Johnny Rector Chords

If you are looking for another book similar to Mickey Baker’s first volume, Johnny Rector’s 1956 “Study of Modern Guitar Chord Progressions – Volume 2” is well worth a look. He only deals with chords – no single-note soloing – but the chords are very interesting. I downloaded a copy (for a small donation) from – scroll down the page to locate it.


Like many 1940s and 50s guitar books, the chords are big and lush, and can be used with confidence in music from the period, perhaps when accompanying a singer or other instrumentalist.

The book isn’t just a chord encyclopaedia. Instead, Johnny gives you a standard progression, say C  A7  Dm7  G7  C, and gives you alternatives, such as CMaj9  Eb13  Dm11  Db11+ as in the first video below. With a little creativity, you can use these chords for soloing with single notes, by playing arpeggios and some scales.

But the main point of the book is learning chords, and situations to use them in.

I imagine more videos will follow…

Pages 38 and 39 (actually the first two pages in the book, as Volume 1 stops at page 37 – I imagine, as I haven’t seen it)

Page 42 – II7 to V7 Substitute Chords

Page 43 – Minor 6th Substitute Chords

Page 46 – Altered Dominant & Substitute Chords


Some ideas for playing with the above progressions:




More to follow…