The shocking proof that your jazz ability is all in the mind

by | Mar 16, 2018 | Articles, General Updates | 0 comments

Here’s a little story about an intriguing conversation I had today with a fellow musician, that I hadn’t met up with in years.

Today I went with my son to a local music shop to inquire about piano lessons for him. (It’s quite hard finding a good piano teacher as it turns out.)

I got a nice surprise to see Kayla, a jazz violinist that I’d done a number of gigs with years ago, but haven’t heard from much since then.

“Kayla! So nice to see you again. How’s your music going?”

“Nice to see you Greg. Yes, the music’s going well, I’ve been doing a lot of symphony orchestra gigs lately, and other bits and pieces.”

“Nice one!” I replied. “And how’s your jazz playing coming along?”

Momentarily, I noticed her eyes turn down to the floor before she responded.

“Well…I actually stopped playing jazz a few years ago,” she replied. “Hehe…it came to a point where I had to stop pretending that I could play that kind of music.”

I departed the music store, reflecting on that strange comment.

You see, we both got into jazz roughly around the same time, and from similar backgrounds, i.e. transitioning from classical music.

And it made me wonder…

Why did Kayla ditch jazz entirely, while in the same space of time I was able to build one of the largest jazz guitar education websites in the world?

It didn’t make sense. I was impressed with her playing those years back, and I remember thinking how far she was going to go with jazz.

The clue to this puzzle is when she said: “It came to a point where I had to stop pretending that I could play that kind of music.”

This indicates that, deep down, she had a fixed idea about the kind of music she could play. She believed she didn’t have any ability as a jazz player.

But it wasn’t true. She was a rising talent in jazz, with a promising career ahead of her.

The moral of the story:

Regardless of what technical obstacles you might face on the instrument, how much practice time you’re able to get on the guitar, or what kind of connections you have to other musicians or lack thereof….

There is one thing, above all else, that will make or break you as a jazz player.

It’s this:

What you believe about yourself.

This is by far the most important thing you need to make sure is sorted out.

There was only one thing I did differently to Kayla:

I believed in my ability to learn, and my ability to progress (whereas Kayla didn’t).

The outcome:

I got results, and nowadays I’m enjoying playing jazz every time I pick the guitar up.

And it’s how YOU can get the results you want with jazz guitar, too.

As your first step in this journey, make the commitment to become a great jazz guitarist by signing up to my FretDojo Academy Club, and get instant access to all the tools which will bring your desire to master jazz guitar a reality.

Go here for more info:

Now the exciting bit:

If you're keen to have a structured, step-by-step approach to learning jazz guitar, it might be worth checking out my online learning system, the FretDojo Jazz Guitar Academy.

Here's what you get when you join up:

  • Detailed step-by-step video lessons on new classic jazz tunes and essential jazz guitar skills added to the club website each month. Includes listening recommendations, demonstrations of the melody, analysis of the harmony, and detailed explanations on how to solo over the tune.
  • Key improvisation concepts and techniques for soloing, and classic licks and example solos that relate to each tune, so you can continue to expand your jazz vocabulary and have more options when it comes to soloing.
  • Detailed comping ideas to suit the style of each jazz standard covered
  • Lessons on how to make chord melody and solo jazz guitar versions of tunes featured - play a complete jazz standard completely on your own like Joe Pass!
  • Members only forum - A worldwide community of jazz guitarists from all around the globe.
  • Regular workshops, masterclasses, and Q & A Sessions - get direct answers from me on anything holding you back in the practice room. Replays of all sessions are available to access for all members even if you can’t make it live.
  • Massive searchable database of jazz licks and soloing concepts - the ultimate idea "grab bag" for your solos.
  • Optional monthly challenges where members participate to get feedback on their playing, reach new milestones and be eligible for cool prizes.

The best part:

You can access this all of this and more for just $1 by signing up to a 14 day trial. Go here for more info:

Greg O’Rourke,

Founder, Fret Dojo

World Leader in Online Jazz Guitar Education

FREE Course:
The BIG Secrets of Jazz Guitar Improvisation

•  3 part video series - a step-by-step guide on building improvisation skills

• Learn the biggest mistakes made by aspiring jazz guitar improvisers and what you should be doing instead

• Instant access - completely FREE!


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