• Advanced Left Hand Voicings For Scale Degree Chords

    in Chords & Progressions,Experienced players,Piano

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    You arrived at this page because you’re interested in learning advanced left hand voicings.

    One of the differences that set advanced players apart from players of other skill levels is the use of left hand voicings, which are basically rearrangement of chords for the left hand.

    Instead of playing C:

    …on the left hand for the C minor ninth chord:

    Advanced players rearrange the notes of the C minor ninth chord for the left hand and these chords are known as left hand voicings.

    So, instead of playing C:

    …which is the root of the chord, an advanced player might just play Eb-Bb-D:

    …which is a left hand voicing of the C minor ninth chord.

    Alright, before we go into these advanced chord voicings for the left hand, let’s go ahead and refresh our minds on scale degree chords.

    A Short Note On Scale Degree Chords

    There are eight tones in every major or minor key.

    These scale tones are also known as scale degrees. In the key of C major:

    C is the first scale degree

    D is the second scale degree

    E is the third scale degree

    F is the fourth scale degree

    G is the fifth scale degree

    A is the sixth scale degree

    B is the seventh scale degree

    C is the eighth scale degree

    Chords can be formed on each of these scale degrees and these chords are generally referred to as scale degree chords.

    The chords of the first, second, and third scale degrees are chord 1, chord 2, and chord 3 respectively.

    In the key of C major:

    …the chord of the first tone (which is C):

    …is the C major triad:

    …while the chord of the second tone (which is D):

    …is the D minor triad:

    Advanced Left Hand Voicings For Scale Degree Chords

    Let’s go ahead and learn some advanced left hand voicings for scale degree chords in the key of C major:

    Left Hand Voicings For Chord 1

    The C major [add9] chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 1.

    The second inversion of the E minor seventh chord:

    …can also be played as the left hand voicing of chord 1.

    The B 7sus4 chord:

    …can be played as the left hand voicing of chord 1.

    Left Hand Voicings For Chord 2

    The second inversion of the F major seventh chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 2.

    The C major [addd11] chord:

    …can also be played as the left hand voicing of chord 2.

    The second inversion of the F major chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 2.

    Left Hand Voicings For Chord 3

    The second inversion of the G major seventh chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 3.

    The D major [addd11] chord:

    …can also be played as the left hand voicing of chord 3.

    The second inversion of the G major chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 3.

    Left Hand Voicings For Chord 4

    The C major sixth chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 4.

    The F mu chord:

    …can also be played as the left hand voicing of chord 4.

    The A 7sus4 chord:

    …can be played as the left hand voicing of chord 4.

    Left Hand Voicings For Chord 5

    The F major seventh chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 5.

    The second inversion of the F major seventh [flat fifth] chord:

    …can also be played as the left hand voicing of chord 5.

    The B diminished seventh chord:

    …can be played as the left hand voicing of chord 5.

    Left Hand Voicings For Chord 6

    The C major [add9] chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 6.

    The C major seventh chord:

    …can also be played as the left hand voicing of chord 6.

    The G major [add11] chord:

    …can be played as a left hand voicing of chord 6.

    Final Words

    Incorporating these left hand voicings would take your playing to the next level through the enhancement of the abilities of your left hand.

    You’ll do well to practice these left hand voicings in all twelve major keys.

    See you in the next lesson!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 tonyxel

    What a great post! I must say am really blessed by this post but I also have areas I will need more information on. Now how do you relate the concept of left hand voicings with keeping the melody note on top in a chord. What about two hand voicings that actually put the melody note on top? What to do with the right hand when the left hand is playing voicings. Thank you.

    Reply

    2 Zino

    powerful idea

    Reply

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