Jazz Up Basic Guitar Chords - Guitar Lesson for Beginners
Generally, when a beginner start 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 for jazz beginners we will take the main basic guitar bar chords to transform and enrich them so that their sonority is richer, exciting and better suited to jazz concept.
Let's start with Major chords which are basically made up of a root (1), a major third (3) and a perfect fifth (5). These three notes are considered as the "skeleton" of the chord.
The first thing to do when you want to make a basic chord more "jazzy" is to add the seventh. Then, the triad becomes a tertrad chord that is actually a set of four notes. Example with C major.
|C major 7||C||E||G||B|
|C major 6||C||E||G||A|
|C major 9||C||E||G||B||D|
It is also possible to replace the seventh with the sixth, this would give a major sixth chord and eventually add extensions as the 9, 11 and 13 to these chords. The possibilities are numerous.
The diagrams on the left represent the common shapes to play major bar chords on the guitar. You can notice that there are the three tones (root, major third and perfect fifth) that a major chord must have in its composition.
Some of these tones are repeated, the root (R) and the fifth (5). That makes powerful chords not highly desired in jazz, that's why we have to make some changes in order to highlight the most important notes of the chord.
Here are some possible chord embellishments based on common major bar chords :
- The lower fifth (5) is left out and the major seventh (7) in place of the second root. Needless to overload the chord with a second root. This way we get a major 7th chord.
- Major 6 chords (diagram 3) are very played in jazz music and works generally very well in place of any major chord. No big difference with major 7 chords. The sixth (6) is simply played instead of the seventh (7).
- 6/9 voicings offers a very interesting sound. They are very cool because they have a more ambiguous and rich sound. These chords are great for substituting major chords.
Basic Major Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 1)
Major 7 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 2)
Major 6 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 3)
6/9 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 4)
Here are some basic major jazz chords with roots on the A-string :
- The second root is replaced with the seventh and the highest is left out. We get a major 7th chord with the root on the fifth string (diagram 6).
- The seventh is replaced with the sixth (6), giving a major 6 chord.(diagram 7).
- The fifth is left out and the ninth is added. (diagram 8). This is a 6/9 chord.
Basic Major Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 5)
Major 7 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 6)
Major 6 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 7)
Major 6/9 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 8)
Minor chords also contain three notes : root (1), minor third (b3) and perfect fifth (5). These tones constitute a minor triad. Like major chords you can add the seventh, the sixth and even extend them with the ninth, the eleventh and the thirteenth.
|C minor 7||C||Eb||G||B|
|C minor 6||C||Eb||G||A|
|C minor 9||C||Eb||G||B||D|
Here are some ideas to turn a basic minor bar chord into a jazzy chord :
Roots on the E-string
- Diagram 1 : Basic bar chord
- Diagram 2 : The lower fifth is left out, that gives a minor 7 chord.
- Diagram 3 : The seventh is replaced with the sixth (minor 6 chord).
- Diagram 4 : It is simply the minor seventh position previously seen with a ninth added.
Roots on the A-string
- Diagram 5 : Basic bar chord.
- Diagram 6: This is a minor seventh chord, the second root and the higher fifth are left out against the bar position.
- Diagram 7 : The minor seventh (b7) is replaced by a sixth (6).
- Diagram 8 : Minor 7 and ninth to get a minor 9 chord.
Basic Minor Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 1)
Minor 7 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 2)
Minor 6 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 3)
Minor 9 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 4)
Basic Minor Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 5)
Minor 7 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 6)
Minor 6 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 7)
Minor 9 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 8)
Dominant 7 chords
Dominant 7 chords are major type chords, they consist of a major triad (1-3-5) with a minor seventh (b7). These are the chords that accepts the more extensions. as 9, #9, b9, 11, #11 (b5), #5,13, b13. In this article, we will dwell on 9 and 13 extensions.
|C dominant 7||C||E||G||Bb|
|C dominant 9||C||E||G||Bb||D|
|C dominant 13||C||E||G||Bb||D||F||A|
Here are some voicings derived from two basic dominant bar chords :
Dominant voicings with roots on the E string
- Diagram 1 : Basic dominant 7 bar chord.
- Diagram 2 : This shape contains the four needed tones of the dominant 7 chord.
- Diagram 3 : This is a dominant 9 voicing. There is no third, it is replaced with the ninth. Because theoretically there are five tones in ninth chords, it is difficult to play all of them on the guitar. Leave out the third is not necessarily the best solution, you can try to leave out the root as explained on this page and keep the third instead. It's your choice.
- Diagram 4 : Dominant 13 chord shape including a minor 7 (b7), a third (3) and a thirteenth (13).
Dominant voicings with roots on the A string
- Diagram 5 : Basic dom7 bar chord.
- Diagram 6 : Dominant 7 chord with no fifth.
- Diagram 7 : Dominant 9 chord, no fifth again.
- Diagram 8 : Dominant 13 chord with no fifth once again. As you will have noted, the fifth is not the most important tone.
Basic Dominant 7 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 1)
Dominant 7 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 2)
Dominant 9 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 3)
Dominant 13 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 4)
Basic Dominant 7 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 5)
Dominant 7 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 6)
Dominant 9 Chord - Root on the A-string (diagram 7)
Dominant 13 Chord - Root on the E-string (diagram 8)
This E-book is a printable PDF method including over 700 guitar scale diagrams and formula charts.
This PDF eBook provides over 550 guitar chord shapes. This is the perfect reference guide to understand how chords are built and how to play them on guitar.
This printable PDF is a method dedicated to guitarists of all styles who want to learn the most important types of arpeggios.
This handbook for guitar players is intended both for teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
This package provides a printable PDF method containing 30 exercises (tab / audio files) for practicing minor arpeggios on guitar.
This bundle contains 4 PDF methods for a total of 170 exercises with tabs & audio files for practicing scales, licks & chords over the famous 2-5-1 progression.
This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
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.
This pdf method for guitar contains fourteen 2 5 1 jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
This printable PDF guitar method provides 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation for practicing chords over the major 2-5-1 progression.
This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor 2 5 1 jazz patterns.
PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
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
This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians. Tab, standard notation, audio files & analysis.
This PDF method contains 11 jazz blues chord studies with tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files for jazz guitar players.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
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.
This giant guitar poster for any guitar player, student or instructor contains colorful arpeggio diagrams. Giant size 24 x 36 inches (60 x 90 cm).
Guitar posters and wall art with eighteen neck diagrams representing the most used scales in music.
This printed color posters contains 63 guitar chord diagrams for jazz players, students, teachers and schools.
Guitar reference posters and wall art about modes of the major scale for guitar teachers, students and music schools.
Educative and decorative giant guitar poster with neck diagrams, interval names about the seven modes of the melodic minor scale.
This guitar reference poster shows the positions and intervals of the major pentatonic scale.
This is a giant poster showing the notes on the guitar fret board and their positions on a musical staff.
This reference poster show the positions and intervals of the main triads used on guitar. This is a useful tool for guitarists, teacher and students.
This is a decorative poster with four archtop jazz guitars. Several size and colors in landscape format available on Teespring and redbubble.
This giant poster for guitar provides neck diagrams with interval positions.
This is a printable PDF for guitar teachers and students containing seven cheat sheets about the modes of the major scale.
This printable PDF provides 7 diagrams to play medieval church modes on guitar.
You'll find here a printable PDF file containg guitar charts and diagrams of the seven modes of the harmonic minor scale.
You'll find a printable PDF in high resolution including guitar charts of the seven modes from the melodic minor scale.
Free major 7 arpeggio cheat sheets for guitar students and teachers. Three files are available for download, PDF, JPEG and PNG.
This page contains three music cheat sheets for guitar teachers and students about minor seventh arpeggios
This page contains a link to three cheat sheets about dominant 7 arpeggios. Guitar neck diagrams, theory and chart.
Three printable cheat sheets for guitar about m7b5 arpeggios for teachers and students.
Three music cheat sheets in PDF , JPEG and PNG formats for guitar teachers and students.
Three files (PDF, JPEG, PNG) including minor major 7 arpeggios shapes and theory for guitar teachers and students.
You'll find guitar cheat sheets with shapes, theory and formula chart about augmented major 7 arpeggios.
This page provides three augmented 7 arpeggio cheat sheets for guitar players.