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Jazz Guitar Chords with Dave Stryker

Jazz Guitar Chords with Dave StrykerHi! Jazz Guitarist Dave Stryker here. I’d like to talk a little about a subject that comes up often on my online teaching school at ArtistWorks. My students often ask me how can I get my guitar chords to sound jazzier? In the video you will see me demonstrate some essential jazz guitar chords that can be used on the song Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham (a popular jazz song with a Bossa Nova feel.)


When I started out playing rock music (like a lot of us!) I learned songs from the records by concentrating on the Bass note and then figuring out what the quality of the chord was (Major, Minor, Dominant etc). When I started getting into jazz, I did the same thing. Just listen to what the bassist is playing and chart out the song and then figure out the chord quality.


A good way to make your chords sound jazzier is to avoid playing the lower 5th and just mute the A string when playing chords that have the bass note on the low E string. (As in the first chord of Blue Bossa C minor). I won’t go into a lot of theory here as I just want to get you playing this song as quickly as possible. I go into a little more of the theory of the chords on my online school, but for now just try learning the chords first, and then practice the Bossa rhythm.


In the video I demonstrate all the chords and fingerings that you need to know to play Blue Bossa. I also included the Strike’s Machines page from my online course that shows all the chords in Diagram form. (PS: Strike’s Machines is the term I give to the basic II V I chord progressions that are are common in jazz, and the Machine is what you want your left hand to be: moving from one chord to the next). All the chords and voicings for Blue Bossa in the video can be found on the Strike’s Machine page.


Strikes Machines

Strikes Machines


I also demonstrate the classic Bossa Nova rhythm and how to play it with your right hand fingers.


Take your time working out each chord and then put the Bossa rhythm to it. Maybe just break the tune into sections, concentrating on the first two chords (four bars) and then move onto the next four bar section. Finally put it all together with the Bossa rhythm and your ready to go!


Next you can learn the melody, and some solo ideas. These are the kind of things you can find on my online school at ArtistWorks!


Good luck and see you online!


- Dave Stryker


If you’re looking for jazz guitar lessons that show you a deeper look at easy jazz guitar chords for beginners, intermediate and advanced players, check out Electric Jazz Guitar with Dave Stryker. If you need a little introduction prior to diving in, try out our Free Online Sample Lessons and get started today!


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