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Guitar for Songwriters by Leo Cavanagh

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10Jazz Chords and Progressions: Adding Some Spice

IT’S TIME TO PUT THESE CHORDS TOGETHER. Jazz chords—major sevenths, minor sevenths, ninths, thirteenths, and beyond—add a new level of richness to the sound of chord progressions.

II-V-I

In blues, folk, and country music, the I, IV, and V7 are the most common chords. In jazz and much music with more sophisticated harmony, the II-V-I progression is a cornerstone.

In the harmonized scale, chords are derived by adding two notes, each a third apart, to each note of a major scale. Adding one more note a third higher to each of these chords gives so-called “jazz” chords—major 7ths and minor 7ths.

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