Guitar Chord Progression #5

Bit of a jazzy one today. This progression follows a chromatically descending movement, as the bass notes of each chord are only a semitone apart. A very common feature of jazz progression.

Now, you may or may not know what chord inversions are, but we use a couple in this sequence. Basically, a chord inversion will include all the necessary tones that make up a specific chord, but the root note isn’t the bass note anymore. Think of it like re-ordering the chord intervals. For example, in the first chord (A major), the major 3rd is the bass note, giving it a completely different sound. More unstable than a standard root-5th-3rd barre chord shape.

From this unstable chord, we fall down the fretboard, through another inversion and other movable chord shapes typically found in jazz. You’ll notice only 4 strings are used for each chord – these are often referred to as shell chords, although there are different interpretations of what tones shell chords can/can’t include.

Anyway, take a listen and hear how it naturally collapses into that safe tonic chord of Amaj7. It’s all about tension – resolution!

A major (inversion)

A major (inversion)

A diminished major 7 (Adimmaj7) (inversion)

A diminished major 7 (Adimmaj7) (inversion)

B minor 7 (Bm7)

B minor 7 (Bm7)

B flat dominant 7 flat 5 (Bb7b5)

B flat dominant 7 flat 5 (Bb7b5)

A major 7 added 6 (Amaj7add6)

A major 7 added 6 (Amaj7add6)

Remember, these chord shapes are movable, so you can move them up and down the fretboard keeping their formation.

We’ll be sure to visit jazz again some other time : )


3 Responses to Guitar Chord Progression #5

  1. Koen says:


    Nice progression idea’s you got here!
    Are you actually using proper inversions here or just rearranging the notes?

    Because, proper inversions are like A-C#-E-A >> C#-E-A-C# >> E-A-C#-E isn’t it?

    Anyway, great idea’s, appreciating the effort you put into this!

    • fretjam says:

      Hi Koen, cheers for stopping by!

      By “proper” inversion I assume you mean full inversion, which is only one type of inversion (or “position”). The examples you gave are indeed full inversions of those chords. The Wikipedia section on chord inversions introduces the different types of triad inversion.

      Hope that helps!

  2. Arsenije says:

    I just love these jazzy chord progressions. The chromatic movement on the low E string makes it extra sweet.

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