A huge difference in your piano playing with overall
sound is when you learn how to voice your chords.
What does voicing mean? It's the way chords are
played that gives them their richness. It's about how
many notes are played and the distance between each
of the notes.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of different ways
to play a single chord. So that means there are tons
of ways to play chord progressions.
The notes in the chord are C E G B but you can also
add D and A to the chord extension. You can do this
because these notes come from the C Major Scale.
Now you learn that these extensions do not have to
be written out when you see Cmaj7 because you can
add the 9 13.
Let's apply the theory. Whenever the melody note
is on top, you know the highest note of the chord,
in this case we'll say D... that means the 9th is part
of the chord and is on top.
Next, play C in the bass with l.h. Looking at the next
two notes, the 3rd and the 7th, are important because
these notes give the chord flavor. Play C (with pinky
finger) and B (with thumb).
Play the 3rd, 5th and 9th (melody) in r.h. with fingering,
1 2 5. The 3rd finger will play the A, the 13th of the chord.
This rich sounding chord looks like:
Remember, this is only one way of voicing the chord.
Voicing the root and 7th in the l.h. and covering the 3rd
and the melody in the r.h. is a good place to start. With
your left over fingers in your r.h. cover the 5th and any other extensions available.
A great resource that has information on chord voicings is
300pg Piano By Ear Home Study Course
Voicings become easier to play and you will discover
that your hands are barely moving especially when it
comes to shell voicings since the roots are moving down
in fifths or up in fourths. Later on you will learn more left
hand voicings in bebop style, rootless left hand voicings
and rootless shell voicings. When the left hand plays the
third and seventh of each chord, these rootless shell
voicings allow the right hand the freedom to improvise.
Just a note:
Many of you have asked for Yolanda Adams chord charts
and I'm not able to find them for free. (sorry)
I am pleased to hear from folks who have purchased the SongRobot
It is a GREAT software tool to have if you have a PC. You
can drag free midis from the internet and learn chords to
numerous songs and slow it down to recognize what's being
played. If you have a Mac, you can drag midis into Garage
While we're on the page of recommending music resources,
if you're playing hymns for church, learn how to harmonize
the melody with GospelKeys 101
In your tool kit as a musician, you've got to learn chords. I
highly recommend these audio tapes because Jermaine Griggs
is an excellent teacher on understanding chords.
Chords 101 and 102 Collection
"The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you." B.B.King