Jazz School: Chord Voicings: Major 7 Lydian Scale-Chord

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This tasty two-fisted voicing for a Major 7 Chord contains all seven notes in the Lydian Scale stacked in thirds up from the root…

You might conceive it as a basic C Major 7 in your left hand with a D Major Triad (all color tones) in your right.


This voicing is a pretty way to end a tune, playing ad lib with the color tones in a high register…


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.

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