Jazz Chord Melodies Lesson I

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INFO & EXPLANATION

CHORD FORMS USED IN THIS LESSONThere are only a few chord forms used in this lesson. The information section for this lesson is meant to point them out to you. We don't go into every chord form here but we do cover 3 that are used several times. Every chord in this chord melody uses only the top 4 strings (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th strings.) This is by design. As you learn this chord melody, you'll notice that it seems to have a "4-part harmony" sound. If you listen closely you can hear "voices" moving beneath the melody.

THE 6/9 CHORD FORM
Most of the chords used here omit or "imply" some of the chord notes. Take a look at the first one, the "6/9" form, in the picture directly to the right. At the beginning of the tune, the first chord is G 6/9. The notes of the G 6/9 chord are as follows:

G, B, D, E and A

The only notes we actually play are the E, A, D and G. So the B note is implied here. As an aside, this same chord form can be used in place of a full C 6/9 chord. That's because the notes that make up the C 6/9 are as follows: C, E, G, A and D. Again the notes you're actually playing are E, A, D and G. So, the C note is implied. That makes this a good chord form to use if you have a bass player who's playing the C note for you.THE DIMINISHED 7 CHORD FORM

Another chord form that's used throughout this arrangement is the Dimished 7th form pictured to the right. There are really only 3 diminished 7 chords when you examine the actual notes included in them. To get a picture of what I'm talking about here, examine the notes of every diminished 7 chord in the chord finder and see for yourself. Every diminished 7 chord has one of the following combinations of notes:

  • C, Eb (or D#), Gb (or F#) and A
  • C# (or Db), E, G and Bb (or A#)
  • D, F, Ab (or G#) and B

You'll see how the dimninished chord can be substituted for a lot of different types of (dominant) 7th chords in an upcoming lesson regarding the diminished function of a dominant 7 chord. For now just recognize the chord form and memorize the chord melody in this lesson. You'll be able to draw from it in later lessons as your understanding of chord substitutions grows. This lesson will help you to experience the sound of all the moving chord tones that result from these chord substitutions.

THE MAJOR 7 CHORD FORM
The picture on the right shows the major 7 chord form. Actually it only shows up in 2 places in this chord melody but it's a good chord form to remember when you need to grab a quick major7 chord built on the 4th string.



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