Aug 10 2015

Essential Jazz Guitar Chords For Beginners

By: Frank Macri

Posted in: Jazz Guitar Lessons


Many jazz chord books that line your local music shop walls will claim to teach a wide variety of chords; within their pages you’ll find nothing but confusing and useless chords whose sole purpose is to fill the book with seemingly useful information. Today I’m going to teach you five forms that will build the foundation to your jazz chord vocabulary. Each form will contain four different types of chords – these being the major seventh, dominant seventh, minor seventh and half diminished.

Lets look at the first form. The root (highlighted in red) for these set of chords are on the sixth string.

Now lets play them in the key of G using chord scales (chords that are played within a key).

Form two starts with the root on the fourth string:

Going up an octave the root on form three is on the second string:

Form four’s root is on the fifth string:

The last form moves up an octave where the root lands on the third string:

Learn these five forms and practice them in the key of G using chord scales. Apply the same exercises to the remaining keys once you can fluidly play through G. In part two we are going to take everything you’ve learned in this lesson and apply it in ii-v-i progressions.

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