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Jazz Chord Base: a new Approach for Jazz Chords on Guitar

Learn how to accompany Jazz Tunes on Guitar in a structured and logical manner.
Instructor:
Stefan Mens
2,134 students enrolled
To accompany jazz tunes on the guitar
To have an accurate orientation on the fretboard

Do you like jazz? But playing and understanding all these fancy chords seemed hard for you?

The Jazz Chord Base is a system to accompany jazz tunes in a way that will let you understand the chords quick and easy. The course is filled with explanations of the chords, many exercises and every once in a while Stefan tells funny stories of his life as a musician.
Learn the structure of chords, understand how they are developed and then practise them with the many exercises. All the exercises are demonstrated on video, include the lead sheets and come with files to use in iRealBook (an app (not included in the course) that plays a band on your computer with bass, drums and piano in your desired practising tempo). And if you don’t own iRealPro: each exercise has an audiofile for download to play along.

Learn to find your way on the fretboard in a logical system and start playing these cool jazz chords from the scratch.

Completing the course will make you a great accompanist either as a single player with a singer/soloist or in a band. Also included is: Playing Chord solos and playing with a conductor.

Here are some statements from guitarists, who have taken the course:

P.O. writes: «… this course seems brilliant. Just enough simplification to make it pretty easy …”

T.T. writes: “… Simplified and broke down the complicated chord theory in to pieces, easy to digest, step by step exercises make the whole learning experience fun and achievable!! Excellent!!!”
C.B. writes: “I have learned more in the last three days than I did in six weeks!…”

This course is also available in German.

1
Goal of the Course and Requirements

In this lecture you will learn about the Goal of the Course, what the Requirements are and you may download a description on how to install iRealPro (check the file on the left called "iRealPro_E.pdf"). You can also download a file which contains all the exercises for the Jazz Chord Base in iRealPro format (file called "The Jazz Chord Base Exercises.html")

Goal, Requirements and Structure of the Course

1
Structure of the Course
2
Short Video: How to install the exercise files into iRealPro

See how to install the iRealPro-Files.

The Basic Principle and Common Knowledge

1
The Basic Principle

Explanation of the Basic Principle of the Jazz Chord Base

2
Common Knowledge: The Names of the Notes

Learn the Names of the Notes of the Scale

3
Beertime! The # in a Music Lesson

Every once in a while in this course I will tell you a story from my life as a musician or as a teacher. These anecdotes are all real!

4
Where are these Notes on the Guitar Strings?

Learn to find the notes on the guitar

5
Exercise A: Find the notes

A note is announced and you have to play it within a second.

6
Exercise B: Find the notes, including accidentals

A note is announced and you have to play it on both the E- and the A- string. Includes semitones.

7
Test your knowledge about the notes on the guitars lowest two strings

7th Chords as Triads, including the Root

1
Preview of Section 3: The Three Basic Chords

Preview of Section 3 and explanation of the three basic chords. Downloadable PDF: "How to read chord symbols.pdf"

2
The 7 (dominant 7) chord

Get to know the first shapes. These are the E- and the A-shape of the 7-chord.

3
Exercise 1a: Blues in A

Use the 7-chord for the first time.

4
Exercise 1b: Blues in A - starting with A-shape

Play the same Blues in A - but this time start with the A-shape on fret XII.

5
Exercise 2: Blues in D

Let's try the Blues in another key (in D) with the 7 chords.

6
Exercise 3: Blues in B

The same thing, now in the key of B.

7
Exercise 4: Blues in Bb

...and in Bb.

8
The Guitar as a Whole Band

First steps to become a single accompanist.

9
Exercise 5: Blues in Bb with Chord Walkbass

Make use of the Tritone Substitute and the Chromatic Approach

10
The Minor7 - Chord

Get to know the new shapes and learn something about the terminology of the Minor and Major modes.

11
Exercise 6: Minor Blues in A

Jazz Waltz in 3 with Minor Chords

12
Exercise 7: Minor Blues in D

The Jazz Waltz Blueswith Minor Chords in D.

13
Exercise 8: Minor Blues in A with Substitute-Chords

The Chromatic Approach works in the mode of Minor as well.

14
The Major7-Chord

The last of the 3 Basic Chords

15
Exercise 9: Chord Progression with Major7-Chords

Practise the Major7 Chord in various positions

16
Table of the Shapes of the 3 Basic-Chords including the Root

Download the PDF and print it out. 

17
Songs for the 3 Basic Chords

Learn how to use the basic chords in songs

18
Exercise 10: Song: Mack the Knife

Let's swing! Your first song....

19
Beertime! The least trustworthy Prison Scene in the History of Theater

Mack the Knife sits in jail under extreme measurements of security...

20
Exercise 11: All of Me

Try this famous standard. At the end you find an explanation of the next exercise. You find the mentioned download in the next lecture.

21
Exercise 12: All of Me with Walkbass

Some more walkbass.

22
Exercise 13: I got rhythm

Another classic tune. Can you add the walkbass yourself?

23
Beertime! How to play a Broadway Show
24
The Rare Chords: The Minor7b5

The first of the Rare Chords.

25
Exercise 14: Chord progression with Minor7b5

Work on the Minor7b5 in the context of a Chord-Progression

26
The Diminished Chord (o7)

The Diminished Chord is one of the coolest chords ever.

27
Exercise 15: Chord Progression with o7-chords

Practise this nice chord in the context of a Turnaround Progression.

28
The Augmented 5th Chord

A chord for building up tension.

29
Exercise 16: Chord Progression with Augmented Chords

Let's swing the #5.

30
The 6 Chord

The 6 Chord: A jazz chord without the seventh.

31
Exercise 17: Chord progression with 6 chords

A Latin cliché.

32
Table of All Shapes, including the Root

Download the PDF and print it out.

33
Extremely rare: The Minor-Major7-Chord

The famous "Hitchcock-Chord"

34
Exercise 18: Chord progression with Minor-Major7 Chord

A quite psychedelic chord-progression

35
Effective Practicing

Effective practising saves time. Here are a few tips to optimize your practicing sessions.

36
Change of the Left Hand's Position

What can you do when you get too low on the fretboard?

37
Exercise 19: The same Chord with different Shapes

Learn to switch the shapes of the same chord.

38
Exercise 20: Blue Bossa

The bossanova - rhythm works great for some finger picking.

39
Exercise 21: Satin Doll

Practice the II-V progression in a song

40
Exercise 22: Confirmation

First a slow version of this BeBop - classic, then up tempo - followed by an outlook to the next section.

41
Beertime! A little Philosophy of the Arts

The Jazz Police

7th Chords with Four Voices, including the Root

1
Preview of Section 4

A short preview of the next section - Explanation of the notation of chords with tensions - Basic rule: Which tension suits which chord.

2
The Basic Chords with Tension Notes: The 7/9 and the 7/13

The first few chords with tensions.

3
Exercise 23: Blues in A with Tension Notes

Add tensions to your Blues accompanyment.

4
Exercise 24: Blues in Eb with Tension Notes

Add tensions to this Blues in Eb

5
Exercise 25: Blues in Eb with Tension Notes and Walkbass

Add a walkbass to this Blues with tensions and learn the shapes for  triads with their 3rd in the bass.

6
The Minor 7/9, Minor 7/11 and Minor 7/13

Very brief: Shapes of the Minor7 with tensions.

7
Major 7/9, Major7/#11, Major7/13 and the 6/9

Add tensions to the Maj7 and to the 6

8
Exercise 26: IIm7-V7-Imaj7 Cadenza with Tension Notes

Let's combine the basic chords with tensions.

9
Exercise 27: IVmaj7-V7-Imaj7 Cadenza with Tension Notes

NEUES PLAYVIDEO MACHEN!

10
The 7/b9, 7/#9, 7#11 and 7/b13 Chord

Discover the chords with tensions which appear mostly in pieces in the mode of minor.

11
Exercise 28: IIm7(b5)-V7-Im7 Cadenzas in Minor with Tension Notes

This Exercise focuses on the II-V-I Cadenza in the mode of minor. Let's add tension notes.

12
Table of the Shapes with Root and Tension Notes
Download the PDF and print it out.
13
Exercise 29: A Girl from Ipanema

Jobims Latin Classic for practising with tension notes.

14
Exercise 30: All the Things You Are

Another classic with tension notes.

15
Exercise 31: Misty

A Ballad with tensions.

16
Exercise 32: My Romance

Last but not least: A song that includes a lot of differet chords.

17
Beertime! Ze Italianne Radio Stationne

Learn different accents while driving

7th Chords with Two Voices, without Root

1
Preview of Section 5

Why playing chords without the root? - Imagine the root on the fretboard - Which fingers to use when playing two-voiced chords.

2
The 7 without Root

Your first shapes without root notes.

3
Exercise 33: The 7 Chord Progression

Probably the easiest exercise of all.

4
Exercise 34: Blues in Bb without Root

Probably too easy, but do not forget to imagine the root notes.

5
Minor7 and Major7, without Root

Another two chords without root.

6
Exercise 35: Minor-Blues in A with Substitute Chords

You will recognize this exercise from section 3. Try it now without root notes.

7
Exercise 36: Connection of Minor7 and Major7, without Root

This exercise is not hard to play. But understanding the relation between the (imaginary) root note and the chord tones is not that simple.

8
Diminished and Half-Diminished Chords, without Root

The more rare chords without root.

9
Exercise 37: Blue Bossa, without Root Notes

The same piece as in the previous section - without roots.

10
Exercise 38: Satin Doll, without Root Notes

Let's focus on the II-V progression - in two voices only and without root.

11
Exercise 39: Let’s boost it! Confirmation

Let's take it slow first. Then follow the fast version.

12
Exercise 40: April in Paris

The last exercise for the two-voiced chords without root.

13
Beertime! I'm playing in the rain!

I'll do anything for the show!

7th Chords as Triads or as Chords with Four Voices, without Root

1
Preview of Section 6

Why it is great to play chords with tensions without roots - new diagrams explained

2
The 7/9, the 7/13 and 7/9/13 chord

The most common 7 chords with tensions and without root.

3
Exercise 41: Business First, Pleasure Second

Tap that bass!

4
Exercise 42: Blues in Excessive Tenso

Similar basic chords in this blues feature different tensions.

5
The 7/#11

Two similar shapes.

6
Exercise 43: Blues with Tritone Substitute (#11)

Play the tritone substitute chords with a #11. How would it sound if you'd play all the chords with a #11?

7
7/b9(#9)

Add melodic fragments to your accompaniment and use a diminished chord instead of a 7b9.

8
7/b13 = 7(#5)

The shapes of this chord may be used for two different chords.

9
Exercise 44: Chord Progression with #5

A short exercise to practise the #5.

10
More 7 Chords with Tension Notes

Different ideas for tensions

11
Exercise 45: Connecting Tension Notes

Play little melodies with the tension notes.

12
How to memorize all these shapes?

Memorize only 2 shapes and you can derive the remaining tensions.

13
Minor-7/9 and Minor-7/11
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