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2/15/10

Making the Most of Your Jazz Guitar Lessons

by Logan Young
Many of us had this dream when we started learning to play jazz guitar. We saw ourselves on stage under bright lights whipping out this great improvised solo. Maybe our dreams went into even more details. We saw the other band members, the equipment (like jazz guitar amps) and the people who would listen to our music.

So like any newbie, we decided to trot off and do what it took to learn how to play. We enrolled in lessons and things started off with a bang, but as the weeks went on, our excitement started to subside. In fact the excitement that we initially had was vaguely remembered as situations came up that interrupted our lesson and practice time. Stop the madness! Realize your dream and get back on track with playing jazz guitar!

1) Remember why you enrolled in jazz guitar lessons in the first place.

If you want to spruce up your lesson time and your practice time, have something to look forward to like listening to your favorite tune and attempting to transcribe it. Many people approach their lessons and practice time without having any goals, and they wonder why they don't feel like they are learning anything. Cure that by finding a tune you like to play and then take steps to learn how to recreate it. This is a sure way to break the monotony of learning how to play the scales and arpeggios.

2) Be committed to having quality lesson and practice time.

Be committed to the time you have set aside to learn and improve your skills. When you're committed to the lesson, it becomes easy to eliminate the distractions because you're focused on learning something new. Have a set schedule for your lesson and practice times and stick with it. Regularly scheduled lessons will bring results and those results will fuel your excitement for becoming a jazz guitar player. You should also be determined to have a learning goal that you want to accomplish during this time.

3) Practice expands your music vocabulary.

As you practice what you've learned in the lesson, you'll definitely notice that you're learning something. Consider adding to your practice time or learning your favorite tune. Let's say you hear a tune on gypsy jazz guitar that you like and you listen to it over and over so that you have it memorized in your mind. During your practice time, you learn to work with this tune. You'll recreate it as you heard it and you'll learn to play it in different chords as well. This activity is actually expanding your musical vocabulary. It will help when you want to play an improv or even a solo act.

Get the most out of your jazz guitar lessons and practice time by listening to and playing tunes that you like. You'll find the inspiration and motivation to stay plugged in to your studies and you will see that your skills and guitar techniques will improve!

Making the Most of Your Jazz Guitar Lessons

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