Four Part Chords With No 5th

Four Part Chords With No 5th


This is a 3 part series on Four Part Chords With No 5th. This is a great way to start to break away from all the barre chords and get down to more versatile sounding chords. In the videos you will find out why omitting the fifth is not only acceptable but called for in jazz.


When building a chord from a major scale, we stack the notes in thirds starting with a triad (root, 3rd, 5th ) tone. When building a four part chord you use the same formula but now add the 7th tone of the scale. (root, 3rd, 5th, 7th )


Ex. C major scale C D E F G A B tones highlighted are tones that make a C major triad.


Ex. C major scale C D E F G A B tones highlighted are tones that make a C major 7th chord.


In a four part chord there are notes that define the chord which are the 3rd and the 7th tone. The root and 5th of the chord are important but don’t define the major, minor or dominant quality of the chord. So when jazz players leave out the 5th of the chord, which is very common, they technically come up with a four part chord although they are only playing three notes. This might seem a bit confusing. Only playing three notes in a four part chord by omitting the 5th, opens up your mobility on the guitar and allows the sound to be less rigid with more space between the notes.


In this video I will be concentrating on Maj7th, Minor7th, and Dominant 7th chords. Three different fingerings for each chord on three different sets of strings. This series will lead directly into my next series “Diatonic 4 part chords omitting the 5th”.


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Videos Below

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Four Part Chords No Fifth

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