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Lesson 76: Chord Tones

Learning to Find Chord Tones

Pick a tune:

  • a blues
  • rhythm changes
  • a jazz standard

Play through the entire form, playing the root of each chord. Then try the third, then the fifth and last the seventh/ sixth of each chord. Also try different combinations.

The next thing to do is to arpeggiate every chord. Try different permutations, such as:

  • 1357
  • 1753
  • 1537
and so on. Do this all over the fingerboard. The goal is to be able to find any chord tone of any chord anywhere on the fingerboard, without thought.

Check out my etudes:

Using Chord Tones

Playing around the chord tones of a tune is an excellent way to play jazz. The next thing you will need is neighbor tones and targeting/ enclosure, which is the subject of lesson 77.

Example: Bluezo by Hal Crook

Bluezo by Hal Crook is a very strong blues head. I have written out below the melody what degree each of the tones of the melody is. As you can see, the melody of Bluezo is almost chord tones exclusively and that is part of what makes it so strong.

2006 Tomas Karlsson. All rights reserved.