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Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele

These more sophisticated, contemporary chord voicings find their way into a wide variety of music.

PUBLISHED: Jan 2, 2005 UPDATED: Oct 12, 2015 • LESSON CODE: UL42-7j

Instruments: ukulele Subjects: intermediateadvancedchordsjazzcore

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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.

This is an expanded and improved version of my Building A Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for Ukulele workshop that I've presented several times at various ukulele festivals over the past several years.

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This is an expanded and improved version of my Building A Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for Ukulele workshop that I've presented several times at various ukulele festivals over the past several years.

The original article, for jazz guitar was published in Just Jazz Guitar magazine. I revised and improved it since the original publication.

Numeric Chord Formula

The secret / not so secret code to unraveling where the notes of a chord come from.

From knowing the Numeric Chord Formula of any chord you can get to the notes of that chord from its corresponding major scale. And, inversely from the names of the notes of a chord you can get to its numeric formula. For some chords it will be the intervals that come before the names of the chord tones, for other chords it might be the intervals first. The order does not matter, only the outcome.

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Related Lessons

Related Lessons for Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele at this time.

Chord Shapes and Learning `Ukulele Chords • Updated: Jan 11, 2020

Pick up any chord dictionary, and one thought that should go through your mind is - TOO MANY CHORDS There is now way to memorize all those shapes. It would be better off learning how they came up with all those shapes. Most chord dictionaries are also just like pages transposed to all possible keys.

Understanding a `Ukulele Chord Diagram • Updated: Jul 24, 2011

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.

In this lesson the basic chord diagram as used for ukulele is explained.

Altered Seventh Chords on `Ukulele • Updated: Apr 4, 2014

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#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed from your core set of chords.

Chord Spelling - An Alternate Approach • Updated: Nov 26, 2018

An alternate approach to determining the chord tones of any chord. Bottom-line is, it's the notes that make the chord, not the shape. A C chord is C, E, G - NOT this or that shape.

Cool `Ukulele Chords - G7 • Updated: Mar 13, 2015

A non-traditional fingering for the G7 chord using the knowledge that the notes of a G7 chord are G B D F.

Creating Cool `Ukulele Chords • Updated: Mar 13, 2015

Cool Chords - These are the chords do not typically show up in chord dictionaries or song books. These are the chords players ask, "What is that chord?"

Movable `Ukulele Chords • Updated: Mar 18, 2020

A series of weekly ukulele lessons originally presented throughout 2007 on movable ukulele chords as the "Ukulele Chord of The Week Series". Based on the Ukulele Chords book by Curt Sheller (me). It takes the open position chords and shows the movable form and the variations.

Learning the `Ukulele Fingerboard (Finally!!!) • Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Most players struggle with learning the names of the notes of the ukulele fingerboard. There doesn't seem to a pattern and notes repeat. There is an easy way and "it's easier that you think." Most players know the names of the open strings for their favorite tuning.

Dominant Seventh Chords? • Updated: Feb 10, 2020

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

Upper Partial Chord Tones • Updated: Feb 3, 2017

Upper Partials or extensions for chords are the 9th, 11th, and 13ths of a chord. The 9, 11 and 13 can be altered chord tones depending on the type: e.g: b9, #9, #11, b13. These numbers, the 9, 11 and 13 refer to the scale tone/chord tone relative to the major scale used for building all chords.

Core Chords - The Big Six - Building a Solid Chord Foundation • Updated: Sep 7, 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.

Types of `Ukulele Chords • Updated: Dec 31, 2019

Naturally, for Ukuleles, 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. Chord can be categorized into four categories: "Open Position Chords", "Movable Form Chords", "4-part - a.k.a. Jazz Chords", and "Free Form Chords."

Classic Endings for `Ukulele • Updated: Mar 16, 2020

Two Feel, bVImaj7 bIImaj7, Basie Ending, Single, Double and Triple Tags, Chromatic, Take 'A' Train Ending, Shave and a Hair Cut, Lawrence Welk Ending. These are common classic songs ending that are used over and over in the standard song repertoire.

Creating Introductions and Turnarounds for `Ukulele • Updated: Mar 20, 2020

Introductions are a composed or improvised pieces of music that introduce - sets the stage for - a song or composition. Introductions, or intro for short, are used in all types of music. In this lesson, the focus is on introductions in contemporary pop, rock, blues, country, folk and jazz styles.

Alternate Fingerings for F7 • Updated: Jan 19, 2014

Alternate fingerings for F7 in C tuning. The same fingerings would apply to C7 in G tuning and G7 in D tuning.

Learning Core Seventh Chords on `Ukulele • Updated: Mar 16, 2020

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. Then you can create more advanced chords like 9#11, 7#5-9, 13b5, 7+9 on the fly as needed.

Exploring Jazz ``Ukulele • Updated: Jun 24, 2009

Wikipedia defines "Jazz" as a musical art form which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note.

Chord Substitution on `Ukulele • Updated: Apr 1, 2014

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

This lesson covers some of the underlining principles that are used to substitute one chords or a series of chords for another.

This particular lesson is for ukulele. However the chord substitution principles relate to any instrument.

Transposing Individual `Ukulele Chords • Updated: Jun 15, 2019

"Transposition" is the process of moving a note, chord, scale or any musical passage 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 on ukulele and transposing chords.

Related Books

Related Books for Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele at this time.

A Guide to Advanced Ukulele Chords - Volume I
Updated: Feb 13, 2020

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. A Guide to Advanced Chords for Ukulele - presents a highly organized and efficient approach to the mysterious subject of advanced chords. Chord dictionaries are not the answer.

Exploring Jazz Chords on Ukulele
Updated: Nov 24, 2009

Exploring jazz chords using a variety of common chord progressions based on songs from the standard jazz repertoire. Core Chords are the basic set of chords needed to play a wide range of music, in a variety of styles. This set of chords includes basic open position chords, basic movable form chords and the core 4-part "jazz" chords.

Learning the Ukulele Fingerboard - C Tuning
Updated: Jun 28, 2021

Finally, learn the names of the notes of the fingerboard. Learning the notes of your instrument allows you the flexibility of not having to remember so many shapes. There are simply way too many chords, scale and notes patterns, and shapes to remember. It all comes down the notes.

Related Songs

Related Songs for Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele at this time.

Joy Spring Updated: Oct 1, 2011

Clifford Brown (October 30, 1930 – June 26, 1956), aka "Brownie," was an influential and highly rated American jazz trumpeter.

Yesterday Updated: Jan 28, 2020

Yesterday is a song originally recorded by The Beatles for their 1965 album Help!. The song first hit the United Kingdom top 10 three months after the release of Help!. The song remains popular today with more than 1,600 cover versions, one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music. The song was not released as a single in the UK at the time of its release in the United States, and thus never gained number 1 single status in that country. However, “Yesterday” was voted the best song of the 20th century in a 1999 BBC Radio 2 poll of music experts and listeners.

Related Lesson Files, Resources and Assets

Related Assets for Building a Solid Jazz Chord Foundation for `Ukulele at this time.

Transposing Individual Ukulele Chords Updated: Dec 31, 2016

A Guide to Advanced Chords Series - Chord Building Chart Updated: Dec 31, 2016

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