Chords / Voicings
Welcome to the blog section dedicated to jazz guitar chord voicings. You will find here relevant sources of information (Tabs, shapes, charts, diagrams) for a better understanding of the main types of chords (minor, major, dominant, diminished, half-diminished, augmented, altered, extended) found in jazz standards and common progressions.
These free guitar lessons provide chord shapes, Tabs, theory, YouTube videos, audio files and formula charts. They are intended for the beginners as well as the more advanced players who want to learn how to build chords (triads, tetrads) or how to play chord-melody arrangements using drop 2, drop 3 and drop 2-4 voicings.
Here are 15 basic jazz guitar chord positions that every beginning jazz guitar student must know. They are grouped into five families :
- Major seventh chords (Maj7)
- Minor seventh (m7)
- Dominant 7th (7)
- Half diminished / minor seventh flat fifth (m7b5)
- Diminished 7th (dim7)
Jazz guitar chord voicings present a real challenge for beginners. Many guitarists think they need to know a lot of complicated chords with unpronounceable names to play jazz. But, the truth is that jazz guitar chords are based on easy shapes that you can move anywhere on the guitar neck.
These basic chords are divided into several distinct qualities (minor 7 , major 7 , dimininished 7 , half-diminished, dominant 7). They can be altered or enriched with extra tones as explains in this tutorial.
By studying the basic chord voicing shapes in this lesson you will understand how jazz chords are built, how to play them on guitar and how to apply them to any jazz standard or chord progression.
A new video has been published on the YouTube channel. It contains 10 exercises with chord shapes and numeral analysis about different types of variations of the jazz blues progression for jazz guitar rhythm.
The triad pair system is a technique used by many jazz improviser to build modern improvised lines. It consists of playing two adjacent triads from a scale. The most used are from the major diatonic system, however it is possible to use triad pairs from other scales as melodic minor, harmonic minor and harmonic major. This guitar lesson with tabs, shapes and theory is focused on triad pairs from the major scale only.
This lesson explains how jazz chords are built and how to play them on guitar using common positions. This will help you understand, identify, build and play one of the most important types of chords.
All the shapes proposed in this tutorial are movable and playable anywhere on the fretboard. So, try to play them in all twelve keys.
To simplify learning, the voicings used in this course ensure that the root is always the lowest note, either on the sixth, fifth or fourth string. In other words, there are no chords with third, fifth, seventh or any other note in the bass.
Don't hesitate to create your own chord positions. In the meantime, take a look at the following essential chord shapes proposed below, classified into four distinct categories :
- (major, minor, augmented, diminished, sus4 and sus2).
- SEVENTH CHORDS (aka tetrads)
- (maj7, min7, dom7, m7b5, dim7, minMaj7, maj7#5, 7b5, 7#5).
- SIXTH CHORDS
- (maj6, min6).
- EXTENDED CHORDS
- (min9, maj9, 9, 6/9, 7#9, 7b9, m11, maj11, 11, m13, maj13, 13, 7b13)
The minor II-V-I sequence is equivalent to the major II-V-I sequence, but played in minor harmonic key. It is a must know for any guitarist who wants to learn to solo over tunes in minor keys.
You will find minor II V I progressions in many jazz tunes as Autumn leaves, Blue Bossa, Black Orpheus, Stella by Starlight, The nearness of you, I love you, Speak low, Soul eyes, Valse Hot, Along came Betty, Stablemates, Are you real, I'll remember April, I hear a rhapsody, In your own sweet way, Nuages and many more.
This guitar lesson for beginners explains what is the minor 2 5 1 progression, what scales and what chords can be used for improvising over it.
Whether simple or compound intervals are a very important part of music theory. Knowing them allow understand how scales, arpeggios and chords are built. Intervals are useful tools to visualize the notes and understand their relationships on the guitar fretboard. This lesson with downloadable pdf, guitar shapes and theory will help you better figure them out and play them on guitar.
This lesson dedicated to the harmonic minor scale explains how to build drop 2 and drop 3 seventh chords from it. This action which consists in stacking notes in interval of thirds starting on each tone of a scale is commonly called "harmonization".
Jazz blues progressions are very common in jazz music however, there is a lot of twelve-bar blues variations based on the typical form.You will see in this lesson how to incorporate major and minor II V I sequences and turnarounds in order to make evolve a basic blues progression. Each chord changes chart contains roman numeral analysis to facilitate transposing them in any key.
What is a Dyad?
A dyad is a two-note chord, a pair of notes played at the same time. These two notes are separated by an interval. Considering there are different types of intervals, there are therefore different types of dyads.
What's an Interval in Music?
An interval is the distance between two notes. It can be melodic or harmonic.
Is a Dyad can be considered a Chord?
A chord must contain, at a minimum, 3 notes. As its name implies a dyad is made of only two pitches. So, a dyad is considered as being an interval, not a chord.
What's a Diatonic Scale?
A diatonic scale is built with of half and whole steps. The term diatonic comes from the ancient Greece. In western music a diatonic scale is based on five whole steps and two half-steps that can be ordered in many specific ways. The best known is the diatonic major scale based on the formula W - W - H - W - W - W - H which means Whole-Step | Whole-Step | Half-step | WholeStep | Whole-Step | Whole-Step | Half-Step.
How to Play a Jazz Intros and Endings on Guitar?
There are mutliple ways of taking an intro or ending a jazz tune, the truth is that you can play whatever you want. You can start from the V of the key, simply play the last 4 or 8 bars of the tune, try to incorporate a turnaroud and its several variations, the list is long....
You''ll find in this lesson 10 jazz guitar progressions with tabs, standard notation and audio files that work both as intros and endings for any jazz standards in C major. Altough all these exercises are in the key of C major, it is possible and very important to transpose them in any key.