An altered chord is a chord containing one (or several) altered notes that don't belong to the diatonic scale. These notes are the b5 (flat fifth), #5 (sharp fifth), b9 (flat ninth), #9 (sharp ninth). In other words, altered chords are diatonic chords where the fifth and/or the ninth have been lowered or raised by one semitone.
In this guitar lesson we will see that they can be grouped into three disctinct families that are (major, minor and dominant) and also how to play them on guitar.
Altered chords are a very important part of jazz language, they are built by altering with a flat or a sharp one or more notes of a diatonic chord. They are very useful to bring a little bit of tension to any jazz chord progression.
This lesson focusses on dominant seventh flat fifth chords (7b5), that are dominant seventh chords with a lowered fifth, given the formula : root (R), third (3), flat fifth (b5) and minor seventh (b7).
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.
"There Will Never Be Another You" is a popular song by Harry Warren (music) and Mack Gordon (lyrics). It is one of the most known jazz standards and an indispensable study for any jazz guitarist. This jazz guitar comping lesson provides you different chord voicings (drop 2, inverted, rootless and extended chords) on the top four strings of the guitar to comp over this jazz tune. By the way, it will also give you some new ideas to support harmonically a soloist. Indeed, you may even try to apply these chord voicings to the tunes you are used to playing.