Best Instruments for Jazz

A close up of a music instrument

Timeless music, such as Jazz, is the perfect food for the soul. Listening to it makes one feel different kinds of emotions, from soul-crushing devastation to headbanging euphoria, depending on the musician’s intention. Jazz artists can make you dance, laugh or cry with their musical stories, and it makes one wonder how to be a part of that sublime and symphonic story-telling. There is an exceptional kind of freedom when skillfully playing a musical instrument and Jazz is the perfect example of that thought. If you want to start a Jazz music career, here are the Best Instruments for Jazz you might like to learn first.


A person holding a guitar

The guitar, typically an accompaniment to a piano, plays the melodies and chords. With the classic guitar’s six strings and nineteen frets, it is capable of producing a wide range of notes. It’s distinct sound makes it stand out, too, among the other instruments played in the band. Jazz bands often have guitarists who prefer to use the hollow guitar. It’s effortless to get lost in the music and dance along while playing the guitar.


For percussion, Jazz bands generally used the drums. Built-in a specific setup that the drummers felt most confident playing, drums usually have the bass drum with a foot pedal and a snare drum played with drumsticks. It also has cymbals perched on its own stand and when played with drumsticks producing a much higher sound. Two smaller drums, called the toms, produce a low and a high pitch sound, respectively. Together, the drum set creates the rhythm for the rest of the band to play along. Great Jazz drummers are known to show their skill in swift hand, arm and foot movements, producing percussion-soaked rolling sounds.

Double Bass

A double bass, or just “The Bass,” is a string instrument played in an upright position. Its deep and low notes give a distinct sound to Jazz and set the rhythm to the music. Bassists can also show off their riveting skills by playing rapid solos for a more bop jazz sound. 


A man holding a baseball bat

Jazz melodies are often played with horn instruments, one of which is the trumpet. It has a mouthpiece where you can blow air in and move your lip to produce that uniquely thrilling Jazz quality sound. The trumpet became more popular when Jazz singer, Louis Armstrong, became known for playing it during instrumental parts of the song.


A woman sitting on a bench in front of a piano

Last but not the least on Best Instruments for Jazz is the piano. This 88-key instrument has various purposes to the band, from setting the rhythm to delivering the song’s melody and primary chords. Jazz piano players skillfully insert notes between the musical counts to produce rich and exhilarating sounds, allowing for a more diverse auditory experience. They are also particularly well-known for doing solos, alternating with the main singer of the band.

When played in perfect harmony, all these instruments give a unique sound to Jazz and make it a classic favorite for music-lovers. Spend some time learning one of these Instruments for Jazz and fall deep into the rabbit hole of this other-worldly musical genre.

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