Welcome to Lesson 3 of the Jazz Chords Workshop. 

Lesson 3 introduces the next voicing group for the middle group of strings centred around the 10th and 13th frets. Let us call this Group C Voicings (Middle Set)

Click the video below to watch the lesson.

Learning Aids

The chord shapes and TABs are provided as follows.

Jazz Chords Workshop Lesson 3 Jazz Group C Voicings (Middle Set)

Primary Takeaways

The main takeaways of lesson 3 are as follows:

1. Build Confidence with these chord changes

By the 3rd group of voicings, you would start notice the similarities in terms of the sound of the Circle of 5th’s progression. You will also notice the minor II V I chords have almost a familiar structure as their major II V I counterparts. Not only do they occupy the same fret space, most of the notes are exactly the same. You are basically learning the correct chord without needing to understand the theory. This is by design because theory can be dry. It is better to be able to play first and understand later, that is, if you so desire. We call this learn by doing (or in our case, by playing).

2. Notice the smoothness in the chord changes

These chord voicing changes already take into account the smooth transition of notes from one chord to the next. This is called ‘voice leading‘ which basically refers to the smooth interchange of chord tones (i.e. voices) when changing chords. At this stage we need not understand voice leading any deeper than this. Just learn the chords as prescribed in each lesson and the mechanics involved will subconsciously ingrain the voice leading into our learning. If you are keen to learn about voice leading, I will park it under the theory course.

3. Build Finger Muscle-Memory

The main objectives of the lessons is to learn the chord changes according to the voicing groups. By learning, we mean acquiring the ability to play the changes. It is pointless to remember the images in our heads but are unable to play them on the fretboard. Therefore practice, practice and practice some more!

Tips for faster learning


1. Keep practising in the ‘Dark’

As introduced in lesson 2, a useful tip to accelerate your learning is to practise in the dark. Do this only once your fingers have somewhat gotten used to the chord fingerings.

2. Apply the exercises to a backing track

By the 3rd lesson, some of you might find the learning to be repetitive or recurrent. Understandably, some learners may not want to learn all variations of the changes. In other words, playing in one position might be enough for them. However, this course was designed to train the guitarist to achieve total mastery of these chords over the entire fretboard.

If you are keen on acquiring this knowledge, sometimes we need to find ways to continue motivating ourselves. A good way is to play the progression against a backing track. When you become more proficient and nail the changes correctly, psychologically we reward ourselves mentally for achieving the successful result. Hopefully this will make us enjoy the learning and want to learn even more.

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