How To Learn & Memorise Voicings
Learning and memorising chord voicings is an important skill for the jazz pianist. This will allow you to read and interpret lead sheets and create full-sounding jazz piano arrangements.
In this lesson, we use the 3 voicing from this course as examples:
- The "So What Voicing"
- The "Herbie Hancock Voicing"
- The "Kenny Barron Voicing"
Using these common voicing shapes, we explore the key drills and exercises that you should do for any voicing that you like the sound of.
Exploring Inversions & Re-Arranging The Notes
We all have different sized hands which means that some of us might find it tricky or easy to voice chord in certain positions, and certain keys.
In this lesson, we will explore and demonstrate simple variations that you can apply to any chord voicing to make it easier to play. Some simple advice is to re-arrange the notes within the space on an octave.
Remember that the extensions can be placed anywhere in the chord, so you have the creative freedom to choose the order and arrangement of the notes you play.
Memorise The Top Note Of The Voicing
The key with learning voicings is to memorize the top note or melody note. For example, the "So What Voicing" has the 5th on top, the "Herbie Hancock Voicing" has the 9th on top, and the "Kenny Barron Voicing" has the 11th on top.
That means that whenever you see a minor chord on a lead sheet with that scale degree in the melody, you will immediately have a chord that you know will work well.
Before long, you will see the chord symbol and the melody note, and your hands will instantly gravitate towards certain voicings, and that’s a nice point to get to.
By attempting to arrange your own jazz standards, you will retain the information much better. By all means, watch and enjoy the PianoGroove jazz standard tutorials, but remember to explore other songs that interest you.
This is a gradual process and it may take months to create a nice arrangement so just chip away at it a little each day and remember to listen to lots of recordings of the tune you are trying to arrange.
Chord Extensions Practice Plan File Type: pdf
Memorise the construction of your voicings in terms of scale degrees. This gives you the ‘formula’ or ‘blueprint’ to construct in all keys.
Transpose your voicings through all 12 keys which you can do chromatically, around the circle of fifths, and just at random to test yourself.
Apply your new voicing in the context of the 251 progression so that you are ready to use it in the tunes you are playing.
- Flick through your fake book and look for opportunities to apply your new voicing. Look for the chord quality with the same scale degree in the melody as the top of the voicing.
9:40 that was a bit depressing lol.Jokes aside exellent content as always.