Adding Chord Extensions To “Misty”
In this lesson we introduce chord extensions into our voicings for the A Section of the tune Misty.
In the previous lesson we created 2-handed spread voicings using just the primary chord tones which are the root, the 3rd, the 5th, and the 7th. This is very much the foundation of the harmony and it helps us to clearly visualise the voice leading of 7ths falling to 3rds in 251s.
We are now we are going to add the chord extensions 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths, to create richer, more sophisticated sounding voicings.
What Are Chord Extensions?
Chord extensions include the 9th, 11th, and 13th and these tones can be added to our R-3-7 voicings to create richer and more sophisticated sounds. Chord extensions immediately make your jazz piano playing sound more interesting and professional.
Chord extensions are always added below the melody note so not to interfere with the melody of the tune. In this lesson we work through each chord individually to explore our options when adding chord extensions to the harmony.
Chord Extensions For Major Chords
The first line of “Misty” contains 2 major chords: Ebmaj7 and Abmaj7. For both of these chords we learn how to add the 9th and the 13th below the melody to create a richer sounding chord. The natural 11th cannot be added into major chords becuase it creates a half step clash with the major 3rd.
Chord Extensions For Minor Chords
For minor chords we can apply the 9th, 11th, and 13th which gives us many voicing options. A nice place to start is to add the 9th of the chord, usually tucked underneath the minor 3rd. We can also experiment with the Herbie Hancock Voicing, the So What Voicing, and the Kenny Barron Voicing.
Chord Extensions For Dominant Chords
Similar to the major chord extensions, the 9th and 13th work best over dominant chords. As outlined in the lesson, the chord extensions will sometimes be present in the melody itself. For dominant chords we can also apply chord alterations as we will explore in the upcoming lessons.
Study the process used to identify the chord extensions and apply this method to other tunes that you are working on.
Extended Voicings Notation File Type: pdf
If you are just starting out with jazz piano then the theory and the voicings covered in this lesson may be new to you.
If this is the case then just copy the demonstrations to familiarise your fingers and ears with the shapes and sounds of extended chord voicings.
Watch the theory lessons in our chord extensions beginner course where all of this theory is explained in detail. See the related lessons above.
Understanding what chord extensions are and where they come from is an essential step before the next lesson where we introduce a stride left hand style with rootless voicings.