Jazz Ukulele - Chords

Learning to play jazz on a ukulele. What are the jazz chords and scales and styles need to explore this form of music?

Just what is a “Jazz” chord?

uke_band_jazzThere is not such thing as a “jazz” chord. “Jazz” chords are simply more contemporary 4-part chords that find their way into a wide range of contemporary music.

Just like the name “Folk“ or “Cowboy” chords have been associated with basic open position chords that movie cowboy singers like Roy Rodgers and folk artist's like John Denver played. The chords that jazz guitarists played came to be called “jazz” chords.

These jazz chords are simply chords. Typically 4-part chords like major sevenths, sevenths and minor sevenths . Although these chords appear more complex and venture beyond the first few frets. These chords can be organized and learned just like you did for the basic chords you first learned.

On guitar these 4-part, “jazz” chords can be played on any set of our strings. The core set of jazz chords that a jazz guitarist should know involve the string sets: 1234, 2345, 3456, 1235, and 2346. This gives you 20 voicings for each chord on guitar to learn. On ukulele only the 1234 string family is available - a little less daunting of a task. The number of chords to master as a jazz guitarist contributes to the mystic of “jazz” chords being hard to learn. Not really hard to learn, just a lot of them to learn and master.

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Examples of 4-part chord names are Cmaj7, Am7, Bm7b5, G7+, G13, Eb7#11, etc. Pretty much any chord with a 7, 9, 11 or 13 as part of their name. Alterations such as b5, #5, b9, #9, #11 or b13 are also common chords in a jazz players repertoire of chords. Contemporary chords such as sus and add chords also find their way into jazz.

I have authored several books on the subject of chords for ukulele with a few dealing specifically with these 4-part, jazz chords.

A complete system for creating ANY jazz chord can be found in my book: A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords Volume I. A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords presents a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of these advanced chords. Chord dictionaries aren't the answer. Even chord theory does not offer any insight into unraveling the complexity of advanced chords.

A NEW 2nd Edition includes example chord progressions based on standard chord progressions and songs using basic 4-part chords.

The Seventh Chord - The Foundation for ALL Your Jazz Chords

You need ONE chord, four voicings, that can serve a foundation for building ALL your “jazz” chords. The seventh chords, sometimes called the dominant seventh chord is a great starting chord for that purpose.

Most professional jazz guitarists' have a core set of chords that form the foundation for all their "jazz" chords. Ukulele players need the same foundation.

A Seventh chord is a great starting chord to form your “core” chord foundation. The seventh chord forms the foundation for all our major 4-part chord types. From the your core seventh chords you can create the minor, diminished and augmented chord types.

There are six 4-part chords that form the foundation for all your jazz chords: the seventh, major seventh, minor seventh, half-diminished seventh, diminished seventh and augmented seventh chords as your core foundations chords. Virtuoso jazz guitarist Chuck Anderson calls these the “Big Six”, a great name.

Most ukulele players already know the four open position versions that form the core seventh chords. You might already recognize a few of them below.

“Core” Chords

A pro players approach to chord organization and creating ANY chord they ever need.

Core Chords - Building a Solid Foundation of Contemporary Chords

Core Chords are a concept that I typically apply to 4-part chords and your more contemporary modern chords. This where a solid foundation of a core set of chords really help in learning the massive amout of chords that are required for play contemporarymusic or jazz on ukulele or guitar. Not such a task on ukulele with on one four string set of strings to build your 4-part chords vs. the theorticially possible 15 sets available for guitar.

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Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation

**Core Chords** is a series of lessons for building your 4-part chords. These chords commonly called jazz chords, are really just 4-part chords used in a wide range of musical styles. The **Big Six** chords include: Seventh **7**, Major Seventh **maj7**, Minor Seventh **m7**, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five diminished 7 **m7b5**, Diminished Seventh **o7** and Augmented Seventh **+7**. These six chords form a core set of chords. **Updated 13 MAY 2014 with the open position seventh chords that most players know and can be used as a start for exploring and building a solid foundation of Jazz chords.**

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Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 1st Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing. This voicing is based off the open position **E7** chord. How I categorize this 4-part chord for transposition purposes is - “*It’s a seventh chord with the root on string two.*” That and knowing the notes of the ukulele fingerboard will allow you to transpose this chord to ANY key. These six core chords comprise level I for building your more advanced chords

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Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 2nd Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing. This voicing is based off the open position **C7** chord. How I categorize this 4-part chord for transposition purposes is - “*It’s a seventh chord with the root on string three.*” That and knowing the notes of the ukulele fingerboard will allow you to transpose this chord to ANY key. These six core chords comprise level I for building your more advanced chords.

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Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 3rd Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing. This voicing is based off the open position **A7** chord. How I categorize this 4-part chord for transposition purposes is - “*It’s a seventh chord with the root on string one.*” That and knowing the notes of the ukulele fingerboard will allow you to transpose this chord to ANY key. These six core chords comprise level I for building your more advanced chords.

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Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 4th Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing. This voicing is based off the open position **G7** chord. How I categorize this 4-part chord for transposition purposes is - “*It’s a seventh chord with the root on string four.*” That and knowing the notes of the ukulele fingerboard will allow you to transpose this chord to ANY key. These six core chords comprise level I for building your more advanced chords.

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Content is always being added and updated. So check-in often. Thanks, Curt

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[ UL0 ] (ukulele) CHORDS.PHP | Updated: Saturday, 28th June, 2014 @ 03:18pm • 9 Visitors On-line