In addition to offering a complimentary jazz piano chord voicings pdf, I would like to provide you with an opportunity to also gain access to some other pdf's on the topic that I feel you might find valuable. It's my hope that your finding this page will result in a rewarding experience for you.
You have expressed an interest in learning more about jazz piano chords. As you may know, the phrases "jazz piano chords" and "jazz piano voicings" are used interchangeably. That's because the way pro players will approach chords is to actually "voice" the basic chord structures as we know them.
A Cmaj7 chord in its basic form is spelled out like this:
C E G B
However, a jazz pianist will often opt to not play this chord in this fashion. Instead, he or she is likely to rearrange those chord tones in a manner that sounds varied. It doesn't stop there, however. Sometimes, certain chord tones are even eliminated altogether. Some can be doubled within the chord structure as well. You see, it is this kind of flexibility that lends itself to players like yourself having so much fun with creativity. As you gain more and more familiarity with jazz piano voicings, it's natural to want to continue indulging! Why? Well, as humans, we are creative by nature. The jazz idiom, in my personal opinion, serves as a vehicle that is conducive to a sense of freedom of expression, which is why we were placed on this earth to begin with.
By the way, when it comes to cocktail piano playing, that original, basic chord position for a chord like Cmaj7 can be totally acceptable. It really depends on the player's style and the tune being played. Everything has its place. For example, if you were doing a cocktail gig and were asked for a rendition of
Till There Was You, chances are good that you will use those basic chord structures. Using too many jazz chord voicings in a tune like that just might result in it sound a little too "over the edge."
Okay, you likely arrived here because you were looking to expand your horizons when it comes to playing with chord structures that leads to your getting more of a taste of this kind of freedom. The jazz piano chord voicings pdf chart that I would like to send you illustrates the chord voicingpresented in Lesson #1 of ProProach in the 12 keys. As I emphatically encourage members of ProProach, the value in learning chord voicings in all the keys is tremendous. Even that is putting it lightly. You see, there is nothing that can replace learning a new chord or voicing and then applying it to every key.
That said, I will also emphasize that the actual transposing of anything new you learn is where the real value is. In other words, to have a chord voicing presented to you in a chord chart form, illustrating it in all the keys, can be valuable. However, if you can take a voicing and do the transposing yourself, even more value is to be gained. Do this over and over again with many different jazz voicings and what happens? You add a whole new dimension to your sense of musicality. Truly, this is how one stands above the crowd.
Yes, it's easier to see chords or voicings spelled out in front of you BUT it cannot provide you with the same magnitude of benefits that automatically comes to the individual who takes the initiative to do the transposing himself or herself. Approaching it in this manner causes your brain to function in a different way. The sense of command over chords that results is almost uncanny. This is a primary reason that the voicings presented in ProProach are not illustrated in all keys. ProProach is a guide that is powerful in this respect. However, as a means of gaining some almost instant confidence with jazz piano voicings, I have illustrated that chord voicing demonstrated in Lesson #1 of the program in all keys.
It is my hope that this jazz piano chords pdf will serve as a tool that will stimulate your curiosity which will lead you to wanting to really explore your potential along this avenue. The rewards gained are indescribable. Truly, I respect and admire your enthusiasm for wanting to take this journey with me.
Getting back to that basic chord structure for the major 7th chord above, it is this chord that we are using to arrive at a very tasteful and very often used jazz piano chord voicing of the pros. The major 7th chord voicing presented in the pdf you will receive is what can be referred to as the 1-7-3-5-9 chord voicing. Simply learning this voicing and playing it around the circle of 5ths can lead you to some very surprising and satisfying results!
May I encourage you to explore this particular chord voicing in a manner that will lead to your revealing some of that musical creativity you truly are capable of? If so, please consider having some fun with the suggestions listed below. Please know that, if you take this playful approach with just this one voicing, you will not only have accomplished playing some very interesting chord sounds, but you will also have set yourself up for really gaining the maximum benefits from ProProach if you ever decide to become involved with that program. This is what I want for my students. I want them to extract the most from each and every morsel of information
1) Let's begin by downloading the chord chart by requesting it here:
Once you've done that, return here. You're about to find out how mastering even just one voicing in a number of ways can really lead you to more confidence at that keyboard...
Let's take a good look at this chord voicing. Again, we have taken the basic chord structure (1-3-5-7) and manipulated it just a bit. At this point in time, it would only make sense for you to grab Lesson #1 of ProProach so that you can get a detailed explanation of what we have done. There is not cost for that first lesson. Just fill in the form on this page and you'll gain access to the lesson immediately.
Please take the time to read through that lesson and, of course, watch the video (each lesson of ProProach is complimented with a video piano lesson as well). After doing so, you'll have a good handle on this voicing.
2) As mentioned earlier, playing this voicing (or any voicing) around the Circle of 5ths will result in an impressive effort on your part. It will serve you well to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Circle of 5ths. However, to make it easy, the jazz piano chord voicing used in this chord chart are arranged so that, if you simply play them in the order illustrated, you will be be playing them around the circle.
Sidebar: The Circle of 5ths being referred to is the Circle of "perfect" 5ths (which takes us through all the keys). This is not to be confused with the Diatonic Circle of 5ths which stays within a particular key. Of course, acquainting yourself with that circle will cause your confidence within a certain key to escalate for the simple reason that it is what you need to know if an understanding of how music is put together in terms of chord progressions is something you seek. By all means, if you are exploring the avenue of pop or jazz music, mastery of the Diatonic Circle of 5ths is a must.
3) Playing the chord voicings as illustrated is a first approach, of course. Just doing that much around the circle while using the sustain pedal on your piano or keyboard will sound great. However, I would like to encourage you to be as musical as you can with this. Experiment with playing these voicings as arpeggios. Play them from the bottom of the voicing to the top and then vice versa... C B E G D... then D G E B C. Next, mix it up and see just how interesting you can make that chord voicing sound by playing the chord tones in random order, changing it often. You'll notice that using the sustain pedal while doing this can really beautify your results.
4) Notice that within this voicing are other voicings as well! Simply playing the1-7-3-5 results in another very common chord structure played by the pros. Play that voicing around the Circle of 5ths as well. In addition, leave off that bottom chord tone (which is the name of the chord). So, you'll be playing the 7-3-5-9 voicing. Play the 7 and 3 with your left hand and the 5 and 7 with your right hand. This is known as a rootless voicing. Again, gain confidence with playing this jazz piano chord voicing around the Circle of 5ths.
5) Depending on your playing experience, you may want to begin incorporating this voicing into a favorite song of yours (this is where ProProach separates itself from the crowd because it really gets you to not only learn chord voicings but it actually shows you how to use what your are learning so that you can appreciate results full force). For example, let's suppose that you are accustomed to playing a standard song like My Romance (Richard Rogers & Lorenz Hart) in the key of C Major. After the pick-up notes E and F, the first note of measure #1 of that song is a G which lasts for three beats...
Here is the voicing for Cmaj9 spelled out (the same voicing in the chord chart):
C B E G D
Since it makes sense to play a chord voicing that keeps the melody on top (furthest to the right on the keyboard), if we simply play the first four members of the voicing (without the D), we already have a tasteful solution for harmonizing that melody.
Now, if you were playing a song where the melody was D and the chord called for was a Cmaj7, can you see how playing that top member of the chord voicing (D) will result in voicing this chord in a way that really makes that melody sound flavorful? What if the melody was E? Leaving off the top two notes of this voicing (G and D) makes it work and sound just fine.
6) Use the voicing as a fill. This may be a bit more of an advanced concept but whether you are at the level of being comfortable doing this at this point or not, it's definitely a piano fill technique that you will eventually want to have in that piano playing "toolbox" of yours. Let's say that you are playing a ballad and, at the end of a phrase in which you have a major 7th chord, you feel compelled to add a little something. You can simply play that voicing perhaps an octave higher (or two) in a delicate manner and this adds a nice professional touch.
7) One of the lessons of ProProach is dedicated to implementing the following idea. It goes hand in hand with what we mentioned earlier regarding using just a part of the chord voicing. If you have a melody note E, for example, and the chord is Cmaj7, the E is the third member of the 1-7-3-5-9 chord voicing. Well, simply playing the C and B (the 1 and 7) with the left hand as the melody E actually completes the chord is very effective. So, look for places in your songs where you can use segments of the voicing like this.
You may have already gathered that the sky's the limit when it comes to creativity using piano chord voicings. Remember, we have only been covering one voicing! This is a reason why the ProProach lessons are provided once per week. The idea is to use what you are learning to a point of familiarity where your confidence is at a decent level before focusing on other ideas. This approach is extremely effective and this has been verified by a number of people who have become involved with that popular piano chord program.
As you explore the world of jazz piano voicings, you will gain maximum benefit and enjoyment from your experience if you'll take this very playful, experimental approach with each and every new voicing you learn. The rewards that are to be realized by you are awesome!
(excerpt from Sneak Peeks #1 video session)
I would like to introduce you to another jazz piano chords pdf that I created which is available for a very economical price. It is actually meant to coincide with the #1 of my Sneak Peeks series. It can certainly be enjoyed as a stand alone learning tool. That said, if you would like to see the piano chord voicings that are illustrated in the chord chart used in context of a performance, then you might consider taking advantage of Sneak Peeks #1. That video session along with that jazz piano chord pdf can serve as a powerful tool for you.
Another confidence booster is the jazz piano chords pdf that is included in my Chord Voicing Stir Fry. This tool comes with a lead sheet for the very popular standard song Georgia (Hoagy Carmichael & Stuart Gorell) and a jazz voicing chord chart that serves as a companion to the lead sheet. For each and every measure, you'll know exactly what works. Simply play the voicing that you see in the chord chart with the corresponding measure (they are numbered to make this super easy). A student of jazz piano voicings can have a feast with this tool.
Just with what you have been exposed to here, you have enough to keep you busy for a while, especially if you decide to become involved with ProProach, which offers you 24 weeks of piano chord voicing fun. Again, I really appreciate the time you've taken to be here and stick with me this far. I have had tons of fun spending time on this subject of chord voicings and it is my hope that you will enjoy this adventure half as much as I have. If I can offer you more guidance in any way, please feel free to contact me and I'll do my best to help. Meanwhile, have a ball with it all!