Welcome Forums Office Hours How to play larger Jazz chords. Reply To: How to play larger Jazz chords.

  • Gustavo

    October 14, 2022 at 9:50 am

    It’s probably best for you to ask Willie either on coaching on Tuesday or on the Q&A on Wednesday, but I can give you my understanding:

    * Usually you want the root and one of the guide tones (3rd and 7th) as part of the chord, but it can be on any of the hands. So you can have root and 3rd on the left if you have the 7th on the right, or root and 7th on the left if you have 3rd on the right. Or you can have both the 3rd and the 7th on the right and not have it on the left. Only the root needs to be the first note, all other can in any position.

    * In addition to the guide tones you usually had one or more tensions. On minor 7ths it can be the 9th or 11th, on majors can 9th or #11, on dominant 7th can be b9, 9, #9, #11, b13 or 13. This is listed on the piano essentials charts on the bottom left box

    * On the F-7 the Bb is the 11th

    * On the G-7b5 there is no B, there’s a Bb, due to the key signature

    Hope that helps,


JPC glossary / key

  • RH – right hand
  • LH – left hand
  • HT – hands together
  • CM – contrary motion (to move in opposite directions)
  • Harmonically – to play as chords (all notes together at once)
  • Melodically – to play as a melody (single note) – arpeggiate
  • R7, R3, R37 – chord shells (Root-7th, Root-3rd, Root-3rd-7th respectively)
  • bpm – beats per minute. Refers to the metronome setting