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Playing Jazz Standards - Voice Leading 101

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Playing Jazz Standards - 4 to the bar swing Playing Jazz Standards - Chord Melodies

Voice leading is something every guitar player should have a basic understanding of, despite what style of music he or she plays.

The basic idea behind voice leading is to create some form of melodic motion when changing chords. This motion is created by the use of leading tones.

Leading tones are the most prominent tones in a chord. In most cases these are the notes on the very top of the chord. The highest note, the one that stands out.

For this lesson I have devised a simple voice leading arrangement for you. Although all these chords only have 3 notes each, If you pay attention, you will see they are just about all based on chords you used in the past two lessons. Most of them have no root note, but they are still the same chords.

Have a listen to the recording then work your way through the chords. The backing track I used is 'Autumn Leaves Swing/Bop'. You will find it at the end of this tutorial.

Enjoy!