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Introduction to Jazz Chords – 7th Chords

Introduction to Jazz Chords

7th Chords

Introduction to Jazz Chords - 7th Chords






Today I’d like to share with you an introduction that helped me start my journey with jazz music.

First, I don’t claim to be a jazz player by any means, All what I want to do is to break some ice.

Just to stop some fears or panic that happens to some people as it used to be with me when hearing the word “Jazz”.

I will not talk about odd-time signatures or strange melodic minor modes.

The focus will be on chords. How to simply break-out of the standard common chords that we can find in the major scale.

The examples we have today for this quick lesson are in C Major. So lets first see what chords we have if we harmonize each degree of this scale

C Major – D Minor – E Minor – F Major – G Major- A Minor – B Diminished

As you may already know, those are basically triad chords.

That means the notes that each chord is formed by are 3 notes. 1,3,5

The first extension we can add to these triads will be the 7th note.

So starting on each degree will count every other note until we reach the 7th.

Notes of the scale are C D E F G A B

The degrees are in order 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 when start on each note


For example

Starting from C and applying the 7th extension to the standard triad the notes 1 3 5 7 will be C E G B

if we start from we get these notes D F A C

Chord Names

Now a few easy rules to apply changes to the chord names

1- Change major to major 7th except the fifth will be changed to dominant seventh which means a flat 7th. Written as maj7 , M7 , Maj7

2- Change minor to minor 7th. Written as m7

3- Change diminished to a 7th flat 5 chord which is written as 7b5 or called (half-diminished)

Now lets look at the diagram below to see those scales on the fretboard

You can use this image. Save it and print it out. Hang it in front of you and practice.

This was my practice for years before the digital era. Or you could download some chord dictionary app.

But seriously, having these chords ready on the wall in front of your eyes each time you grab the guitar in your room

could be really helpful and useful to eliminate any laziness or procrastination.

I have uploaded a short video you can watch here or on Youtube to see how these chords are played on the guitar.

If the fingerings are not clear in the video you could check the image above for chord diagrams.

You can also download it in PDF format by a click here 7th chords pdf

Video Demonstration

If you like a backing track to practice these 7th chords please check this lesson for Jazzy Hijazy chords

Next time I will share a few chord progressions with you.

We can use it as a tool for meaningful practice that will definitely take your chord playing to a new level.

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