Jazz Guitar – Learning 7th Chords

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 39,743
    Expert guitarist Dan Leonard demonstrates 7th chord forms on the jazz guitar.

    Dan Leonard

    Guitarist Dan Leonard has been a full time performer and teacher since 1987. He has taught hundreds of students jazz, blues and rock improvisation; from intermediates to working professionals. Over the years he has distilled his approach into the basis for his forthcoming instructional book “Organizing the fretboard for improvisation”. Dan began his career playing in regional rock bands. After studying classical guitar and composition in college he turned his focus to jazz, which is where it has stayed to this day. He is currently guitarist with Blind Pig recording artist Deanna Bogart as well as leader of The Dan Leonard Trio. His first solo recording “Time Alone” was released in 2000 with the follow-up, “The Middle Path” due out in the fall. His many performances include The Vaison Jazz Festival in France, The Monterey Blues Festival and The Clearwater Jazz Festival.

    Dan Leonard: Hi! I am Dan Leonard, and now I am going to show you the most common chord forms for jazz guitar. These all have the root in the base, and there are E forms, A forms, and D forms, well take them one at a time. Were going to start -- Ill demonstrate these all for the root of G. These are all seventh chords. The first is a major seventh chord which is fingered like this. Now, Ill start by saying that you want to be aware; this is where a little music theory is helpful. You want to be aware of which note in the chord is where in other words this is the root of the chord, this is the seventh of the chord, this is the third, and this is the fifth.

    So, by knowing those locations of those chord tones, you can then make alterations come up with all the other seventh chords youll need to know. This being the seventh, if we flat that seventh you get a dominant seventh chord. If you take the major third and flat that you get a minor seventh chord, and then if you flat the fifth which is on the B string, from that you get a half-diminished seventh and if you flat the note on the D string which is the seventh again it becomes a double-flatted seventh, and thats a fully-diminished seventh chord.

    So, those are the chord forms for the root on E string. If we move on to the chord forms of the root on the A string, this is a C Major seven, the root being C. This is laid out root fifth, seventh, third, so if we flat the seventh of that chord you get a dominant seventh chord, if you flat the third from that, you get your minor seventh chord, if you flat the fifth from that a half-diminished seventh chord and then if you flat the seventh again, you get a fully-diminished seventh chord. And then the chord forms with the root on the D string. This is an F Major seventh, this is the root here. If we flat the seventh of that chord, which is on the B string, you get a dominant seventh chord, if you flat the third, which is on the high E string, a minor seventh chord and then if you flat the fifth, which is on the G string, a half-diminished seventh, and then well flat the note on the B string, which is the flatted seventh, it will become a double-flatted seventh now, and thats a fully-diminished seventh.

    So, those are the basic chord forms youll need to know.