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  1. #1

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    I started working with a new teacher and he has me learning triads and Dom 7th chords. With the Dom 7th chords I'm learning Dom 7, Maj 7th, Min 7th and 7thb5 first in the same position and then up the neck. Starting with the Dom 7ths and as I practice each chord type I think through the intervals from the initial fingerings then moving the 3rd, 5th or 7th to form the other chords. The trouble I have is remembering the different fingerings. A few are automatic but for example the 7b5 chords I have to rethink especially when applying them to a song. Sometimes I just go blank and it takes a few minutes for me to walk through the shape in my head.

    Any suggestions for approaching these or is it just practice practice practice?

    Thanks

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I always feel that knowing something from multiple perspectives offers a strong possibility
    of remembrance in a real time playing moment.

    sound
    shape
    note names
    fingerboard of where to find those notes or sounds
    interval awareness of voicing
    interval awareness of harmonic structure of said chord type
    scale derivation(s)
    chord name
    playing it in a sequence or better yet a song
    comparative image of chord to similar chords Ex. AGC#G // AGC#F# // AGC#E# // AGC#E // AGC#Eb // AGC#D
    etc.

    practice helps too.

  4. #3

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    Compare the ones to what you already know-- is the minor7 one of the automatic ones? Lower the 5th. Etc.. It will still take a moment but shouldn't take minutes
    White belt
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  5. #4

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    I think it's practical to play tunes -- comping and chord soloing. You force yourself to solve problems and learn chord voicings, and your short-comings are quickly revealed. And, it's more interesting than trying to memorize chord shapes by rote.

  6. #5

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    A drill I learned a long time ago for drop 2 and drop 3s in the manner you are describing goes like this:

    One chord quality at a time
    Start with CMaj7

    Drill:
    Drop 2, root position, from 6th string
    Drop 3, root position 6th string (in other words stay right where you are)

    Drop 2, root position, from 5th string
    Drop 3, root position 5th string (in other words stay right where you are)

    Drop 2, root position, from 4th string

    Then Dom7, Minor 7, Mi7b5, Dim7

    Then do the same for F chords, and continue around the circle of fifths. C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G.


    After you get the hang of that introduce other chords like MiMa7, Ma6, Mi6, Dom7sus4, Dom7#5, Dom7b5, Maj7b5, Maj7#5, etc., etc.

    Then move on to inversions, which can be a bitch.

  7. #6

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    Make no mistake about it, there's always a certain amount of repetition involved before something "sinks in" and becomes part of your long term memory.

    Learning by association helps so try and associate each new chord to a chord that you already know - how is it different and how is it similar to a known chord.

    Since chord shapes are so visual, close your eyes when you are trying to learn a new chord and picture in your "mind's eye" each finger in the chord on its' correct string and fret without using your guitar. When you can clearly "see it" pick up your guitar and play that particular chord.

    Regards,
    Steven Herron
    Learn To Play Authentic Jazz Guitar

  8. #7
    The thing is, you learn what you learn and not much more.

    When going through a swarm of chords and just try to remember them, then that's exactly what you are learning - these chords these order. Unless you have computer instead brains, they will not gonna work as you'd want at all.

    That said, it's not useless work by all means - still gaining knowledge. What is missing is exactly what you said " I have to rethink especially when applying them to a song. Sometimes I just go blank and it takes a few minutes for me to walk through the shape in my head. "

    The reason is so simple - you didn't learn them in the context, they lack the connection... or "ties" to the other stuff.
    This is the real work. Takes time and dedication because each chord/shape has to become connected to all your other stuff - other chords, scales, arps...



    One good exercise (before using them in a tune) - focus on one chord shape that is still kinda hazy for you, play it, play a suitable scale over it, try to land the ending note of the scale run on one of your chord voices, twang the damn chord again, play some suitable arp. over your chord, twang it again, play other chords on that scale that you're already comfortable with, hit the original chord again..



  9. #8

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    Hey, I always forget to click the let me know when someone posts thing, Thanks for all the suggestions. Some of what I'm doing resembles what you've shared and there's other things I'll try. I'm not trying to memorize just the shape but am aware of the notes/intervals of each chord and which notes will be changing. I am also using them in the context of a song. I think maybe (as usual) I'm trying to learn too much at once and need to spend more time with each specific chord. I'll go back through your suggestions and pick out a few that resonate. Thanks a bunch for your help

  10. #9
    I had the same problem and thought I was too stupid for jazz (that might still very well be true ) but yeah, way better to learn in small bites that can be used with 100% confidence.
    But then again, going through all of the chords is a good thing to do, unless expecting too much too soon from
    them.

    Kinda like the problem with pushups. You can't do all of them. Only Chuck Norris can do all the pushups.

  11. #10

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    Learn them the same way you intend to play them - the musical context of songs.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  12. #11

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    It's coming along nicely. Repetition is helping but so is noticing where the 3rd and 5th is in each shape and being able to then "quickly" make the necessary adjustments (b5 etc.). Also just beginning notice or be able to "see" the shape on the fretboard. There's hope.

  13. #12

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    Also, study your theory as relates to the fingerboard as well. There is no possibility of learning "all" the chords, but there is definitely a way to figure out how to play what you need if you have your chord-building theory together. I find myself making chord voicings I've never played before with this method, it's more fluid than memorizing shapes of groups, which are static and limit your flow.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    Also, study your theory as relates to the fingerboard as well. There is no possibility of learning "all" the chords, but there is definitely a way to figure out how to play what you need if you have your chord-building theory together. I find myself making chord voicings I've never played before with this method, it's more fluid than memorizing shapes of groups, which are static and limit your flow.
    Right, more important that trying to just amass chord shapes is to know HOW to build them.

    Then you really do "know all the chords." Just like Guitar George.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  15. #14

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    I'll take a slightly different tack. First learn all of the Freddy Green chords; the ones that have the root or the 5th in the bass, skip the A string, with two more notes on the D and G string. You have to know these chords anyway, so there is no extra work involved.

    If you are the only rhythm instrument, that's what you mostly play. If a bass player is involved, use the same voicings, but don't play the bass string (the bass player handles the root and 5th). That gives you all of the most useful shell voicings; the 3rd and the 7th on the D and G strings.

    Spend the rest of your practice time learning chord melodies. They will force you to find voicings for chords with the other tones in them.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by nopedals View Post
    I'll take a slightly different tack. First learn all of the Freddy Green chords; the ones that have the root or the 5th in the bass, skip the A string, with two more notes on the D and G string. You have to know these chords anyway, so there is no extra work involved.

    If you are the only rhythm instrument, that's what you mostly play. If a bass player is involved, use the same voicings, but don't play the bass string (the bass player handles the root and 5th). That gives you all of the most useful shell voicings; the 3rd and the 7th on the D and G strings.

    Spend the rest of your practice time learning chord melodies. They will force you to find voicings for chords with the other tones in them.
    There's really something to that.

    One of the best things I ever did for my playing was to get into chord melody and do my OWN stuff, not copy arrangements. And yeah, the first few are terrible, then they gradually get tolerable. But basically, it taught me quickly how to simplify things into "hord type" and get whatever note on top of that "type" I needed to.

    It was a lot of trial and error, but it was a very productive struggle.

    I think the revelation that smacked me in the head one day was that piano is taught this way from the very beginning.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  17. #16

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    You have to learn the 4 basic types of chord: Maj7, (b)7, m7, m7b5. It may be obvious but starting from the M7 chord you get the other ones by lowering the 7th by a half step, then the 3rd to get m7, then the fifth.
    This for drop 2 and drop 3. Check out on the web what they are if you don't know.
    This for the root (at the bass) inversion and the 3 others inversions: bass on the third, then 5th, then 7th. You get all the inversions by taking one and raising all 4 tones to the next ones on each string.
    This for what I call the 3 chord groups: the I with the bass on the E string, the II with the bass on the A string, the III on the D string (you can't play drop 3 for this one, happy?).
    So that's about 4x2x4x3=96 chord shapes to learn until you play them without hesitating much, meaning going through them at song speed. To check you are about there try to comp sticking to a single 5 or 6 frets position of the neck.

    To give you a break from this painful practicing, go through some diminished and altered chords. They are much less of them. Diminished chords are beautiful passing chords and can be swapped against 7b9 chord starting on its chord tones except the root, b9 instead.
    Good luck !


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    Last edited by matcarsa; 05-03-2019 at 02:45 PM.

  18. #17

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    It's funny how many chord melodies you can credibly play with just the standard grips of the fake book chords. With lots of songs you are 90% there.

    BTW, I'll also confess to using a chord book when I get stuck for a good voicing, Don Latarski's 100,000 chords, sadly out of print.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by vashondan View Post
    ...as I practice each chord type I think through the intervals from the initial fingerings then moving the 3rd, 5th or 7th to form the other chords. The trouble I have is remembering the different fingerings.


    Any suggestions for approaching these or is it just practice practice practice?


    Thanks
    Yes, it is "just practice practice practice", but your practice needs to drop bad habits and focus on the end result - performance level fluidity of execution unhampered by issues of rhythm or confusion on harmony.

    I suggested "Learn them the same way you intend to play them - the musical context of songs." Let me elaborate on what that means with respect to practicing chords.

    Rhythm
    I would caution using any method that forms chords by placing the fingers in sequence. If you teach your fingers that habit you will need to unlearn that habit. Always keep in mind a mental image of your desired end result, which is to play songs producing chords instantly, precisely, effortlessly, smoothly, reliably, etc. Imagine playing an up tempo tune in which you change chords on every quarter note beat. You don't want any mechanical issues of slowness or confusion interfering with rhythm whatsoever.

    That is the goal; freedom to express without mechanical constraints... it takes a long time so don't waste time on bad habits. Form your chords as wholes, all fingers synchronous, always, no matter how slowly you must do this in the beginning. While doing this very slowly, strive to maintain the rhythmic pace, no matter how painfully slow.

    Harmony
    Don't think of chords as shapes or fingerings, think of them as sounds, as harmonies. Harmony is expressed by multiple ways to form chords, so don't let the chords dictate what you can hear or play - seek to hear and grasp the harmony and choose a particular instance of the sound of that harmony you want to express. Maintaining a "sound" approach will detect mistakes immediately that a shapes and fingering approach may overlook - the sound of the harmony is the final result, your primary quality control.

    Songs
    Everything you need to learn is in the songs you want to be able to play; use them to integrate and practice everything, both rhythm and harmony. Traditional music teaching has always used the periodic recital as the demonstration of progress because it shows both the student and the teacher what to learn and what has been learned, respectively.

    Teacher
    If your teacher is not aware of your bad habits, ask him for help. If you or he have not set some particular songs to learn, ask him or suggest some you like.
    "Bent my ear to hear the tune and closed my eyes to see."

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln View Post
    Yes, it is "just practice practice practice", but your practice needs to drop bad habits and focus on the end result - performance level fluidity of execution unhampered by issues of rhythm or confusion on harmony.

    I suggested "Learn them the same way you intend to play them - the musical context of songs." Let me elaborate on what that means with respect to practicing chords.

    Rhythm
    I would caution using any method that forms chords by placing the fingers in sequence. If you teach your fingers that habit you will need to unlearn that habit. Always keep in mind a mental image of your desired end result, which is to play songs producing chords instantly, precisely, effortlessly, smoothly, reliably, etc. Imagine playing an up tempo tune in which you change chords on every quarter note beat. You don't want any mechanical issues of slowness or confusion interfering with rhythm whatsoever.

    That is the goal; freedom to express without mechanical constraints... it takes a long time so don't waste time on bad habits. Form your chords as wholes, all fingers synchronous, always, no matter how slowly you must do this in the beginning. While doing this very slowly, strive to maintain the rhythmic pace, no matter how painfully slow.

    Harmony
    Don't think of chords as shapes or fingerings, think of them as sounds, as harmonies. Harmony is expressed by multiple ways to form chords, so don't let the chords dictate what you can hear or play - seek to hear and grasp the harmony and choose a particular instance of the sound of that harmony you want to express. Maintaining a "sound" approach will detect mistakes immediately that a shapes and fingering approach may overlook - the sound of the harmony is the final result, your primary quality control.

    Songs
    Everything you need to learn is in the songs you want to be able to play; use them to integrate and practice everything, both rhythm and harmony. Traditional music teaching has always used the periodic recital as the demonstration of progress because it shows both the student and the teacher what to learn and what has been learned, respectively.

    Teacher
    If your teacher is not aware of your bad habits, ask him for help. If you or he have not set some particular songs to learn, ask him or suggest some you like.
    Good info to consider. Thx


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  21. #20

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    Reminds me of this: