The Truth About “Jazz Chords”

I often hear guitarists say things like “oh, I don’t know any jazz chords” or “C major 7? I think that’s a jazz chord”. But this doesn’t really make sense. There are no “Jazz Chords”. There are just “chords”.

For example, there are many types of footwear. Some are best suited for specific activities, e.g. joggers are ideal for running and sandals are more suited for wearing on the way to the beach. But does this mean I can’t run in sandals or wear joggers to the beach? Certainly not.  Similarly with chords, some are ideal for use in certain genres of music. Therefore, there can be no such thing as a “jazz chord”, although there are chords that have a “jazzy” sound to them and are commonly used in Jazz music.

Many guitarists find the whole jazz genre to be a mystery to them, so choose not to learn jazzy chords . The solution? well, learning the chord shapes is a great starting point. Then try learning some songs, scales, arpeggios and eventually solos. Jazz does tend to be more complicated than many other genres, so I highly recommend asking your tutor for some help. We do have some Free Online Video Lessons for you which teach some useful “Jazz Chord” tricks and tips.

Don’t be a guitarist who doesn’t know any jazzy sounding chords – be a guitarist who never used to know any jazzy sounding chords!

Having trouble with your chords, scales or arpeggios? Contact us, we’re happy to lend a hand!

Related Articles


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *