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.
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.
Dominant 7 chords are one of the most important chords to know, they can be found in many styles of music as blues, funk, pop and of course in jazz music. In this lesson we will see how dominant 7 chords are built and how to play them on guitar using 36 different voicings and shapes.
In this lesson we will see how to harmonize the melodic minor scale in thirds with seventh chords. In other words we will see how to build seventh chords by stacking thirds from each degree of the melodic minor scale.
What's An Inverted Chord?
An inverted chord is a chord whose notes are stacked in a different order. In other words, the notes of a chord, whether it is a triad (containing just three notes) or a tetrad (built with four notes), can be reshuffled in a different way.
The name of the chord will still remain the same, but the bass will not necessarily the root note. This is the lowest note (the bass note) that determines the name of the inverted chord. So, chord inversion simply refers to which note is in the bass. You will find in this article some example for a better understanding of what are inverted chords.
When learning how to play jazz guitar, one of the most important device to master is to play each tone of a chord in order to outline a specific progression.
This is what we call arpeggios. They are great melodic tools when you want to highlight the chords you are soloing over.
This article is focused on diatonic seventh arpeggios and their extensions. In a first time, before applying these extensions, it is recommended to have a very strong knowledge of the triads, both the chords and the arpeggios.
Triads are one of the first harmonic tools to study. They are very useful for comping and chordal enrichment. Learning close and open triad voicings increase your harmonic knowledge and at the same time help you discover your fretboard.
In this lesson you will see the main triad chord shapes including root positions and inversions. You will also find some ideas on how to use triads over a II V I sequence, in order to create interesting melodic movement in your comping.
Dominant seventh chords are the most important features in music, you can find them in many styles of music, especially in blues and, of course, in jazz. In this lesson, you will see how to construct drop 2, drop 3 and drop 2 & 4 dominant seventh chords, what is their harmonic function and how to play them on guitar.
What Are Drop 2-4 Chords?
Drop 2 and 4 chords are created by dropping down an octave the second and fourth note of a seventh chord in close position. They can be very important tools for composition and arrangement. This lesson with diagrams provides useful explanations on how to build and play drop 2 & 4 chords on guitar.
What's a Tetrad ?
A basic chord is built with three notes this is what we call "triad chords" or "triads". Tetrad chords aka "four note-chords" are simply chords containing four notes, “tetra“ is a Greek root meaning four.
This means that tetrads are triads with an additional note, a major seventh or a minor seventh.
This article will enlighten you on how these tetrad chords are built and how they can be classified.
Arpeggios are essential musical tools that allow you to build pure and beautiful lines while highlighting the harmony. When playing over chord changes, using arpeggios is the most efficient way to connect these chords together.
This lesson provides four arpeggio exercises with tabs, standard notation and diagrams that will help improve your guitar skills and your theoretical knowledge.
Dominant 7 Chord Altered Extensions - Guitar Infographic