Learning how to play jazz chords on guitar is often a tough and tedious process involving memorizing shapes and hoping they sound good over tunes. You get a bunch of cool sounding chords down, but have no idea how to link them together to make them musical over songs. This is where chord studies come into play.
Chord studies teach you chord shapes, and show you how to use them to outline harmonic progressions in a practical, musical way.
In this lesson, you learn an In a Sentimental Mood chord study that teaches you fundamental shapes and how to bring them together over a jazz standard.
Have fun with this chord study, work these voicings over the tune, then when ready, take these shapes to other songs to expand them from there.
How to Practice This Chord Study
Before you learn the chord study below, take a minute to learn the most effective way to practice these voicings in your studies.
Here’s a list of essential exercises that you can use to get the most out of every minute in the woodshed with this chord study.
- Memorize the chords as you learn them.
- Learn 2 then 4 then 8 bars at a time.
- When you have 8 bars, play them with the audio and backing track.
- Add the next 8 bars from there.
- Once you have the whole study memorized, play it with the track.
- Begin to add different rhythms and fingerpicking/strumming patterns.
- Mix and match the different sections over the backing track, A1 is now A2 etc.
- Write your own chord melody using these and other chord shapes.
Learning chord studies is a solid way to build your jazz harmonic vocabulary, but you need to go beyond just learning the notes.
These exercises ensure that you get the most out of these shapes, and that you go deep with any chord study you learn in the practice room.
In a Sentimental Mood Chord Study
Now that you know how to practice the chord study, time to put that work to the test in the practice room.
Start by learning the chords for each section with no tempo, then add tempo when you’re ready.
From there, add your own rhythms as you take this study to the next level.
If you get that far and are still comfortable with the changes, mix up the chords in different sections as you improvise with these voicings.
When all’s said and done, write a chord study of your own using these, and other, chords to take things further in your studies.
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