The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 22 12311 ... LastLast
Posts 1 to 25 of 544
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Hopefully anyone that has this set of method books, or is interested in buying them will check in here.

    I received books 1&2 today. I plan on using this thread as a type of online blog, questions I have using the book, maybe something that I find helped me using the book. Anything, and everything.

    Hopefully more experienced players, or people who use the book can stop in and help when needed. I think this will be a great tool for any other beginners that come along like me...

    Ok, page one....

    26 chords to learn...ouch!...

    This is my first thought, all of this can be overwhelming!! How am I going to be able to do this?? I can tell you first thing, I have no clue...

    I'll start with the first chords, move on from there. I really want to play Jazz guitar. I have wanted to for a very long time, today I begin, come see me in a year....



    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Isn't page two or three where it starts using one or two chords up and down the fingerboard..Cmaj7-Cmaj6....Am-Am7....etc...I'll dig mine out tonight so I have it close by...time on the instrument...pierre...

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Page two lists the chords, Page three is where the chord exercises begin.

    I know it may say lesson two, but just fingering chords is not going to help me learn them any quicker, so I'm incorporating lessons 1 & 2, for the first three chords right now.

    Just a note for other beginners.

    You will be much better off knowing the note names on the neck when you begin using the book. I have some prior knowledge so I'm ok with the book, but if this was my first buy, I may be feeling lost already.

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Hey Jazz Bug... When you practice the chords changes from Maj7 to Maj6 , and mi7 to mi6 keep your pinky anchored to the fretboard. This move will pay dividends in the future when moving from one position to the next.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz Bug
    Ok, page one....

    26 chords to learn...ouch!...

    This is my first thought, all of this can be overwhelming!! How am I going to be able to do this?? I can tell you first thing, I have no clue...

    I'll start with the first chords, move on from there. I really want to play Jazz guitar. I have wanted to for a very long time, today I begin, come see me in a year....

    Hi!! I've just received my Mickey Baker copy and I felt insecure when i saw the 26 chords on page 1. I had read all the posts in amazon complaining about the difficulties they found on playing them. To my surprise I could play the 26 without much sweat! ..ok before you start accusing me that I'm phoney I will tell you my recipe: I had been trying Ted Greene's Modern Chord progressions before. Those exercises really make you stretch your fingers!
    So my recommendation is : If you're starting to feel frustrated because of MB's chords I'd recommend to try Ted Greene's book too.

    All the best

  7. #6

    User Info Menu


    Another thanks for the extra help on Mickey Backer, I recieved my lessons books over the weekend and went straight to your site to start as a companion. It sounds like a lot of folks are taking Micky's course right now and your site will help tremendously

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Hi Jazzbug,
    I've just received, from a friend, original books 1 & 2 of Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar, they are a 1955 edition, $1.50 at the time, I have browsed thru them and it looks like hard work, I hope to be able to go thru these books with your help, advice and links here..

  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I just received my copy of Mickey Baker's book #1.

    It's quite interesting to think this book was written back in the 50's and yet is still very relevant today in 2008.

    It's neat. I am tickled to have it.

    I am familiar with many of the chords. #7 - G7 is quite stretch, especially as I have a broken & crooked left pinky. However I managed it.

    I will say from my brief perusal of the book that Mr. Baker made an excellent instruction manual.

    There is genius in simplicity and what could be more simple than a lesson per page with the instructions to practice each lesson at least 2 hours a day for a week.

    Simple but not easy. Bravo Mr. Baker.
    Last edited by Drumbler; 12-17-2008 at 09:51 AM.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I am not sure if this is the right thread to ask but since we are on the Mickey Baker course. In lesson 2, thats as far as I got, he is asking to make the chord change from a Maj7 form to the Maj6 form. I am not used to the Maj 6 form and I find myself switching to a 6and9 form which I am used to. Will this form be a viable substitue for the Major chord which I beleive is the whole point to the exercise in the first place? I want to be true to the course but this switch is slowing me down.


  11. #10
    Hi Jasmeece,

    Do you remember the first time you tried to make a 1st position F chord, with that little barre on the 1st and 2nd strings? Buddy, I sure do! I was 8 and that was about 52 years ago. Somehow I figured out how to do it, just as I'm sure you did as well.

    Mickey's Form 2 (Major 7) going to a Form 3 (Major 6) is a "bread and butter" chord progression that is found in all forms of guitar music, not just Jazz. The fingering pattern is used for other chords such as a Major 9, minor 7, and if you move it to the 5th, 3rd, 2nd, and 1st strings, it is the finger pattern for a minor 6. Note that Mickey asks you to spend at least a week on this lesson. At the end of the week, if you aren't comfortable, spend some more time. It's just too important to pass up.

    What I do that REALLY helps, is to keep my little finger planted on the 3rd string, and shift my other fingers around when I go from the Maj7 to the Maj6 chord. Anytime you have a common note between two chords or a common string/finger as an anchor, it's easier to be more accurate than just grabbing a chord out of mid-air.

    Another way of thinking about this progression is to have a tonic triad which you've added a descending scale starting with the 7th note (an F# in G) to a 6th (an E in G). Because this progression is so important, I hesitate to give this "crutch". Some players "comp" using three note chords. If you take this progression and omit the notes on the 2nd string, you can dedicate your 1st finger to remain on the note on the 4th string, your 2nd finger on the note on the 6th string, and your 4th finger on the note on the 3rd string. Then it's a simple matter of raising or lowering your 3rd finger (which is on the 4th string and same fret as the 4th finger) to go from Maj7 to Maj6 or vice versa.

    BTW, a Maj9 to a 6/9 is also a bread and butter chord progression. But the fingering pattern for a Maj9 is similar to a Maj6 (a C Maj9 with a 5th on the 6th string is the same as a G Maj6 and an E minor7).

    Just practice it until you get comfortable with it. Then the other progressions that use that fingering pattern will be a piece of cake.

    I hope this helps and you'll let us know how you're progressing. You can do it!!

    Best regards, and Happy Holidays,

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    I have received my copie of the book 1.
    I am waiting for the book 2, but it doesn't matter !! I have enough work to do for the next 20 years !

    It seems very complicated for the beginner I am.
    I just can play some of the 26 chords in the lesson 1. to complicated
    But no problem for the lesson 2, Exercices one and two . It is who I am currently. I want to be sure that I master that before going further.
    No problem with the suggested fingering in the book . Very logical and adapted

    Thanks a lot to michael Joyce for his fantastic job based on this method. Very interesting , and very helpful . It will be a precious help for me during the hard time i will surely have

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    hey spider...both of mine have $1.50 on the cover also....these opened a big door for me when I got them back in............
    time on the instrument..........pierre.........

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    It took me over a year to work through the Mickey Baker book 1 and I still use it as a reference. This book will put a lot of chords under your fingers and give you insight into how to substitute chords. If you use this book take your time, a significant amount of info is presented without much explaining - it will take some time to digest the material. I think this is one of the greatest jazz guitar books ever published


  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Thanks for the tip on the pinky finger!! I went over it again and I realized that my issue was that I lifted my hand and once I started fixing the pinky it came together a lot better. I still have some work to do but I am farther today than I have been before.

  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    This is a really good instruction book for learning jazz.

    I'm amazed.

    I read somewhere on the web that Mickey Baker pretty much took these lesson ideas from an instructor he had in the 50's.

    They are good ideas. Kudos to Mr. Baker for passing them on to future jazz students.

    The lesson plan is damn good. It's broken up into very manageable chunks. What I find very interesting and crucial to whole "system" is the 2 hours-a-day for 7 days per lesson.

    This plan makes me realize how often we try to bite off more than we can chew when learning new things.

    Most often we don't spend enough time practicing one thing before jumping to the next. The idea could be implemented in a lot of situations.

    If you were learning a new scale like Melodic Minor, you would practice that scale for 2 hours a day for 7 days. Anything else you are doing is on top of that. And really 2 hours a day. Use a stopwatch to keep time. Pause it when you get coffee. No cheating.

    2 hours of actual practice on a topic is a lot. Try it.
    Last edited by Drumbler; 01-06-2009 at 09:26 PM.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    I used the Mickey Baker I book back in the mid 70's - if you try to digest the chords and the fingerings, 2 hours a day for a week is about right - I found that book to be one of the best guitar books I have ever seen or used.


  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Unfortunately, I just don't have these 2 hours a day to practise .
    But every day a little is also a good thing . I take just a lonnnger time to get threw a lesson. I took me about one month to fulfill just the lesson 2 . Not so good, but I am very happy. This lesson is probably the harder one, isn't it ?
    I have to say that I followed all the piking recommanded by michael on his website. It takes more time, but it is very interesting. Fantastic job michael , very helpful !

    The chord 5 after the 4 is just terrible to play. Very complicated for me to play it with the fingering of Mickey Baker. Someday it goes, someday I have to use my thumb on the bass string. I apologize for that

    It took me probably three years to go through this book. It doesn't matter. Every exercice is pure jazz, and not just an exercise. It makes the difference .
    Great book.
    And with the explanation of Michael, it is just as to discover a goldmine somewhere.

  19. #18
    Hi Manu68 et al,

    Yes, that little book packs a lot of dynamite, doesn't it?!?!

    Let's talk a little about chord forms 4 and 5. First of all, remember that Mickey's fingerings were for a plectrum guitarist that only had a single pick to strum a chord. I believe he chose fingerings that allowed the guitarist to deaden unused strings so that when you strum through the chord, the deadened string wouldn't sound. Also, he gives us 4, 5, and 6 note chord forms. So often we can omit the highest string or couple of strings.

    Mickey fingers that Chord form 4 (a minor 7th form) with the 2nd finger on the 6th string and a barre on the top 4 strings by the 3rd finger. Note that in both of those chord forms the 1st string note is a two octave higher repeat of the bass note on the 6th string. What your ear concentrates on is the bass note and the movement on the 4th string, primarily. The other notes are heard, but it's that movement that builds the interest. Let's omit the 1st string, and use the 3rd finger on the 4th string, 4th finger on the 3rd string, and if you need to have the sound of the 2nd and 1st strings, use your 4th finger for it. The to go from a form 4 to a 5, just move your 3rd and 4th fingers to the 3rd and 2nd strings and put your 1st finger on the 4th string, one fret lower. The key to accuracy, I believe, is maintaining the 2nd finger on the 6th string as an anchor note.

    The concept of an anchor note to move from one chord form to another is almost a "golden rule of chording." Many great guitarists have commented on how it improves accuracy.

    Those of us that play fingerstyle can just make a 6 string barre and just not play the 5th string, or play a note on the 5th string up two frets (which is the 5th of that minor 7).

    Fact is, there just isn't 1 fingering that is appropriate for all instances, and as you develop you'll probably come up with a number of different fingerings for that chord and use them all. Personally, I probably play that chord while comping 75% of the time as a three note chord using the 6th, 4th, and 3rd strings only.

    My personal hero of rhythm guitar playing is the great Freddie Green of the Count Basie orchestra. Freddie often used just 2 and 3 finger chords, but kept a rhythm with the accuracy of an atomic clock. If you can find some Count Basie albums, listen to Freddie's playing.

    Good luck and as they say in the Navy "Anchors Aweigh"!!

    Happy new year,

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Thank s a lot for the information.
    I totally agree with your opinion about the 2nd finger. It has to be used and exactly here. I can play the chord 5 in an "hendrix" way with my thumb on the 6th string, but it doesn't belong to the logic of the method.
    After practising a litlle, I can play the chord 5 entirely as described on the book, but sometimes my second finger mutes the note played by the 1st finger. I don't have 100% security playing the chord 5 . Not yet

    But with what you explained so well, it seems a lot easier .

    Otherwise, the sound of these 2 chords is just amazing. Just beautiful and rich harmony.

    Michael, I play a lot myself with pick.
    May I ask you to make us a graphic with all the "simplified" Mickey's forms for players using only the pick, in the same logic as your described so well in your post for the form 4 and 5 . It could be also a good page to add in your Website .
    Last edited by manu68; 01-08-2009 at 03:28 AM.

  21. #20
    Hi Manu68,

    Sounds like you're coming along. The chord form that completely knocked me out is Form 29 in Lesson 14. It's a natural to progress to a Form 3 (Major 6) and I had to practice it at ultra low speed for several weeks before I got comfortable with it. Now I use it every opportunity I can becuase it's such a novel form.

    RE: your request for form variations. Funny you should ask! Note on the matrix on the home page of the website there are spaces for at least 6 appendices (we can always expand the matrix.) One of the scheduled topics in an appendix is going to be about converting Mickey's forms to 3 and 4 note modern comping chords. Most of us are resaonably comfortable with 4-note melody chords on the first 4 strings. Also, in that comping Appendix, I plan on a cross reference between those melody chords and equivalent melody chord forms on the the 5th through 2nd strings, and 6th through 3rd strings.

    Some of the info you're requesting may already be there. Go back to the TEF for Lesson 1, Chord Forms. I added a second module with alternate forms or related forms to Mickey's. I also tried to explain a little bit about each form in the TEF.

    When I came up with the concept of using a website as an Advanced Guitar Study Group with Mickey's Volume 1, I envisioned it as a library open to revision and input from anyone wishing to share. I also consider myself one of the students and see my role more as a moderator than as a teacher. That offer still stands and I appreciate you input.

    BTW, I'm going to try to activate Lesson 50 sometime today or early tomorrow. There's only 50, 51, and 52 left to activate!

    Good luck and don't be a stranger!

    Best regards,

  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    I will look at it again carefully.
    and I will also try to better analyse your comments on the chord forms .

    Good news, I receiv etoday the book 2. I am busy for the next 5 years

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    hi bug i have both those books love them get ready to really stretch your fingers if you have small hands like me (hey bug remember its in the wrist)

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    Hello .
    I have read again carefully your instructions about the chords Michael.
    It goes yet a lot better
    I can play without any problem all the lesson 4. I will start today the lesson 5. When you understand a little better all the possibility remaining hide in the underground, it seems to be just unbelievable.
    these lessons sound very good. Already an amazing amount of contents.
    I like it very much.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Enjoy them...a good foundation to be had with them....

    Remember..time on the instrument is the way to progress..


  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Michael, I don't know if you already know this website.

    Very interesting.

    I also found this on you tube.
    It is about the basic chords used in the method .