What distinguishes jazz music from the other of the same jazz songs? It is the mark or improvisation that the music player does. The beauty with jazz guitar improvisation when done expertly is that it comes out perfect all the time. Improvising makes every note distinct and precise. It gives an individual touch to the melody it produces enthralling every listener.
Use your ear
Your favorite jazz masters have learned how to improvise perfectly by constantly experimenting. This is the best way a student would learn too. There is no such thing as following a specific way to improvise. That defeats the meaning of the word. Improvisation is a matter of what works for the player. This is the reason why jazz is so distinct. Each jazz artist has its own mark for the same song. What do you need to improvise? A jazz artist just play it by ear.
Although there are no set rules on jazz guitar improvisation there are basic ideas that a learner needs to know. These are:
- Knowing your arpeggios, cord tension, and cord scales
- Identifying crucial tonal centers
- Have a keen ear in catching melodies
- Being intuitive and responsive
How to improvise
In improvising it is important that you know which scale to improvise on. Therefore you should know your key. Unlike rock or pop wherein the focus is on the singer jazz focuses on melodies. This allows an ever so often measure of changes which will result to changes in scale as well. This is the reason why it is so important to know what key you are in.
Where to improvise
Jazz guitar artists improvise from cords, scales, melodies, tonal centers, or anything else they can think of. However, it is not necessary to improvise on all factors. Just by combining two or three will produce a unique melody. Just remember that cord based improvisation does not need to have anything to do with the song you are playing. There really is no rule in jazz guitar improvisation. What it needs is the player’s intuition, imagination, and confidence to guide him in making beautiful music.