jazz chords

Jazz up basic guitar chords - Jazz guitar lesson for beginners

Jazz up your chord - Jazz guitar lessonGenerally, 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.

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Stella by Starlight - Jazz guitar chord melody lesson

A new video is online on the youtube channel. It is a quick jazz guitar chord melody arrangement with chord diagrams of the famous jazz standard "Stella by Starlight" (Victor Young). 

Extended major 7th chords | Guitar diagrams & voicings | Cmaj9, Cmaj#11, Cmaj13

Major 7th chord extensionsIf the basic sound of jazz is based on tetrad chords (four-note chords), it is common to extend them with other tones. These other notes forms the upper structure of a chord which includes 9th, 11th and 13th. Adding extensions to chords help to get off the beaten tracks and provides some new harmonic colors to your playing (chord soloing, comping, and arrangement). This lesson provides you useful extended major 7th chord shapes to apply to your playing.

Basically, major 7th chords are made up of a root (1), third (3), fifth (5) and seventh (7). They can be extended with a ninth (9), a sharp eleventh (#11) and a thirteenth (13).

The notes in yellow in the chart below can be added to the basic structure of a major 7th chord to extend it. Therefore a C major 7th chord can become Cmaj9, C maj7#11Cmaj13.

C Major seventh chord C E G B D F# A
Intervals 1 3 5 7 9 #11 13


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Diatonic chord substitution - Jazz theory and harmony lesson

Diatonic chord substitution lessonChord substitution is to replace a chord by another one to add more harmonic interest to a piece, a song or a chord progression. In jazz music, this technique is widely used to add interest to a . It can be useful to reharmonize a harmonic sequence or a jazz standard. There are two types of substitutions :

  • Diatonic substitutions (chords that have the same tonal function) :
    • Relative minor.
    • Secondary relative minor.
    • Dominant minor (II-V).
  • Chromatic substitutions (Formed with chords from other keys or modes) :
    • Tritone substitution.
    • Secondary dominant chords.
    • Chromatic common tones.
    • Chord quality substitution.
    • Adding II-V progressions.

This post is focused on diatonic substitutions, chromatic substitutions will be discussed in another topic.

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NEW PDF eBook available | 11 blues-jazz progressions for guitar | Chords and comping studies

11 blues jazz progression for jazz guitar - Pdf eBookA new printable PDF eBook is available. It's about 11 blues progressions for jazz guitar with tabs, analysis (with roman numerals), explanations and audio files, divided into four chapters :

1- Blues progressions and variations
2- Chord studies
3- Guitar walking-bass studies
4 -Rhythm patterns



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So what chord - Jazz rhythm guitar lesson - Modal comping

So what chord - Guitar lessonThe origin of the "so what chord" name would be due to its use by the jazz pianist Bill Evans in the modal tune "So what" by Miles Davis. This is is a cool and modern sounding chord voicing often used as an alternative to quartal voicings. It is built with a fourth chord on the bottom (3 perfect fourths stacked) and a major third added on the top. This particular chord was originally played on a piano, but it is quite interesting to play it on the guitar to support rhythmically and harmonically a soloist over a modal tune.

This jazz guitar rhythm lesson with tabs and diagrams provides you some interesting ideas of comping inspired by McCoy Tyner's playing on "impressions" by John Coltrane. 

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