Beginner Jazz Guitar Questions

What is Jazz Chord progression?

Jazz chord progression refers to the common chord progressions in jazz music. Chord progressions are a succession of chords that are typically played in order, one after the next, and to a specific duration. There are several common jazz chords that you’ll need to know to become proficient at jazz chord progression.
What are the most common jazz chords?

As previously mentioned, there are several types of jazz chords for guitar that you’ll want to learn to master chord progressions. These include:

• ii V I Major
• Dim7 Passing Chords
• I to IV

How Important is listening to jazz music?

Listening to jazz music is critical for anyone who wants to become an amazing jazz guitar player. When you hear how specific jazz chords can be played, you quickly begin to learn how to infuse those sounds into your own playing. Listen to as much jazz music as possible to become a skilled player.

Should I use a teacher in the beginning?

It is always a good idea to use a teacher right from the start. Why? Because they show you how to avoid mistakes, most of which end up consuming way too much of your time. Investing in a teacher, whether online or in person, is an excellent way to cultivate professional-level skills. Their ability to pick up on your strengths also allows you to maximize your practice time for the better.

What tools should I use?

We can’t emphasize this enough; a guitar chords chart is one of the best tools to use to start learning how to play jazz guitar. Chord charts provide an excellent reference for anyone who’s just starting out because they break down the details of each chord. Grab a good one for the best results.

Should I focus on tunes over music theory?

Music theory is critical if you want to be proficient in the most minute of jazz guitar playing. However, tunes are a better way to capitalize on your natural talent. Your skills can only be cultivated when you fully understand the sounds jazz music should make. If you can explore your own talent and dive deeper into the sounds, tunes, and rhythms produced by jazz music, then focusing on tunes over music theory makes more sense.

Can I learn how to play jazz guitar without learning the fretboard?

In short, no. The fretboard is the most important of your guitar. If you don’t know what is where, you won’t be able to follow along with music sheets or jazz chord progression because you’ll have no clue where your fingers are supposed to go. Invest a good portion of your practice time in learning all there is to know about your fretboard. If you can, grab a jazz guitar chord chart too to help you visualize where to place your hand on your fretboard for specific chords.

Will learning technique make me sound like a real jazz player?

Possibly. Learning technical terms is an important part of becoming a true jazz guitar player. However, it isn’t the only element to focus on when learning to play jazz. In reality, you have to take things a step further to sound like a guitarist. An important part of that is learning the jazz language. Now, you may be wondering what jazz language is.

In short, it is the bite-size bits and pieces musicians use to make their improvisation technique better. Things such as enclosures, passing tones, and more are critical elements in rounding out your play. These are the elements that make your music sound truly jazzy.

I just started learning how to play jazz guitar, should I start transcribing right away?

Yes! Even if you aren’t quite clear on what you’re doing, start transcribing right away. Your ability to learn how to transcribe and understand the process can become the catalyst to your play in the future. In other words, the more familiar you are with transcription, the better of a jazz musician you’ll become.


You likely have countless more questions about how to play jazz guitar like a pro, but these are the basics. Jazz chord progression coupled with a clear understanding of jazz chords, likely as a result of jazz guitar chord charts, can turn any novice into a professional jazz guitar player. Stay focused on the end goal of becoming a better player, and reap the benefits of your hard work in the short term.