1. #1

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    This is a system to get from one chord to any other chord using half diminished chords. I came up with it by learning a lot of standards. I haven't seen anything similar. It may look complicated, but the most important part is to PLAY AND PRACTICE them. They become as easy as any ii-V-I.

    You’ll need to know basic root position chords based off the 5th and 6th strings. So, two voicings each of Maj7, min6, dominant (no extensions for now), and min 7 b5. That will get you through most of them, but you’ll want some inversions and extensions later.
    A knowledge of the diatonic cycle, dominant subs, and min6ths used as 9th chords and alt chords would maybe be useful, but I don’t think mandatory. Also good to know min7b5 chords are inversions of min6th chords (6th in the bass).
    Important concepts:

    1. Major 7th chords move nicely to a half dim chord a half step below, a half step above, or a tritone away.
    2. The half dims move nicely to a min 6th chord a half step below, or a dominant chord up a 4th. They can also resolve directly to a major 7th chord up a half step, down a half step, or down a whole step.
    3. The min 6th chord moves nicely to a maj 7th chord down a whole step, up a major 3rd, or down a 4th.
    4. The dominants go to a major 7th up a whole step, down a half step, or up a 4th.


    1. You may need to end on an inversion of the last chord to make a smooth baseline. It should be all, or mostly, either half steps or the cycle.
    2. The end chord can usually be major or minor.
    3. Melody needs to be considered. With the multiple movement options, it has never prevented me from using this.
    4. Going down a tritone should be down descending when possible. Barry Harris teaches this move as “major to minor to minor with the 6th in the bass.” Start with a descending bassline to the min7b5 below.

    I’d like to show how this can get you to any chord. C moving to each degree on the chromatic scale:

    1. (C to C) C - Gb half – F min6 – C, or C – B half – C, or C – Db half – C
    2. (C to Db) C – Gb half – B7 – Db
    3. (C to D) C – Db half – D, or C – B half – Bb min6 – D
    4. (C to Eb) C – Gb half – Fmin 6 – Eb, or C – B half – E7 – Eb
    5. (C to E) C – Gb half – B7 – E, or C – Db half – Cmin 6 – E
    6. (C to F) C – Db half – Gb7 – F, or C – B half – Bb min 6 – F, or C – Gb half – F
    7. (C to Gb) C – B half – E7 – Gb
    8. (C to G) C – Db half – C min 6th – G, or C – Gb half – G
    9. (C to Ab) C – Db half – Gb7 – Ab, or C – B half – Bbmin 6 – Ab
    10. (C to A) C – Gb half – F min6 – A, or C – B half – E7 – A
    11. (C to Bb) C – Gb half – B7 – Bb, or C – Db half – Cmin 6 – B b, or C – B half – Bb
    12. (C to B) C – Db half – Gb7 - B

    Happy to share more if anyone interested. I'm just a humble player, not a teacher, but I think this could clear up so many things encountered in standards. I wish I learned it from day 1.


    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

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    The earliest frustration I had playing jazz was figuring out "passing chords." That opens a lot of doors.

  4. #3

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    Thanks Corpse! I Just spent a few minutes with these and I like.
    More more more pls


  5. #4

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    Looks interesting. Thanks for offering this. I'll have to read it with guitar in hand to know whether I really understand it. ;o)

  6. #5
    In Stella:
    bars 6-9: Bb7-E half- Ebmin 6- Bb

    9-11: Bb - E half A7 - Dmin7

    12-13: B half - Bbmin6 - F

    Look at the end where it cycles by half dims and dominants. Possibilities for being creative with these movements is endless in that part.

    All the Things:
    bars 5-7: Db - D half G7 - C

    13-15: Ab - A half D7 - G

    19-23: G - Gb half B7 - E

    30-32: Db - D half - Dbmin6 - cmin7

    Just some examples

  7. #6

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    Great examples!
    Thanks for sharing this stuff.

  8. #7
    Don't fall into the concept trap with this, i.e. "ok, I got it." without spending hours playing them. Since this is my method (that's mostly tongue in cheek by the way), I want this to be as non-theoretical as possible. Get these moves automatic so you can just think "C maj to Emaj" or whatever it is. Obviously you'll want to test them out before you invest the hours in practice, but I can't stress enough it needs to be hands on.

    For this section I'd like to add how we can use a simple substitution (that I would wager most of you already know) to create a smooth bassline, instead of using inversions. For this you need to know root position min7 voicings on the 5th and 6th string, and major 6th voicings on the 5th and 6th strings.

    1. playing a iii-7 for a Imaj7 happens all the time.
    2. iii-7 and Vmaj6 is the same chord.
    3. Cmaj7 is our root position, E-7 is our first inversion, and Gmaj 6 is our 2nd inversion.

    Using the numbered moves in my first point as a reference:

    #1 becomes C - Gb half – F min6 - E-7 (Night and Day, though this song is an example when you may want to use a min7 instead of min6.)

    #3 becomes C – B half – Bb min6 – Amaj6

    I won't keep this going forever, but there are still a couple things to add.