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Watch the Clever With Chords online guitar lesson by Walter Broes from Rock, Billy, & Boogie Guidebook

A good way to stop jumping around the fretboard all the time in big intervals is to figure out different inversions of the chords you know or usually play. Trying to stick to the position of your I chord when figuring out your IV and V chord positions is a great place to start, and playing the different chords with as many notes in common as possible can really make or break a part and make it more effective and musical. A basic grasp of the popular CAGED system is very handy in this respect.

Freddie Green’s chord comping in the Count Basie band is beautiful and a good example of a chord genius at work: it’s effective, clever, and more often than not very economical. A couple of notes can outline a chord more effectively than a big messy cluster.