Solar Chord Study for Jazz Guitar
One of the most commonly played jazz standards is Solar. Composed by the jazz guitarist Chuck Wayne, Solar is a 16 bar chord progression with both long and short ii-V progressions.
Aside from the first two bars, the entire Solar chord progression uses ii V I’s that modulate down a tone.
The first ii-V-I is a long ii-VI in F. The second is a long ii-V-I in Eb, and the final is a short ii-V in Db.
This solar chord study features an abundance of jazz guitar comping techniques that you can use to develop jazz guitar chordal chops.
Practice each chord movement slowly to begin with. Learn the etude in smaller 2-4 bar fragments, and apply the ideas and techniques you like to other tunes that you are working on.
Comping Techniques Used In Solar Chord Study
Each of the harmonic and rhythmic comping techniques in this Solar chord study is discussed full detail in individual articles on this website. Click on any of the links below to find out more about each of the techniques.
- Shell voicings
- Quartal or 4th Voicings
- Dominant 7b9 Chords
- Jazz Guitar Comping Rhythms
- Charleston Rhythm
Solar Comping Etude
The entire study uses 3 note voicings on strings 234 of the guitar. The first few bars demonstrate an inner moving voicing technique used by Jim Hall. The chord lick begins with the 9th on the D string and gradually descends to the 7th.
Ascending 2nd Inversion quartal voicings are used in bar 5 to create movement over a single chord. The chords in these two bars are moving up the harmonized F major scale. Shell voicings with extensions added are used again in bars 7 and 8.
As demonstrated in bars 5 and 6, quartal voicings sound particularly effective when moving up a tone or semi-tone. Bars 9, 10 and 11 demonstrate how one quartal shape around to fit different harmonic situations.