Best Jazz Guitar Lessons – 2021 Ultimate Round-up

Craig
| Last Updated: March 23, 2021

Jazz music requires you to calm yourself down and allow yourself to feel the song that is being played. It’s not the technique but the mindset that makes jazz players different.

Technique is important, but understanding what’s going on plays a much bigger role.

And this approach makes these jazz guitar lessons special.

Our Top Picks for Jazz Guitar Lessons

  • Scale and pattern overviews
  • Live improvisation tips
  • Single fee for all courses
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  • Famous jazz standards covered
  • Jazz chord comping and scales
  • Tips for jam sessions
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  • Music theory and technique
  • Learn music through songs
  • Buying right instrument tips
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Comparison of the Best Jazz Guitar Lessons

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Detailed scale and pattern overviews
  • Chord and arpeggio build-ups
  • Other courses available for same subscription
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  • Complete walkthrough over famous jazz standards
  • Jazz chord comping, scale, and pattern lessons
  • Tips for transcribing and jam sessions
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  • Best Jazz Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons
  • Lessons shown through songs examples
  • Detailed overview how to accompany the singer
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  • Best Jazz Guitar Lessons for Beginner
  • Chord voicings and inversions for rhythm guitars
  • Bossa Nova and blues standards implemented to jazz
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  • Best Jazz Bass Guitar Lessons
  • Exercises for walking bass techniques, scales, and arpeggios
  • Lessons for both upright and electric bass guitar
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  • Learn typical chord progression
  • Develop ear training from the scratch
  • Song playthroughs for advanced players
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Why Did These Jazz Guitar Lessons Make Our List? 

These aspects make selected jazz guitar lessons from our list worth mentioning:

Good Teachers with a Lot of Experience

Jazz guitar parts can be very complicated and if they aren’t explained correctly it’s not just that you won’t learn the part you’re watching, you may lose interest completely.

That’s why it’s very important to get teachers who know what they are talking about and how to adjust the lessons towards specific skill levels and avoid being counter-productive. They are especially aware that setting you in a pleasant environment is essential for your progress.

Most of them are also experienced musicians so they will know how to curate and adjust the overall music theory terms and phrases and emphasize only those parts that are relevant for your purpose.

Price

These lessons are one of the best in the world and luckily because they have a good reputation they can allow themselves to be affordable as the number of students works for them. Simply put, for the price of less than a monthly wage you would invest in a private teacher, you will get at least an annual subscription.

This way you can either save your money or invest in better equipment.

Review of the Best Jazz Guitar Lessons

Let’s check what jazz guitar lessons you can find online these days:

PROS

  • Improvisation and playing live tips
  • Detailed scale and pattern overviews
  • Chord comping and arpeggio build-ups
  • Other courses available for the same price
  • Over 65 lessons tailored to jazz guitar playing style

CONS

  • Not the best pick for beginners

Teacher Bio

Jane Miller is a Berklee Associate Professor since 1994 and Acoustic Guitar Magazine contributing writer and Premier Guitar Magazine. She has also enrolled in TV composing for various jingles including the theme music for "Barbara...and You,". She has also released three albums under the Jane Miller Group / Trio name.

Why It Stands Out to Us

This is probably the best jazz guitar course Jamplay can offer. It handles a detailed overview about jazz scales and playing patterns along with chord comping and also covers various tips about playing live, especially regarding building-up your improvisation skills and explaining the benefits of repertoire practicing over the typical practice.

And after all, in case you’re curious you may explore other courses as well as they are all available for a single purchase.

Who Are These Best For?

We would recommend this course for people who already know how to play and wish to master their jazz playing skills. Jane’s course is covering various topics in detail so there is a lot that can be learned.

Bottom Line

This Jamplay course is probably the most affordable solution to find out more about jazz guitar playing. And once you’re finished with this course, thanks to the Jamplay concept, you can stack the influence of other genres to your playing style for free.

PROS

  • Hanon warm-up exercises explained
  • Tips for transcribing and jam sessions
  • Suitable for all kinds of intermediate players
  • Jazz chord comping, scale, and pattern lessons
  • Complete walkthrough over most famous jazz standards

CONS

  • VIP content available only for 12-month plan
  • A bit more expensive than the rest of the lessons

Teacher Bio 

Dave Stryker has released 31 CD albums and he’s also been nominated more than 10 times for the best jazz guitarist from Downbeat magazine by both Readers and Critics Polls and is often referred to as “the most distinctive guitarists to come along in recent years”.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

We love how Dave Stryker explains to you aspects of jazz guitar playing by using jazz standards. He does exactly what you would like from your jazz teacher - first, he explains jazz music in basics regarding chords, melodies, and basic phrasing. 

And when you feel comfortable then he takes the portion of what you already know and provides you with the rhythm, solo, phrasing, and melody briefing on a song that you may use later.

Who Are These Best For ?

It is meant for advanced players who know their routine around guitars very well. They will get a lot of advice on how to approach certain songs or song parts and will put you to think about different solutions.

Bottom Line 

If you would like to learn the jazz standards by watching someone experienced, we strongly suggest you try out the Dave course. It’s the best resource for learning jazz standards and it won’t fail on you in other aspects, too.

Best Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar Lessons:
Artist Works Fingerstyle Jazz Guitar with Martin Taylor

PROS

  • Finding the proper instrument tutorials
  • Ideal course choice for advanced players
  • Lessons applied through specific songs examples
  • Hundreds of music theory and skill training lessons
  • In-depth lessons about how to accompany the singer

CONS

  • Not designed for beginners
  • ArtistWorks doesn’t accept subscription refunds

Teacher Bio 

Martin Taylor is a Grammy-nominated guitarist and entitled to the BBC lifetime achievement award. He contributed to jazz music so much that he even got the MBE title from the Queen of Great Britain.

Inspired by Django Reinhardt, his style is mostly oriented towards fingerstyle guitar playing.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

This course will cover all the jazz basics for you and also explain how you can extend the chord progression by adding notes on specific strings and building 7ths and 10ths chords. Some lessons will be organized in the form of song playthrough and having a simplified variation is a nice add-on. 

We especially appreciate that Mr. Taylor devoted some time to explain the things behind music theory so you can understand the core of good musicianship.

Who Are These Best For?

Thanks to the Artist Works course concept, some lessons are oriented towards three different playing skill tiers.

Also bear in mind that this course focuses mostly on fingerstyle playing so if using a pick is your thing, some other options from our list.

Bottom Line

It will be really hard to find a more competent teacher than Martin Taylor for fingerstyle jazz playing and we believe that his field experience can be more valuable than many other online lessons combined.

Best Jazz Guitar Lessons for Beginner:
JamPlay Creative Chords with Sheryl Bailey

PROS

  • Drop 2 and drop 3 chords analyzed
  • Jazz music theory phrases explained
  • Chord voicings and inversions for rhythm guitars
  • Bossa Nova and blues standards implemented to jazz
  • 37 lessons focusing on the melodic part of jazz guitar playing

CONS

  • No song lessons included
  • Advanced players may not find it so challenging

Teacher Bio 

Downbeat Magazine's 3-times consecutive Rising Star Sheryl Bailey is a Berklee graduate that has released nine albums so far. She is known for putting more attention on harmonic content than technical.

She has also written a music theory book about reharmonizing typical jazz progressions and has years of online teaching experience.

Why It Stands Out to Us 

We don’t come across basic lessons that explain to you how diatonic, minor, and major 7th chords or drop 3 and drop 2 chords are being formed. 

Along with those lessons, you will also learn more about walking bass lines and explore melodic voicings in jazz and blues comping.

You will even get a grasp on Bossa Blues chord principles and an in-depth voice leading the tour.

Who Are These Best For?

While there are some advanced terms used the actual coverage of the content is pretty basic so it leads us to the conclusion that it was intended more towards newbies and introducing them with the new phrases and playing skills.

Bottom Line 

If you don’t have a clue about jazz music, this is probably the easiest way to start online. You will get brief lessons about scales, chord progressions, and all the stuff needed for a quick 101 jazz introduction.

Best Jazz Bass Guitar Lessons:
Artist Works Jazz Lessons with John Patitucci

PROS

  • Song lessons included as well
  • Course organized in three skill levels
  • A lot of exercises for walking bass techniques, scales, and arpeggios
  • Hundreds of high-quality lessons from the most famous jazz bass player
  • Double course - provides lessons for both upright bass and electric bass guitar

CONS

  • No refund option included
  • Only monthly subscription available

Teacher Bio

When it comes to John Patitucci, the easiest part about his career is to list those artists that he didn’t play with. Incredible musician with hundreds of recorded albums so far.

He even got the Grammy award nomination in 2005 and holds a lifetime achievement award of the Bass Player magazine. 

Why It Stands Out to Us 

Bass guitar lessons are not so easy to be found, so we thought the course of this value should be emphasized. It’s rare to get such a top-level teacher, especially as he focuses on both upright bass and electric bass guitar.

For both instruments, lessons are split into three levels and the music theory lessons will be adjusted to match the appropriate playing skill including play-along with lessons and useful exercises. 

Who Are These Best For?

We believe everyone interested in jazz music will find very resourceful content here. Advanced players will learn a bit more about the John mindset while beginners can be sure they are learning basics in the best way possible.

Bottom Line

If jazz is your thing and you’re not sure you should go towards guitar or bass guitar, the quality of this course can easily be a decisive factor for your choice. It’s probably one of the best examples of how good Artist Works courses can be.

PROS

  • Suitable for all kinds of players
  • Learn typical chord progression
  • Develop ear training from the scratch
  • Song playthroughs for advanced players
  • 100+ lessons organized in three skill levels

CONS

  • Single course purchase
  • No video exchange available

Teacher Bio

Chuck Loeb was a guitarist, composer, and musical director that built his style based on the foundation of Wes Montgomery and George Benson and had a decent artist career which included more than 20 albums in total with the best album position award on several relevant jazz charts. 

Why It Stands Out to Us

We love how Artist Works organize their course to suit various playing levels at the same price range. 

Beginners will find useful tips about ear training, intervals, patterns, and position concepts while those who are more experienced will get an in-depth analysis of scales, arpeggios, modes, bebop licks, and chord progressions. And once you’re done with the theory, you will get the chance to apply that in real songs playthroughs. 

Who Are These Best For?

This course will serve the best of those who know a bit more than just how to hold a guitar properly. If you're a self-taught player you will cover knowledge gaps about terms that can’t be learned on your own.

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for an all-around course that will expand your music theory knowledge, we strongly recommend you to check this course. You will find some great tips for advanced players that can be applied in all kinds of situations.

How Do Online Jazz Guitar Lessons Work?

Online Jazz Guitar Lessons are available on dedicated websites where you can stream them as long as your membership is valid. Lessons are done in full HD video quality and include multiple cameras covering various angles. The video interface allows you to manipulate the video so you can either slow it down or play in a loop.

So in short, you’re in charge of running those lessons and you can watch them at any pace you feel comfortable. In case you’re stuck, some websites such as JamPlay allow you to send a message.

Can You Really Learn To Play Jazz Guitar Online? 

Let’s be fair - most jazz guitar experience is learned during live performing. It’s playing with others that builds you as a musician.

But, music theory and practice essentials needed can be learned by watching those jazz guitar online lessons. Many things will become easier to comprehend once you get the basics set correctly first. And these jazz lessons will cover much more than just the basics.

However, unlike teaching in real-life circumstances, online lessons ask for you to be your own teacher and that’s why you may find some bad reviews about the whole concept. 

Pros and Cons of Online Jazz Guitar Lessons

Jazz guitars lessons experience can be different depending on which platform you had enrolled, but all those courses have these things in common

Pros

Here are some pros:

Resourceful Lessons

Sometimes it may feel like overkill, especially for newbies. But, that’s why you don’t have to try so hard in the beginning. Just like with real school, all lessons are prepared to build your learning curve considering a typical steady approach.

Reliable Teachers

Most teachers from these websites are experienced online teachers and some of them even wrote some books regarding learning music theory.

Photo credit: jazziz.com

Famous Artists Enrolled

We said “most teachers” because these websites also enroll prominent artists who maybe don’t have all the knowledge, but they have something else which is invaluable - experience. With their calm, friendly and warm approach you may end up learning even more than watching all those detailed lessons of music theory.

Additional Tools Included

Apart from a typical lessons system, these websites will also provide you additional content that may improve your knowledge such as scale or chord finder. Some lessons will include jamming tracks which might be used in years to practice along.

And in the end, there are also some handy games where you can both have fun and learn how to read notes

Cons

Here are some cons:

Requires Devotion and Consistency

No matter what course you have applied to, these lessons only work if you know how to push yourself without additional assistance. Apart from several video exchanges on Artists Works, no one will check your progress or if you’re doing it right except for you.

Video File Format

When you have real-life lessons, you’re able to stop it at any specific point and ask about the thing that bothers you. Online lessons don't allow you to do that except for sending an email and getting an answer later.

It may slow down your progress or break your workflow, but at least it won’t break your bank.

List of Jazz Standards Compositions

Every jazz player should be familiar with Jazz Standard songs, so here’s a short list to get you going:

  • Fly me to the Moon

  • So What

  • All of Me

  • The Girl from Ipanema

  • Satin Doll

  • Come Rain or Come Shine

  • Song for my Father

  • Over the Rainbow

  • Amazing Grace

  • Summertime

  • On the Sunny Side of the Street

  • Caravan

  • Recorda Me

  • Giant Steps

  • Oleo

  • Blue Bossa

  • Sweet Georgia Brown

  • Up Jumped Spring

  • Skylark

  • All the Things You Are

  • I’ll Remember You

  • Cherokee

  • Autumn Leaves

  • Stella by Starlight

  • Misty

  • Willow Weep for Me

  • Ladybird

  • How High the Moon

  • Sweet Lorraine

Final Word 

You should know that jazz guitar lessons won’t make you a professional player. It takes time and a lot of field experience to become one. But, by learning all the theory and exercises it will clear a path for you a lot and make it much easier to become one eventually.

Recap: Best Jazz Guitar Lessons

People Also Ask

There are so many questions about jazz guitars, but so many people are afraid to ask. That’s why we will cover you with the bare essentials such as jazz standard, the ideal age for taking online jazz guitar classes, and also explain what people mean when they say jazz guitar.

What is a Jazz Standard?

Jazz Standards are songs that are considered to be known by experienced musicians. Consider them as the most popular tunes familiar among players and audience, so, pay attention to these songs first as it’s most likely you may encounter playing them during a regular jam session.

How Old Do You Need to Be To Take Online Jazz Guitar Lessons?

While there is no underage for jazz guitar in general, we feel that younger kids can’t comprehend jazz music as much as teens and adults can. Jazz is just like wine - it gets better with ages and it’s definitely worth revisiting even those lessons you have mastered.

What Does a 7th Chord Mean?

It’s a chord made out of four notes instead of 3 with the added 7th note from the scale. What it will depend on the 7th chord type and there are five different seventh chord types - major, minor, diminished, half-diminished and dominant, each producing their own vibe to the chord.

Can You Play Jazz on Acoustic Guitar?

Yes, playing jazz music is not meant just for an electric guitar.

It’s about the tones that you’re playing and as jazz isn’t so heavy on overdrive and distortion effect, the acoustic guitar can replace the need for electric guitar much easier.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Jazz Guitar?

Photo credit: guitarspace.org

Learning jazz guitar will be a bit more complicated than learning a rock or pop guitar because there is a lot of music theory involved. But, we guess that if you take it seriously you should be doing good in less than a year.

How Much Are Jazz Guitar Lessons?

Based on the website where you’re about to apply, jazz guitar lessons can cost you from $29 monthly for Artist Works or up to $299.95 for a full annual subscription on a Jamplay. Jamplay also provides a basic annual subscription of $99.95 that gives you all-access to many guitar courses.

What is Jazz Guitar?

Technically, there is no such thing as a jazz guitar. You can play it on both acoustic or electric guitar. But, there is a guitar sub-type that can be considered as a jazz guitar - archtop electric guitar. It belongs to the category of semi-acoustic guitars and, as its name says, it combines the concept of acoustic guitar soundboard and pickup from an electric guitar.

What Are the Best Strings for Jazz Guitar?

As the sound of the jazz guitar is more mellow and warm, we would advise you to pick some strings with a thicker gauge like 0.12 or 0.13. You won’t rely too much on pickup gain or effects, so the only way to create such sound is to use heavier strings such as D’Addario EXL 116, for example.

Craig

Hi there, my name is Craig. I took over Gear Savvy in mid-2019 and have had a blast writing content about music ever since. My role here is to steer the ship and ensure readers have the best information available for learning a thing or two. When I’m not working on content, I’m a husband and a dad. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing guitar, or messing around in my woodshop.