Jazz Piano Voicings: A Fun & Easy Primer

Piano Chord Voicings

Abracadabra! Alakazoo! Who’s on the way to
piano chord mastery? That person is YOU!

 

 

How To Arrive At Some Basic Jazz Piano Voicings Right Away

Would you like a super easy way to be playing some pretty cool sounding jazz piano voicings? Here is a little something you can have fun with right now…

This is a  fun way to experiment with chords on the piano even if you
don’t have much experience at all. What you need to know are two things:

1) The C Major Scale
C D E F G A B C

2) The C Major Triad
C E G

Playing through this exercise will result in some very interesting sounds and insights!

Here is what to do:

1) Simply play the C Major triad with your right hand

If you need help with triads, a good learning tool, which includes a video and guidebook is here (This is available via instant download). For now, here is how to play a C Major chord:

2) At the same time, play the C Major scale, one note at a time,
and LISTEN to the results!

For example, play the C Major triad with your right hand
(C E G… play the chord using “middle C”) while playing the “C” one octave below “middle C” with your left hand…

A Jazz Piano Voicings Primer

Doing this, you are simply playing a C major chord…

HOWEVER…

NEXT, while playing the same C Major chord with your right hand,
play the “D” with your left hand and LISTEN… you are now playing something quite different! You’re actually playing a chord voicing a Pro would use. It’s actually a piano chord voicing for a D-11 chord!

NEXT, change that left hand note to the E (you’ll be playing a slash chord – C/E)

Then… F… Then G… Then A… Then B…

Here is what you’ve done:

With C at the bottom, you’ve got a Cmaj chord
With D at the bottom, you’ve got a D-11 chord (or Dmin11)
With E at the bottom, you’ve got a C/E chord
With F at the bottom, you’ve got an Fmaj9 chord
With G at the bottom, you’ve got C/G
With A at the bottom, you’ve got an A-7 chord (or Amin7)
With B at the bottom, you’ve got a Cmaj7/B chord

For extra fun, play inversions of the C major with the right hand!

Can you do this with the other scales? Like a G major chord with the right hand playing a G Major scale with the left hand? You bet you can!

This is a fantastic jazz piano voicing primer that can have you experiencing some chord sounds you may never have before. Of course, if you experiment with the various keys, taking this fun exercise beyond the scope of this lesson, you will be taking your chord confidence to higher levels!

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