Tricks Of The Trade - Joe Pass On Building Chords

In this video, jazz guitar giant Joe Pass provides some great wisdom on building, substituting, and classifying chords. His key point is the importance of chord simplicity when playing the guitar so as to avoid unnecessary complexity. He advocates grouping chords together into the smallest possible classifiable units in order to facilitate your playing; if you’re constantly thinking of what a chord is, and how to build X, Y, Z complex chord, you won’t be playing what you feel (which is the whole point of playing the instrument).

Thinking in terms of simplicity in your chord playing, however, doesn’t literally mean only playing simple chords, i.e. just limiting yourself to major and minor chords. It means simplifying the way you THINK about chords. When done correctly, simplifying the way you think about and classify chords can help you access all of the complex chords at your disposal with little effort. In this video, Joe Pass shows you how to do just that…

1) Thinking in terms of chord simplicity: 5:10 – 6:00
2) Major, minor, and dominant as you major chord groups: 6:00 – 6:30
3) Adding tones to chords: 6:50 – 7:50
4) Chord substitution: 7:50 – 9:50
5) Chromatic movements: 9:50 – 12:00
6) Changing keys without changing fingering: 12:25 – 15:00

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