How do you play jazz chords (what types are used)?


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Long_way_down10
08-23-2007, 01:03 PM
So, I'm really new to jazz guitar and I was wondering... I know that jazz chords are almost always different from chords used in a lot of other types of music, but...
1) What kinds of chords are used most often, and
2) How do you play them (this one isn't as important at all because I guess I can just look them up).

I would really appreciate any help you guys could give me.
THANKS! :)

backtothe70s
08-23-2007, 01:09 PM
lots of colorings-9, maj7, 131, 13 mess around^^

Themitch
08-24-2007, 12:20 AM
^Yeha, the ones you most commonly come across are 7ths, no matter how complicated the piece is. (Big generalization but meh). You will find just about anything, any chord structure you can come up with that makes the least bit of sense.

6, -6, 6/9, -6/9, add6, 7, -7, maj7, 9, -9, maj9, add9, 11, -11, 11#9, 13, 13b5, 13#5#9, 13#5b9, -7b5(half diminished), Diminished, augmented, augmented 7, augmented 9, 7#9, sus 2, sus 4.

There will be more you might come across, but usually, in a written piece (big band or otherwise) these are the usual suspects. Im not saying this is all you might find though. Some songs get crazy. What im trying to say is, expect everything, try to learn as you go instead of all at once, it gets overwhelming.

Stukart
08-27-2007, 12:07 PM
I just recently got into it aswel, I understand a bit of it, I'll share some of my findings..

Jazz chords are almost always made up of at least 4 notes (so no bonfire chords eh), and theres alot of theory involved.. a common progression is

Imaj7 VIm7 IIm7 V7
which in the key of C means
Cmaj7 Am7 Dm7 G7

G7 being the dominant chord here, that would mean that the first sub-dominant is D7 replacing Dm7 making

Cmaj7 Am7 D7 G7

playing these two progressions side by side sounds pretty neat actually.
The basic blues pattern is very rare in jazz, but can also be used, but to avoid it becomming a blues I suggest not playing pentatonical.

Cmaj7 can also in this case be replaced by Em7, since its got 3/4 the same notes as Cmaj7, making for

Em7 Am7 D7 G7

you can also make the VI chord the sub-dominant, instead of II, adding a different kind of colour to the whole progression

Cmaj7 A7 Dm7 G7 or
Em7 A7 Dm7 G7

play around with the chords a bit, the right approach to the picking can make a world of difference, so grab hold of a basic picking pattern to use over the progression to sound right for you, and you're already semi-there.

I hope I made any sense to you at all.. I'm also very new at jazz-chord theory, so anyone with more experience, correct me if I gave wrong info, im looking to learn also.

sicformyage
08-30-2007, 08:05 PM
Ok. I am going to tell you what my instructer told me, i believe him he has a PHD in jazz guitar. The begginer jazz chords are 3 note chords, Cm7 and Cmaj7 and Cmaj are some examples. a very helpfull book to look at. it won an award for best instructional in guitar world in 1999. is Fast Chords by Ted Connor.
How you play them is very important. sometimes it feels awkward but when you move to 4 note chords it will screw you up bad if you dont.

ledhed68
08-31-2007, 12:39 PM
It depends on the setting, Grant Green only played 2 note chords because he was used to playing with an organ who plays huge chords. A lot of times people use 13 chords, but again it depends on the setting of the song, if a 13 chord works then play it if not then dont play it. You just have to find the chord that fits in the situation.

Sleepn_Giant
09-01-2007, 09:13 PM
To figure out how many notes your chord voicing should be, you gotta take it from the situation you are playing in. If it is a big band or a combo with a pianist and a bass, then usually you play 3 to 4 note chords, usually no more. The root of the chord is the first note that can go, and the fifth is the second note that can go, the reason for this is because the piano and bass usually will have those notes covered so it is not needed to have a clutter of sound. The most important notes in a chord is usually the 3rd and 7th because those are usually the foundation of the chord.

But if you are playing with a duo, solo, or a combo with no pianist or bassist, then it is usually alright to play mostly 4 or 5 note chords (Or 6-note if it is solo, but I rarely play 6-note chords anyway).

sinan90
09-02-2007, 03:04 PM
To figure out how many notes your chord voicing should be, you gotta take it from the situation you are playing in. If it is a big band or a combo with a pianist and a bass, then usually you play 3 to 4 note chords, usually no more. The root of the chord is the first note that can go, and the fifth is the second note that can go, the reason for this is because the piano and bass usually will have those notes covered so it is not needed to have a clutter of sound. The most important notes in a chord is usually the 3rd and 7th because those are usually the foundation of the chord.

But if you are playing with a duo, solo, or a combo with no pianist or bassist, then it is usually alright to play mostly 4 or 5 note chords (Or 6-note if it is solo, but I rarely play 6-note chords anyway).


I've always been taught to go the other way round, but I guess it boils down to preference.