Learn to play easy jazz chords for guitar with sample fingerings, ii V I chord progressions, and major and minor blues chord studies. When learning jazz chords, you find that these shapes are difficult to grab for the beginner guitarist. While easy guitar chords for beginners pdf are shapes that take time to master, there are also easy jazz chords for guitar that you can learn. By working smaller, easier to play chords, you confidently outline chord progressions without growing an extra finger in the process.
This gives you the foundation to outline changes and then move to more advanced jazz chords from there. In this lesson, you learn what jazz chords are, why these shapes are easy to play, and apply easy jazz chords to chord progressions and standards. Before you learn to play easy jazz chords, take a look at what makes a chord sound jazzy. This is because there are only guitar chords, some or all of which are used in many musical genres besides jazz. Though many genres use similar chords, there’s a guideline to help define the chords that jazz guitarists use in their playing. C and Cmaj7 chord side by side.
As you progress throughout this lesson, you focus on building your 7th chord vocabulary. Now that you know jazz chords are shapes that extend beyond the triad, you’ll learn why these shapes are considered easy. To begin, take a look at some typical Cmaj7 shapes, ones that are difficult for many beginner jazz guitarists to play. As you can see, some of these shapes have barres and stretches that are tricky to get under your fingers. In the next example, you see a typical jazz chord, followed by three easy jazz chords in the same position. Give them a try and see what you think.
In jazz, you can remove notes from any chord and still maintain the fundamental sound of that chord. When taking notes out of more complex shapes, you create three common chord shapes. These three shapes are the basis for your studies in this lesson. Now, while these chords are easy to play, there are roadblocks that you encounter with these chords. The first arises when you reach the 3rds and 7ths.
Though these chords are the easiest to play in the lesson, they don’t have a root note. Because of this, you have to play these chords on the correct fret without the aid of a root note. But, if you get stuck, learn the examples as written, go slow, work the suggested exercises, and over time you’ll find any rootless chord quickly and easily. Now that you know why these are easy chords, you can explore effective and efficient ways to practice these shapes. When learning easy jazz chords, especially for beginner guitarists, it can seem like memorizing the shapes is enough. But, memorizing shapes is just the beginning. To get you beyond memorization, here are exercises to make the most of your time studying easy jazz chords.
Learn the examples as written. Practice each example in other keys. Play the examples with a whole-note rhythm. Experiment with other rhythms over the backing tracks. Apply these chords to other progressions you’re studying. Practice playing these shapes over jazz standards. Learn the chord studies below as written.
Change the rhythms for the chord studies over the backing tracks. As you can see, there’s a lot of work in that list of exercises. Don’t feel that you have to work on every exercise in that list. Instead, use the list as a reference and pick a few exercises to work on to get started.
From there, move to other chord shapes and sections of the lesson and use other exercises with those new chords. There are other, chord specific, exercises below. So, enough talking, time to take these shapes to the fretboard. Shell voicings are three-note chords that contain the root, third and seventh of the underlying chord change.
There are other options and extensions that people use when comping shell voicings, but these two are the best place to start. When building shell chords on the guitar, you find two options for fingerings. Though they only have three notes, shell voicings provide all the information you need to sound the essential notes of any chord. Here’s a list of the functions of each note in any shell chord. The root defines the chord name.