This lesson presents a How High The Moon chord study. How High the Moon is a popular jazz standard which is well worth learning and adding to your repertoire.

This article explains how the How High the Moon chord progression can be played using inner string movements.

The How High the Moon chord progression was also adapted by Charlie Parker and used for the bebop tune Ornithology.

This How High the Moon chord study should help develop your jazz guitar comping chops.


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How High the Moon Chord study Analysis


The entire How High the Moon chord study has been written as a study of inner string movements.

Other jazz guitar comping techniques could be applied to the How High The Moon chord progression, but the busy harmonic chord progression lends itself well to a four to a bar comping rhythm.

The four to a bar comping rhythm is further embellished with the use of inner string movements.

Basic harmonisation techniques have been used over static chords and ii-V’s to create more interest. For example, a lead sheet for the first two bars of this tune would just state Gmaj7.

However, a Gmaj6 has been added in the second half of the bar. This substitution works because any type of major chord can be interchanged.

For example, a Gmaj7th chord can be interchanged with any other type of major chord with diatonic extensions such as a triad, a 6th chord, major 9th, major 13th, etc.

The same technique is used over the ii-V’s like in the bars three and four. A lead sheet for this tune would suggest playing G-7 for one bar, then C7. However, this example demonstrates how both chords of the ii-V can be played in each bar.

The C7/G can also been seen as a G-6, which is useful to note if the minor 7th is acting as a I chord to create movement in a different harmonic situation


How High the Moon Chord Study

how high the moon chord study



Work through the How High the Moon chord study slowly until it can be played clean.

A thorough understanding of the inner string movement technique is recommended before tackling this tune.

What do you think of this How High the Moon chord study? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.




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