How Jazz Guitar Chords Charts Can Improve Your Guitar Skills

Many musicians utilize jazz chords guitar charts to learn how to play jazz music accurately. Chord charts show musicians precisely where and how to play certain chords. Guitar chords charts show them how to do this on a guitar. To make the most of jazz chord guitar charts, one must thoroughly understand the elements that make up each chord. Let’s take a look at why a guitar chords chart is so important in jazz music, and how jazz chord progression helps create the music we love.

What are Chord Charts?

When looking for a guitar chords chart, the first thing you’ll notice is the structure. Jazz guitar is unique to other styles of guitar play, which in turn means you can expect different structures. Basic jazz chords guitar progression looks differently than other styles.

Chord charts in general consist of the basic formulas for creating music in a specific style. They are a form of musical notation and provide an overview of harmonic and rhythmic information to create songs in a specific tone. In the case of a jazz guitar chord chart, they provide musicians with the notations they need to develop complex harmonies and rhythms in line with the genre.

For beginners, chord charts provide the jazz chord progression they need to learn in order to progress to improvisation and song creation. Memorizing the complexities of each chord, and chord combinations, isn’t easy and often takes years to perfect.

Each chart includes a rundown of the most important chords for jazz guitar. Chords will range the gamut from minor to major, with diminished and minor chords falling right in line. When it comes to jazz chords guitar combinations, these chord charts can provide valuable information and save time.

Why Do You Need a Guitar Chords Chart?

A guitar chord chart breaks down the tiniest bits of information and assimilates it into more digestible forms. For example, when it comes to jazz chord progression, the complexities of each chord progression can get lost among daily practice. A guitar chords chart, however, can provide a quick and easy guide for beginners and seasoned players when they want to experiment with different sounds in their music.

Condensed in these seemingly small and insignificant charts are the keys to jazz music. They provide the information needed to actually play jazz music from start to finish. Every great jazz musician has referenced a jazz guitar chord chart at one point or another, and many tout the benefits of doing so right from the start of your jazz career.

In addition to showing you which chords are the most popular for jazz chord progression, a guitar chord chart also shows you precisely which fret to place your finger on, and in some cases which finger to place there. The better your understanding of jazz chords is, the better your ability to play jazz music will be.

Top Jazz Chords for Guitar

Contained within each guitar chords chart are the best and most widely used jazz chords for guitar. Here are a few of the top jazz chords for guitar, so you know which chords the best chord charts should include.

  • Cmaj7
  • C7
  • Cm7
  • Cm7b5
  • Cdim7
  • Dm7
  • Ebm7
  • Ebmaj7
  • Emaj7
  • Fm7
  • Fm7b5
  • Gmaj7
  • Gm7
  • Gdim7
  • Abm7
  • Abm7b5

Each chord has several variations. Learning each variation enables jazz musicians to explore the entire range of jazz chords on guitar.  Chord charts offer musicians an opportunity to discover new sounds and new ways of playing, each being more difficult than the last. However, part of the joy from learning how to play jazz music comes when challenges are faced.

Once a musician has most of these chords memorized by heart, he or she can then explore improvisation, which is so often what most are interested in. Learning jazz chords guitar rhythms and progressions is the foundation on which all musicians can build their musical career. Experimentation and growth can happen long before a jazz guitar player learns all of these chords, but having a jazz chords guitar chart can immensely improve skills and an understanding of jazz music itself.

On that note, another important area of jazz music is jazz chord progression. Let’s take a closer look at what that is and how it affects jazz music on the whole.

Jazz Chord Progression—Why It Matters

Learning how to play jazz music can be complicated. For some, the overwhelm of the task at hand prevents them from starting.

As with most anything in life, however, simplifying things makes learning how to play jazz music much easier. And fortunately, jazz can easily be made simple.

 In reality, there are only a few jazz chords guitar uses over and over in jazz music. By and large, these are the same few with some variations. Jazz chord progression, in contrast, helps you learn each of these chords and how best to use them in a jazz music ‘sentence’.

From chord charts to jazz chord progressions, jazz musicians use tools and methods to break down the inner workings of jazz music. Jazz chord progressions are outlined in detail in most jazz chords guitar charts, but it helps to know what you are looking for beforehand.

There are three basic jazz chord progressions that make learning other chords on your guitar chords chart much easier. These are, ii-V-I, Minor ii-V-I, and I-vi-ii-V. As far as jazz chords guitar music is concerned, these are the core elements on which all other jazz chord progressions are built.

Having chord charts easily accessible while learning how to play jazz guitar is invaluable. Your guitar chord chart should reflect the previously mentioned progressions and include the top chords used in jazz music. With these tools fixed firmly in your toolbox, you’ll be able to learn jazz chords on guitar and become a pro in no time.

Marc-André Séguin is the webmaster, “brains behind” and teacher on, the #1 online resource for learning how to play jazz guitar. Marc-André draws from his experience both as a professional jazz guitarist and professional jazz teacher to help thousands of people from all around the world learn the craft of jazz guitar. This includes over 5 years of teaching one-on-one on Skype and over 15 years of teaching “in person” lessons.

About the website: has thousands of unique daily visitors, over a million views on Jazz Guitar Lessons Youtube Channel, curious students from all continents … and the website continues to grow steadily! Together with the website is which contains numerous of Jazz Guitar Courses.


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