The Session Guitarist

Being Prepared for Whatever

Thinking Like a Session Guitarist

As a jazz session guitarist, being prepared for anything is essential to succeed in a fast-paced, ever-changing musical environment. Here are some ways that a jazz session guitarist can be prepared for anything:

Develop a Strong Musical Foundation

To be prepared for anything in a jazz session, the guitarist must have a strong foundation in music theory, harmony, and rhythm. This includes being familiar with different chord progressions, scales, modes, and rhythms used in jazz music. The guitarist should also have a strong sense of time and be able to play with precision and accuracy.

Advanced Foundational Concepts

Practice Improvisation in Different Keys and Styles

Improvisation is a key element of jazz music, and the session guitarist must be able to improvise in different keys and styles. This requires practicing improvisation over a variety of chord progressions, using different scales and modes, and experimenting with different phrasing and rhythm patterns. The guitarist should also be familiar with different jazz styles, such as bebop, swing, and fusion, and be able to adapt their playing to different styles as needed.

Advanced Improvisation Courses

Be Familiar with Common Jazz Standards

Jazz standards are an essential part of any jazz session, and the session guitarist must be familiar with a broad repertoire of common jazz standards. This includes being able to play the melody and chords of each tune and being able to improvise over them. The guitarist should also be familiar with the common variations and substitutions used in each tune, as well as the different forms and structures used in jazz music.

Jazz Standard Courses

Be Prepared for Last-Minute Changes

In a jazz session, last-minute changes are common, and the guitarist must be prepared to adapt quickly. This includes being able to follow the leader, adjust to changes in tempo, dynamics, and key, and communicate effectively with other musicians. The guitarist should also be able to read charts and lead sheets quickly and accurately.

Advanced Comping Concepts

To be prepared for anything as a jazz session guitarist, one must have a strong musical foundation, practice improvisation in different keys and styles, be familiar with common jazz standards, and be prepared for last-minute changes. By incorporating these strategies into their practice routine and performance preparation, the jazz session guitarist can be ready to handle any musical situation that comes their way.

© Mike's Master Classes. All rights reserved.