Music Theory

Music theory

  • Basic Jazz Guitar Chords - Guide For Beginners

    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.

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  • Triad Pairs For Jazz Guitar - Theory, Tabs, Exercises

    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.

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  • Guitar Chord Construction - Theory And Basic Shapes - Essential Guide

    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 :

    • TRIADS
      • (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)

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  • Intervals on Guitar - How They Look On The Neck - Shapes and Theory

    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.

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  • Harmonization of the Harmonic Minor Scale - Guitar Shapes & Theory

    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".

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  • Blues Progressions For Jazz Musicians - 11 Forms With Analysis & Audio Files

    Jazz blues chord forms

    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.

     

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  • Diatonic Guitar Dyads - Lesson With Shapes - Music Theory

    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.

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  • 36 Ways of Playing a Dominant 7 Chord on Guitar - Beginner to Advanced

    Drop 2 dominant 7 chordsDominant 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.

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  • Harmonization of the Melodic Minor Scale - Chord Shapes and Theory

    How to harmonize the melodic minor scale

    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.

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  • What Scale to Play Over 7b9 Chord

    Phrygian dominant scale guitar shapesDominant 7 flat ninth chords (7b9) are generally related to the fifth mode of the harmonic minor scale known as Phrygian dominant scale, which makes it the most obvious choice for improvising over 7b9 chords. However, we will see in this article that there are many other options.

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  • 12 Types of Major Scales - Guitar Lesson With Diagrams

    12 types of major scales

    What's a Major Scale?

    A major scale is a scale containing a major third (3) and a major seventh (7). There must be four half-steps between the root and the major third and one half-step between the major seventh and the root. The most known is the major scale spelled 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7.

    What Are the Twelve Types of Major Scales?

    When we think about major scales, the first that comes to mind is the Ionian mode, best know as THE major scale. However, there are several other types of major scales (Ionian #5, Lydian augmented #2, Ionian b6) which deserve a little more attention. Here they are listed with guitar shapes and formulas. 

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  • II V7 Bebop Patterns - David Baker - Analysis and Scale Diagrams

    Bebop patterns for guitar david baker 10This blog article is related to the video tutorial published on JGL YouTube channel. It contains 10 II V7 jazz bebop guitar patterns with analysis and scale shapes. These lines come from the first chapter of David Baker's book "How To Play Bebop Vol.2 - Learning the bebop language". They correspond to the first ten exercises of the section named "The Use of The II V7 Progression in Bebop".

    You 'll find in this lesson a quick analysis of each pattern with scale diagrams (Dorian, Dorian bebop, Mixolydian, dominant bebop, Mixolydian b13, altered, mixo-blues and half-whole diminished).

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  • Solar - Miles Davis - Guitar Chord Melody Lesson and Analysis With Tabs

    "Solar" is a jazz standard written by Miles Davis in the key of C minor with four tonal centers that are  : C minor, F major, Eb major and Db major. Solar contains essential chord progressions as major and minor II V I. This lesson provides a short harmonic analysis and a chord melody arrangement for guitar with tabs, standard notation, chord shapes and audio file.

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  • How to Use a Tritone Substitution - 6 Guitar Licks

    6 tritone substitution guitar licksWhat's a Tritone Substitution?

    The tritone substitution is one of the most common substitution found in jazz. The basic application of a tritone chord substitution is to take any 7th chord and play another 7th chord that has its root a tritone away from the original. This guitar lesson demonstrates how you can play scales and arpeggios starting from the b5 (a tritone away) of the V7 chord in a II V I chord progression. This way you will highlight altered tones as the b9 and the #11. 

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  • Extended Diatonic Arpeggios - Upper-Structure of Chords and Superimposition

    Extended diatonic arpeggiosWhen 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.

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  • Three Kinds Of Minor Blues Scales

    Minor blues scalesThe minor blues scale is mostly referred to as the minor pentatonic scale with a b5 thus giving the interval pattern 1 - b3 - 4 - b5 - 5 - b7. However, few musicians know that there are three types of minor blues scales depending on wether you incorporate the flat fifth (b5), the major third (3) or the major seventh (7) to the minor pentatonic scale. In this lesson you will learn how to build, play and recognize each of these three minor blues scales.

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