Jazz School: Chord Voicings: Dominant 7 Left Hand Shell


A sparse, light, open texture is achieved by simply playing the root and seventh of the chord in your left hand…

Called 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 voicing…


Homework:  Use your ears and your knowledge of scales and chord structure to “transpose” this voicing to all spellings in three ways:

  1. Chromatically Ascending: C > Db > D > Eb > E > F > Gb > G > Ab > A > Bb > B > C.
  2. Chromatically Descending: C > B > Bb > A > Ab > G > Gb > F > E > Eb > D > Db > C.
  3. Cycle of Dominants: C > F > Bb > Eb > Ab > Db > Gb > B > E > A > D > G > C.

Doing so builds an enormous chord vocabulary that you will know intimately… by brain, eye, ear, finger, body, and heart.. laying a solid foundation for fluent improvisation.

learn more… Jazz Chords: Dominant 7 “Triad Over Root”