The jazz guitar is a stringed instrument on which chords, as well as melody lines, are played. In jazz, guitars generally accompany the melody instruments such as trumpets, saxophones and trombones. The resulting blend of the guitar and melody instruments creates the harmony of the musical piece.'
The fact that jazz provides opportunities for improvisation distinguishes it from other musical genres. However, even in jazz music, sheet music is necessary to indicate melodies, chord changes and arrangements.
A melody within the composition is the refrain that generally is repeated throughout the entire song. This series of notes threads its way through the entire musical composition and generally lingers in the hearer's mind. Simultaneity simply means that the chords are played at the same time that the melody is played. For the jazz guitarist, sheet music provides the chord progressions or simultaneity.
Chords appear on jazz guitar sheet music and consist of two or more musical notes. A progression of chords coupled with the melody creates harmony. Harmony is a sequence of chords, or group of tones that sound concurrently. Bold and deliberate chords often translate into more powerful harmonies.
Harmony is often the groundwork of a jazz presentation. The theme generally occurs at the beginning of the composition and is repeated at the end. In jazz guitar sheet music the chords that accompany the melody may be the only constant music written.
An arrangement is defined as a reworking of the musical composition that takes in account what instruments or voices are available to perform. When selecting jazz guitar sheet music it is important to realize the arrangement available and the necessary number of performers required for the music selected.