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Old 11-09-2017, 10:57 PM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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Originally Posted by hotroad View Post
...I just ordered this book from Mel Bay. I am still after the very basic beginning Jazz chords that I can use in a song progression. BUT I have not said that I want to use a flat pick doing this, not finger picks yet. So this is rhythm stuff.
Good news:
  • This book starts you off with the absolute basics - major and minor progressions that modulate through a variety of keys and fingerboard positions - to allow you to gain familiarity and proficiency, before introducing the altered/extended forms most players associate with "jazz";
  • Many of the chord forms use "skip-string" voicings - where strings would be deadened when playing with a pick - so although it's billed as a rhythm method IME it lends itself equally well to fingerstyle jazz, where "inside" voice leading and moving bass lines can be heard more clearly;
Excellent choice - I've been playing for 55 years and still refer to mine regularly...
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:31 AM
hotroad hotroad is offline
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Thanks so so much to everyone who has added your input here. Its a huge help to me who has played acoustically for over thirty years but never played a single jazz chord. I am finding it an exciting new adventure to get into jazz music and my archtop which I have fallen in love with already.
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Old 11-10-2017, 04:58 AM
tdq tdq is offline
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Originally Posted by mattbn73 View Post
Mickey Baker's old jazz method book is $8 on Amazon I think? Money well spent for some fun, simple archtop-worthy chord progressions.
I had this book as a teen. I never made it past lesson 2 and it served me well for years, decades in fact, before I decided to push on into more advanced stuff.
What I'm trying to say I guess is Mickey Baker, +1.
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Last edited by tdq; 11-10-2017 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 11-10-2017, 09:35 AM
MC5C MC5C is offline
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When I think of and play jazz chords, I think of three and four note chords, often with no root, and never in first position (no open "cowboy" chords at all, ever). If I play no root, that is because the root is implied by the harmony - like a V chord in a II-V-I sequence that I play as 3, b7, 9, 13. I focus on three and four note voicings because I can add a root bass note on the 4, 5, 6 strings pretty easily if I am playing chord melody. I probably focus on a few voicings, maybe three or four for each type of chord, and I substitute a lot. I may do a b5 sub for a 7th chord, Maj7 or Maj6 or even a 6/9 for any major chord, m7 for any minor chord, 9, 13, and all sorts for dominant 7 chords. Sometimes the melody drives the choice, many tunes have a b9 in the melody over a V chord, so I play a 9b5 chord instead of a Dom7 chord. It's been said that well over 50% of classic jazz tunes, particularly in the bebop era, were over blues changes of some sort or rhythm changes (I got Rhythm) so just learning some ways to comp through those two tunes is a great start.

One other thing - if you are playing from a fake book, keep in mind that a lot of those chord call-outs are way over complex and not needed. Look at the melody note, the chord position and play something that fits. Like if you have to play a II chord, that's minor and you can play almost any minor chord you feel like as long as it has a b3 and the other notes aren't closer than a full tone to the melody note. One other other thing. Often in jazz you leave a lot of space. If you have a II-V-I sequence over four bars you might play the II for a half note then rest, just pop the V for an 8th note in the second bar, and comp something interesting but sparse in the last two bars.
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Last edited by MC5C; 11-10-2017 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-10-2017, 11:38 AM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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When I was learning back in the day, I got a handout from a workshop with a gazillion chord forms on it. The key (ha, see what I did there) was to learn 2-3 chord forms and where the root of each chord was. Then all you needed to do when you saw a chord on the chart was to find the root note and play that chord form. It was much like @mrbeaumont's video approach.

For example, you need a Gmaj7. Find the root G on the 6th string 3rd fret, and play the maj7 chord form with the 6th string root. Or find the root G on the 5th string 10th fret, and play the maj7 chord form with the 5th string root.

It works with chord forms that omit the root as well, as long as you remember where the "implied" root of the chord would be in relation to the chord form.

And like @mc5c says, you can often simplify. When you're starting out, e.g., any dominant chord can be a 7th, until you learn a few more forms to round out a 9th or 13th.
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:01 PM
Wyllys Wyllys is offline
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Originally Posted by MC5C View Post
Sometimes the melody drives the choice...
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:08 PM
amyFB amyFB is offline
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Originally Posted by guitarmac62 View Post
Iíve been dabbling with jazz on my archtops as well. I purchased a video course off of the Truefire website. Itís called Jazz 1-2-3 taught by Frank Vignola. Great starter course. He teaches 3 moveable chord forms and 3 basic rhythms you can use to play many jazz songs. They have many other courses as well.
Frank Vignola rocks!

He's one of many folks on youtube that offer great stuff for what you want.

search youtube for "jazz starter chords" and i'm sure you can stay busy for days!

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Old 11-11-2017, 08:12 AM
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815C 815C is offline
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Here's a jazz chord tutorial I uploaded. You can get a PDF of the tab/diagrams HERE. It's had over a million views and about 10k likes on YouTube, which surprised me, but maybe its a decent lesson.

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