Core Chords - The Big Six • Your Jazz chord system for creating ANY chord you'll ever need. Really, ANY chord you ever encounter in a song or lead sheet you WILL be able to create.
Just what is a
There is no such thing as a
Jazz chords are simply contemporary 4-part chords that find their way into a wide range of contemporary music.
Just as the name
Cowboy chords are associated with basic open position chords that movie cowboy singers such as Roy Rodgers and folk artist's John Denver played. The chords that jazz guitarists played came to be called
These jazz chords are simply chords. Typically, 4-part chords like major sevenths, sevenths, and minor sevenths. Although these chords appear more sophisticated and venture beyond the first few frets. These chords can be organized and learned just as you did for the basic chords you first learned.
On guitar 4-part,
jazz chords can be played on any set of four strings. The core set of jazz chords that a jazz guitarist should know involve the string sets: 1234, 2345, 3456, 1235, and 2346. That makes for 20 voicings for each chord on guitar to learn. On the ukulele, only the 1234 string family is available — a little less daunting of a task. The number of chords to master as a jazz guitarist contributes to the mystic of
jazz chords being hard to learn. Not especially hard to learn, just a lot of them to learn and master.
Examples of 4-part chord names are Cmaj7, Am7, Bm7b5, G7+, G13, Eb7#11, etc. Pretty much any chord with a 7, 9, 11, or 13 as part of their name. Alterations such as b5, #5, b9, #9, #11, or b13 are common chords in a jazz player's repertoire of chords. Contemporary chords such as sus and add chords also find their way into jazz.
I have authored several books on the subject of chords for ukulele with a few dealing specifically with 4-part, jazz chords. The majority of the lessons right here on LearningUkulele.com are chord related. And, that is what we do the most – chords.
A complete system for creating ANY jazz chord can be found in my book: A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords Volume I . The books presents a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of these advanced chords. Chord dictionaries aren't the answer. Even chord theory does not offer any insight into unraveling the complexity of advanced chords.
A NEW 2nd Edition includes example chord progressions based on songs from the Great American Songbook and the Jazz musician's repertoire using basic 4-part chords.
What is a Chord?
A chord is three or more notes sounded together. It's that simple!. A chord can be as simple as a three-note triad, all the way up to a fancy jazz chord like G13+9. Chords have a letter name, and it's root and type information indicating the type of chord and any alterations or extensions or upper partials.
Here are a few suggested lessons on chord alterations and extensions or upper partials.
You need ONE chord, four voicings, that can serve a foundation for building ALL your 4-part, contemporary “jazz” chords. These 4-part chords, sometimes called “Jazz” chords are simply 4-part chords. The seventh chords, sometimes called The Dominant Seventh Chord is a great starting chord for that purpose.
Most professional guitarists' have a core set of chords that form the foundation for all their 4-part chords. Ukulele players need this same foundation.
A Seventh chord is a great starting chord to form your “core” chord foundation. The seventh chord forms the foundation for all our major 4-part chord types. From your core seventh chords, you can create the minor, diminished and augmented chord types.
Six 4-part chords that form the foundation for all your jazz chords: the seventh, major seventh, minor seventh, half-diminished seventh, diminished seventh and augmented seventh chords as your core foundations chords. Virtuoso jazz guitarist Chuck Anderson calls these the “Big Six”, a great name.
Most ukulele players already know the four open position versions that form the core seventh chords. You might already recognize a few of them below.
A pro player's approach to chord organization and creating ANY 4-part chord they will ever need.
Core Chords - Building a Solid Foundation of Contemporary Chords • Updated: 11 Nov 2013
"Core Chords" are a concept that I typically apply to 4-part chords and your more contemporary modern chords. This where a solid foundation of a core set of chords really help in learning the massive amount of chords that are required for play contemporary music or jazz on ukulele or guitar. Not such a task on ukulele with on one four string set of strings to build your 4-part chords vs. the theoretically possible 15 sets available for guitar.
Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation • Updated: 07 Sep 2021
The Big Six Core Chords is a series of lessons for building your core, essential 4-part chords. These chords commonly called jazz chords, are really just 4-part chords used in a wide range of musical styles. These chords include: Seventh , Major Seventh, Minor Seventh, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five, Diminished Seventh, and Augmented Seventh. These six chords form a core set of chords.
Site Access Plans for LearningUkulele.com
Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get ALL the benefits of a Premium Access Subscription such as Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site, and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.
If you're anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overloaded with everything and everybody on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once, and you're done.
The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee there is more than enough material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That alone is more than the cost of this plan.
Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and LearningUkulele.com since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt
NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.
Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books! — Peter Rhee
Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the best — Glen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys
Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too. — Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg
I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent. — fatveg — Portland
Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!
Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II. 34 years ago. Man, does time fly.
“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!”
LearningUkulele.com has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, Luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!
Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often.
I really do need to get out more ;-)