Jamie Holroyd Guitar

Jamie Holroyd Guitar

3 Must Know V-I Jazz Guitar Chord Licks

3 Must Know V-I Jazz Guitar Chord Licks

For today’s instalment of the 30 Days to Better Jazz Guitar Comping series we are going to be checking out three V-I jazz guitar chord licks that you can add to your vocabulary.

Learning chords and building up a solid chord vocabulary is essential for every guitarist to do when learning jazz guitar. Besides comping many jazz guitarists like to take chord solo’s. For this lesson I have written three of my favourite jazz guitar chord licks for you to study and enjoy.


Lick 1



This short phrase shows how chords can be mixed with single line phrases and features some of my favorite voicings and techniques. The first four notes of the chord lick are from the D minor pentatonic scale with the first note been harmonized using a quartal ‘so what’ voicing. Following this there is a descending dominant 7b9 arpeggio with the first two notes harmonized using the popular symmetrical diminished shape before finally resolving to the third of the I chord.



Lick 2


This example is a Barney Kessel style big chord lick. Notice the pedal note, B natural that is kept throughout the II and the V chord and also the big band sound this line because of the punchy rhythms.

Lick 3


The final lick features passing diminished chords again on beat 2 and 3+ of the second bar and demonstrates an effective combination of minor 7th inversions and dominant 7b9 chords.


Each line should be practiced in all 12 keys and with different rhythms and inversions.

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Do you have any favorite jazz guiar licks? Who are some of your favorite jazz guitarists for chord solos?

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