If you want to know how to play jazz chords on the piano, this is the blog post for you! We’ll go over some of the basics and get you playing jazz chords in no time.
Jazz music is a unique genre that includes a range of styles, from early ragtime to more modern, experimental sounds. One of the hallmarks of jazz music is its use of chords, which are combinations of three or more notes played simultaneously. Jazz chords can be complex and tricky to play, but they add a rich texture and depth to the music.
In this guide, we’ll give you some tips on how to play jazz chords on piano. We’ll start with some basic chord shapes and progressions, and then we’ll show you how to add more sophisticated voicings and embellishments. With a little practice, you’ll be playing Jazz standards in no time!
The Basics of Jazz Chords
When learning how to play jazz chords on piano, there are a few basic things you need to know. Jazz chords are usually built on the seventh scale degree of the major scale, which gives them a distinctive sound. They can be played in various ways, but the most common way is to use a root-position triad with added sevenths.
Jazz chords can be played in both major and minor keys, but they are most commonly found in major keys. The reason for this is because seventh chords have a strong tonal center, which is what gives them their characteristic sound. In minor keys, however, seventh chords can sound dissonant and unstable.
There are many different types of jazz chords, but the most common ones are major seventh chords, dominant seventh chords, and minor seventh chords. Major seventh chords are made up of a root, a third, a fifth, and a seventh. Dominant seventh chords are made up of a root, a third, a fifth, and a flat seventh. Minor seventh chords are made up of a root, a flat third, a fifth, and a flat seventh.
Knowing how to play jazz chords on piano is essential for any jazz pianist. Jazz piano is all about improvising and creating your own sound. By learning the basics of jazz chords you will be well on your way to becoming a great jazz pianist!
Jazz Chord Progressions
Jazz chord progressions are musical progressions where chords are played in a specific order. There are many different jazz chord progressions that you can learn, and each one has a unique sound.
One of the most important things to understand about jazz chord progressions is that they are usually not based on major or minor scales. Instead, they often use “altered” chords, which are chords that have been modified to include sharps or flats. This gives them a more complex sound than regular chords.
learning jazz chord progressions on piano, it’s important to start by learning some basic Jazz theory. This will help you understand how the chords work together and why they sound the way they do. Once you have a good understanding of the theory behind Jazz progressions, you can start learning some of the most popular progressions.
Jazz Chord Voicings
Jazz chord voicings are different from chords in other genres of music. In jazz, the chords are often more complex, with more than just three notes. Jazz piano voicings are used to create a richer, fuller sound.
There are many different ways to play jazz chords on piano. The most important thing is to experiment and find the voicings that you like the best. Here are some basic voicings that you can use as a starting point:
-Major 7th: The major 7th chord is one of the most important chords in jazz. It is usually played as a four-note chord, with the root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th scale degrees.
-Minor 7th: The minor 7th chord is also very important in jazz. It is usually played as a four-note chord, with the root, flattened 3rd, 5th, and 7th scale degrees.
-Dominant 7th: The dominant 7th chord is another important chord in jazz. It is usually played as a four-note chord, with the root, 3rd, 5th, and flattened 7th scale degrees.
-9th: The 9th chord is another common type of chord in jazz. It is usually played as a five-note chord, with the root, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 9th scale degrees.
-11th: The 11th chord is sometimes used in jazz. It is usually played as a five-note chord, with the root, 3rd, 5th, flattened 7th
Jazz Chord Substitutions
While there are no definitive rules in jazz chord substitution, there are some Substitutions that are used more often than others. These “tritone substitutions” replace one chord with another chord a tritone (or three whole steps) away. For example, a C7 chord can be replaced with a F7 chord, since they are both a tritone away from G.
Jazz Chord Extensions
Jazz chord extensions are simply chords that have been extended to include additional notes. These extra notes added to the chord can create a richer, more full-sounding chord. They can also add to the overall complexity of the chord and make it more difficult to play. However, with a little practice, you can learn how to play these chords and add them into your jazz piano playing.
There are many different types of chord extensions that you can use in your playing. The most common ones are seventh chords, ninth chords, and eleventh chords. You can also find chord extensions that go even higher, such as thirteenth chords. To get started, let’s take a look at seventh chords and how they are built.
Seventh chords are built by adding an extra note to a triad (a three-note chord). The most common seventh chord is the dominant seventh. This type of seventh chord is created by adding a minor seventh interval above the root note of the chord. For example, if you were to build a C7 chord, you would start with a C major triad (C-E-G) and then add a Bb (the minor seventh interval above C). This would give you the notes C-E-G-Bb, which form a C7 chord.
Ninth chords are similar to seventh chords in that they are built by adding an extra note to a triad. However, instead of adding a minor seventh interval above the root note, you add a major ninth interval. For example, if you wanted to build an Eb9 chord, you would start with an Eb major triad (Eb-G-Bb) and then add an D (the major ninth interval above Eb). This would give you the notes Eb-G-Bb-D, which form an Eb9 chord.
Eleventh chords are built in the same way as ninth chords, but with one addition: you also add an octave above the root note. So, if we wanted to build an Ab11 chord, we would start with an Ab major triad (Ab-Ce-F) and then add an Db (the major ninth interval above Ab) and Gb (the octave above Ab). This gives us the notes Ab-Ce-F-Db-Gb, which form an Ab11 chord
Jazz Chord Embellishments
Jazz musicians often add embellishments to chords to create more interesting sounding harmony. These embellishments can come in the form of additional notes, or simply by changing the order in which the notes of a chord are played.
One of the most common jazz chord embellishments is called a passing chord. A passing chord is simply a chord that is played between two other chords. For example, if you are playing a C major chord, you could add a G7 (a common passing chord for C major) in between the C and F chords.
Another common jazz chord embellishment is called an anticipatory chord. An anticipatory chord is a chord that is played just before the next chord in the progression. For example, if you were playing a ii-V-I progression in C major (Dmin7-G7-Cmaj7), you could add an A7 (the iii chord) just before the Dmin7.
There are many other types of jazz chords embellishments (e.g., upper structure triads, tritone substitution, etc.), but these are two of the most common. Experiment with different types of embellishments to find what sounds best for you.
Jazz Chord Progressions in Minor Keys
When it comes to jazz piano chords, there are certain progressions that crop up time and time again. These progressions can be found in minor keys as well as major keys, but they tend to sound more dramatic when they’re played in a minor key. If you’re just starting out with jazz piano, here are three minor key chord progressions that you should learn.
One of the most important things to remember when playing jazz piano is that the chords don’t have to be played in root position. In fact, it’s often more effective to play them in an inversion or even to omit the root altogether. This gives the chord progression a more fluid sound and prevents it from sounding too “stiff” or “ blocky”.
Here is the first minor key chord progression:
i –vi– ii – V – i
And here is how you might play it:
The first chord is a Dm7b5, which can be written as D-F-A-C-Eb. The second chord is a Bbmaj7, which can be written as Bb-D-F-A. The third chord is an Ebmaj7, which can be written as Eb-G-Bb-D. The fourth chord is a Ab7, which can be written as Ab-C-Eb-G. And the fifth and final chord is a Dm7, which can be written as D-F-A-C.
Jazz Chord Progressions in Major Keys
Piano chord progressions in major keys follow the pattern I-IV-V-I. The first chord is the tonic chord, the fourth is the subdominant, and the fifth is the dominant. In jazz, these chords are often extended to include the seventh, ninth, and eleventh notes of the scale. The tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords can be played in any order, but the most common progression is to start with the tonic, move to the subdominant, then to the dominant, and back to the tonic. This progression is known as a “ii-V-I” or “two-five-one.”
There are many different ways to play jazz chords on piano. The most important thing is to find a sound that you like and that works for the piece of music you’re playing. Experiment with different voicings and rhythmic patterns. You may want to use block chords, where all of the notes of the chord are played at once, or broken chords, where the notes are played one at a time. You can also add passing tones or chromatic embellishments to jazz up your chord progressions.
Now that you know the basics of how to play jazz chords on piano, you can start experimenting with different voicings and progressions. As you become more comfortable with the style, you’ll develop your own sound and technique. Remember to have fun and enjoy making beautiful music!