I want to give you a real quick and dirty mini lesson. I’m calling it 2 Cool Jazz Chords. Now, the name of the lesson is a little bit of a misnomer because, of course, there’s no such thing as a jazz chord. Any chord can be used in any style of music. So that being said, the two chords I want to show you are this E7 and this D major 9. Notice it’s almost the same shape. I’ll show you the fingerings in a second, but your fingers can easily get confused with those. So it’s a good thing to practice switching between these two chords. The E7, this is just a dominant 7th chord. If you practice your chord families this is the middle four strings, the A, D, G and B strings. It’s this voicing with the root of the note on the B string, the highest note of the chord. It’s a great chord for not only jazz, but for funk or rock. What I have here is my ring finger on the 5th fret of the B string, first finger on the 4th fret of the G string, middle finger on the 5th fret of the A string and then my pinkie on the 6th fret of the D string. Like I said, it’s great if you’re playing some kind of chord melody and you want to play that 7th chord with the root and the highest note. For example… Let’s sat that was your melody. If you take that chord and you just switch your pinkie and first finger, as far as what string they’re on — in other words, your first finger goes from the G string to the D string and your pinkie moves from the D string to the G string, you’ll get this, and that’s a major 9 chord, actually a D major 9. So just to repeat where my fingers are. Ring finger on the 5th fret of the B string, pinkie on the 6th fret of the G string, first finger on the 4th fret of the D string and middle finger on the 5th fret of the A string. What this chord is, is actually a major 9 with no 5th. The lowest three notes are kind of your major 7 triad, if you will, which is another great voicing. And then, of course, we’ve got our 9th. There you have it. Try those chords out. Try them in combination with your other favorite chords. If you’d like to know more about the chord voicings that I talked about in general, just check-out guitarcontrol.com/secrets. I’ll catch you next time.
Learn to play three more fun and easy riffs from the 1970s in this fifth volume from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman, aka Uncle D.