• Brand New: The “Guinness Voicing” For Jazz And Gospel Keyboardists

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

    In this lesson, we’ll be focusing on a new concept for chord voicing: the Guinness voicing.

    For the sake of those who are not familiar with the Guinness brand, I’ll start out on this lesson with short notes on the Guinness brand and I’ll also tell you what it has to do with music.

    The Guinness Story And What It Has To Do With Music

    In the year 1759, an Irish entrepreneur known as Arthur Guinness brewed an ale that has come to be one of the most successful beer brands that is sold in over 120 countries with over 10 million glasses drunk on daily basis.

    “Do You Know That 17:59 Is Guinness Time?”

    Over time, the number 1759 has been associated with the Guinness brand.

    17:59 (which is also 5:59pm) is known as Guinness Time and once it’s 17:59 in many parts of the world, fans of the brand celebrate the taste of Guinness that they love with a glass of cold Guinness ale.

    “What Does Guinness Have To Do With Music?”

    According to Jermaine Griggs, “numbers rule the world of music” and I agree 100%.

    The number “1759” (that is associated with the Guinness brand) is relevant in music and can be applied when it comes to the concept of chord voicing and I’ll be showing you how this works in the next segment.

    An Overview Of The Guinness Voicing Concept

    If you meet musicians in your neighborhood and ask them to show you Guinness chords or chord voicings, they’ll most definitely give you a weird look.

    Well, that’s because it’s a new concept.

    We, on this site, invest a lot of time and thoughts into coming up with witty, interesting, simple and captivating ways of learning music without boring and unproductive theories.

    The concept of the Guinness voicing is new and if you Google it, you’ll not find any other information apart from what is available on this page.

    “So, What Is A Guinness Voicing?”

    The Guinness voicing concept can also be called the 1-7-5-9 voicing because those are the chord tones used in the chord formation process.

    For example, using the C major ninth chord (as a reference):

    …you can form its 1-7-5-9 voicing using the following tones:

    The 1:

    The 7:

    The 5:

    The 9:

    …and altogether, that’s the Guinness voicing of the C major ninth chord:

    The Guinness Voicing Of Diatonic Chords

    I’ll be showing you diatonic chords in the key of C major:

    …and they’ll be played in their Guinness voicing (aka – “1-7-5-9 voicing”.)

    “Check Them Out…”

    The 1-chord:

    …is the C major ninth chord (Guinness voicing.)

    The 2-chord:

    …is the D minor ninth chord (Guinness voicing.)

    The 3-chord:

    …is the E minor ninth chord (Guinness voicing.)

    The 4-chord:

    …is the F major ninth chord (Guinness voicing.)

    The 5-chord:

    …is the G dominant ninth chord (Guinness voicing.)

    The 6-chord:

    …is the A minor ninth chord (Guinness voicing.)

    Final Words

    Keep in mind that the third chord tone is omitted in the Guinness voicing concept.

    If you still go ahead and add the third tone, that’s still okay. But even if you don’t, the Guinness voicing sounds great and that’s what matters most.

    In a subsequent lesson, I’ll be showing you song examples (across Jazz and Gospel) where Guinness voicings can be applied.

    See you then!

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    Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

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