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The Six Most Important Chord Progressions in Jazz

The Six Most Important Chord Progressions in Jazz

Jazz is considered a melting pot of all the genres, and rightfully so, as it was the first modern musical style to fuse blues and classical music while simultaneously breaking the rules of both genres to create its own distinct place in music history.

Since then, we’ve seen jazz fall by the wayside in popularity, but that’s not to say jazz is dead. In fact, you might argue that jazz is the reason all other music is alive, as its influence has echoed throughout the universe of music, most notably in the harmonic construction of nearly every song we hear today.

Where it’s top 40 hits, alternative rock or heavy metal, the chord progressions are all built from the same basis of understanding–a basis that jazz helped form. When you think of jazz chord progressions specifically, a few come to mind, such as the ii-V-I cadence which–spoiler alert–is the first progression on my list in the video below.

Other chord progressions that make the cut, however, are much more interesting and provide a landscape for extremely creative guitar playing, especially when you start to adjust the chord construction and extensions.

Be sure to sign up for my course, Guitar Super System, to fill in any gaps in your music theory knowledge that may exist, because in the world of jazz, you’re only as good as the last sharp nine flat thirteen drop 3 voicing you played.

Tyler Larson is the founder of the guitar-centric website Music is Win. His entertaining guitar-related content receives hundreds of thousands of video views on Facebook per month, and his online guitar courses tout more than 1,500 students with a cumulative 4.7 rating on Udemy. Get in touch with Tyler on Facebook, watch more of his guitar lessons and vlogs on YouTube, and follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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