Jazz School: Chord Voicings: Major 7 Left Hand Shell

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Second in the series of commonly-used chord voicings for a C Major Seventh chord… 

If you are looking for a sparse, light, open texture, it can be quite effective to simply play the root and seventh of the chord in your left hand. Often referred to as a shell voicing, this approach provides lots of space and freedom for your right hand to play the melody or improvise without being hamstrung by a particular chord voicing…

jazz-school-chord-voicings-c-major-7-shell-left-hand-1-7-notation

(If you need a refresher on chord structure: Chord Structure: The Number System)

jazz-school-chord-voicings-c-major-7-shell-left-hand-1-7-keyboard

You still have HOMEWORK to do: Using your knowledge of scales and chord structure (and your ears of course), transpose these voicings to all twelve keys (recommended sequences: chromatically ascending, chromatically descending, and around the dominant cycle). In doing so, you are going to build an enormous chord vocabulary that integrates the aural, visio-spatial, kinesthetic and lays a solid foundation for fluent improvisation.


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