Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Rachel L. Lebon

Second Committee Member

John Hart

Third Committee Member

Stephen Rucker

Fourth Committee Member

Reynaldo Sanchez


The electric guitar is a relatively new instrument in jazz. As a result, there is a lack of documentation regarding the varying roles that the electric guitar can assume. It is a remarkably versatile instrument, with the inbuilt potential to express a wide range of timbres, textures and dynamics that are unique to the guitar. For guitarists who are looking to pursue or continue their development in performance, it is important to be aware of the adjustments that are necessary from one particular musical setting to the next. In highly improvised settings, one’s approach to sound, density of texture and dynamic sensitivity will need to be considered according to the surrounding instruments as well as stylistic elements appropriate to the music. An exploration of such considerations will be applied to ensemble settings, including the Jazz Trio, Jazz Quartet, and Jazz Quintet. Articles, interviews with prominent guitarists, as well as analysis of sound recordings will be used to demonstrate the specific strategies that can be employed in adapting to various instrumental combinations.


jazz; guitar; role; trio; quartet; quintet