Common Jazz Intruments

Jazz music involves the use of a variety of musical instruments. Some of them include:


With several keys, which make it possible to play a range of sounds, the piano is one of the most versatile musical instruments. Depending on the purpose of use, the piano can either be played softly to produce harp-like melodies or it can be used as a percussion in rhythm creation.

Drum Set

Like the piano, drums are also part of the rhythm section of jazz music. Drums may not be as versatile as the piano. They are a valuable addition, which keeps jazz music enjoyable. In fact, drums play a key role when it comes to creating jazz music rhythm. The bass drum (with a foot pedal) is the most popular drum in the jazz genre. Another drum used in jazz is the snare drum, which is played using sticks. Cymbals could also be used. In most cases, you will find a jazz band with two additional drums called high tom and low tom, which produce high and low pitches, respectively.


Of all jazz music instruments, the saxophone is the most vibrant. It produces a flexible voice-like tone, which is very essential to jazz music. Although it belongs to the woodwind family, this instrument is made from brass. To play the saxophone, the player blows into its mouthpiece. When the air hits the cane-reed inside the saxophone, the reed vibrates to produce sound. Saxophones are of different types, depending on the type of voice they produce. They include tenor, alto, baritone, and soprano saxophone.


Since Louis Armstrong, the most iconic jazz artist, played it, the trumpet is perhaps the instrument that is mostly associated with jazz. A brass instrument, the trumpet is played by buzzing lips into its mouthpiece. Its pitches change when the user changes the shape of their lips, as well as fingering the three openings/valves on the instrument. With its brilliant tone, the trumpet has been an integral part of jazz music, right from the genre’s early days to the contemporary days.

Upright Bass

Used to produce low notes, the upright bass is a four-stringed wooden instrument. Although it may be played differently in classical settings, in jazz, the upright bass is played by plucking the strings to produce low notes but with a percussive touch. The instrument provides the basis for rhythm pulse and harmony.