other musicians and learn from them as much as you can. Jamming with other jazz musicians is one of the best ways to improve your skills and develop a better understanding of the genre. For example, jamming with a pianist can help you understand the structure of a song better, while jamming with a saxophone player can teach you how to take solos.

4. Listen To Great Jazz Musicians 

In addition, one of the best ways to learn how to play an instrument like a real jazz musician is by listening to some of the greats. Not only will this give you insight into their techniques, but it will also help build your appreciation for the genre and its history. Listening to the likes of Miles Davis or John Coltrane will give you a better understanding of what makes great jazz musicians so special. Additionally, you can attend local jazz concerts and jam sessions to get a feel of the genre in its natural environment. For instance, you can learn a lot just by observing how jazz musicians interact with one another and the way they approach improvisation. Furthermore, listening to various genres of music can also help your understanding of jazz as many different styles often influence each other. So, make sure to expand your musical horizons and listen to the best of all genres! 

5. Take Jazz Classes or Lessons 

So, if you are serious about becoming a great jazz musician, it is highly recommended that you take some jazz classes or lessons. Not only will this give you access to experienced mentors who can help guide your studies and practice, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to learn music in a professional setting. Additionally, taking lessons will also help you connect with like-minded musicians and build a network of peers who can help you further your knowledge and practice. This way, you can take advantage of the many resources available and learn what it takes to become a great jazz musician!

6. Have Fun

Last but not least, learning how to play an instrument like a real jazz musician can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Have fun with it and remember that practice makes perfect. With dedication and hard work you can become the jazz artist you want to be! 

In conclusion, learning how to play an instrument like a real jazz musician takes dedication and hard work. However, with the right approach, you will be able to master this genre of music and become a great jazz musician. By familiarizing yourself with jazz scales and modes, learning the language of jazz, practicing with different tempos, listening to great jazz musicians, taking classes or lessons, and having fun, you can make great progress in your journey towards becoming a jazz musician.

We hope this article was helpful in your journey to becoming a jazz musician! Best of luck!




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Philosopher, writer, bad-pun maker and enjoyer of novelty. I enjoy bikes, video games, and beer all at the same time. When it comes to reading, I can and do.

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