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  1. #1

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    Is there any good way to memorize all the various jazz chords on guitar and are there any good shortcuts to memorize them all?

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    For me it was the exercise of moving four note voicings up the neck.
    Start with the "drop three" voicings on strings 6, 4, 3, 2.
    You will end up with four shapes (inversions) for each chord, and these patterns always follow one another in the same order.
    If you want to see an example of how to do this, check out Mel Bay's "Rhythm Guitar Chord System."
    It's incomplete, but it demonstrates the idea. If you want to see a more thorough treatment of this idea on different string sets, check out "Chords" by Chuck Wayne.
    Once you study these four note voicings, you will notice that the shapes have multilple harmonic functions.
    For example, an F# minor seventh chord also functions as an A major sixth chord,a D major ninth chord (rootless), and a B9sus4 (rootless).

    Eventually, you'll be able to visualize these patterns as landmarks up and down the neck.

    Good Luck!
    Jonathan

  4. #3

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    You mean all 2341 of them?

    You only need to know how to play the chords for the songs you want to play... learn chords by playing songs. This provides the harmonic and melodic context for best learning.

  5. #4

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    I learned the basic jazz chords when my teacher, Sid Margolies, showed me the chords I needed to play tunes and wrote them out with dots on a grid, circling the root. My hw was to learn all 12 keys.

    Another good lesson was Chuck Wayne's approach, where you learn a 7th chord on 4 adjacent strings in 4 places on the fingerboard. Then you change the chord from 7 to m7 to m6 maj7 etc each time changing the notes that need to be changed.

    Much later, I learned how to move a voicing through a scale. And, I learned the names of the notes in the basic chords I use, instantly, in 12 keys. Then, you can look at a chord symbol and pick the notes you want. Often just 2 or 3, with the fingering dictated by the flow of the harmony you're playing.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 03-10-2020 at 08:29 PM.

  6. #5

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    Specific voicings (drop2, drop3 etc.) have a constant intervallatic geometry (and constant chord tone disposition on the four involved strings).
    As a result - memorizing simple rules, and knowing how to identify third, fifth and sixth intervals on the fretboard - it becomes relatively simple to memorize all the basic (seventh) chords on all sets of strings with the root starting from any string (all inversions).
    From this basis, all variants of the chord (alterations and extensions) can be deduced very easily.
    There are many online resources and written books in this regard. I remember the first time I learned this 'technique' was thanks to reading an online article by Matt Warnock.

    It's a mechanical process - at the start - and you can build chords in your mind while walking the dog (like I did).

    Sergio
    Last edited by sergio.bello; 03-10-2020 at 08:11 PM. Reason: typo correction

  7. #6

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    One approach I found useful I call comparative study.

    Ex. Various drop 2 7th chord qualities with a root in the bass

    Starting reference: CGBE

    Cma7 --------- C G B E
    C7 ------------- C G Bb E
    Cma7+ ------- C G# B E
    C7+ ----------- C G# Bb E
    Cma7b5 ------ C Gb B E
    C7b5 ---------- C Gb Bb E
    CmMa7 ------- C G B Eb
    Cm7 ----------- C G Bb Eb
    Cma7o -------- C Gb B Eb
    Cm7b5 -------- C Gb Bb Eb
    Co7 ------------ C Gb A Eb
    Cma7sus ------ C G B F
    C7sus ---------- C G Bb F

  8. #7

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    It helped me to understand what intervals and notes were in them.

    that way I could learn a voicing for one chord type and mutate it into another one.

    also good for scales

  9. #8

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    If learned chords aren't applied to a form or song, there's no real way to hear what they do. Eb9, Gm7b5, Bbm6, A7#5b9, etc., they're all gonna sound about the same, but only a couple are V7 chords, for example, only one is a vii7, etc. I think context/function is an important distinction in learning chords. Too may guitarists will use the same name of just one of those chords for all applications.....that's whack.

  10. #9

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    Use them a lot.

  11. #10

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    I play scales as chords.

    Also I use scale patterns to learn them in bulk - like if knowing the diatonic scale fully, you can just mark your chord voices on the pattern and instead memorizing chords one by one, you memorize the voices and add some color notes if you want. It's sounds crazy difficult but really is simple, straightforward and fast.

    That said, there is no better way to learn chords to actually learn songs. Spend a lot of time with basics, learn couple new cool chords each week.. or each day if you have elephant's memory... and be proud about what you know so far and also about what you're able to learn and use in time.

  12. #11

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    Know the fretboard and intervals. Stop thinking of chords as "grips."

    There's no shortcut better than knowledge.

  13. #12

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    Carol Kaye has a 4-5 page handout of chord grips needed to play jazz standards. Not every chord (or voicing) you'll ever want to learn, but it can get you through any jazz standard you might be asked to play.

    I don't recall whether it's a stand-alone item for sale at her website or something she puts in with certain orders.

    carolkaye.com

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Carol Kaye has a 4-5 page handout of chord grips needed to play jazz standards. Not every chord (or voicing) you'll ever want to learn, but it can get you through any jazz standard you might be asked to play.

    I don't recall whether it's a stand-alone item for sale at her website or something she puts in with certain orders.

    carolkaye.com
    5 pages? I hope they're big diagrams.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by corpse
    5 pages? I hope they're big diagrams.
    I said "don't just memorize grips" but everything I've seen from Carol Kaye has always been good, no-nonsense material.

  16. #15

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    I made the following charts when I was learning the basic 7th & 6th chords. They were initially hand written, but I eventually cleaned them up. I wanted to learn not just the grips, but also to know where each chord tone was. I also wanted to be able to visualize the positions of the inversions both up and down and across the neck. I arranged them on the page so only one note moves at a time between adjacent rows.

    Once I built these charts, I’d come up with various exercises to practice transitioning between them in familiar tunes. I felt this helped me connect the dots (literally!) on chord tones both horizontally and vertically.

    After becoming comfortable with these road maps, it was fairly easy to add extensions. I think knowing where the guide tones (3rds and 7ths) are helped my comping and voice leading.

    A possible drawback of this approach is that by focusing on shapes and relative relationships I tend to get lazy about learning the spelling of scales and chords.

    I’ve seen similar charts, but at the time I started these I could find nothing that showed how chords were laid out up and down the neck.

    It’s also possible to construct these for other string sets. You can easily shift these from one string set to another if you account for the G & B string interval.




  17. #16

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    The usual way people start learning chords is by grip. They learn that this shape, or several shapes in different spots, is a C chord. This other one is a D, a G etc.

    As they learn chords with sevenths, major sevenths, minors etc, they begin to see the geometric changes in the grips. If you learn to play a lot of songs that way, it works. People usually start experimenting, moving this finger or that one. Also, they copy from other players and records and learn more. All fine.

    Here's an alternative which may be more accessible to the advanced player.

    You learn to read. You learn the fingerboard - all over -- cold. You learn the theory behind chord construction. You learn the notes in the chords you use. With experience playing in groups, you learn which notes are important in various situations, bearing in mind that guitar doesn't allow you to play every note in every chord, even if you wanted to -- and you don't.

    Eventually, you start seeing comping as individual moving voices that fit the chord symbols (with embellishment as desired). So, to take a simple example: suppose the chord sequence is a iim7b5 V7 im in Am. You could play 7x776x to x7676x to 5x4555. Those are common enough grips. Or, you could think, I want to be on the B and G strings to get in the right register in the context of the group's sound. I'll hit the b3 and the #11. The bassist has the root. I could play the b7, but I won't bother. Then, you play xxx76x. Next comes E7 or maybe E7b9. You could hold the same two notes (or move the F to an E) and let the change in the bassist's note do the work of changing the chord color. You might think, I'll hold the D, to get the b7 (against E7b9) and then I'll move the F to a G. Now, you're outlining E7#9 and you're heading to Am. You've got a G on top of the chord - and you might think, I can raise that to a G# and get a moving voice, G G# A.

    Lots of other options to deal with this simple situation. The point is you don't have to think about which grips you know. You think about the notes of the chords as individual voices and, by abandoning 4 finger grips, you give yourself the flexibility to play just the notes you want.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP
    I made the following charts when I was learning the basic 7th & 6th chords. They were initially hand written, but I eventually cleaned them up. I wanted to learn not just the grips, but also to know where each chord tone was. I also wanted to be able to visualize the positions of the inversions both up and down and across the neck. I arranged them on the page so only one note moves at a time between adjacent rows.

    Once I built these charts, I’d come up with various exercises to practice transitioning between them in familiar tunes. I felt this helped me connect the dots (literally!) on chord tones both horizontally and vertically.

    After becoming comfortable with these road maps, it was fairly easy to add extensions. I think knowing where the guide tones (3rds and 7ths) are helped my comping and voice leading.

    A possible drawback of this approach is that by focusing on shapes and relative relationships I tend to get lazy about learning the spelling of scales and chords.

    I’ve seen similar charts, but at the time I started these I could find nothing that showed how chords were laid out up and down the neck.

    It’s also possible to construct these for other string sets. You can easily shift these from one string set to another if you account for the G & B string interval.



    its interesting how utterly weird and freakish I find that way of visualising. It’s just not the way I see it. But I can see some would.

    probably some PhD in there somewhere

  19. #18

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    Great way to memorize chords is:
    Get to know all 2-note shell-voicings on your fretboard: only consisting of 3rds and 7ths.
    There are only 4 shell chords
    • Dominant:3 and b7
    • minor: b3, b7
    • major: 3, 7
    • diminished: b3, 6

    Get to know them in relation to the CAGED system: root note on low E, A string and D string.
    Useful ways to memorize jazz chords?-7f5bf631-4317-4c72-8715-7efa5ba9a4f0-png
    this way, you learn to “see” intervals on your guitar from the root note up.
    To know all chords, just add 1 chord tone (not the root, mostly) or colours (9ths, 13ths, #11...) on the remaining strings.
    Stick to 3 or four note chords. That’s plenty. Playing big six string chords sounds bad in a band.
    works for me. Oh, Mike Stern often refers to this method: first, only play shell voicings, add other notes only when you know the tune better.
    oh yeah. The CAGED system sees 5 positions on a guitar. Some guitar players, Pat Metheny or Allan Holdsworth see the guitar horizontally, not in positions. Then again, Scofield does. If it’s good for Sco, it’s good for us mortals, too.

    Pressed about “letting go of position playing”, Scofield said: I am a position player, I just switch positions often.

    thought that was funny.

  20. #19

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    Thanks everyone. I found that thread really helpful.

  21. #20

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    My first lesson with Ted Greene..went something like this...."what song do you want to learn..? ahh..Lullabye of Birdland..?" First ..he played it through..then turned his tele over and used the back as a desktop
    ripped out a piece of paper and wrote the chords out in roman numerals...I was still spinning from him playing the tune in a chord melody ..

    he said learning tunes in roman numerals is far easier to remember than chord names..and the big plus of this method is they apply to ALL keys... after several months of lessons with him
    the wisdom of this began to sink in...and of course a ii7 V7 is the same in all keys ..where Am7 D7 is NOT the same in all keys

    now I worked with a book by John Meeegan "tonal and rhythmic principles" years before lessons with Ted..and yes all the tunes in that book were presented in roman numerals..and then the "A HA"
    thing kicked in...

    and as time passed using this method ..even with altered dominants was far easier to recall than a collection of alpha/numeric locations on the fretboard..and yes
    the transition to using the proper scales/arpeggios and all carry along with this thinking..and playing in all keys becomes just routine rather than a "horror movie in 3D"

  22. #21

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    Thanks Wolf. That sounds very sensible. I'm definitely going to start learning tunes in Roman Numerals.
    I just hope I don't have to learn lyrics in Latin too.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen
    My first lesson with Ted Greene..went something like this...."what song do you want to learn..? ahh..Lullabye of Birdland..?" First ..he played it through..then turned his tele over and used the back as a desktop
    ripped out a piece of paper and wrote the chords out in roman numerals...I was still spinning from him playing the tune in a chord melody ..

    he said learning tunes in roman numerals is far easier to remember than chord names..and the big plus of this method is they apply to ALL keys... after several months of lessons with him
    the wisdom of this began to sink in...and of course a ii7 V7 is the same in all keys ..where Am7 D7 is NOT the same in all keys

    now I worked with a book by John Meeegan "tonal and rhythmic principles" years before lessons with Ted..and yes all the tunes in that book were presented in roman numerals..and then the "A HA"
    thing kicked in...

    and as time passed using this method ..even with altered dominants was far easier to recall than a collection of alpha/numeric locations on the fretboard..and yes
    the transition to using the proper scales/arpeggios and all carry along with this thinking..and playing in all keys becomes just routine rather than a "horror movie in 3D"
    How did Ted deal with modulations, how did he classify them with Roman numerals?
    cheers!

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzism
    How did Ted deal with modulations, how did he classify them with Roman numerals?
    cheers!
    yes he did...example using lullabye of birdland again..the bridge goes from key of E minor into G major..Ted used a bracket over all the affected chords { of III } and at the end of the turnaround
    the last two chords went back into Eminor again he used a bracket { iimi7b5 V7 of i }

    when your just getting used to this approach you may hesitate on the changes until it sinks in..

    the one other thing that gets assimilated in this process is seeing the scales degrees as harmonized chords rather than stand alone structures with no relation to each other

  25. #24

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    I like mapping them out over a tune.

  26. #25

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    This approach is very similar to traditional classical analysis - they always use numerals - ... at least in what is referred to as "Riemanian theory" (though they do not do it for cords but rather for harmony)..

    during modualtion there is always some ambiguity... I guess one has to choose whi ch chords function in both keys simultatneous and at which point it is allready a new key established..

  27. #26

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  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by rsclosson
    The descriptions of the Jimmy Bruno lessons is basically how I used the charts I provided in post #15. Those exercises formed the road map that I rely on to find my way around the fretboard, both for comping and solo guitar arrangement. My charts don’t include as many string set combinations as yours though. I should work on some of those that I neglected.

  29. #28

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    this diagram I created of the triads helped me. this is one key major=green ... minor=yellow

    Useful ways to memorize jazz chords?-triads-jpeg

    Just find a way to see the whole key in a pattern, and then you can add whatever notes you'd like

  30. #29

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    Best way to learn is by playing songs and learning chords as needed.

    Any other way is a waste of time if you ask me. I've forgotten every chord I never used.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllanAllen
    Best way to learn is by playing songs and learning chords as needed.

    Any other way is a waste of time if you ask me. I've forgotten every chord I never used.
    I have to agree. Maybe different people learn differently, but does anyone learn an immediate embodied command of chord voicings simply by writing them out and practicing them in isolation?

    I mean if you asked me to play all the inversions and voicings I could think of of a chord there would be a lot more voicings than I actually use in my playing. It becomes an exercise in maths if it doesn’t connect to a song.

    I think harmonising scales etc can be useful

  32. #31

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    I agree about the scales. You have to get those shapes under your fingers to improvise, but a chord, just learn what you need for the song, and if it comes up again move it. If you have to move it too far look for a different shape. Anyway, that's how I'm doing it.

  33. #32

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    I've pretty much been pantomime player most of my life, but started to take lessons and really put the work in starting at the end of March last year. I like patterns, things that I can repeat. The Segovia scales have been really helpful to me. Learn the 8 patterns, I can do that.

    I've had a Hal Leonard book in my collection for a few years that I really never opened, but it has explained chords in a similar way. There are shapes depending on where the root is. The book doesn't have all of the voicings (usually 3 each), but for me that works. As I learn more, I can add in the inversions based on the formula for each chord.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I have to agree. Maybe different people learn differently, but does anyone learn an immediate embodied command of chord voicings simply by writing them out and practicing them in isolation?

    I mean if you asked me to play all the inversions and voicings I could think of of a chord there would be a lot more voicings than I actually use in my playing. It becomes an exercise in maths if it doesn’t connect to a song.

    I think harmonising scales etc can be useful
    After a few basic grips for the novice, it's songs, songs, songs. Chord melody with reharm is especially helpful.

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I have to agree. Maybe different people learn differently, but does anyone learn an immediate embodied command of chord voicings simply by writing them out and practicing them in isolation?

    I mean if you asked me to play all the inversions and voicings I could think of of a chord there would be a lot more voicings than I actually use in my playing. It becomes an exercise in maths if it doesn’t connect to a song.

    I think harmonising scales etc can be useful
    I do practice some stuff systemstically from time to time...
    Like inversions and all... but with years I stopped trying to cover everything (you know that all in all keys
    etc) ....
    I just try to find some smaller things I like, practice them and immediately incorporate in tunes...

    Otherwise I just forget them soon...

    I guess there are minds like Ted Greene who can grasp it all.. sort of engeneering mind in art.

  36. #35

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    I dunno, Ted Greene always seemed to be playing music? But obviously I'm not a student.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    After a few basic grips for the novice, it's songs, songs, songs. Chord melody with reharm is especially helpful.
    For sure. I think understanding how chords relate to melodies and then how different chords can work with the same melodies really helped me bust out of being a chord symbol player.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    For sure. I think understanding how chords relate to melodies and then how different chords can work with the same melodies really helped me bust out of being a chord symbol player.
    For me, the great moments are when, on the bandstand, I play a voicing I've never played before.

    Thinking back, the most significant antecedent to being able to do that (however occasionally) was making the transition from seeing grips to hearing the individual notes in the harmonic context.

    There's a great video done at Lincoln Center where a big band style player demonstrates playing one note-only "chords" on the D string, making the point that that's all the music requires from the guitar. Play two notes together and you're a fancy-pants! But, that, in a way, is the key -- to appreciate the contribution of each note individually.

    Jim Hall is a master of just a few notes, singles, double stops and triads. Nobody comps better -- different, but not better IMO.

    I don't see any way really to get there without playing songs.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I dunno, Ted Greene always seemed to be playing music? But obviously I'm not a student.
    I never said he did not play music.

    I meant his mentality in study (and therefore in teaching ): he is really into covering everything and obviously has fun in mapping all that in detailed system.

    Thiugh he always seemed to say to students: better do music with less tools , than lean many tools with no music...
    ... but added: but having both many tools and music is great too))))
    Last edited by Jonah; 01-05-2021 at 04:21 AM.

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hankfan1953
    Is there any good way to memorize all the various jazz chords on guitar and are there any good shortcuts to memorize them all?
    I believe the time-tested method is shape memorization. Each chord type has distinctive shapes in different locations on the neck. Cmaj7 in third position has an unmistakably recognizable shape. Evenly spaced, easy to finger, and solid. Dm7 in fifth position is a barre chord. Am7 in fifth position is simply parallel, or straight lined. G7 in third position is strange and cumbersome. Shapes are held visually in the memory and scoring onto grey tissue comes from mere repetition. Just my theory. Probably wrong. I'd add that since chord shapes are played in sequences, the preceding chord offers memory clues. The muscular memory form repetition of shifting from G7 to Cmaj7 becomes ingrained.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by vsaumarez
    I believe the time-tested method is shape memorization. Each chord type has distinctive shapes in different locations on the neck. Cmaj7 in third position has an unmistakably recognizable shape. Evenly spaced, easy to finger, and solid. Dm7 in fifth position is a barre chord. Am7 in fifth position is simply parallel, or straight lined. G7 in third position is strange and cumbersome. Shapes are held visually in the memory and scoring onto grey tissue comes from mere repetition. Just my theory. Probably wrong. I'd add that since chord shapes are played in sequences, the preceding chord offers memory clues. The muscular memory form repetition of shifting from G7 to Cmaj7 becomes ingrained.
    Yea, and after years of playing often one ends up going-to the same old time-tested chord shapes over and over again.

    I agree that for a newbie, using this approach is a quick and easy way to play a jazz standard's chord progression. What I have found to be the difficult part is breaking the habit and adding new chord shapes and especially inversions into one's playing after so many years of playing the common voicings.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Yea, and after years of playing often one ends up going-to the same old time-tested chord shapes over and over again.

    I agree that for a newbie, using this approach is a quick and easy way to play a jazz standard's chord progression. What I have found to be the difficult part is breaking the habit and adding new chord shapes and especially inversions into one's playing after so many years of playing the common voicings.
    If "Cmaj7" brings to mind only the usual grips, it will be difficult to break free.

    If, on the other hand, "Cmaj7" brings to mind C E G B and, secondarily, D and A, and then a thought about F# --- and you know where all those notes are -- then you're looking for two, three or four choice notes, not a grip.

    At that point, you can decide to leave the root for the bassist, pick the octave you want to comp in, pick a few notes to start with and then decide how you're going to create a melodic comping line with nice voice leading. The idea is for the comping to have some melody of its own -- it should be interesting in its own right.

    How do you get there? Learn the notes in the chords you use, the extensions and tensions in every key. It's a lot of work. Jim Hall did it.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    If "Cmaj7" brings to mind only the usual grips, it will be difficult to break free.

    If, on the other hand, "Cmaj7" brings to mind C E G B and, secondarily, D and A, and then a thought about F# --- and you know where all those notes are -- then you're looking for two, three or four choice notes, not a grip.

    At that point, you can decide to leave the root for the bassist, pick the octave you want to comp in, pick a few notes to start with and then decide how you're going to create a melodic comping line with nice voice leading. The idea is for the comping to have some melody of its own -- it should be interesting in its own right.

    How do you get there? Learn the notes in the chords you use, the extensions and tensions in every key. It's a lot of work. Jim Hall did it.
    Sound advise and what I've been working on when I play with a piano player (since I don't know any bass players).

    But since 95% of my playing is just with another guitar player, we tend to use mostly the 6th and 5th string root based grips and I have to put in effort to reharmonize the song, mainly to use different top-notes that are more in line with the melody; e.g. using a m11 chord instead of a m7th or m6th when the melody includes the 4th. Fairly simple concept but it still takes me time to break the habit of just going to the common grips I have used for decades.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Sound advise and what I've been working on when I play with a piano player (since I don't know any bass players).

    But since 95% of my playing is just with another guitar player, we tend to use mostly the 6th and 5th string root based grips and I have to put in effort to reharmonize the song, mainly to use different top-notes that are more in line with the melody; e.g. using a m11 chord instead of a m7th or m6th when the melody includes the 4th. Fairly simple concept but it still takes me time to break the habit of just going to the common grips I have used for decades.
    Since I almost always play with a bassist, I wrote that post from that point of view. You're quite right that it's different if there is no bassist and you, as the guitarist, want to sketch a bass part.

    The need to play a bass line severely restricts how you play the rest of the harmony. I don't do this much, but when I try, the issue is to find notes I can reach. The whole thing becomes more complicated. I end up, often, relying on well worn grips -- to free up enough of my brain to figure out how to do anything with both bass and chords. If I were to focus on it, I'd probably have to laboriously work things out one song at a time with the expectation that 50 or so tunes in, I'd have it generalized. Then, when a bassist shows up, throw it all out and go back to what I posted about.

    Yet another reminder that guitar is hard.

  45. #44

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    I started by playing memorized chord shapes to the progressions of jazz standards. Later I was able to change the inversion or add/remove notes as the chord progression became firmly memorized.

    Always try to memorize something with a use in mind.
    Try memorising random words in a dictionary. Very difficult. Now memorize those words in a sentence. see them in a conversation and they will stay with you.
    Last edited by guitaroscar; 01-12-2021 at 08:28 PM. Reason: spelling

  46. #45

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    Many years ago, I used the Aebersold LPs called “ii-V7-I in every key” or “blues in all keys” to incorporate new voicings into my toolbox. If I learned a new voicing for a 13b9 chord, I would place it in a context - iim9 -> V13b9 -> IMaj9 - and then play it with the backing track in all keys - many times. You can do the same thing today with Band in a Box or iRealB.

    Or find a very patient friend that plays bass or piano and offer them free drinks/pizza to run the sequences with you.

  47. #46
    My first lesson with Mick Goodrick I was instructed to find ALL the C TRIADS on the guitar. I found 111. I looked at it kind of like a puzzle. As far as 7th chords with tensions or COLOR NOTES. I think I would SIMPLIFY!!! Is it major or minor? Dom7 or MAJ>7? Set your goal to be a really GOOD COMPER FIRST! COMP IS SHORT FOR ACCOMPANYMENT! Knowing the 3rd and 7 th and only the root if there isnt a bass player will get you pretty far I think. Or team up with a buddy and form a jazz guitar DUO. Joe Pass taught the CAGED system. Once you learn these 5 BASIC FORMS LEARN TO TRANSPOSE THEM! Figure out how to go UP THE NECK AND ACROSS THE NECK COMBINE THEM THATS ABOUT ALL THERE IS!!! WHEN IN DOUBT LAY OUT!!! AS FAR AS COMPING LEAVE THE SOLOIST PLENTY OF OPEN SPACE!!! REPEATED BEHAVIOR WILL GIVE YOU MUSCLE MEMORY!!! USE POSITIVE SELF TALK TO KEEP IT SIMPLE REPEAT!!! ALL THE GREAT PLAYERS WERE BEGINNERS AT ONE TIME JUST LIKE YOU!!! BUT THEY NEVER GAVE UP!!! I would CERTAINLY LEARN TO READ MUSIC AND GET A REALLY GOOD TEACHER YOU LIKE!!! NOW YOU ARE ALL SET!!! JUST DO IT!!!!

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Yea, and after years of playing often one ends up going-to the same old time-tested chord shapes over and over again.

    I agree that for a newbie, using this approach is a quick and easy way to play a jazz standard's chord progression. What I have found to be the difficult part is breaking the habit and adding new chord shapes and especially inversions into one's playing after so many years of playing the common voicings.
    The process of building chord and progression vocabulary is the same. Recall comes from practicing in context. I don't think you should try to 'remember' what you know or have learnt. It just needs to happen. In some senses, the less you know (or have stored), the faster the recall, the more it frees up the creative juices. Just my theory. Being realistic about one's capacity for storage and recall is important. It's different in all of us.

  49. #48

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    I've been trying to take just one chord variety & see what other possibilities it could be.
    I'm working through Bret Willmot's book "Complete book of Harmony Theory & Voicing" lately & you can get some mileage out of one chord shape by relating it to many different chord varieties.

    I'll give you an example. Lets take a C7(9). No root in the chord & the voicing is 3, b7, 9, 5 ( E, Bb, D, G ). Played on strings 5,4,3,2. Common E-7b5.

    You can call it a C9 - ( 3, b7, 9, 5 )
    you can call it a E-7b5 - ( 1, b5, b7 , b3 )
    you can call it a G-6 - ( 6, b3, 5, 1 )
    you can call it a F#7b9#5 - ( b7, 3, #5, b9 )

    Same notes, same shape, many different chord varieties & scales.

    As far as memory goes I just try to relate the lowest note in the chord to whichever chord variety.......Root - E-7b5, 3rd - C9 etc....
    Last edited by gratay; 01-15-2021 at 05:50 AM.

  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by gratay
    I've been trying to take just one chord shape & see what other possibilities it could be.
    I'm working through Bret Willmot's book "Complete book of Harmony Theory & Voicing" lately & you can get some mileage out of one chord shape by relating it many different chords.

    I'll give you an example. Lets take a C7(9). No root note in the chord & the voicing is 3, b7, 9, 5 ( E, Bb, D, G ). Played on strings 5,4,3,2.

    You can call it a C9 - ( 3, b7, 9, 5 )
    you can call it a E-7b5 - ( 1, b5, b7 , b3 )
    you can call it a G-6 - ( 6, b3, 5, 1 )
    you can call it a F#7b9#5 - ( b7, 3, #5, b9 )

    Same notes, same shape, many different chord varieties.

    How I try & remember is to relate the lowest note in the chord to the chord variety.......e.g If you are calling the lowest note a b7 then it's a 7b9#5
    I used to say somewhere her some kind of the jazz harmony motto 'any chord (as a shape/voicing) = and any chord (as function)'
    By function I do not mean classical functions (T,S,D) - I mean the way chord functions which in jazz is much more expanded....

    for example Cm7 can be associated with particular shape or voicing but also can be an idea of a minor 7th dominant chord .which puts us in various contexts...

    I even made sort of excersise... you take familiar shape like xx3535 (you can associate in with the shape of F6 inversion and then you just put different basses under it (all 12) and different harmonies/voice-leadings around it (this is important - it should have horizontal context!)... and just listen how it works... I trust only ear (and ear puts us in particular context too)

    and eventually you may have a shape of F6 but the funcion of G9sus4 or Bb9maj7 (very sweet voicing by the way) or Cadd9,11,13 of just F6 or Bdim7b9 or.. whatever works for your ears....

    Depending on ear I put in different conventional contexts like ii-V-I or IV-I or I-vi etc. or as modal vibe chord associating it with sound or just liked how ot worked without figuring out too much

  51. #50

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    You can call it a C9 - ( 3, b7, 9, 5 )
    you can call it a E-7b5 - ( 1, b5, b7 , b3 )
    you can call it a G-6 - ( 6, b3, 5, 1 )
    you can call it a F#7b9#5 - ( b7, 3, #5, b9 )


    Some other possibles.

    E7(#9/b5) - (1,b5,b7,#9)
    Abma9+(#11) - (#5,9,#11,7)
    Fma13sus - (7,4,13,9)
    G13/#9 - (13,#9,5,1)
    Bbma13/#11 - (#11,1,3,13)

    Incomplete voicings can sometimes cover on their own but they also can be supplemented by a preceding or post-ceding chord that fills in missing details.