Tony Oreshko jazz and gypsy jazz guitar


by Tony Oreshko
                                                                                            << Back to Lesson Index

Lesson 6

Major Chord Substitutes

In the previous five lessons we've been concentrating on chord substitutes for dominant 7th chords, i.e. substitutes for chords such as G7, D7 and A7. We've done this mainly by swapping the basic dominant 7ths for altered dominant chords, and by using tritone substitution.

In this lesson we're going to look at some of the chords that can be used in place of an ordinary major chord. There's no complex music theory involved: all I'll do is show you a handful of chord shapes that you can play instead of a plain C major chord in order to create more subtle, jazzy sounds.

Major Chord Extensions

An ordinary major chord can be made to sound more interesting simply by adding some extra notes to the basic chord. Some of the commonest major chord types made this way are the 6th, major 7th and major 9th chords. There's also a very nice sounding chord called the 6th chord with an added 9th (written as 6/9).

Here are some chord shapes for you to try out. Click on each chord shape to hear what the chord sounds like :


C6 chord shape C6 chord shape C6 chord shape C6/9 chord shape

C6/9 chord shape C6/9 chord shape C major 7 chord shape C major 7 chord shape

C major 7 chord shape C major 9 chord shape C major 9 chord shape C major 9 chord shape

All you have to do is play any one of these chords where you'd normally play a basic C major chord - simple as that. As ever, let your musical ear judge whether it sounds right.

Movable Chord Shapes

Note that all of these chords are movable shapes, because they don't use any open strings. This means you can, for example, play the C6 shapes two frets higher and they become D6 shapes. Move them another two frets higher and they become E6 shapes, and so on. Remember that you need to miss out or mute with your left hand any strings that have an 'x' above them in the chord diagrams.

Well, that brings us to the end of another lesson. I hope you've enjoyed playing these new major family chord shapes, and that they've opened up a bit of fresh musical ground for you to explore.

Tony Oreshko

Return to Guitar Lesson Index


First choose your mark out of 5 by clicking
in one of the white circles below:

one star music rating
two star music rating
three star music rating
four star music rating
five star music rating

Now press the 'Rate the lesson' button and see
how your vote compared with everyone else's score!

Back to Top

© Tony Oreshko 2006-2008. All rights reserved