Rhythm changes and jazz chords voicings

Hey guys!

In this guitar lesson, Jon MacLennan will teach you a cool jazz chord progression
called Rhythm changes. Hope you like it!!!

If you really love jazz guitar, here’s some killer
DVDs on jazz:


Hey, how’s it going everybody?
My name is John McClennan and I’m here
today with guitarcontrol.com, bringing
you this video blog lesson. And today
we’re looking at rhythm changes. And I
think regardless of the styles of music
that you’re into or you like to play,
rhythm changes is a really great study
and something that you’ll use.

So let’s talk about just going through
some basic voicings over the A section
of rhythm changes. And here’s some real
stock sort of sounds you might here within
the jazz idiom and you’re going to want to
know all these chord voicings.

Here we’re going to start on the 6th fret
on a B flat major 7; 6, 7, 7, 6. Here’s our
first chord, then we’re going to jump down
to a G minor 7, which is 3rd fret, 3rd fret,
3rd fret, 3rd fret, and I just use my second
finger and I barre that. Take that same shape
and move it up here to C minor on the 8th fret.
And then I go to the F9, which this is a very
typical sort of jazz voicing for what’s called
a 2-5.

And then I’m going to move that up a whole step
and do the same exact thing, and then back down.
And then this F9 is going to become F minor 7
to a B flat 13, which will be 6, 6, 7, 8 to an
E flat major 7, to an A flat 13 and then back up
for our turnaround which is a D minor 7, G9,
C minor 7, F9, resolving back to B flat major 7.
You can start the next section of the tune.
But basically you’ve got…

Now, there are a ton of variations that you can
do on rhythm changes, but this would be just a
good sort of stock, home base to start with.
So be sure to click the link below for the tabs
and we’ll see you in the next video.
Thanks so much for watching.

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Wavatar Wayne Knazek

Nice changes!

It’d be nice if you’d include a chord chart.

Wavatar Jon

Interesting lesson. Do Jazz progressions typically include a cord for each of the scale tones? For example: the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 & octave tones? Or is this lesson more of a practice format?

Wavatar john mcminn

you have to learn melodic minor modes to figure how to substitute and overlap keys because the IV an V chords are dominant you can over lap patterns for different ideas .

Wavatar Gary

I love what you just did using all of those wonderful chordal jazz voicings. My questions is, “Where do you use them and how do you develop the chordal vocings to use?” I’m a Blues guitarist and although I use a few of the jazz chords here-and-there, what I’d really like to be able to do is to use a set of chordal jazz voicings to “transfer” up/down to the next chord in a Blues sequence. Most dominantly the I-IV-V [and their minior versions] voicings. Thanks

Wavatar Will

Thanx Jon. Looking to step into some new challenges. Appreciate the inspiration to stretch out with your great ideas.

Wavatar Cesar

I like those cords, I know it’s going to take me a while but i’m going to save you.

Wavatar David

Great presentation and chord technique!

Wavatar Tom Autry

Jon, thanks for the demonstration. I use some of the same chords you are playing here, but being somewhat of a novice to jazz chords and progressions it is good to be able to put a nominclature to my chords. I printed the tabs. Thanks again


Wavatar Tom Autry

Claude, thanks for the link.


Wavatar Roy Greene

Awesome lesson

Wavatar Peter Bradley

I take it you are muting the A string in the chords where it isn’t played?

Love the sounds.

Wavatar Richard Chism

Cool sounds. What are you doing to mute the unused strings?

Wavatar Steve

Claude, this is “exactly” what I was referring to in my e-mail response to your earlier request for us, “Claudites” to submit to you our — “Wish List” — of things to hear, see and buy.

I love progressions (reference my earlier response) and as a blues player, I’m hungry to take the next step in learning more about jazz — and — at the same time, integrating the jazz chords/progressions I’m learning with the blues I know. I love “ALL” of what you teach, post and mentor us with and this hits home with me.

Take care my friend and I trust everything is working out with your new life (location) and wife.


Wavatar Vincent Smith

Steve, just my take but it seems lots of folks don’t understand what a progression is. I am an old blues and Oldies rocker. Now, with blues the I, !V, V forms a progression or melody of its own. The V chord can be divided into a II mi. 7 and dominant 7 i.e. Dm7-G7 in the key of C. The Dm7 to G7 is a progression or melody of its own.

Jazz takes the idea of “progressions” or melody a step further and divides each chord into a series of “sub” melodies. For instance, the “C” chord on a turn around my be divided into CM7, C#Dim, Dm7, EbDim, Em7 OR E7 and so on. . What is really happening is a progression of 1/2 steps. This is a progression or melody. When you work with a bass player who knows how to run 1/2 steps, the music is much more powerful and creates excitement in the room.

I have found the master of this technique is Bucky Pizzarelli who plays a 7 string guitar and continually runs progressions with his thumb on his bass string. Great way to learn progressions. Just my take.

Wavatar Steve

Wow, that’s super instructive information Vincent and I appreciate you taking the time to convey this to me. I’m going to work on what you’ve provided and again, many — “Thanks!”


Wavatar Fred van Keulen

This is very difficult to play. I find it sounds like some sort of jazz, which must be a friendly sort of music.

Wavatar Les

Nice one John!

Wavatar Les

Sorry Jon, spelt your name wrong!

Wavatar Vincent Smith

Nice changes. Caught Frank V. and Bucky P. at a local venue a few week ago. Lots of folks in their 20s and 30s, Think Jazz is making a comeback. By the way, Bucky Pizzarelli is in his 80s and still has great speed and a fantastic ear!

Wavatar Freddy

Most excelent….thankyou much

Wavatar Carl Conatser

I know all the cords you were playing but never hooked them together like that I like that very much, hope I can get some more vocings like that thanks for that.

Wavatar tom

Jon MacLennan is fun to listen to. He pumps out his chords in an orderly fashion. No surprise. I like him.

Wavatar marvin

very orderly and patient demo, if you can hear the changes and check with the tablature
you will have the beginnings of some beautiful sounds…

Wavatar jazz guitar chords

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Thank you for sharing.