Jazz Guitar Chords

Jazz guitar chords are fun to play, but knowing which chords to learn can be complicated. Start by learning the basic chords in our beginner lessons, and work your way up to the more advanced chord voicings and progressions.

The similarities between half-diminished and major 7 chords

Half-Diminished Chords

Half-diminished seventh chords are minor chords with a flat five and are commonly used as the first chord in minor-key ii V I progressions. It’s important to have this type of chord with all its inversions under your fingers because they are used in almost every jazz standard. In this lesson, you will learn how …

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Guitar chord turnaround 24

Chord Turnarounds

In this lesson, we will look at turnarounds (aka turnbacks) and their various variations as applied to major keys, minor keys, suspended resolutions and other progressions. A turnaround is a series of chords that helps bring a chord progression back to the tonic key and is usually found at the end of a tune. In …

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Cmaj7 drop 2 inversion 1

Chord Inversions

In this lesson, we’re going to have a look at chord inversions. A good grasp of inversions is one of those things many guitarists lack. Inversions can be daunting at first, but they seem a lot more complex than they really are. Here’s why chord inversions are useful: Inversions open new possibilities and enable you to …

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Dominant chords

Dominant Chords

In this lesson, you’ll learn how dominant 7th chords work, how they are formed and why dominant chords are called dominant.

We’ll also have a look at how they look on the guitar and how they are used in jazz and other genres of music.

C major 7 jazz guitar chords

Major Chords

Major 7 chords are the most commonly used chords in jazz.

In this lesson, You will start with the basic major 7th chord, before moving on to more advanced major chords such as major 6, maj9, maj6/9, maj13, maj7#11, and maj7#5.

Cm7 drop 3 inversions 2

Minor Chords

In this lesson, you will learn how to play the many shapes and colors of minor chords.

You will start with the basic minor 7th chord, before moving on to more advanced minor chords such as m6, m9, m11, and mMaj7.

C major 7 jazz guitar chords

Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary

This jazz guitar chord dictionary is a reference to help you find great-sounding 7th-chord voicings to play and improvise over jazz standards.

The 244 chord shapes in the chord dictionary are essential knowledge for any jazz guitarist and will enable you to comp chords with confidence.

Diminished Chord Chart

Diminished Chords

Although diminished chords are not used as often as major and minor chords, you should have a good understanding of these chords because they show up in many jazz standards.

Diminished chords are usually used as a passing chord or as a substitute for dominant chords. In this lesson, you will learn all the necessary diminished chord shapes and how to use them in your playing.

Freddie Green

10 Essential Jazz Guitar Chord Rhythms

Besides learning chord shapes, it’s also important that you develop your right-hand technique. Rhythm is an important aspect of playing chords because it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!

In this lesson you will learn 10 essential jazz guitar chord rhythms that every jazz guitarist should know.

How to Read Jazz Chords and Lead Sheets

In this lesson, you will learn how to read jazz chords on lead sheets the way they appear in fake books such as the Real Book.

You will learn how to color your chords, use chord tensions and substitutions while making sure your chords don’t clash with the melody.

Jazz funk guitar

Jazz Funk Guitar

Learn how to play jazz-funk guitar, combining smooth jazz chords with the rhythmic fills of funk.

This lesson covers the basics of funk guitar, including chord rhythms and soloing.

Tritone solo

Tritone Substitution

Tritone substitution is one of the most popular chord substitutions in jazz. The tritone concept is very versatile and can be used for soloing, comping and composition.

In this lesson, you will learn what tritone substitution is and how you can apply it on the guitar.

Minor blues chord progressions

Minor Blues Chord Progressions

In this jazz guitar lesson, you will learn 11 variations of the minor blues chord progression and 2 guitar chord studies over the minor blues.

Comping over a minor blues tune is an essential skill for any jazz guitarist, as minor blues tunes are some of the most commonly called songs on jam sessions.

Jazz Chord Progressions

Jazz Chord Progressions

In this lesson, you will learn the 10 most popular jazz chord progressions with practical examples for guitar.

Chord progressions are the backbone of any jazz standard and knowing how to play the most-used progressions is essential for any jazz musician.

Practicing these 10 progressions will give you a head start when learning new jazz standards.

D minor quartal chords on the guitar neck 1

Quartal Guitar Chords, Harmony & Voicings

Quartal chords were made popular by McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans. They have a jazzy sound and work very well in modal music, but can be used on any jazz standard.

In this lesson, you will learn how to construct quartal chords, how to use them on guitar and you’ll also play through some comping and soloing examples.

All of Me – Chord and Single Note Soloing

All of Me is a great jazz standard to practice your solo and improvisation skills on.

In this lesson, you will combine chord comping and improvisation over the changes of All of Me (in the style of Joe Pass). Being able to mix single-note solos and chord comping is an essential skill for jazz guitarists of all levels.

Introduction to Rhythm Changes for Jazz Guitar

Introduction To Rhythm Changes (+ Chord & Solo Study)

Rhythm Changes is one of the most popular song forms in jazz and essential to get under your fingers.

This doesn’t mean that it is an easy chord progression. Playing an inspired jazz solo over a Rhythm Changes can be hard because of the many chords and the fast tempo it is usually played in.

A7b9 chord diagram

20 Ways To Play ii V I VI Chord Progressions

The ii V I chord progression is the most common progression used in jazz, that’s why it is important to master this progression.

In this jazz lesson, you will learn 20 ways to play through 2 5 1 chord progressions, in both major and minor keys.

Jazz Guitar Chord Theory

Jazz Guitar Chord Theory – How to Construct Chords?

In this music theory lesson, you will learn how to construct jazz guitar chords from scratch.

Understanding this essential theory will make finding chords on the fretboard much easier and it will take the guesswork out of playing jazz chords.

Besides learning this essential piece of theory, you will also learn how to apply the theory to the guitar. After all, that’s what you are here for!

Bluesette Chords and Rhythms

When learning a new tune, one of the first things guitarists work on is the chords and rhythm. This is especially true for jazz waltz tunes, which challenge your counting and sense of time with a 3/4 time signature. One of the most popular jazz waltz tunes to learn is Bluesette, a fun 24-bar 3/4 …

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In a Sentimental Mood Chords

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 …

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Essential Jazz Chord Exercises

Take your chord playing to the next level with 5 essential chord exercises in this in-depth lesson.

You will learn how to play chord scales, inversions, tune studies, and more.

Joe Pass

Joe Pass Chords – Essential Lines and Concepts

Joe Pass is one of the greatest jazz guitarists of all time and a master of chordal playing.

Study how Joe builds his classic chord sound on the guitar by learning to play Joe Pass chords with these essential lines and concepts.

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