Chord Voicings for Jazz Piano (rootless, left-hand, Type B)

“Type B” Rootless Chord Voicings for Piano

“Rootless voicings” on piano (especially for left-hand support) are great for handling big jazz chords that normally can’t be covered by one hand alone. This video tutorial  shows you how to play a rich sounding II-V-I in the left hand, while allowing the bass player (or you, on another beat) to cover the root.

This is Part Two of a pair of lessons, covering “Type B” voicings.  The first lesson,  covering “Type A”  shows another way of executing the same idea, only with the notes in a different arrangement.

VIDEO

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Free Piano Chord Catalog – useful reference for my “Chords 108” series

Hello Friends!

Here’s a free downloadable piano chord catalog, which I recently put together, for all visitors and members.

Students: For anyone reading and watching my series called  Chords 108, this can serve as a companion chord catalog for quick reference (specifically, for double-checking your new chord memory skills) .

Chords are listed alphabetically. Each chord is spelled out by using a simple image (consisting of dots on a keyboard, indicating which keys/notes make up the chord in question).

Important: This piano chord book can be useful to any musician, not just to those who are studying ‘Chords 108.’


In a nutshell, all the standard three and four-note chords are illustrated.


LIST OF ALL CHORD TYPEs PICTURED IN THIS BOOK

Major triads (all)

Minor triads (all)

Major 7th chords (all)

Minor 7th chords (all)

Dominant 7th chords (all)

Diminished triads (all)

Diminished 7th chords (all)

Half-diminished 7th chords (‘Minor-7 flat-5’) (all)

Augmented triads (all)


Now, when you see all those chords (over 108) in this collection, don’t be overwhelmed, because we are not learning any chords by rote in Chords 108.  Instead, students are mastering a simple technique for calling up the notes of any standard chord immediately in one’s mind – using no outside references.

That’s why this book is optional; however, it can serve as an excellent study aid, especially to check the chords that you’re building mentally, against their picture entries.

Free Chords 108 Reference Catalog (PDF).

 

 

“Basic Professional” system for voicing chords with a melody

PREMIUM CONTENT (VIDEO PORTION) – Supporting Members Only

Audience: This lesson is for anyone studying the use of chords on piano.  In particular, pianists and keyboard players who work from song charts, fakebooks, lead sheets, and the like.

In order to fully benefit from this lesson, one must know the basics of constructing chords on the piano, including the standard “seventh” chords,  such as the major seventh, minor seventh, and dominant seventh chord. (By “constructing,” I mean knowing the member notes that make up such chords, starting on any root.)

Today’s video lesson presents a straightforward system for choosing an underlying support structure that uses both hands, providing a nice “default” approach when playing a melody with supporting chords.

Enjoy!

Kent

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Chord Voicings for Jazz Piano (rootless, left-hand, Type A)

“Type A” Rootless Chord Voicings for Piano

 

Dear Members,

“Rootless voicings” on piano (especially for left-hand support) are great for handling big jazz chords that normally can’t be covered by one hand alone. This video tutorial  shows you how to play a rich sounding II-V-I in the left hand, while allowing the bass player (or you, on another beat) to cover the root.

This is Part One of a pair of lessons, covering “Type A” voicings.  The second lesson,  covering “Type B,”  shows another way of executing the same idea, only with the notes in a different arrangement.

VIDEO LESSON (FOR MEMBERS):

Continue reading “Chord Voicings for Jazz Piano (rootless, left-hand, Type A)”

Chord Symbols: add2 or add9? (includes my video on using added ninth to chords)

Hi everyone!  I received a question online today (on my YouTube channel), an excellent one, and one which is subject to debate.  The question is in response to one of my videos about using add9 chords on piano.  (A link to the video is included below.)

I thought I would share the thread here:

VIEWER: Isn’t the D in Cadd9 supposed to be an octave higher? I guess I’m just confused as to why it isn’t Add2 instead.

ME: Hi Jordan, this is a very good question, and one that is subject to debate. Technically, the voicing of these add9’s that I am using here are really “add2”. In general practice however, add9 is favored in chord symbols found in sheet music, and is meant to imply add2 or add9, depending on the voicing choice of the player. It’s interesting to note that add9 chords played on guitar have the ninth tone on top sometimes, and sometimes the 9th is not the highest tone, often depending on ease of finger positions. This is also true in a piano player’s choice of voicing. Again, to recap, add9 technically has the 9th as the highest tone in the voicing, as you indicated, but when using chord symbols, add9 is preferred for either one.

 VIEWER: That definitely makes more sense. Thanks for the clarification.
ME: Certainly, your question is much appreciated! Two other interesting points: A very popular, jazzy left-hand voicing for the MINOR 9th chord (as in Am9) — which, by the way, is NOT an add9 chord, because it also contains the 7th (I talk about that difference in the video) — is this, using Am9 as an example: G, B, C, E, where the root is implied, and can be played before or after the first cluster (or covered by the bass player). I bring this up because here you can see that the “9th” is not the top note in that particular voicing. (You might try that out, it sounds very cool!) Another thing: In my full two-handed voicings in the video, such as Cadd9, left hand plays C and G, and the right plays C-D-E-G. On close inspection you will note that the 9th (the D) is actually voiced far above the root (the left-hand C). But that is not mandatory to voice add9 that way, just a certain nice-sounding choice.
****
 Here is the video lesson which prompted the question:
 See ya soon!
Kent

A Good Way to Learn All Your “Thirteenth” Chords (by Pattern, NOT by Rote)

Hello again, piano people!

Todays’ post is about learning “thirteenth chords” on piano. In this video, you will learn a good way to learn and retain all twelve of the standard 13th chords without resorting to rote memorization.  In my experience,  I discovered early on that learning scales and chords by rote — that is, note-by-note, without any understanding of the patterns they all have in common — is the worst way to go.  Learning the underlying patterns that consistently define all scales and chords is absolutely where it’s at!

[vimeo 209010202 w=640 h=360]

 

“Fourth Chords” — Very Useful (Part One)

“Fourth chords” are chords built as a “stack of fourths,” rather than as a “stack of thirds.”An example of a “stack of fourths” would be: D, G, C, and F, where D is the lowest pitch, and the rest make up a series of fourths above that.

The greatest thing about these stacks is that any given stack can be superimposed above multiple roots, to create a variety of voicings for various chord types.

Using the stack mentioned above as an example:

A “Dmin7” chord using the stack D, G, C, and F, results in a nice open-sounding voicing, with an added 11th (the “G” note is the 11th).

OR,

D, G, C and F also sounds great over a B-flat root, creating a “Bb69” sound! That is, a B-flat major chord, with an added 6th and 9th. (G is the 6th, and C is the 9th).

And so on…my video here explains this in depth. (Check back soon for Part Two, with more insights on this.)

[vimeo 209010246 w=640 h=360]