Why jazz makes you better at all styles of guitar
Recently I got booked to play a classical wedding gig.
Ouch. I haven’t done that for a while.
So I dusted off my neglected classical guitar and tried to remember some of the ol’ Bach and Albeniz I used to play years ago.
This is when I noticed something weird – and very cool.
Even though I hadn’t touched that sort of music for years (having become completely obsessed with jazz guitar in the meantime)…
I was BETTER at these classical tunes then way back when I was dedicating hours on classical practice.
Musically, I found it easier to get into the flow of the music.
Rhythmically, it was more secure.
Technically, I was more accurate and found it easier to play fast runs (thanks, Charlie Parker).
And I could comprehend the harmonic structure of the music, and how this related to the fretboard, with much more clarity than before.
I couldn’t believe it.
In that moment, I realized something:
Studying jazz guitar not only gets you better at playing jazz, but other styles of guitar as well.
Jazz advances you, on all musical fronts, to a much higher level. Studying jazz guitar enables you to understand the nuts and bolts of what makes up the music, and relate this to the unique, complex layout of the guitar.
And if you understand something, the easier it becomes.
So even if jazz guitar isn’t your main musical interest to study, it’s important to think about studying it for this very reason:
It could directly improve ALL the other musical styles you like to play on guitar, and give you a framework to better understand music in general.