Creative Chords

Genre and Style Guitar Course from Sheryl Bailey

Jamplay welcomes Jazz virtuoso Sheryl Bailey with her series, "Creative Chords". Dive into the rich world of chord voicings and inversions that will help you understand harmony in a new way!

38 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

Recently voted a "Rising Star" in Downbeat Magazine's 2014 Critic's Poll, is proud to welcome Sheryl Bailey to our ever growing stable of instructors with her series, "Creative Chords". Join Sheryl as she opens a whole new world of chord voicings and inversions that will not only take your rhythm playing to a new level, but also give you a solid foundation in understanding unique harmonic aspects of the guitar!


Series Introduction

Jamplay welcomes one of Downbeat Magazine's 2014 "Rising Stars", Sheryl Bailey! Sheryl's series "Creative Chords", takes you down a rich harmonic path of understanding a multitude of chord voicings and inversions that will add many colors to your musical palette!

6:21 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Diatonic 7th Chords - Root Position

To get started, Sheryl first looks at the basic root position chords used in harmonizing the major scale. Getting your ear familiar with these sounds will be a great benefit for you down the road!

6:55 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diatonic 7th Chords - Drop 2's Root Position

On to the next set of chord voicings: Drop 2's in root position. It's a fancy name to be sure, but some simply put, these voicings will add some more colors to your chord palette!

5:45 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diatonic 7th Chords - Drop 3's Root Position

Continuing on with the diatonic 7th chords, it's now on to Drop 3's in root position.

6:43 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diatonic 7th Chords - Drop 2, 2nd Inversion

Now Sheryl takes a look at some 2nd inversion chords (chords with the 5th on the bottom), starting with Drop 2's.

9:33 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Diatonic 7th Chords - Drop 3, 2nd Inversion

Yet more colors to add to your palette! Here are the very rich, Drop 3 voicings in 2nd inversion.

9:57 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Review of Diatonic 7th Chord Voicings

In this lesson, Sheryl gives us an overview of every voicing she's covered so far, only this time she organizes them by the type of chord instead of in the diatonic scale.

11:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rhythm Guitar Fundamentals - Shells

Now Sheryl explores one of the basics of rhythm guitar: shell voicings. It's amazing what you'll be able to do with these simple 3 note chords!

5:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Rhythm Guitar: ii-V-I with Shell Voicings

The ii-V-I progression is straight out of Jazz 101! Sheryl Bailey shows you the shell voicings that will cover lots of mileage in your rhythm guitar playing.

5:20 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Rhythm Guitar - Pocket Playing

Playing rhythm guitar is about more than just playing the right chords. It's about finding "the pocket" and the groove. Sheryl gives you some practical advice and techniques for finding and keeping yourself in the pocket!

6:40 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Rhythm Guitar - Bb Blues: 4 to the Bar

Time to put all the shells you've learned into an actual tune! In this lesson, Sheryl shows you a blues in Bb and utilizes walkups and chromatic approaches to get that classic 4 to the bar sound.

12:21 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Rhythm Guitar - Smooth

Giving the material more of a practical use, Sheryl now shows us a tune she calls "Smooth". She introduces more walkups and pushes within the context of a standard progression to expand your rhythm guitar palette!

7:03 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Defining Drop 3's

Have you always wondered what a drop 3 chord is? Join Sheryl as she demystifies the drop 3 chord voicings.

7:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Walking Bass Lines

The classic jazz technique of accompanying yourself with a walking bass line can seem daunting at times, but Sheryl breaks down the technique here by showing us a practical and demystifying approach with drop 3 chords!

5:45 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Walking Bass Line - Minor Blues

Now, let's put the walking bass line into an actual chord progression. Sheryl breaks down each step in making this a reality!

13:20 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Defining Drop 2 Chords

Now, Sheryl takes a look at another commonly used voicing - the Drop Two.

8:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Four Chord Types of Drop Twos - High Set

Now that we know what a drop two chord voicing is, Sheryl now shows us the four major chord types: minor 7, dominant 7, major 7 and minor 7(b5). Starting in this lesson with the high set, she covers root position, as well as the first, second and third inversions.

7:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Four Chord Types of Drop Twos - Middle Set

Join Sheryl as she continues her look at the four chord types of the drop two voicing. This time, she explores the middle set.

7:38 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Four Chord Types of Drop Twos - Low Set

Finally, Sheryl explores the low set of the four major chord types in the drop two voicing.

10:23 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Drop Two - ii-V-I-VI Inversions - High Set

The ii-V-I-VI turnaround or "turnback" progression is very common in the world of jazz. Using voice leading concepts and drop two voicings, Sheryl shows you how to get this progression under your fingers.

5:05 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Drop Two - ii-V-I-VI Inversions - Middle Set

Sheryl continues looking at drop 2 voicings within the ii-V-I-VI progression. This time, she uses the the middle four strings.

5:47 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Drop Two - ii-V-I-VI Inversions - Low Set

Sheryl continues in this section of her series by looking at the low set of the ii-V-I-VI drop 2 voicings.

4:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Drop Two - ii-V-I-VI Inversions - Review

Join Sheryl as she does a quick review of all the ii-V-I-VI drop two chord inversions we just learned!

6:57 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Drop Two - ii-V-I-VI Extensions

Now it's time to achieve some of those quintessential jazz sounds by exploring chord extensions on the drop two, ii-V-I-VI inversions!

15:03 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Minor 7ths a la Wes Montgomery

In this lesson, Sheryl takes a look at a technique used by the legendary Wes Montgomery that connects your minor 7 voicings with passing diminished chords. This techniques leads us closer to the idea of playing chord solos!

9:17 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


ii-V-I-VI Melodic Voicings

This lesson could also be titled "Intro to Chord Solos"! Here, Sheryl gives you four usable chordal licks to play over a ii-V-I-VI progression.

15:04 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Voice Leading, Part 1

This is the first in a group of lessons where Sheryl takes us through "Bossa Blues", focusing on voice leading on certain sections of the neck. Up first - Grip 1.

6:51 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Voice Leading, Part 2

Continuing up the neck, Sheryl looks at the next 'grip' of chords for "Bossa Blues".

5:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Voice Leading, Part 3

Using "Bossa Blues" to cover the whole neck with drop twos, Sheryl now looks at what she calls "Grip 5".

4:13 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Voice Leading, Part 4 and Review

In this lesson, Sheryl covers the 4th grip of drop twos using the standard, "Bossa Blues". After that, she puts all four grips together, showing us the entire range of drop twos over the whole fretboard!

6:07 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Chord Melody, Part 1

Now that we've learned to voice lead our drop two chords across the fretboard in "Bossa Blues," it's time to learn the melody! But not just the melody...We learn to harmonize the melody with our drop twos!

12:17 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Chord Melody, Part 2

Sheryl continues is this lesson with the Bossa Blues chord melody. Putting it all together, she reviews the shapes, then plays it with the track.

7:18 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Bossa Blues Chord Melody, Part 3

Finally, Sheryl shows us some of her personal favorite colors when playing the "Bossa Blues" chord melody.

11:25 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Blues Comping

Join Sheryl as she shares some of her favorite voicings and some of her philosophy in this blues comping study.

9:31 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Minor 7, Drop 3, Fretboard Organization, Part 1

The title is a mouthful, but the lesson lets you inside Sheryl's mind and how she organizes her fretboard, using 7 scale positions!

10:54 Runtime

4.0 Difficulty


Minor 7, Drop 3, Fretboard Organization, Part 2

Sheryl continues showing us how she organizes her fretboard using minor 7, drop three voicings and their corresponding arpeggios. Join her as she puts it all together with a track!

8:12 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Major 7, Drop 3, Fretboard Organization, Part 1

After exploring her minor 7 fretboard organization, now Sheryl takes a look at how she organizes the major 7ths.

14:14 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Major 7, Drop 3, Fretboard Organization, Part 2

Sheryl wraps up her major 7 fretboard organization by putting it all together with the track!

9:26 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty

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Sheryl Bailey Three

  • Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Playing since 1979
  • 38 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 84/100 with 279 ratings

All of the above!


Very clear presentation


Brilliant series so far, its simple yet adds a whole new dimension to my playing.


I'm here because of her.

Marty Grass

The series is really good and at the level I need. Thanks.


Great to have Sheryl onboard! I'm hoping this will be the beginning of a long series, eventually getting into soloing, jazz standards, etc. JamPlay was in dire need of a truly great jazz teacher with the credentials of someone like Cheryl. Keep


I have to do my homework by slowly practicing the supplemental material because you move too fast & you showed the finger chord diagram for a bit, then you stopped so I had to just watch your fingers on your guitar fretboard.


I have taken some of Sheryl's courses with True Fire and she continues to offer great insight into Jazz. Great lesson !!


I really like the way she performs, Her sound and her feeling is amazing!


Love Wes Montgomery! How about a little Midnight Mood? Love to learn that one. Beautiful!


Really appreciate her teaching style. She a great jazz guitarist, who knows how to teach as well!


Really enjoyed this lesson. Ms. Bailey executed this perfectly


she has the simplest and unique way to make you understand not even guitar, but music in general. love her way.


Sheryl explains what she plans to teach clearly.


Sheryl is a great teacher and such a great player


Sheryl is fulfilling my need to understand chords. She is gifted as a musician and a teacher. Awesome !


Very useful lesson for me. Thanks.


You're awesome, thank you for being so easy to understand!