Useful Tips

How to get a good electric guitar sound at home


Unlike other modern music styles, jazz is almost never associated with a guitar. The reason is that most often in this genre the saxophone, keyboards, double bass, and other musical instruments are used. Nevertheless, with the development of music, jazz theory has gone far beyond, and now the harmonies characteristic of the genre are used literally everywhere. Jazz chords even metal guitarists need to know, because with their help you can significantly diversify your compositions.

Guitar + overdrive pedal + combo

To get a wider variety of sound, you can use various overdrive pedals between the guitar and the combo.

Please note that in order to get high-quality sound, the volume of the combo should be high enough (and this may not please your neighbors).

Guitar + processor + combo

At home (when there is no way to play very loudly) it is better to use a guitar processor, which allows you to get good sound at any volume.

Also, instead of a combo, you can connect headphones to the guitar processor and do it without disturbing anyone, even at night.

Guitar + computer + stereo

Now on the computer there are many programs that will successfully replace you with an iron guitar processor, for example:

To get a good result, it is very important to have a high-quality sound card on the computer (those that are built into the laptop, as a rule, are not suitable, as they give a long delay, and also poorly digitize the sound).

Guitar + Overdrive Pedal + Computer + Stereo

The main problem of guitar processors and computer programs is digital overload, which gives synthetics (unnaturalness) to the sound of the guitar.

The solution to this problem is the use of analog pedals to create a natural overload and the further refinement of sound on a computer.

How to play jazz on a guitar

He plays the guitar in the same way as he does on other instruments. However, it should be understood that the classic blues chords, gamma boxes and pentatonic in this case do not work. To master jazz, you will have to learn it, a rather peculiar theory, which in many respects contradicts the generally accepted one.

How to learn to play jazz

In order to play jazz, first of all, you need to master the classical musical theory. This will give you a better understanding of how music works and why jazz is considered to break a huge amount of rules. Thus, you will immediately begin to realize what is at stake, and many knowledge, for example, how to build chords, will help you improvise.

Besides, you definitely should learn to improvise - because it is on it that the genre is built. In such music, there are almost always so-called improvisational squares, inside which musicians sometimes play for several tens of minutes, replacing each other. It is precisely such art that we must learn by playing more within groups and with other musicians.

Jazz guitar for beginners. Where to start?

As mentioned above, it is best to start with the development of classical musical theory. You must learn the key, as well as the corresponding scales, and in addition to this - intervals and chords. In addition, it is very important to learn to improvise on the guitar inside these very keys, to select the necessary sounds for the composition, and only after that it is worth starting to learn how to play jazz. This is quite a long time, but this musical direction is very complex, and without a lot of theoretical knowledge you will not go far.

In addition, you just need to learn the so-called jazz standards. These are classic songs of this genre, the melody of which is used in a huge number of songs. Listen to as many artists as possible at the origins of the direction - for example, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Holiday, John Coltrane and others.

Jazz chord sequence

This section provides examples of sequences. jazz chords which you can apply now. It is worth saying that the information here will be given in steps, not specific chords. Knowing how they line up, you can build any triad required for jazz improvisation on a guitar.

Cmaj7 - Dm7 - Em7 - Fmaj7 - G7 - Am7 - Bm7 - Cmaj7 is the standard jazz scale in C major. It is from it that you will build progressions in this tonality.

In addition, an example of how to build a jazz chord progression is presented below. Try to play it. Together with it, below is a tablature that will help you in its construction:

Dm7 - G7 - Cmaj7 - Am7

This pattern can also be shifted to other keys, for example:

Am7 - D7 - Gmaj7 - Em7 - in A minor

Em7 - A7 - Dmaj7 - Bm7 - in E minor

In addition, there is still a way to play this progression through 10 and 8 frets

Do not forget about the characteristic jazz rhythm in which this music is performed. In this example, emphasis is placed on every 1 and 3 note - that is, a strong beat, which makes the progression sound in a swing:

Another option is to play the weak, that is, for every second and fourth:

However, shifting beats is not the only method of playing; for jazz, the basis of rhythmic patterns is syncope, which sounds like this:

In addition to syncopation, many jazz players use delays - when even inside the syncopation chords are played only on the 2nd and 4th beat of the metronome - also in a weak proportion, but with an offset:

Another way to play is Charleston, which consists in the fact that every beat you lose a chord - and after it is another one that should start the next beat. It turns out a very interesting effect of the movement of the composition, which enlivens it:

Jazz guitar chords

In learning jazz chords you should remember one simple rule - jazz players love wide triads. This means that you need to learn how to build chords with different levels. First of all - seventh chords. They are obtained when you add the seventh step, the fourth sound to the chord.

In addition, you need to master the construction of triads with slashes - when you add an additional interval down to the chord tonic, you get a transition chord. This is what you should learn before you begin to improvise.

It is also worth saying that the easiest way to do this is with various compositions - for example, Stormy Monday, in which you can see an example of jazz progression.

The following are examples of specific sequences.

The first sounds pretty bluesy - because it is built according to the same rules as the harmonies in this genre:

The second example uses wider chords, due to which the composition begins to sound as if in a "bottom-up" movement:

The example below uses all standard jazz chords together, so you can learn how to use them and how to play them later on in songs:

In addition, you need to understand what treatment is. This is best done using Stormy Monday as an example. Here are her standard chords:

Now we use the appeal - the technique, when inside the interval its upper sound becomes lower, and the lower one becomes upper. Thus, seventh chords turn into non-chords:

This example is interesting in that the main tone of the melody is always on the second string. This is a mixture of non-chords and seventh chords of the original melody:

Jazz notation

For a more convenient understanding and reading of the musical lyrics, there are special signs that are worth knowing and understanding.

SignWhat does it mean
Δ, maj, maBig Septima in the seventh chord
M minMinor
°, dimReduced Chord
ØSmall Reduced Chord
AugIncreased chord
7Dominant seventh chord
AddAdding a Step
SusStep Replacement
MitSkip step
-, flatNote down
+, sharpNote boost

Classical guitar

Classical guitar is an acoustic instrument that produces sound through vibration of the body (resonator). Such a tool does not require the use of sound amplifying equipment, but can also be used with it.

Classical guitar is a strict, conservative instrument, designed primarily for the performance of classical music. All its characteristics have been time-tested for a long time and are optimal for playing with fingers of both hands.

Important elements of the construction of the classical guitar are the classical form of the body, a relatively wide neck, the fastening of the neck to the body at the level of the twelfth fret and the use of nylon strings. On this guitar, sounds are extracted with your fingers.

Fig. 1. Classical guitar.

During the existence of the classical guitar, a harmonious school of learning to play the instrument has developed, which includes a rich and diverse educational repertoire.

Many prominent guitarists performed jazz and pop music on a classical guitar. This undoubtedly enriched modern musical culture and raised jazz guitar performance to the highest level, but due to sound and design features, in my opinion, there is no reason to consider a classical guitar a pop-jazz instrument.

Its muffled sound does not fit into the sound palette of jazz and pop music, although it can be used as additional paint. In addition, the classical guitar is not quite combined with modern musical equipment. But some elements of the classical guitarist’s technique can come in handy for pop-jazz performers who want to use the finger method of sound extraction.

Jazz Chord Table

Below is a complete table of jazz chords. In it you will find all existing and frequently used sounds in jazz on the guitar. They are not given for specific tonics; instead, forms are given that can be moved around the bar and applied in any key. This is much more convenient than a huge list of similar positions.

Full table of jazz chords - Download (208 kb)

Tips and conclusion

The most important thing in jazz is to master a guitar solo for beginners in order to build your improvisation on the basis of this basis. In addition, it is best to come into this genre with a clear understanding of at least the basics of the theory, since you will need it to build chords, modulate the composition and the same improvisation.

Pop Acoustic Guitar

There are no strict rules and regulations in the production of pop acoustic guitars. Its neck is narrower than that of a classical guitar and is often attached to the body at the level of the fourteenth fret. This instrument uses metal strings that allow you to extract a powerful, rich and bright sound, play with your fingers or a pick. In order for the pick to not scratch the surface of the case, there is a special drop-shaped protective plate on it next to the socket - pickguard (protection from the pick).

Often acoustic guitars are equipped with a cutout in the body (katavey - from the English. "Cutaway"). He makes the last frets of the fretboard accessible to the fingers. Guitars of this type are most often used in the styles of country, folk, blues, rock, bard music. They are ideal for accompaniment and fighting, but are also used for solo parts. The only drawback of such a guitar is the lack of volume in combination with other power tools of a pop-jazz ensemble.

Fig. 2. Pop acoustic guitar.

Pop electro-acoustic guitar

An electro-acoustic guitar is a cross between an acoustic guitar and an electric guitar. It has an acoustic case, but the presence of pickups and an equalizer (timbral block) brings it closer to the electric guitar.

Fig. 3. Pop electro-acoustic guitar.

Jazz guitar

For the first time in a semi-acoustic (jazz) guitar, magnetic pickups and a timbral block began to be used. This guitar has a hollow body with f-shaped holes. Due to this, the sound of a jazz guitar is amplified, even without using pickups, and acquires a characteristic jazz-blues tint. This instrument is often used to play jazz, blues, rockabilly and even rock. They play it with both fingers and a pick.

Fig. 4. Jazz guitar.

Electric guitar

The all-body electric guitar is designed for use with sound amplifying equipment. It is equipped with metal strings, pickups and a timbral block. They play it mainly with a pick, but sometimes with fingers. An electric guitar has the longest duration of a single note (sustain) among all guitars.

An electric guitar is used in a wide variety of musical styles. With her, musicians use various sound effects implemented in the form of pedals and processors. Without connecting to sound amplifying equipment, this instrument sounds quietly, but this is quite enough for homework.

Fig. 5. The electric guitar.


For beginner musicians, guitar models of the brands: Fender, Gibson, Ibanez, Yamaha are suitable. The guitars of these brands have a classic, original, recognizable sound. I advise my students to purchase the Fender Stratocaster or its replicas - “prints,” as the musicians say. These inexpensive copies of the original models of Chinese, Indonesian production have a design and a semblance of the sound of the original. Such instruments are quite suitable for the lessons of a young musician.

A beginner guitarist can choose any of the above instruments in accordance with his musical preferences. But at the same time, one should heed the recommendations of the teacher with whom he plans to study. Only a specialist can devote a student and his parents to all the intricacies of the upcoming learning process and the performance of the corresponding repertoire. In any case, when choosing an instrument, you must understand that the choice of an instrument entails the choice of performing technique and the performance of music of certain styles.

My teaching experience suggests that an electric guitar is the best choice for a beginner pop-jazz guitarist. Having in his arsenal an electric guitar and combo amplifier with built-in guitar effects, a novice musician will be able to master the technical complex of a pop-jazz guitarist, find out what is a good guitar sound, and play music in almost any musical style.

If you want to learn how to play the guitar for 6-7 years, it is recommended to start training on a smaller guitar - ¾, classical or electric guitar. Their small body, weight, soft strings, sparing their fragile fingers, are the best suited for elementary classes. At this stage, depending on the instrument, individual characteristics and the desire of the young musician, you can play with your fingers or a pick.


  1. Secrets of a guitar sound / [Text] S. V. Arzumanov. - M .: Publisher Smolin K.O., 2003, 208 p. silt
  2. Methods of teaching the game on pop-jazz guitar in the Children's Art School and Children's Music School / [Sheet music, text]: I. B. Petrov. - the city of Engels, 2006, 64 p.

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