#1
I signed up to do jazz band for my school.I'll be entering 11th grade and I was wondering what should i know technique-wise for guitar.I'm ok at reading music. I used to do it for middle and elementary school for violin and trumpet, so it was easy to relearn.

My friend told me the teacher doesn't know much about guitar. I've been playing guitar for 4 years, but i really don't know what to expect when playing in that kind of setting since it is very different from jamming with friends.

What are the chords i should know?
What are some tips you guys have from past experience?
Thanks!
#2
learn every single chord in every popular variation
learn the 'dominant _' chords and 7th chords.
jazz has a lot of weird chords.
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#4
if you know basic jazz chords you'll be fine. Learn a few different forms of minor 7ths, major 7ths, and dominant 7ths. and then from there you can learn extensions like 8ths, 11ths, 13th, and weirder chrods like b5
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#5
dont worry about alterations for know
get the voicings down on both lower string sets.
1-3-7
1-b3-b7
1-3-b7
then work on the voicing root-5th-7th-3rd on all string sets for minor7 major7, dominant7 half diminished and diminished 7. then get used to dropping the 5ths and roots from these voicings and playing a lot of quarter notes (for swing tunes). learn a couple good latin grooves and funk grooves as well.
#6
Be able to read both sheet and chord sheets fairly well by sight or with one run-through.

Know your chord inversions, and be able to modify chords on the fly, i.e. 7, add9, dim, aug etc. Essentially, be able to find any chord on the fretboard reasonably quickly, and be able to play them decently after one dry run.

Don't worry too much if that sounds like a lot, you'll get there. If that's more than you can handle right away, just be able to look at a piece and play the basic chords, then add the modifications later. If you practice and aren't "that guitarist" who tries to wedge a tapping solo into a jazz piece, you'll have no problems.
#7
The most important thing you will need to learn is to think quickly. These guys that walk into jazz band don't already know all the crazy chords that are thrown at them, they figure them out until they know the piece they are playing!

Practice your extended chords based starting with all the Major 7th extensions. Remember, you don't need the root note, or the fifth in 99% of the chords you will play.
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#8
listen to alot of jazz and really learn what jazz sounds like. Hear stylistically what to play not just the theory even though the theory is very important.
#9
When I was in middle school, I was in the jazz band. It was more like a mediocre-blues band, but it was worth it. I had to play chords most of the time. I did get to improvise solos sometimes, which was quite enjoyable.

I played barre chords very often. Major, Minor, Dominant 7th, Major 7th, and Minor 7th barre chords were common. If you don't know them, I recommend you learn then.

I also had to read sheet music. I recommend you start learning that now. It is a good skill to have, even if you aren't in a jazz band.

Don't worry about it though, it isn't going to be anything too complicated (especially considering your teacher doesn't know much about guitar.)
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Last edited by TMF128 at Jul 8, 2010,
#10
3 note voicings for chords (Dm7 = D, C, F)
Neck pickup is your friend
Chords sound smoother with the fat end of the pick.
Practice all Major, Minor, and Dominant 7th Chords and you can get away with doing half of the stuff written on the page.
Get a real book and try to play along with recordings.
Last edited by somemaycallmeti at Jul 8, 2010,
#11
Depending on the Teacher you will need to know nothing or everything.

I'm my Jazz class the teacher picked songs with no written guitar parts, and rejected the stuff I wrote for it because it wasn't what he called standard. so I went into the back room and practiced for a year, and got a 100.
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#12
You should know all the 7 chords and 9 chords. Those are most common in high school/middle school jazz. Sometimes you get a 6, 11 or 13.

If anything, you should learn how to construct these chords. It would help you in the long run. Taking jazz guitar lessons could help.

You should know the blues scale as well.