jazz-school-chord-voicings-c-major-7-basic-left-hand-1-right-hand-1-3-5-7-notation

Jazz School: Chord Voicings: Major 7 Basic

A wide variety of musical effects can be realized by the vertical arrangement of notes in a chord. Given their harmonic complexity, Jazz chords offer many opportunities for creative chord voicing.

Let’s begin our exploration of commonly-used chord voicings for a C Major Seventh chord with the most basic arrangement: Root (1) in the left hand and stacked thirds (1-3-5-7) in the right…

jazz-school-chord-voicings-c-major-7-basic-left-hand-1-right-hand-1-3-5-7-notation

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

jazz-school-chord-voicings-c-major-7-basic-left-hand-1-right-hand-1-3-5-7-keyboard

Homework

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 Left Hand Block

2 comments

    1. Some serious studying to be sure, Dave, but definitely worth every heartbeat of effort! Let me know how it goes and if you need any help. By the way, thanks a million for the likes!

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