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Watch the Smoking Jacket online guitar lesson by Robbie Calvo from The Rhythm Architect

No doubt about it, jazz chords can be quite a challenge if you are not versed in that genre. Blues/rock guys get off easy when it comes to most voicings. This chord progression is really cool and although it has some nice tension in the harmony it still retains a very consonant sound.

Rhythmically this chord progression isn't a challenge at all, it's just spread chords all the way. Fingering the chords however may be. My advice would be to isolate each chord and visualize it and the fingers you would use to play it. Once you have the first chord, visualize the second one and then connect the two together and so on.

As a little bit of theory for you the progression is basically a series of II-V-I's stepping through the key of A and G. Now, here's the skinny. The progression is actually a II-bII-I in both A and G. You can substitute a functioning V chord (a V chord that resolves to I) with a dominant chord (V) built on the bV of the dominant chord. This will give us the chromatic bass line from the I-bII-I. In the first example the Bb13 (b9) is a dominant chord built off of the b5 of an E7 chord, get it?! I know, heavy doo doo baby!