Just playing Jazz chords isn’t enough to make it sound great. You have to know how to make it interesting and keep the song moving.
In this video, I am going to give you some really easy examples that you can make your chords sound a lot better, stuff that helps you sit in the groove and keep things moving, and it is a simple trick that is more visual than a lot of complicated music theory.
A Basic G7 Voicing
The basic technique that I am using in this video and develop into a lot of great ideas is extremely simple. For a G7(13) chord like this:
You can add a harmonized chromatic melody to this chord like this:
And the rootless version of this which is often a little more practical.
What is happening here is really just that I am playing a melody going down in half-steps and then the chord use the chord on the D, the last note in the melody as a way to harmonize the note leading to it. In that way everything just slips into place and it is also very easy to play.
And this works for other chords as well, not just dominant chords, let’s check that out.
Chromatic Passing Chords on a II V I
Here you can hear how it also works on the II Chord, and of course, you can also use it on a tonic chord like this:
Here I am using a Db6 to get from the Cmaj7 to the C6
Another Great Trick With Chromatic Chords
Now you have one way to harmonize chromatic passing notes, but there is another one that is also pretty easy and works just as well and even makes
In bar 3 I am playing a melody that moves down in half steps, but instead of harmonizing it with the chord a half step above then I shift the first G7(13) chord down a half step, and then the lower part of the chord moves up and the melody moves down
This means that you now have two ways to create some chromatic melodies with chords. Let’s try that out on a few chords.
Exploring More Melodies And Options
To give you a way to get this into your playing let’s go over how this works on a few chords.
If you want to move from this voicings to this voicing:
If you use these two options then you can start with a voicing like this (1st chord in example 6) and then there are two ways you can move the melody down in half-steps:
With the starting chord, you have two ways you can move down, you can use the target chord as we did in the beginning, and you can also start by shifting the first chord.
Here’s another version. If you go from then you have these two options: 7a then there are these two ways to do this:
Putting this to use on a Jazz Standard
You can put this to use on a song like Ladybird like this. Try to see if you can analyze what is going on.
Get the PDF and GuitarPro on Patreon:
You can get the PDF and GuitarPro files on Patreon here:
Get a free E-book
If you want to download a Free E-book of 15 II Valt I licks then subscribe to my newsletter:
Get the PDF!
You can also download the PDF of my examples here:
Jazz Guitar Insiders Facebook Group
Join 6000+ Other Jazz Guitarists 🎸Join us in the Facebook Jazz Guitar Group Community: http://bit.ly/InsidersFBGroup
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for topics then, please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.