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Jazz Guitar Chords
for Comping

This section of the website covers everything you need to get started with jazz guitar chords (or improve your current abilities). The jazz guitar comping lessons on this page focus mainly the harmonic aspect of the instrument: chord shapes, progressions, chord melody, etc. You'll find plenty of FREE material.

If this is your first visit, I recommend looking at these jazz guitar chords lessons in order. You should evidently have a few basic chord shapes at your command before attempting chord melody stuff on standards (or more intricate progressions with substitutions.)

Start with the chord charts. As soon as you're familiar with basic jazz guitar chords "grips" (shapes), it is highly recommended to apply them by creating accompaniments on actual jazz tunes.

Always remember: be musical and tasteful in your comping! A bunch of chord changes or cool substitutions simply won't work if the final result isn't SWINGING ...

Have fun and make good music!

Jazz Guitar Chords: For Beginners

Jazz Guitar Chords: Comping Basics

  • Jazz Guitar Comping: "Lesson 2"

    Already intermediate with jazz chords? Use what you know to develop more chords... This is eCourse is the "sequel" to the Introduction Course above. If you're already familiar with regular 7th chords, 12-bar blues, II-V-I progressions then this is what you're looking for.

  • Jazz Guitar Video Masterclass: Chord Melody

    With just these few videos and written ideas (with TABS), you'll be amazed at how quickly you can connect melody and harmony in seamless beautiful chord melody lines ... entirely dedicated to the art of chord melody playing.

  • Chord Chart #2

    Diminished 7th and altered dominants. Spicy chords with some harder fingerings. This is where to go when you see "b9" or "#5" (or both!) in the chord symbols. All moveable chord shapes.

  • Chord Progressions #1

    The basics of playing and understanding how chords go with one another. Covers the diatonic cycle and the I-VI-II-V progression. Great starting points.

  • *Custom* Lessons

    Learn at your own pace. Get real tailor-made exercises to dramatically enhance your comping. Submit your questions, issues and recordings to get fully customized lessons (from a jazz guitar expert) in a timely fasion. Find out more here...

  • The No Nonsense Guide to Jazz Harmony - Part 1

    "What is a II-V-I and how does it work?" Theory with practical applications on the fingerboard (printable exercises in PDF).

  • Videos

    See the free videos section for more lessons...

Jazz Guitar Chords: Essentials

  • Chord Melody

    The fine art of accompanying oneself. Learn to create enjoyable jazz guitar moments by shaping *your own* chord melody arrangements on jazz standards.

  • FREE Beginner Chord Melody Course

    New to chord melody for Jazz guitar? Subscribe to this FREE 7-Day Beginning Chord Melody course.

  • Chords Warmup (the Big Five)

    Get your fingers loose for the practice session or gig. Five very useful voicings played up and down the fretboard (all diatonic in C major). Great workout for the left hand!

  • Chords in Scales (aka diatonic chords)

    Chords found in three scales : Major, melodic minor and harmonic minor. Generate 7 new chords everytime you learn a single voicing! Also : explanations on the nature of drop2 and drop3 voicings.

  • Chord Progressions #2

    Modulations : how to get to other keys. Let's start by modulating to the almighty IV chord... (heard in many standards and within the blues progressions)

  • The No Nonsense Guide - Part 2

    Some more clarifications on harmony. Practical suggestions to understand and play secondary dominants, interpolation, back cycling, turnarounds (and more...)

  • Jazz Guitar Video Masterclass: Chord Melody

    With just these few videos and written ideas (with TABS), you'll be amazed at how quickly you can connect melody and harmony in seamless beautiful chord melody lines ... entirely dedicated to the art of chord melody playing.

  • Blues Stuff - Tunes, Progressions and more

    Learning to comp and improvise on blues in a invaluable tool to understand and master harmony on the guitar ... see the blues section here.

  • Videos

    See the free videos section for more lessons...

Jazz Chords: Beyond

  • Jazz Chord Cycles

    Learn to play in all keys using cycles, starting with the cycle of fourths, of course. Next, take a look at some diatonic cycles.

  • *Custom* Lessons

    Learn at your own pace. Get real tailor-made exercises to dramatically enhance your comping. Submit your questions, issues and recordings to get fully customized lessons (from a jazz guitar expert) in a timely fasion. Find out more here...

  • Chord Progressions #3

    Minor Progressions. The final chapter in this jazzy chord progressions survey. The minor diatonic cycle, I-VI-II-V in minor and minor blues progressions.

  • The No Nonsense Guide - Part 3

    The final article in the "no-nonsense series". Covers more advanced topics and defines harmonic concepts such as tags, back door progressions, extension, inversions and more...

  • Chord Substitutions: Jazz Guitarist's Survival Guide

    Now that you understand chords and progressions it's time to create effective variations on them. Simple tricks to help you spruce up all the "boring" chord stuff found on leadsheets. Real chord subs used by the pros and jazz guitar greats.

  • Videos

    See the free videos section for more lessons...