Recently I started an online jazz course, and and I enjoy studying it (all the chords and extensions). But at the end of the day, I don't know why I study jazz. I don't really like jazz, and it's hard for me listen to jazz. So yes, I enjoy learning jazz, practicing standards, and knowing that I'm advancing in the course. But I'm afraid that I'm wasting my time given that I don't really like jazz and don't see myself improvising in a jazz style or doing transcriptions of jazz.

The music that I like is pop (good pop, not all of the junk), and my main goal is be a good pop composer. So I study theory, cubase, and sheet music, and I transcribe pop music that I like. And, of course, I'm taking the jazz course too.

Given my long-term goal and interest in pop, is it a waste of my time to take the jazz course, study jazz, and memorize all the chords, extension, harmonies, etc.? Or is this work good for me?

  • Jazz can mean a lot of things. It's not a style. It includes a lot of different styles.
    – user20754
    Commented Nov 14, 2020 at 15:58
  • Not really an answer but I'd say since you say "I enjoy studying it", then your time is probably well spent. At the point where it becomes drudgery, it might make sense to take a step back and decide if continuing is worth it, but if you're enjoying it anyway, it can only be a positive. (I enjoy playing classical music, but am not as interested in listening to much of it. For Jazz, you can enjoy studying and learning about it, without wanting to play it.)
    – Beska
    Commented Nov 2, 2023 at 13:24

3 Answers 3


Yes, it is helpful

It's not obvious, but there is a lot of jazz influence in pop. Learning jazz will give you a lot more experience with chord progressions, chord shapes, modal mixtures, alternate theories of harmony, soloing techniques, etc.

Types of music that are not too far away from pop that are heavily jazz influenced include musical theater, hip-hop, and R&B, but you don't have to look too hard at the music of The Beatles to find a jazz influence in their work.

Finally, you will probably not like only pop for the rest of your life. Learning jazz now will let you explore that much more of the world of music, and will give you skills that can be applied to any genre.


Welcome to the site! Studying jazz is better and easier through a course - providing it's a good one! You'll be taken a lot deeper into music than you would studying pop-type music, although it depends where one thinks pop starts and ends.

Keep studying and do the pop transcription etc., by yourself. It will become easier and easier to sort out pop while your musical understanding deepens with the jazz. I'd hazard a guess that a lot of jazz players go that way, having gone as far as they can with pop, etc., and realising there's a lot more challenges in the jazz route.


The jazz of today was the pop of decades earlier. It's actually helpful to study jazz even though you listen mostly pop.

To study jazz will make you aware of chord-scales, tonal functions and a broad range of vocabulary that will help you with playing any on many other genres.

It will also help you to explore, recognize and apply harmonic concepts on your instrument.

If you're not a lot into straight jazz you can always listen fusion, soul, jazz blues and even rap. There are also many groups that do jazzed covers of pop songs (dirty loops is one that imedatily comes to my mind).

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