Jazz School: Chord Voicings: Major 7, add 9, add 13


For a very open and hip sound, try this two-fisted voicing in perfect fourths with three notes in each hand…

It may seem intimidating at first, but the pattern is quite simple: root at the top of a six-note stack where each note is a perfect fourth apart. Notice that it includes every note in the major scale except the highly dissonant “4”…



Use your ears and knowledge of scales and chord structure to “transpose” this voicing to all spellings in three musically-useful patterns:

  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 helps to develop an enormous chord vocabulary, one that you will know intimately in many ways: by brain, by eye, by ear, by finger, by body, and by heart… and builds a solid foundation for fluent improvisation.

learn more… Jazz Chords: Major 7 “G/C”