More Jazz Piano Chords

On the previous page I taught you the formula for many of the most common 7th chords which are used in jazz. However, I should mention, that even though chords can be used in any style of music, they are found predominantly in jazz music. Anything from classic standards to progressive jazz.

A good exercise to help you learn these chord formulas starting on other notes is to start with a new major chord, let's say the G major chord, and work your way through each individual formula.

This is actually a very enjoyable exercise and the understanding of chords that you'll acquire from this simple exercise will increase your musical knowledge by leaps and bounds in just one session.

I have the general formulas without any notes filled in displayed below for the family of G chords. Grab a cup of coffee, notepad and pencil and go sit at your piano and start figuring out each chord. It's not difficult if you do it in the logical order that I have listed below.

Review the family of C chords on the previous page if necessary and have fun!

When you've completed the following exercise, click the link at the bottom of this page for the answers.

G Major Scale

 G   A   B   C   D   E  F#  G 
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

The G major chord is...

G =

Using the G major scale shown above as your foundation, build a Gmaj7 chord.

Gmaj7 =

From the previous chord above, lower the major 7th to convert the chord to a G7. This is also known as a dominant 7th chord.

G7 =

From the previous chord above, lower the 3rd a half step to convert G7 to a Gm7 chord.

Gm7 =

Working from the chord directly above, lower the 5th a half step to convert the Gm7 to a Gm7(b5) chord.

(b5) represents a flatted 5th.

Gm7(b5) =

A jazz songbook might represent this chord as a half diminished chord. The chord symbol for a G half diminished 7th chord would be: Gø7

Once again, using the G major scale as our starting point, a Gø7 would be made up of a 1, flatted 3rd, flatted 5th and flatted 7th.

From the previous chord above, lower the 7th a half step to convert the Gø7 to a fully diminished 7th chord.

Gdim7 =

Subtract the 7th from the chord above, and you have a plain old diminished chord.

Gdim =

It's easier to think of a diminished chord as a minor chord with a flatted 5th. Just remove the 7th from the Gm7 chord above, and you have a Gm chord. Click the link below for the answers to this exercise.

Answers To The Chord Exercise - The Family of G Chords


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