Jazz is a genre of music that originates from African Americans and it emerged at the beginning of the last century. The main characteristics of the jazz are syncopations and improvisations usually over a regular or forceful rhythm.
Woodwind and brass instruments, as well as piano, are the instruments mostly associated with jazz music, but it is not unusual to hear guitars and violins as well. Some of the styles of the jazz are swing, Dixieland, free jazz, hard bop, soul jazz, jazz-rock, cool jazz, west coast jazz and bebop.
You will find on this page 5 exercises to learn to play different jazz guitar chord voicings over the most used chord progression in jazz, the famous II-V-I sequence.
A new eBook is available for download. It contains 50 exercises with guitar tabs and standard music notation that will show you how to use different types of voicings over a II-V-I progression. This PDF eBook will help you to understand how the main jazz guitar chords are built (minor 7, major 7, dominant 7, diminished 7, half-diminished, augmented, 7b5, drop 2, drop 3, inverted, altered, extended and rootless chords) and how to apply chord substitutions (diatonic sub, tritone sub and diminished substitutions).
In this lesson we will see how to use the minor pentatonic scale over a II-Valt-I sequence. The principle is simple, it consists to play three minor pentatonic scales spaced apart of 1 semitone one from the other. This way you will bring out interesting colors to your jazz lines.
- II chord: Play the minor pentatonic starting on the 5th degree of the II chord. This way you will highlight the fifth (5), the minor seventh (b7), the root (R), the ninth (9) and the eleventh (11) of the minor II chord. (Exemple for Cm7 play G- pentatonic).
- V chord : Play the minor pentatonic scale up a half step starting on the #9 of the V7alt chord (Ab-pentatonic over F7alt for example). Therefore, you will play the main altered tones of the V7alt namely #9, #11, b13, b7, b9.
- I chord : Play the minor pentatonic up a half step again starting on the 7th of the I maj7#11 (Example with A minor penta for Bbmaj7#11). Thus giving the 7, 9, 3, #11 and the thirteenth of the I chord.
A new video has been uploaded on the youtube channel. Jazz guitar comping rhythm lesson & chord study with diagrams.
A new free video is available on the youtube channel. It 's about 5 jazz guitar lines to play over a III VI II V sequence, a common progression found in jazz.
Generally, when a beginner starts to learn to play guitar, he tackles open chords (up the guitar neck), those found in many popular songs. Then, come the bar chords (major, minor, dominant 7) a little hard to master. But all these chords do not have a very interesting sound and are not mostly used in jazz music. That's why in this lesson, (addressed to jazz beginners) we will take the main basic guitar bar chords (involves barring severral strings with one finger) to transform and enrich them so that their sonority is richer, exciting and better suited to jazz concept.
Last edited: 19/08/2017