You’ve probably seen some jazz guitar chord names in your time. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve found them to be confusing and frustrating. Now, I’m going to show you what they mean and how to use them so that you can get the most out of them.
The Most Useful Jazz Guitar Chord Names and Their Uses: A blog about chord names for the jazz guitar enthusiast.
The first thing that we need to know when learning how to play jazz chords is how to read the chord names. There are two main types of chord names that we will be using in this article: diatonic and chromatic.
Diatonic chords are those that use notes from the major scale as their root note (tonic). These chords include the following:
Major – 1, 3, 5
Minor – 1, b3, 5
Diminished – 1, b3, b5
Augmented – 1, 3,
The jazz guitar chord name system is a great tool for the beginning jazz guitarist. For those of you that are not familiar with this method, we will explain it in more detail.
The Most Useful Jazz Guitar Chord Names and Their Uses: In this blog we will look at the most useful chord names for the beginning jazz guitar player. We will also look at what chords they can be used in and how to play them on the guitar.
For example, there are four major chords (C, G, D, and E) that all have a seventh note on top of them. A seventh is a triad (three notes) made up of two different notes (the root and third). A major seventh chord contains three notes (the root, third, and fifth). The second note is a major third above the root and the third note is a minor seventh above the root. These are called augmented chords because they add some tension to the chord structure by changing it from a triad to an augmented chord (such as C7 or Fmaj7).
These chords can be used in any musical situation where you want to emphasize one of these chords over another. For example, if you have an Fmaj7 chord with an E note on top,
This blog is about the most useful jazz guitar chord names and their uses. It was written with the beginner in mind, but can be useful for any jazz guitarist who wants to learn more about chord names for the best chord voicings.
A significant part of learning jazz guitar is learning to play jazz chords and chord shapes, but there is no doubt that naming these chords and learning where they come from is a big challenge for many players. I have seen many students struggling with memorizing all different kinds of chord names, because they do not know what they are used for in a jazz context. This blog will hopefully give you a better understanding of how to name your chord shapes, and which ones are the most useful to learn first. I want to give you a mental picture of where you can use specific chords and shapes in a tune or comping situation.
If the guitar is your instrument of choice and you are interested in playing jazz then you will need to become familiar with certain jazz guitar chord names. These chord names are very different from those used in other styles of music. Learning them isn’t hard but it does take time and practice. In this blog I will explain the most common jazz chords and their uses.
The first type of chord that is commonly found in jazz music is the 7th chord. The 7th chord is made up of a root note followed by a third, a fifth, and a seventh note. The third note is what makes the chord minor or major – for example, a C7th chord would have an E as its third note because “C” is the 1st scale degree of E minor (E-F-G-A-B♭-C-D) while Cmaj7 would have E♭ as its third note because “C” is the 5th scale degree of A♭ major (A♭-B♭-C). This means that if you see any other numbers after these two chords then they must be extensions such as 9ths or 13ths which simply add extra notes onto an already existing chord structure; this article will not go
There are many names for chords in jazz music. As a result, it can be confusing for the student guitarist to know what chord name to learn and use for their playing.
In this article, I will cover the most used chord names from the major scale and their uses in jazz music. The chord names listed here are probably used 80% of the time. I’ll start with the most common chord types and then move on to some less common ones that are still worth knowing about.
For simplicity’s sake, I will only consider major scales here. However, the same principles apply if you use other scales such as minor or diminished.
All of the examples below use a C major scale as an example because it is easy to understand and visualize on guitar as you can see below:
One of the most difficult things to do is come up with chord names for improvisation. So I decided to create a reference that would give you the most common jazz guitar chord names, their formulas and examples for each chord. This will be a great starting point for the beginner, but I hope intermediate and advanced jazz guitarists will find this useful as well.
In general, 6th chords are used in Blues and Jazz these days. 7th chords (Dominant, Major, Minor) are also used often. 9th chords (Dominant, Major, Minor) happen when we want to imply a II-V progression without actually having to play it. 13th chords (Dominant) will usually replace 9th chords or Dominant 7th chords on the V chord of a II-V-I progression.
The jazz guitar world is full of chord names, abbreviations and symbols. This can be a bit confusing for the beginner, but it doesn’t need to be. I’m going to explain the most useful ones here and hopefully simplify things for you.
Let’s start off with some basic stuff:
• Sus4 = Suspended 4th
• Maj7 = Major 7th
• Min7 = Minor 7th
• Dom7 = Dominant 7th (this means a major 3rd, plus a minor 7th)
• Min9 = Minor 9th chord (this means the same as a minor 7th chord, but with an added 9th)
The next two symbols are very useful when playing “drop 2” chords or “drop 3” chords. For example:
Cmaj7 drop 2 would look like this: C E G B D F A (shown on the first string set)
Cmaj7 drop 3 would look like this: C E G B D F A (shown on the second string set)