Jazz Guitar Online Lessons
Essential Qualities Of A Successful Jazz Musician
The number one enemy of a creative jazz musician is conformity!
Every successful jazz artist is a problem solving, experimentalist; they possess an enquiring mind that is never content just to take other people’s ideas, these musicians have always worked things out for themselves — that’s the only way to really be noticed!
And that is exactly why they are successful, they are being themselves.
If you are only doing the same as everybody else is doing, why should anybody take notice of you?
Why put so much time into practising something when you are only going to come out an ‘also-ran’ in a game of everybody sounding the same!
All creative musicians share a number of common traits, a short list of these traits would include:
1. Self belief – The worst enemy of creativity is self-doubt, hence the innovative jazz musician must be a strong individual, they must believe in themselves and have strong convictions about their artistic values.
2. Mastery of their instrument – the jazz musician must attain two levels of competency on their instrument (a) to be able to ‘play what they hear’; and (b) to make sure what they are hearing is worthwhile playing!
Technical mastery of a musical instrument is a never-ending process the trick is to let the music determine the amount of technical ability you need. Let the music take you to the technique.
3. Style – in many ways this is the most difficult to master; in that there are not too many truly distinctive styles in all of jazz; with pop culture promoting mass conformity, jazz education programs turning out hundreds of musical clones each year and a modern-day society that does not value or encourage individuality; the emerging jazz artist must be very courageous in order to develop their own style in a world that is constantly trying to make them sound like everybody else.
4. Taste – is a process of elimination; it could be accurately stated that the creative musician spends the first twenty years learning what to play and the rest of their life learning what to ‘leave out’. One of the qualities that separates the amateur player from the professional is that the amateur’s focus is on learning ‘licks’ or ‘tricks’ that they can insert into a performance, whilst some phrases may be technically correct, they may not fit the ‘mood’ they are trying to convey; whereas the master jazz musician’s focus is on the spontaneity of the musical conversation..
5. Chord progressions – it is vitally important for the jazz musician to study the underlying harmonic structures and progressions, just as there are rules that govern you biologically and physiology, there are rules that govern the language of music, for the jazz artist chord progressions are the key; they are the strong musical pylons that their melodies and improvisations are built on.
6. Rhythm – if a student of music goes back far enough, they will find that the main source of jazz music is Africa; this is where the jazz ‘feel’ comes from; John Philip Sousa put everything in perspective when he said “Jazz will endure just as long people hear it through their feet instead of their brains.”
The musician may have all the other attributes but if they do not have the rhythmic sense to put it together it negates all of their other accomplishments!
Jazz Guitar Online Lessons
There is no substitute for studying one on one with an experienced teacher however, if you do not have access to quality jazz guitar tuition you might want to consider jazz guitar online lessons.
Mike Hayes is a top-level guitar teacher based in Gympie, Queensland Australia who uses the Berklee Guitar Method to teach students to become fully capable guitarists. For more information about Jazz Guitar Online Lessons via Skype contact Mike here.