Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation

An introduction to the series of lessons for building your core, essential 4-part chords.

Published: Jan 2, 2005 Updated: Mar 11, 2015

ukulele | Subjects: jazzintermediateadvancedchordscore

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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.

The Big Six chords include: Seventh 7, Major Seventh maj7, Minor Seventh m7, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five diminished 7 m7b5, Diminished Seventh o7, and Augmented Seventh +7. These six chords form a core set of chords.


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Core Chords is a series of UkuleleLessons for building your core 4-part, aka “jazz” chords. These chords commonly called “jazz” chords, are really just 4-part chords that are used in a wide range of musical styles.

These lessons present a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of advanced chords. Chord dictionaries are not the answer. Even chord theory does not offer any insight into unraveling the complexity of Ukulele chord voicings.

Building Your Core Chord Foundation

Sometimes called a “dominant 7th” chord, the 7th chord provides a great foundation for building your core chords.

From the following four 7th chords you can build a set of chords which include: Seventh (7), Major Seventh (maj7), Minor Seventh (m7), Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five ø7 (m7b5), Diminished Seventh (°7) and Augmented Seventh (+7). These six chords form a core set of chords.

Beyond basic open position chords , basic movable form chords , core set of 4-part contemporary chords . There are just too many chords shapes too memorize. Learning the principles of how chords are constructed and the ukulele fingerboard are the way to go. Then you can create more advanced chords like 9#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed.

Seventh chords are the chords that have the most possible variations. 9th, 11th, 13th, b5, #5, b9, #9. And, combinations of the same.

From four F7 chord voicings or shapes, your can build your massive 4-part, a.k.a., “jazz” chord vocabulary.

F7_AEbFC.png F7_CFAEb.png F7_EbACF.png F7_FCEbA.png


click on any one of the individual F7 chords above to start the lesson
for that particular voicing or shape.

Why F7?

F7_AEbFC.png Why this F7? Why not a C7, E7, G7 - the other open position seventh chords that these chords are based on?

This F7 is based on the E7 and the only one of the E7, C7, A7 and G7 that their first position, first fret (1) transposable versions are a natural letter chord name. That way you don't have to worry about Enharmonic Equivalents such as C#7,Db7, Bb7, or G#7 and Ab7.


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Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation at this time.

Movable 7th Chords for Ukulele Chord Chart - C Tuning

A handy dandy single sheet chart showing the each voicing of the four, seventh chords Big Six seventh chord voicings.


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Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation at this time.

Naming Chords on `Ukulele

A Chord can have alternate names based on how it is being used. A chord's function is an important determining factor in naming a chord.

Transposing Individual `Ukulele Chords

Transposition is the process of moving notes, chords, scales or any musical passages from one key to another key. All music can be transposed, from a single note to a complex musical score. This lesson deals with transposing chords.

Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele

Commonly called jazz chords, these more sophisticated, contemporary chord voicings find their way into a wide variety of music forms and styles. This lesson is the first on the series that builds your core foundation for these chords.

Dominant Seventh Chords?

Not all seventh chords are actually "dominant" seventh chords. This lesson covers when is a Dominant Seventh Chord NOT truly a Dominant seventh?

Chord Substitution on `Ukulele

A chord substitution is when one chord replaces another chord or is used in addition to a current chord.

Understanding a `Ukulele Chord Diagram

There're a lot different ways to show chord shapes, diagrams and images on a fretted instrument. This is the basic chord diagram I use in all my lessons and book.

Types of `Ukulele Chords

Naturally, for ukulele, all chords need to be voiced using only the four strings available. You would think that this is limiting when in actuality it's quite liberating when you learn the makeup of chords. This lesson covers the types of chords possible on ukulele.

Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 1st Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing.

Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 2nd Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing.

Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 3rd Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing.

Core Chords - Creating the Big Six from F7, 4th Voicing

Taking a movable F7 chord, you can derive each of the Big Six essential chords. 7, maj7, m7, m7b5, dim7, and aug7 from that voicing.

Altered Seventh Chords on `Ukulele

Beyond basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and a core set of 4-part chords. There are just too many chords shapes too memorize. Learning the principles of how chords are constructed and the ukulele fingerboard are the way to go. You can then create more advanced chords like 9#117#5-913b57+9 on the fly as needed from your core set of chords.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Books for Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation at this time.

A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I

Beyond learning basic Ukulele chords most players struggle with advanced chords. Commonly called 'jazz' chords, these more sophisticated voicings find a wide use in all forms of music.

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele

Exploring jazz chords using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire.

The Advanced Guide to Guitar Chords - Volume I

Commonly referred to as jazz chords, this book provides detailed information on voicing 4-part chords. Covers common string families.

A Guide to Blues Chord Progressions for Ukulele A to Z

The Blues are at the heart of all American music. It has influenced Country, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Bluegrass and just about every form of American music we listen to today.

Related Lesson Series

Related Lessons Series for Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation at this time.

The Big Six Core Chords - Level Four

The Big Six Core Chords - Level Four series of chords that build on the Bix Six Core Chords and form the foundation for ALL your jazz chords include: Alternations and Extensions to the level I, II and II chords.

The Big Six Core Chords - Level One

The Big Six Core Chords - Level One include: Seventh 7, Major Seventh maj7, Minor Seventh m7, Half Diminished Seventh or Minor Seven Flat Five diminished 7 (m7b5), Diminished Seventh °7 and Augmented Seventh +7. These six chords form a core set of chords.

The Big Six Core Chords - Level Three

The The Big Six Core Chords - Level Three series of chords that build on the Bix Six Core Chords and form the foundation for ALL your jazz chords include: Diminished Major Seventh ( dimL7 ) and Augmented Major Seventh ( augL7 ).

The Big Six Core Chords - Level Two

The Big Six Core Chords - Level Two series of chords that build on the Bix Six Core Chords and form the foundation for ALL your jazz chords include: Major Sixth ( 6 ), Minor Sixth ( m6 ) and Minor-Major Seventh ( mL7 ).

Related Songs

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Related Lessons Series for Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation at this time.

No videos for Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation at this time. Filming a lot of videos for various lessons, songs and books.

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