• Week 2: The A&B Voicing Technique

    in Chords & Progressions,Experienced players,Gospel music,Jazz music,Piano,Theory

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    If you’re interested in learning about the A&B voicing technique, then you’re on the right page.

    This is the second week in our voicing techniques program and I’m excited to share another secret that most top players rearrange their chords with in this lesson.

    Let’s get started with a detailed breakdown of the concept of the A&B voicing technique.

    The A & B Voicing Technique – Explained

    In the A & B voicing technique, chords are rearranged in reference to their third and seventh tones.

    When the third tone is played before the seventh tone, the chord is said to be in its A voicing, while in voicings where the seventh tone is played before the seventh tone, the chord is said to be in its B voicing.

    The A & B voicing technique can be represented using voicing numbers. The A voicing is represented as 3-7 while the B voicing is represented as 7-3.

    In addition to the 3-7 voicing of a chord, the ninth tone is added to make it a 3-7-9 voicing, while the fifth or thirteenth chord tones can be added to the 7-3 voicing to make it a 7-3-5 or 7-3-13.

    For example, the D major ninth chord:

    …can be voiced using the A voicing technique (3-7-9 voicing). Playing the third, seventh, and ninth tones of the D major ninth chord (which are F#, C#, and E):

    …produces the A voicing of the D major ninth chord:

    Using the following voicing numbers, most chords can be rearranged:

    3-7

    3-7-9

    7-3

    7-3-5

    7-3-13

    Application Of The A&B Voicing Technique In Chord Progressions

    Now that we’ve covered the concept of the A&B voicing technique, let’s go ahead and learn how they can be applied over the following chord progressions:

    The 1-4 chord progression

    The 6-2-5-1 chord progression

    Attention: All the examples in this segment would be given in the key of C major.

    Check them out!

    The 1-4 chord progression consists of a root progression from the first tone to the fourth tone of the C major scale:

    …which is from C:

    …to F:

    Using the C major ninth chord:

    …and the F major ninth chord:

    …we can derive the following A&B voicings:

    The A voicing of the C major ninth chord

    The B voicing of the C major ninth chord

    The A voicing of the F major ninth chord

    The B voicing of the F major ninth chord

    “Which Can Be Put Together In A 1-4 Chord Progression…”

    A voicing of chord 1 [the C major ninth chord]:

    B voicing of chord 4 [the F major ninth chord]:

    “Check This Out Also…”

    B voicing of chord 1 [the C major ninth chord]:

    A voicing of chord 4 [the F major ninth chord]:

    The 6-2-5-1 Chord Progression

    The 6-2-5-1 chord progression consists of a root progression to the first tone through the sixth, second, and fifth tones of the C major scale:

    From A (which is the sixth tone):

    …to D (which is the second tone):

    …to G (which is the fifth tone):

    …then to C (which is the first tone):

    Using the A minor ninth chord:

    …the D minor ninth chord:

    …the G dominant ninth chord:

    …and the C major ninth chord:

    …we can derive the following A&B voicings:

    The A voicing of the A minor ninth chord

    The B voicing of the A minor ninth chord

    The A voicing of the D minor ninth chord

    The B voicing of the D minor ninth chord

    The A voicing of the G dominant ninth chord

    The B voicing of the G dominant ninth chord

    The A voicing of the C major ninth chord

    The B voicing of the C major ninth chord

    “Check Them Out…”

    A voicing of chord 6 [the A minor ninth chord]:

    B voicing of chord 2 [the D minor ninth chord]:

    A voicing of chord 5 [the G dominant ninth chord]:

    B voicing of chord 1 [the C major ninth chord]:

    “Check Out This 2-5-1 Chord Progression Using A&B Voicings…”

    B voicing of chord 6 [the A minor ninth chord]:

    A voicing of chord 2 [the D minor ninth chord]:

    B voicing of chord 5 [the G dominant ninth chord]:

    The A voicing of chord 1 [the C major ninth chord]:

    Application Of The A&B Voicing Technique In Songs

    Although we’ve explored the application of A&B voicings in chord progressions, let’s take the application a step further by applying these voicings to songs.

    Here’s an illustration using the song Thank you, LORD.

    Thank You, Lord

    …in the key of C major.

    Example #1 – Thank You, Lord

    Thank you (chord 1):

    Lord (chord 6):

    Thank you (chord 2):

    Lord (chord 5):

    Thank you (chord 1):

    Lord (chord 6):

    I just want to (chord 2)

    Thank you (chord 5):

    Lord (chord 1):

    Final Words

    Using the A&B voicing technique, you can play any extended chord while focusing on its third and seventh tones.

    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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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Nathanial

    Question? Why am I not hearing “thank you Lord” on the 1 chord EBD? can you email me a sound clip of this voicing. Thanks

    Reply

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