Jazz Guitar – Speeding Up the Learning Process

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,320
    Expert guitarist Dan Leonard discusses how to speed up the process of learning to play jazz guitar.

    Dan Leonard

    Guitarist Dan Leonard has been a full time performer and teacher since 1987. He has taught hundreds of students jazz, blues and rock improvisation; from intermediates to working professionals. Over the years he has distilled his approach into the basis for his forthcoming instructional book “Organizing the fretboard for improvisation”. Dan began his career playing in regional rock bands. After studying classical guitar and composition in college he turned his focus to jazz, which is where it has stayed to this day. He is currently guitarist with Blind Pig recording artist Deanna Bogart as well as leader of The Dan Leonard Trio. His first solo recording “Time Alone” was released in 2000 with the follow-up, “The Middle Path” due out in the fall. His many performances include The Vaison Jazz Festival in France, The Monterey Blues Festival and The Clearwater Jazz Festival.

    Dan Leonard: Hi! I'm Dan Leonard and Id like to wrap up this video and just give you a few tips that can help speed up the process of learning to play Jazz Guitar.

    The first thing is something I mentioned earlier which is learning jazz tunes, learning the melody, learning the chord changes, its really important to develop a rapid form and also it's just to put all these elements in the practice, they are great vehicles for that.

    The second thing is, when youre practicing single note things, scales and improvising the melodies, I really recommend singing along with what you play to try and connect your ear with what you are hearing in your head, with what you play.

    The third thing is, getting together with other people on playing is really important, trying to find a friend you can get together with and play with, finding a group you can play with or ultimately once you develop the skills to get out and play gigs, there is nothing like experience to speed the learning process up. It's also great to get together with different teachers, people who play different instruments. I have studied with piano players and sax players as well as guitar players, and it's great to get input from a lot of different people and players, there is so much to learn.

    The final thing is to first of all be patient, because it takes a long time to assimilate all this information. I guess you can kind of take a lifetime, it's really endless, and to make it enjoyable, find ways to practice, and things to practice that you really like to play and work on because youll be doing it for a long time and half the fun is getting there.