Okay. Well, I've been into blues for a while, and I'd love to learn some Jazz. For the most part, I'm self taught, and I know some theory, but I really don't know how to go about learning jazz.

Now, it seems a little bit complicated. I was wondering if anyone could point me in some directions to learn Jazz. I literally do not know where at all to start. Any help would be great.
Here. About midway there should be Jazz.
“There’s only two ways to sum up music; either it’s good or it’s bad. If it’s good you don’t mess about it, you just enjoy it.” - Louie Armstrong
The thing you should buy if you want to take up jazz is Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book. You will learn everything from that book. Trust me.
The jazz student
A good place to start if you want to learn jazz is the basic principles of jazz chord theory. Unlike basic blues and rock, which primarily use major and minor triads and strong, forthright chord progressions like I, IV, V, jazz focusses on the diatonic centre of each chord in the key (being the 3rd and 7th). Traditionally, each key is comprised of 7 'seventh' chords from which you can build a progression.

In the key of C major, the building blocks of our chords look like this:

    w w h w w w h
I    C D E F G A B C
II     D E F G A B C D
III      E F G A B C D E
IV         F G A B C D E F
V            G A B C D E F G
VI             A B C D E F G A
VII              B C D E F G A B

Meaning that the chords are as follows:

I    C  E  G  B
II   D  F  G  C
III  E  G  B  D
IV   F  A  C  E
V    G  B  D  F
VI   A  C  E  G
VII  B  D  F  A

This means that:

  • the I and IV chords are major 7 (major 3rd & major 7th)
  • the V chord is a dominant 7, or simply 7 (major 3rd & minor 7th)
  • the II, III and VI chords are all minor 7 (minor 3rd & minor 7th)
  • and the VII chord is a half diminished, or minor 7 b5 (minor 3rd, flattened 5th and minor 7th)

Also, both the I and V chords can be substituted for the 6th chord (1st, 3rd, 5th & 6th notes), which can give an edge to a chord progression, or a modal improvisation which hovers around the sixth - there is a feeling of harmonic tension as the listener waits for the cadence, allowing the soloist to hook their audience. Here are the 6th chords:

I    C  E  G  A
V    G  B  D  E

Now that you know how to create your chords, you can employ them in a progression. Jazz chord progressions tend to be less direct than blues or rock; a simple traditional one is I, VI, II and V.

In the key of C this would be Cmaj7, Am7, Dm7 and G7. Rather than the specific chord names, however, in jazz progressions this would usually be denoted as Imaj7, VIm7, IIm7, V7.

Here is that progression in tab form (each chord lasting two measures):

  Cmaj7   Am7     Dm7     G7
  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |

If you were to substitute the Cmaj7 for C6, the result would be this:

  C6      Am7     Dm7     G7
  |   |   |   |   |   |   |   |

Because the next chord is an inversion of the first, the substitution gives the overall progression a greater feeling of solidarity.

Anyway, that should be enough to have fun with for a while. Hope it helps; if you've got any more questions post them here or PM me.

Take it easy,
"Is it an ambulance? Is he Philip Larkin? So much power in so few words."
~The Observer

"A transcendant terrestris, a timeless behemoth, trapped like Sisyphus in the cyclical burden of his own genius."
~The Sun

"His a cant."
~The Independent
Last edited by mud at Nov 20, 2007,
Quote by jazz_croatia
The thing you should buy if you want to take up jazz is Mark Levine's Jazz Theory Book. You will learn everything from that book. Trust me.

I second that. Great great book. I'd also look into 'The Real Book', the fake book standard. Even if you can't read music, it contains all the chords to the jazz standards.

But be warned, Jazz can be very difficult to play.
My standard advice for jazz no matter what instrument the person plays:

Get lots and lots of jazz records.
Find good ideas (eg little chord progressions or licks used in a solo or a lick based on the actual melody of a tune)
Work out the good idea by ear.
Founder of Jaco society

[22:08:23] <Confusius> I wish I was a bassist
[22:08:26] <Confusius> you fuckers look cool

Want to know how to play bass in jazz? Read this.
There's SO much you have to know to really play jazz, but for starters you absolutely
HAVE to be able to improvise comfortably over a ii-V-I at least and be able to "see"
the major scale extremely well over the entire neck.

The reason for the latter is that SO much other structure is built on top of the major scale, you'll get lost pretty quickly if you don't know it or only know bits and pieces
of the neck.

Levine's Jazz Theory is ok. I found Jazzology a bit more helpful, and Jazz Resources
Vol I and II good as well. Andrew Greene has a good series (Jazz Guitar Structures
is really good). All told, everyone has a different take on "Jazz Theory", its best
to tackle it through different sources.
www.jazzguitar.be could be helpful
My name is Andy
Quote by MudMartin
Only looking at music as math and theory, is like only looking at the love of your life as flesh and bone.

Swinging to the rhythm of the New World Order,
Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums
Ya know, I wouldnt really recommend levine's jazz book just yet. Thats a very advanced book, and for some one with very little theory knowledge (even someone with quite a bit can get quite lost), they will get raped and not understand a thing.

But that lesson is a GREAT start.
Quote by funkdaddyfresh
justin, that was easily the most inspiring, helpful piece of advice anyone has ever given me in regards to my musical pursuits.

Screaming Help
memorize some useful scales for jazz, that helped me out

and (if you havent already) learn lots of the movable/bar chords, as they will prove useful in 12-bar blues and like forms.
I got my start on jazz from the book Jazz Ensemble Method by Dean Sorenson I think.
Mitch Hedberg Group

Quote by Irnmaiden4life
why didnt you just play like crap?
if you need help with that, ask Vincent745

Quote by imgooley
Awe, so cute...

How old are you?

Quote by H4T3BR33D3R

Old enough to yell rape.