Chords Lesson

Jazz Shapes 1

Difficulty: advanced

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Let's review some common jazz chord shapes. These examples will use the same root of G for each shape, so it's easy to compare them.

Gmaj7

1342

Maj7 = 1 3 5 7

Gmaj7 = G B D F#

G6

2143

6 = 1 3 5 6

G6 = G B D E

G7

1243

7 = 1 3 5 b7

G7 = G B D F

This shape omits the 5th (D), which is common.

G13

12344

13 = 1 3 5 b7 9 11 13

G13 = G B D F A C E

This shape omits the 3rd (B) and 11th (C). In upper extension shapes, it is common to leave notes out, ensuring we include the top extension note, in this case 13 (E).

This shape can be played without including the 4th finger bar, effectively omitting the 1st string and 9th (A). It sounds fuller and cooler with the 9th, though.

G 6/9

12234

6/9 = 1 3 5 6 9

G 6/9 = G B D E A

This shape omits the 3rd (B) which gives it a very cool unresolved sound.

Gmin7

2333

Min7 = 1 b3 5 b7

Gmin7 = G Bb D F

Gm6

2134

m6 = 1 b3 5 6

Gm6 = G Bb D E

Gmin7b5

2341

(half-diminished 7th)

min7b5 = 1 b3 b5 b7

G min7b5 = G Bb Db F

Gmin11

2341

Min11 = 1 b3 5 b7 9 11

Gmin11 = G Bb D F A C

This shape omits the 5th (D) and 9th (A), which is common.

Gdim7

2131

Dim7 = 1 b3 b5 bb7

Gdim7 = G Bb Db E