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When working with guitarsts who are new to Jazz, I find that many are not

accustomed to using chord voicings which "fit" well in a larger ensemble
setting. By eliminating unnecessary clutter, which doubled pitches can create,
these chords will sound more true to the style than those common to rock and
pop styles. It is my experience that students are very familiar with the basic
open chords, and most students are aware of the "Barre Chord" concept and
how it, in effect, moves these open chords up the neck. Some students know
the concept, but dont realize they know it! If students can get some of these
chords into their jazz vocabulary, without too much kicking and screaming,
Your ensemble should benefit.
The next logical step beyond this study would be to recycle some of the
shapes as upper structures of 9th chords.

!

Open chords converted to
movable barre chord
shapes.

The concept illustrated below assumes a knowledge of very basic open chords, and uses a square to
represent the root of each.
When you take the
Most common E
Major chord
<-------up the neck, you
get the Major
barre chord feared
by all. -------->

You Can do the same
with the 5th string
rooted A major.

...and D major
rooted on the
fourth string.

the D major shape only requires the first finger to fret one note, so the concept is the
same as the E and A chords, but not actully barred.

The 6 note Barre chord and its derivatives:!

!

Major Barre Chord Form - 6th String Root

R 5 R 3 5 R
Full Barre 7th chord voicings The six string m7b5 voicing is not playable, but it is included here to illustrate the concept.
Note: The "anatomy" of these chords is listed below each grid, and each tone is labeled with the
relationship to a major scale having the same root as the chord.

M7

R 5 7 3

Dom 7 (7)

5 R

R 5 b7 3

5 R

m7

m7 b5

R 5 b7 b3 5 R

R b5 b7 b3 b5 R

The 7th chord voicings on strings 6, 5, 4, 3 (illustrated below) eliminate doubled pitches.
M7

R

5 7 3

Dom 7 (7)

R

5 b7 3

m7

R 5 b7 b3

m7 b5

R b5 b7 b3

Commonly used 7th chord voicings on strings 6, 4, 3, 2 also eliminate doubled pitches.

R

7 3 5

R

b7 3 5

R

b7 b3 5

R

b7 b3 b5

These shapes can also be played even more simply by omitting the 5th,
reducing the number of shapes to 3. (Minor 7 and minor 7b5 will be the
same shape, due to omitting the 5 or b5) This is another good starting point
for studying "root/guide tone" or "shell voicings" to which altered 5ths or
extesions might be added with very playable results.

M7! !

R

7

3

m7/m7b5

7

!

R

b7 3

R

b7 b3

The Barre chord and its derivatives

!

Major Barre Chord Form 5th string root

R 5 R 3 5

Full Barre 7th chord voicings - *m7b5 voicing may not be playable
M7

R 5 7 3 5

Dom 7 (7)

R 5 b7 3 5

m7

R 5 b7 b3 5

m7 b5

R b5 b7 b3 b5

The following commonly used 7th chord voicings on strings 5, 4, 3, 2 eliminate doublings

M7

Dom 7 (7)

m7

m7 b5

R 5 7 3

R 5 b7 3

R 5 b7 b3

R b5 b7 b3

Commonly used 7th chord voicings on strings 5, 3, 2, 1 also eliminate doublings.

R

7 3 5

R

b7 3 5

R

b7 b3 5

R

b7 b3 b5

These shapes may also be played omitting the 5th, again reducing the number
of shapes to 3.
7

M7! !

R

7 3

R

b7 3

m7/m7b5

R

b7 b3

The root/guide tone voicings below are are derived from the shapes
above, but the 3rd of each structure has been lowered by one octave.
!

7

M7! !

R

3 7

R

3 b7

m7/m7b5

R b3 b7

The Barre chord and its derivatives

!

Major Barre Chord Form 4th string root

R 5 R 3

M7

R 5 7 3

Dom 7 (7)

R 5 b7 3

m7

R 5 b7 b3

m7 b5

R b5 b7 b3