I was just wondering what you think a jazz guitarist should be required to know?This could be theory-wise,technique,chords,scales, songs, and any other things you think should be required of one.
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- Music reading abilities. Notes, rhythms, time sigs, etc.

- Key sigs, major scale construction, building chords off the major scale.

- Major scale modes, and their applications over various chords.

- Chord construction, and knowing as many inversions of a chord as possible. This is a biggie in my book.

- Other scale possibilities, and also scale construction. Not saying that you would invent a scale, but if you see a 7#11 chord, and you didn't know what the lydian dominant was, you could construct a scale to fit over the chord. And then maybe you would discover that it is lydian dominant later on.

- Jazz terms. http://www.apassion4jazz.net/glossary.html has some examples.

- Ability to play in various styles. Swing, funk, latin, ballad, etc. When you want to learn a style, listen to various artists who play in that style, and try to pick up on the similarities. There are also teaching materials that help this, although I'm not familiar with any, unfortunately. If you have a jazz teacher, he should be able to help with this.

- Sight-reading is very important for a professional jazz player. Many times you will arrive to a gig, be given a sheet of paper with a melody and chords (a "lead sheet") and be expected to play it right in front of an audience without practice.

Hope that helped. If you need advice on beginner jazz soloing, I can give you examples of how I learned.
^Thanks for the lengthy reply and if you would show me some examples of how you learned jazz soloing that would be nice. Also would you advise me to get a fake/real book. I'm not completly new to jazz and I am starting to get a grasp on things I just need to know what to learn cause i don't feel organized about it enough.
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Come listen to Zeppelin256 and I jam over some jazz tunes! Unit 7
Last edited by VR2005 at Jul 9, 2006,
Alright, jazz soloing. First steps, imo, are learning your scales and modes, and how these scales can be applied over various chords. Also learn your pentatonics (just in case) and the blues scale.

When learning jazz soloing, it's probably best to start out on a chord progression with a few different chords, but not too many. I began learning on a 12 bar blues. (I assume you know the 12 bar form).

Now, in blues-rock, it is common for a guy to sit on the major pentatonic the whole time. This can be done well, however; in jazz, you want to emphasize the differences between chords, not cover them up by using fewer notes.

How to show differences in chords? Emphasizing chord tones is a good place to start. Your most important tones in jazz are the third and the seventh. The root and fifth are by all means acceptable, but they are not always as "interesting".

Let's say our twelve bar has C(7) as the I, F(7) as the IV, and G7 as the V. You can use C minor pentatonic as an option, or you can use the mixolydian mode for each chord (C mixolydian on C, F mixolydian on F, etc). You can give yourself a little more direction with the second method by writing out the thirds and sevenths and seeing what directions the notes take.

Chord 3rd 7th
C7 E Bb
F7 A Eb
G7 E F

There are lots of half step differences between the thirds and sevenths of these chords. For example, emphasize an F on your G7 at the end of a bar, and then play an E right after as the chord changes to C7. Right there, you start sounding more sophisticated, like you're really paying attention to the changes.

I will continue this later, hopefully, but I have a birthday party to attend. If you have any questions just post them or pm me .
Thanks, I know all of my major scale modes and am halfway through the melodic minor modes,I also know the whole-tone scale , minor and major pentatonics and where all of the chord-scale relationships fit in. The question I have is, when i'm trying to solo over jazz progressions I get lost because of the amount of chords and how quickly they change, will this change if i just try to start and solo over one chord vamps then and three and so on?
Co-Founder of the Jazz Guitarist Community. PM me or Zeppelin256 to join.

Come listen to Zeppelin256 and I jam over some jazz tunes! Unit 7

Like the great Charlie Parker once said: "Learn the changes, then forget them."
He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.

Remember: A prudent question is one half of wisdom.

A little shortcut that works sometimes: if you have a m7 followed by a 7 chord, odds are that those are the ii and V of the same key. So, if you are sight-reading and you're stuck, you can use the major scale a whole step below the m7, and most of the time it'll work over both chords.

I was a little skeptical when my teacher told me this, but it does work on a lot of jazz songs.