Two-handed voicings are an essential element of jazz piano. Most often used for comping, two handed voicings are integral to solo playing, improvising and arranging. Based on a transcription of Red Garland improvising over the title track of John Coltrane's 1957 album with the Red Garland Trio "Traneing In," Part 1 introduces the versatile open fifth voicing technique. Part 2 derives "So What" two-handed voicings from a transcription of the tune of the same name from the classic 1959 Miles Davis recording "Kind of Blue." Part 3 explores the rich, bitonal sounds of upper structure triads.
Upper structure triads have been an enduring feature of jazz since the early Bebop era. This chord voicing technique produces a rich, bitonal effect that can be used for harmonizing melodies, comping and improvising melodic lines. This lesson opens with an analysis of Bill Evans' use of upper structure triad voicings in harmonizing the melody to "My Romance" from his 1961 Live at the Village Vanguard recording. The lesson continues with the derivation of all possible upper structure triad voicings for all five essential 7th chord qualities and a discussion of how to use this versatile technique for melodic harmonization, comping and improvisation. This lesson features a huge practice session- almost 100 pages to download and play.
Watch this short video for an overview of the content of this course.
Five Essential 7th Chords
Rootless Voicings with Added Tension
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About the instructor
Bill did undergraduate work at the Berklee College of Music and holds the M.Mus. degree in Jazz Studies from the Boston Conservatory/Berklee College of Music where he studied with Ray Santisi and Charlie Banacos. Bill taught and played extensively around the Boston area for the better part of two decades appearing everywhere from the legendary Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge MA to a long stand at the Hampshire House on Beacon Hill in Boston before relocating to the Raleigh-Durham NC area where he teaches full-time on JazzPianoOnline.com.