Welcome to Lesson 2 of the Jazz Chords Workshop. 

If this is your first time here, I highly recommend attending lesson 1 before continuing this lesson. Click here for lesson 1. 

Lesson 2 introduces the next voicing group for the middle group of strings centred around the 7th and 10th frets. Let us call this Group B Voicings (Middle Set).

Click the video below to watch the lesson.

Learning Aids

The chord shapes and TABs for this lesson are presented below.

Jazz Chords Workshop Lesson 2 Jazz Group B Voicings (Middle Set)

Primary Takeaways

The main takeaways of lesson 2 are as follows:

1. Group B Voicings are centred between the 7th and 10th frets.

Similar to lesson 1, the objective of the lesson is to learn the chords as part of a sequence. The chord progression is the same but the way we play it is different.

2. This lesson’s group of chord ‘sequences’ are inversions of the previous lesson’s chords

You may find some of this week’s chords unusual but they are simply ‘inversions’ of the same chords introduced previously. Think of an inversion as playing the same chord at a different fret location.

3. The Dm7 chord shape in this lesson is the same chord shape as the Am7 in Lesson 1.

This week we are learning a new inversion of Dm7. However, you might notice that you already learnt this chord shape in the previous lesson as the Am7 chord shape. The only difference is that it is at a different location this week, hence the different chord name. You will find this a recurring phenomenon throughout the course in that each week’s first chord is the previous week’s chord in bar 7. This will help with your learning by reducing the amount of memory work.

4. The E7(b9) shape doesn’t change

By now, you would notice that the E7(b9) chord in bar 6 retains its shape from the previous voicing group. This makes it easier to remember and apply this chord in the context of a minor II-V-I. In other words, one less thing to remember!

Closer examination will reveal that these chords are exactly 3 frets apart. In other words a minor 3rd apart. There is only one other chord that does this and that is the diminished chord. More specifically the Diminished 7th chord. We will revisit the Diminished 7th concept after completion of the entire course. For now, just know that a dominant 7(b9) chord is also a diminished 7th chord.

Tips for faster learning

Practise in the ‘Dark’

An old college professor introduced this to me when I was in college. This can be done by either blindfolding, closing our eyes, or literally switching off the lights. As such, this forces us to feel our way around the fretboard. In other words, we train our fingers to hold the correct notes without us seeing the fretboard. Also, this trains our ears to recognize when we get the chords right but also when we get the chords wrong! Therefore, it forces us then to fine-tune our muscle memory to work harder to achieve the right outcomes.

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