How To Play Jazz Piano Chords
To learn jazz piano chords, you will use
additional techniques beyond the minor, major and 7th chords. There are a
wide variety of chords and they should all be mastered in order to fully understand jazz music.
Introduction to basic chords are necessary, therefore refreshing yourself with chord theory will be greatly
beneficial in understanding jazz chords.
Practice and hard work will also be essential to master new chords. Memorization of these chords will also help
to play gospel music.
The first step is to understand how a 7th chord functions. To achieve a 7th chord, you must lower the 7th note
of the major scale by one semi-tone. Therefore, the chord is played by pressing C, E, F, and Bb. In order to create
any chord higher than 7, it must include the lowered 7th note. If the word add is located in front of the chord,
you do not add the 7th note.
Therefore, to play Cadd9, you will play C, E, G, and D. It is very important to remember this vital step to
achieve proper results. If you are experiencing difficulties understanding this concept, returning to the basics of
chord construction is required.
The next important jazz piano chord is the C9. This chord will include the 7th
chord because it does not have the word add in front of the 9. Play this chord by utilizing the 1st, 3rd, 5th,
lowered 7th and 9th notes of the major scale. You will discovery which note is the 3rd, 5th, and 7th by
counting forwards from the original note.
This means that the C9 chord will be played with C, E, G, Bb, and D. The fifth note of this chord is often
dropped. There are too many notes in this chord, and therefore dropping the last note may make it more appropriate
for your song selection. C11 is the next important chord.
By adding a subsequent note to C9, we will uncover the 11th chord. The notes included are the 1st, 3rd, 7th, and
11th notes of the major scale. This means that notes selected are C, E, G, Bb, D,
and F. Once again, the 5th and 9th notes may be left out to suit your needs.
There are three more important chords in order to successfully play jazz piano music. A diminished chord
involves playing the 1st note, the lowered 3rd note and the lowered 5th note of the major scale.
Therefore, Cdim is played by utilizing C, Eb, and Gb. A diminished 7th chord involves playing the diminished
chord with the added feature of the 7th note lowered by two semi-tones. The result utilizes the notes C, Eb, Gb,
You can also augment a chord by raising the 5th note of a scale by a semi-tone. The chords included are the 1st,
3rd, and raised 5th note of a major scale. For example, Caug is C, E, and G#.
Jazz piano chords can sometimes be tricky to understand and to master. You will need time and patience in order
to successfully grasp its concept and theory.
Practicing with jazz sheet music is always a great idea.