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Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation MEMBER LESSON
Published: 2005-01-02 Updated: 2015-03-11 00:00:00 • 7963

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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.

by Curt Sheller, Curt Sheller Publications

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 This 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.


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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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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.

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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

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