Watch the Put the Melody and Chords Together online guitar lesson by Fareed Haque from Solo Guitar Handbook

This is where it starts - with simple basic chords. You may not realize it, but most of the tunes that are in the Real Book and other jazz "fake books" started out as simple songs with "cowboy chords" too. The confusion starts when we look at jazz versions of simple songs and call them "jazz standards". Most of the so-called jazz standards started out as simple pop tunes, with very basic, even corny, chords. Jazz musicians developed the harmony, played 'em, jammed on 'em, recorded them and started teaching them with the fancy chords. But to really understand how the fancy chords work, you need to go back to the basic chords. We'll build from there.