Fellow Jazz Guitarist, I have some GOOD news and BAD news for you.
You, as a jazz guitarist, must know A LOT of jazz standards. Jazz, to me, is about playing tunes. It is nice to have a bunch of licks, arpeggios, chords and lines under your belt but it all comes together on a jazz standard. You need to know LOTS of tunes.
The Good News
A lot of jazz standards have similar chord progressions. Know your way around a few chord progressions, and you will set yourself up well for learning hundreds of tunes.
How I Can Help You
Learn these Top 5 Jazz Guitar Chord Progressions and you will be well on your way to total jazz guitar mastery.
Before we continue, what is a chord progression?
A chord is 2 or more notes played together. The core sound of any chord is its root note, 3rd and 7th. A progression of chords is the harmony or roadmap of chords the composer has dictated when he/she wrote the song.
Chord progression = roadmap of chords.
Jazz standards are can be divided up into ‘chunks’ of chord progressions. The following chord progressions are the most common ‘chunks’ in jazz. Remember that any example I give you can easily be transposed to other keys – that is our blessing and curse as guitarists: we can easily transpose anything to any key by simply moving it up or down the fret board. Often a single song will repeat a chord progression chunk multiple times.
That brings me back to the Good News: learn these 5 progressions solidly and you will be WELL on your way.
Lastly, remember that the best guitar teachers are on records. Listening to and transcribing the jazz guitar greats is the best way to learn jazz guitar authentically. All I do is neatly package what I have learned from the masters.
My Top 5 Jazz Chord Progressions
- Tonic Major 7 Chord – The Simplest Chord Progression
- The Famous II V I Chord Progression
- Minor II V I – The minor version of the famous II V I
- IVmaj7 – IVm – A traditional jazz chord progression
- I VI II V – ‘The Turnaround’
Thanks for stopping by, feel free to leave a comment below with any suggestions or questions.
~ Sam Blakelock | pickupjazz.com