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  1. #1

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    Well, I am reading about the use of "Jazz" chords. I don't see much of an advantage. The barre chords keep related key chords in easy reach, and allow all 6 strings of the guitar to play.

    I can understand why you would want some "4 string" jazz chords for 6th chords, but other than that, barre chords seem to me to be a better bet. What am I missing?

    Judy

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Color. Barre chords are often just three notes some of which get doubled. A "jazz chord" will have more complexity, yet not turn into mud when played in a group.

    I gotta admit, your post is a little hard to understand...you do realize extended harmony is one of the hallmarks of jazz, right? And that you can still easily play "jazz chords" and keep all the chords in a key in close reach?

  4. #3

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    Thanks for the comment. I understand about "color." I am just disappointed that they are not six string chords, rather than four. And the only chords I have so far are based on the E string, rather than the E and A.

    Judy

  5. #4

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    +1 On that Jeff! It's all about context as well as content and placement.


    I am just disappointed that they are not six string chords, rather than four. And the only chords I have so far are based on the E string, rather than the E and A.
    Dig deeper, there is much more to it than that. These six string chords you refer to are doubling notes. Mastering the instrument is more than knowing full sounding Barre chords. I think perhaps that is why you like them. There is much to be expressed with the other voicing's.
    Last edited by brwnhornet59; 07-20-2011 at 11:32 PM.

  6. #5

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    It would be hard if not impossible to play frequent or fast changes using barre chords.

    /R

  7. #6

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    There is an excellent reason. Thanks. Judy

  8. #7

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    Also, at least from my perspective, fatigue is a huge factor. The barre finger will peter out from constantly playing barre chords. In addition, I find the chord changes much smoother sounding when using traditional closed chord forms rather than barre chords. Lastly, you'll be covering a lot less real estate on the fingerboard to accomplish the same thing. There are a lot of good books out there - one of my favorite is Sal Salvador's Chordal Enrichment & Chord Substitution.

    Bob

  9. #8

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    Those five and six string bar chords and open position chords are somewhat affectionately refered to as 'cowboy chords' by old time jazz guitarists.

    The reason they are seldom used in jazz is they just don't sound right. They're muddy in a jazz ensemble context and full sounding in a cowboy playing at the camp fire context.

    G7 cowboy chord
    [chord]

    ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]


    One of the voicings for a G7 jazz style chord
    [chord]

    x||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    x||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|-3-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    x||---|---|-2-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
    ||---|---|-1-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

    [/chord]

    Just listen, perhaps you can hear how much 'cleaner' sounding that jazz chord is.

  10. #9

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    Hi Judy-
    The way I see it, there are so many sounds that a combination of notes can make and a jazz musician's trademark is the way they bring out the hidden secrets of a piece, and to this end he/she has their own collection of chords. It can be as personal as a chef's spice rack. You yourself may find a way to play pieces with full barre chords and that will be your niche; I don't think anyone has been bold enough to go there as far as I know. Certainly guitarists like Tiny Grimes played a 4 string guitar and he played full across.
    Is there a sound that attracted you to jazz? Are there players you really find appealing? Do you think they would be able to deal with the full weight of a barre chord? Think of a piano player, would you want to hear 10 finger chords all the time?
    In playing chordal material in jazz, every note should count. There is a big difference in the weight and impact of a string quartet vs. a full orchestra. Each one has its strengths, and they are different.
    Have a listen to a guitarist I like, Ed Bickert. One thing I like is the sound he can get from sparse chords, sometimes only 3 notes. He chooses each note to add a sound and eliminates all notes that get in the way. A good jazz musician makes a painting with each song and notes in combination as chords are the palette of paints being mixed.
    Hope this doesn't make the topic more confusing.
    David



  11. #10

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    Wow

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by brwnhornet59
    Wow
    Spelled: Wow
    Pronounced: Yikes

    Judy, this is FASCINATING! This thread you started may reveal an entire spectrum of approaches to chord selection.
    I suspect there are large numbers of ways we find chords. Some people have a list they get from a book, and they'll plug in the same "grab" each time a chord symbol occurs, and at another end of the spectrum, some people will see it compositionally, each note as a part of a moving choral piece. Welcome to the world of jazz guitar. I hope you find the way to play your own way!
    David

  13. #12

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    Time to throw in the CAGED system. lol Anyway, a chord is a chord is a chord. Once you recognize the position of certain notes and their relation to each other on the fingerboard, you'll realize that you can play them many different ways: hold a full barré or leave out certain notes, so you can free up some fingers (comes handy when you play chord melody).

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsellens
    barre chords seem to me to be a better bet. What am I missing?
    Half-barre chords, to name one of a gazillion...check out the "Toughest Chord To Play" thread which has some interesting stuff about jazz chords...don't miss truthertz's "sadistic chords" post...

  15. #14

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    Every once in a while I stumble across a thread that turns on a light. This is one of them. Thanks guys.
    Joe

  16. #15

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    Dear Joe, Thanks for the nice comment. I too learned much for this thread. I am now concentrating on "universal chord shapes," often with just four strings/tones, but at least the tones are different. Judy

  17. #16

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    A---C#---G---B---E---A
    5----4----5---4----5---5

    C#---G---B---E---A---C#
    9----10---9---9--10----9

    -E---A---C#---G---B---E
    12--12---11---12-12---12

    G---C#---E---A---E---A
    3----4----2---2---5----5

    There are many possibilities for 6 string chords often with a partial bar at least.
    Above is 3 A9 chords and 1 A7.

  18. #17

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    Harmony plays a huge factor. Voice leading is an important part in jazz which serves continuity in the music, barre chords played in progressions will barely give voice leading. Also, the cool thing about these chords is the close harmony that many voicings give. Barre chords definitely can't do that.
    More modern sounding chords are absolutely the opposite of barre chords, really stretched out and almost impossible to grab haha Barre chords also mush up with a full band.

  19. #18

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    From an arranger point of view:

    Single note melody
    Octaves
    Unisons
    2 part harmony (close and spread)
    2 part counterpoint
    2 part harmony + melody
    2 part harmony + harmonized melody
    3 part harmony
    3 part harmony + bass line
    3 part harmony + melody
    3 part counterpoint
    4 part harmony
    4 part harmony + bass line
    4 part harmony + melody
    5 part harmony
    6 part harmony

    These are some potential tools for a guitar player.
    It could be useful to be able to navigate these and more.
    Personal style and preferences as well as the playing context dictate which orchestrations are emphasized.
    There are limitations that occur because we play with 4 fingers that can only stretch so far.
    This means that at times we have to find compromise solutions in voice leading.
    By the time we reach 5 note chords, compromise is more the norm than the exception.
    Some guitarists reach beyond these limitations using 2 hand tapping techniques.
    Others use alternate tunings to create voicings impossible otherwise but these tunings inevitably have limitations of their own for other voicing types.
    2 guitars is another way if you need to have a certain note configuration.

    Standard 6 string barre chords generally address major, minor, 7th, minor 7th chords.
    Jazz requires a larger harmonic pallette.
    Even within a full barre scenario, more chord types are possible.
    Working with 6 note chords with partial barres increases the versatility greatly but voice leading possibilities are extremely limited.
    Last edited by bako; 08-11-2011 at 08:02 AM.

  20. #19

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    Barre chords are often just three notes some of which get doubled.
    that's what's nice about them.

    it's a much bigger sound, that's why "octaves " are so popular with guitar players, cause there is twice as much sound.

    I like playing a barre chord, and picking out the octaves, and other intervals, they make a beautiful ringing sound, and I think the notes reinforce each other, so the sound continues longer than a single note.

    I like barre chords a lot.

  21. #20

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    Interesting thread here.

    I found while playing rhythm for musicals that you need to have just about anything you can find in terms of chords to get the right sound. If you are comping along with the entire band, those bar chords are going to sound fat and un-appetizing. But, if you are the "soloist" for a few bars, 3 or 4 note chords won't fill in the sound quite like the CAGED system does.

    So, it is all about what I like to call the "tool box". As a musician, you have a tool box that consists of all of your theory knowledge, all of the technique you know, and the instruments you have access to. (Chords fall somewhere between the technique and theory.) When it comes to playing a tune you have to select the right tool to get the right result. So, knowing more in your head and on the fretboard just gives you more tools to choose from. And as Al Borland of ToolTime said, "A man is only as good as his tools."

    Seriously, ever try to use a flat head driver on a phillips screw?

    I went through a lot of why-should-I-learn-this moments with chords and comping too. I still do this a lot, in fact (I think everyone here has or does). Bottom line is that anything you learn technique or theory-wise will end up paying off in the end.

    ~DB

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by lindydanny

    I went through a lot of why-should-I-learn-this moments with chords and comping too. I still do this a lot, in fact (I think everyone here has or does). Bottom line is that anything you learn technique or theory-wise will end up paying off in the end.

    ~DB
    Damn skippy straight!!! Learn it all.


  23. #22

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    Seriously, ever try to use a flat head driver on a phillips screw?
    yeah it can be done OK

    ever try to use a philips screwdriver on a flat-head screw ?
    .... difficult !

    seriously that Ed Bickert clip answers the OP question

    BTW isn't Bickert THE Man on trio straight ahead jazz ????

  24. #23

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    Judy... Different styles of music have different styles of chords.... it's pretty plain and simple... Bar chords are not used by jazz players for many reasons. It's going to take a while but eventually your going to get to a point where you understand jazz comping which will involve jazz harmony. There are many guitar players who cover jazz and come from other styles, they may retain use of some bar chords, but eventually most are dumped.
    Your site for chords... is not going to help you learn comping in a jazz style... But depending on your level of playing.... everyone starts somewhere...
    There are different styles of comping within jazz, context has a big influence. Another giant factor when comping or simply playing jazz... What you play has many implications besides the actual notes your playing. Jazz tunes imply a harmonic context... where changes are from, where they typically go, or could go... one of the difficulties of playing jazz is that this context is constantly in a state of flux, can change at any time, and those changes have implications. I'm probable lousing you... and your probable not alone... like I said eventually it will make since and be very simple, like playing a blues, you don't need to really think about it. But you need to get to that point.
    Most guitarist start by learning root based chords built on the 6th, 5th and 4th strings, then some inversions of those chords, (different arrangement of chord tones), then start using more specialty chords etc... This whole process is really simply to make you aware of your fret board, the neck and how chords lay. Now your ready to start comping in a jazz style... begin voicing lead lines with chordal textures which reflect the tune your playing or arrangement of... the actual chord tones are not the main concern... there are many more details to comping but you need to get to that point first. Most of the info on the net is pretty weak and really won,t get you there, because the players giving out info... are not jazz players. But as I said you need to get to that basic skill level. Think about what I posted and if your interested I'll try and help steer you down the path... Reg

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by TruthHertz
    Have a listen to a guitarist I like, Ed Bickert. One thing I like is the sound he can get from sparse chords, sometimes only 3 notes. He chooses each note to add a sound and eliminates all notes that get in the way. A good jazz musician makes a painting with each song and notes in combination as chords are the palette of paints being mixed.
    Hope this doesn't make the topic more confusing.
    David


    Bickert is my definition of the ultimate in traditional jazz guitar. His voicings have no equal and he knew when to play a single note, an interval, a triad etc. which he mixed seamlessly into his solos. A true artist.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4thstuning
    Bickert is my definition of the ultimate in traditional jazz guitar. His voicings have no equal and he knew when to play a single note, an interval, a triad etc. which he mixed seamlessly into his solos. A true artist.
    Who could argue... I would have enjoyed him even more if he would have had more dynamics and more shapes to his solos, you always knew where he was going... but that's not bad thing and I'm still a fan
    of his recordings. Please don't take my comments as negative... I love his playing...and maybe in a time period he could have been one of my ultimate traditional jazz guitarist, in his style playing off the melody. I simply also like other styles of jazz guitar. I dug his Rob McConnell's Big Band playing, and remember his recording with Desmond, beautiful. But once he ventured outside of his one style... well I'm sure you have listened... the voicings really didn't work... but who cares... still was incredible and beautiful style of playing jazz.