George Benson was a jazz guitarist well before he became known as mainly an R&B vocalist and guitarist. His guitar playing style incorporates distinctive chords sometimes called "Benson Chords" or "Benson Shapes"

What are the templates for Benson Shapes?

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    Hi, please post the citatations for this chord name. Are you sure that none of the biographical material explains what the chords are. Jun 10, 2019 at 12:36
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    The presence of answers elsewhere (e.g., in bibliographic material) is not a reason to avoid posting a question here that hasn't yet been asked on this site.
    – jdjazz
    Jun 27, 2019 at 23:43

3 Answers 3


Don Latarski, in his (highly recommended) book Chord Embellishments for Guitar defines Benson Shapes as:

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I don't even know Don Latarski but if you think this is useful, check out his other chord embellishments and support him.


I don't think that the term "Benson chords" is actually used or refers to anything special (obviously, Benson didn't "invent" any new chords). I've found one single reference that refers to "Benson shapes", but that's just (minor or major) thirds with the highest note doubled one octave lower, so I wouldn't say they are anything special or anything that is very idiosyncratic to Benson's playing style. A citation where and in which context you found those terms would be helpful.


My researching suggests

minor 9th, or a detailed book explaining his styles,

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    Comment would have been better, but I do realise that it's a google sort of question.
    – user45266
    Jun 10, 2019 at 15:39
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    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review Jun 10, 2019 at 15:54
  • @Shevliaskovic that's why I physically typed "minor 9th" there :-) Jun 10, 2019 at 17:23

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