Sometimes, you need to learn something pretty quickly.
And when that's the case, you don't really need to understand all the little details at a deep level first, you need to get your hands dirty and try it out.
Jazz guitar is no different.
Well, a lot of people want to know all the details about how the chords work and how to place their rhythms when they're comping, and everything about playing jazz guitar before they get their hands dirty, so to speak.
What most people don’t understand is that the very best way to learn jazz guitar is to get some of the chords under your fingers and start learning how to use them in chord progressions and songs.
In my own playing and with many of my students I’ve found that when you get the physical part of playing down, the details and music theory just kind of falls into place.
That's exactly what I've done with the Jazz Guitar Survival Guide: Chords and Comping.
I really give you the “put your fingers here” explanation of jazz guitar chords so you can start playing right away.
You'll also learn the theory and other details as you go so you know what you’re doing.
Music theory is important. It just usually gets taught in the wrong order.
And I think you'll find that you understand everything better at the end of this program than you would if you tried to understand how all of the theory and little details worked first before ever putting your fingers on the fretboard.
In this article, we'll talk a little bit about:
Let's get started.
Jazz guitar chords get kind of a bad rap for being difficult to play. It's especially true for people who are new to jazz or even just looking at jazz guitar chords for the first time.
Some of this idea has to do with some kind of scary or complicated looking chord symbols.
(Or at least they're scary and complicated looking if most of what you've seen is open chords and your typical barre chords)
Also, some of this thought that jazz guitar chords are hard has to do with watching some of the great players use what looks like impossibly stretching chord shapes.
The truth is that jazz guitar chords aren't necessarily that hard to play, or at least they don't have to be.
It does take some work on your part, specially if you want to get good at jazz guitar.
But many of the jazz guitar finger patterns are actually pretty friendly, if you don't get too hung up on the ones that seem like they're impossible right away.
Over time, your hand is going to adapt and those stretchy seemingly impossible chords are not going to be so hard for you.
There are also ways to simplify or modify the chords that you see on the page to make them easier to play - for now, at least.
Sometimes it can be an even more permanent change to your chord shape if you find that you liked the modification better.
Changing the jazz guitar chords might mean simplifying the chord symbol so that it fits within the chords that you already know.
And it might mean altering the finger pattern in order to make the cord ess stretchy or more manageable for you in some way.
Today, we'll take a look at ways to make chords easier under your fingers.
We'll take a look specifically at simplifying chord symbols using shell voicings to simplify the chord shapes and we'll find ways to practice tricky chords so that you can actually use them in your playing.
Let’s get started.
The 251 is an essential chord progression for jazz guitar, or any instrument that wants to learn how to play jazz.
2 5 1 an essential turnaround that happens over and over through different jazz standards.
So if you're learning to play jazz guitar, there's simply no escaping the 251 progression.
Like many things on the guitar, there is a logical sequence of finger shapes you can use to play through 2 5 1 quickly and efficiently.
With a little practice these progressions will become simple to play and you won't even have to think about it.
251 progressions happen frequently throughout most jazz standards, and it's a good idea for you to have a couple of go to 251 patterns you can play anytime.
The more you practice these, the more you're going to get used to the way you move from chord to chord on the fretboard.
So as you're playing actual music, you'll be able to recognize a 251 when it happens, and your fingers will start to naturally go through some of these chord progressions.
You do want to make sure that at least a couple of patterns become second nature to you.
Because sometimes, depending on the speed of the song or how many beats each chord actually ends up getting, 2 5 1 progressions can happen so quickly that if you have to stop to think about where to put your fingers, you've probably already missed it.
In this lesson, we're gonna look at what a 2 5 1 progression is, a little bit about the theory behind the chords, and we'll give you a couple of solid 2 5 1 chord progression shapes for both major and minor keys.
With a little work, you'll be playing through 251 progressions without even having to think about it.
Let's get started.