Playing jazz chords takes a completely different approach from playing the regular grips you learn when you start playing the guitar.

If you’re new to playing jazz chords, this section is incredibly important. You’ll see quickly why, as building jazz chords around the core (3rd and 7th) will instantly bring your focus against what are the important notes in the chord, what notes can be omitted or changed (!), as well as the importance of good voice leading when you comp.

By learning chords this way, you will soon be able to play any standards or jazz classics right of the sheet without needing to rehearse first, and also have several variations on any given chord, so your comping becomes less static.


This is where you begin learning to build jazz chords, and how the inner voices of your chords move from chord to chord.

Click Here to download lesson material for JAZZ COMPING FOR BEGINNERS 1-10 (Sheet music/mp3 files)

Jazz Comping For Beginners 1
Introduction to the jazz way of playing chords, and the 7 core chords with root on 6th string.

Jazz Comping For Beginners 2
The 7 core chords with root on 5th string

Jazz Comping For Beginners 3
Basic comping rhythm, root on 6th string

Jazz Comping For Beginners 4
Basic comping rhythm, root on 5th string

Jazz Comping For Beginners 5
Jazz standard: All Of Me

Jazz Comping For Beginners 6
Jazz standard: I Could Write A Book

Jazz Comping For Beginners 7
Jazz standard: All The Things You Are

Jazz Comping For Beginners 8
Jazz standard: Just Friends

Jazz Comping For Beginners 9
Jazz standard: My Romance

Jazz Comping For Beginners 10
Jazz standard: Solar


Here you learn how to add color and jazzy flavours to your core chords.

The 9 Chord
Adding the 9 to Major, Minor and Dominant chords.

The 11 Chord
Basic introduction to the 11 chord.

The 13 Chord
Major and Dominant 13 chords

Altered Dominant Chords
Bread and butter altered dominant chords, and some a bit more unusual

Half Altered Dominants
The most common half altered chord shapes.

Chords – From 11 to 13b9
This is a lesson in reharmonisation to create more movement in a chord sequence. There may also be some nice new chord voicings that you didn’t know.

Dom7 Inversions
Nice little exercise to teach you some dominant 7 chord grips that you may not have played before.

Maj 7 Colors
Colorful variations that you can play on Maj 7 chords

Dim Chord Shapes
The most common dim chord shapes, and some not so common.


This is a VERY important concept to understand in jazz.

Tritone Sub Introduction
Very Basic introduction to the tritone-sub.

Tritone Subs with 9-13 (Major 2-5-1)
Relationship between 9 and 13 in tritone subs

Tritone Subs with 9-13 (Minor 2-5-1)
Relationship between 9 and 13 in tritone subs, minor 2-5-1.

Half Altered Approach Chords
Very nice comping concept, easy to learn and use, really helps giving your comping a sophisticated touch. On this lesson used on a jazz blues in F.