Chord Voicings For Piano: Beginners

Chord Voicings For Piano: A Jump Start

Chord Voicings For PianoIf you are new at learning about chords voicings for piano, it will be helpful to start from a very basic foundation. Building upon that will become rather easier as your journey with chord voicings continues.
Just in case this is the first time you have ever been exposed to voicings, you’ll want to know what they are. This is explained in a simple, easy-to-understand fashion here.

You are encouraged to apply this lesson to any 7th chord you happen to know, whether it’s a Major 7th, Dominant 7th, or Minor 7th chord. Let’s use a G7 for our example. In its most basic form (in Root position), it is spelled out as:

G B D F

In terms of degrees of a corresponding scale, we can say that the G, B, D, and F are the 1, 3, 5, and 7 respectively.

1 3 5 7

The basic chord voicing that we are creating consists of only three of these notes. Specifically, we are referring to the 1, 3, and 7. This can be referred to as a “1-3-7” voicing:

G B F

This G, being the Root of the chord, can be played in an area an octave lower than the B and F (these two chord tones are generally played in the area of middle C). Placing the G two octaves lower is also acceptable. Play the voicing both ways and listen to the result each time. This is one of the beautiful things about learning voicings. We get to experiment with all different kinds of “sound color” by making small changes in how we voice our chords.

How This voicing Can Be Used

Knowing this basic chord voicing can serve us in a number of different ways. For one, if you are accompanying a singer or instrumentalist, playing the Root in the bass area simulates the function a bass player would serve while the 3 and 7 serve as the harmony. Also, if you are playing solo, if the melody note happens to be an F and a G7 is called for, then this particular voicing works very well in terms of accommodating both the melody and the chord. By the way, if you do have a bass player, leaving out the Root would be preferable, as the bassist’s role will be to take care of that.

Let’s watch a short video clip from ProProach to see this chord voicing in action:

Please take the time to create this chord voicing for any 7th chords you already know or learn in the future. It will definitely serve to establish a great building block for more complex voicings that you will be having fun with along the way.

When you are learning new piano chord voicings, be sure to transpose those voicings to other keys. This will be conducive to your being able to access them “on demand” and that, of course, results in you being a more confident player. If you have any questions about this lesson, feel free to share them using the contact form on this page. I would love to hear from you! ~ Dave