15 basic jazz guitar chords

15 Jazz Guitar Chords For Beginners

Here are 15 basic jazz guitar chord positions that every beginning jazz guitar student must know. These chords 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)

How Chords Are Built ?

Chords are built with a root (1), a minor (b3) or a major third (3), a fifth which can be perfect (5), diminished (b5) or augmented (#5) and a seventh, which can be major (7), minor (b7) or diminished (bb7). 

  minor major perfect diminished augmented
Root          
Third O O      
Fifth     O O O
Seventh O O   O  

 

Generally speaking, chords are constructed by stacking thirds (minor and major). Here is a summary chart about the construction of the main types of chords.

Minor seventh (m7) 1 b3 5 b7
Major seventh (M7) 1 3 5 7
Dominant seventh (7) 1 3 5 b7
Half diminished (m7b5) 1 b3 b5 b7
Diminished seventh (dim7) 1 b3 b5 bb7

 

You will find below 15 guitar fretboard diagrams with formula charts related to these chords. Three positions for each type of chord. One with the root on the sixth string, one with the root on the fifth and one with the root on the fourth string. Keep in mind that all these chord positions are movable.

Major 7 Chords

Major seventh chords are built with root (1), major third (3), perfect fifth (5) and major seventh (7). 

Formula 1 3 5 7
C major seventh chord C E G B

 

Abbreviated Chord Symbols

There are several different ways of writing the same chord or scale sound. The most used symbols for major seventh chords (example in C) are CM7, C∆ and maj7. 

Minor 7th Chords

Minor seventh chords are built with root (1), minor third (b3), perfect fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). 

Formula 1 b3 5 b7
D minor seventh chord D F A C

 

Abbreviated Chord Symbols

The main symbols for minor seventh chords (example in C) are Cm7, C-7, Cmin7, Cmi7.

Dominant 7 Chords

Dominant 7th chords are made up of a root (1), a major  third (3), a perfect fifth (5) and a minor seventh (b7). 

Formula 1 3 5 b7
G dominant 7th chord (G7) G B D F

 

Abbreviated Dominant 7th Chord Symbol

Basically, dominant chords are chords with just a number, without any “major” or “minor” definition but only a "7". For example, C dominant 7th will be written "C7".

Half-Diminished Chords

Half diminished chords are built with root (1), minor third (b3), diminished fifth (b5) and minor seventh (b7). They can also be named "minor seventh flat five chords" (m7b5), because they are minor seventh chord with a fifth lowered by a 1/2 step.

Formula 1 3 5 b7
Bm7b5 chord  B D G A

 

Half Diminished Chord Notation and Symbols

Half diminished chords may be found written in several ways : Cm7(b5), Cm7b5, Cmin7b5 or CØ. The last one should not be confused with the diminished notation that is a circle without a bar through it. 

Diminished 7th Chords

Diminished seventh chords (dim7) are made up of a root (1), a minor third (b3), a diminished fifth (b5) and a diminished seventh (bb7). Therefore, they are built with a diminished triad (1-b3-b5) and a diminished seventh interval (bb7).

Formula 1 b3 b5 bb7
Bdim7 chord  B D F Ab


Diminished 7th chord notation 

Diminished seventh chords can be written º7 or dim7. 

PDF Infographic

Get the PDF infographic

  • File name: 15 easy jazz guitar chords for beginners
  • Size: 43.68 KB
Download
  • 172 Arpeggio Shapes For Guitar

    This printable PDF is a method designed for guitarists of all styles who want to learn the most important types of arpeggios using diagrams and theoretical charts.
  • 126 Triad Chord Shapes

    This handbook for guitar players is intended both for teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
  • 30 Smooth Jazz Guitar Licks

    In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files related to 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
  • 40 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

    This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
  • 40 Minor 2 5 1 Chord Voicings

    This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
  • 40 Minor II V I Licks

    This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor II V I jazz licks.
  • II V I Bundle

    This package contains 3 PDF methods for jazz guitarists with tabs, audio files, analysis about the II V I progression.
  • 40 Mixolydian Jazz Guitar Lick

    PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
  • 40 Minor Jazz Guitar Licks

    This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • Diatonic Licks Bundle

    This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
  • Guitar Walking Bass Lines

    This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians. Tab, standard notation, audio files & analysis.
  • 11 Jazz Blues Studies

    This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • 25 Altered Jazz Guitar Lines

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
  • 40 Blues Dominant patterns

    This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.

jazz chords jazz guitar chords positions diagrams chords jazz guitar chord diagrams jazz guitar chord positions

Add a comment