– In today’s jazz piano lesson,
I’m gonna share with you three iconic sounds for jazz piano. These are sounds from
different periods in jazz. We have some block chords and
some different types of scale. So you’re in for a treat. We’re gonna get straight in. Enjoy the lesson. (piano jazz music) Okay, so let’s take a look at
the “So What” chord voicing. This is the chord voicing
that Bill Evans used in the song “So What” by Miles Davis. (“So What”) So both chords of the same voicing here. This is in D minor. So let’s take a look at this chord voicing applied to a C minor seven chord. In our left hand, we’re
going to play the root and the fourth, and in
our right hand, gonna play the minor seventh, the
minor third, and then on top we’re gonna add the fifth
of the chord which is G. And this is our voicing. And it’s just a stack of
fourths up from the root, but then with a major third on top. And it would be perfect
for any time you see a minor seven chord in the chord sheets, and the melody note is the fifth. This would be a great
chord voicing to play, and you can do all sorts of
things with this chord voicing. It sounds very good if you
go around side-slipping it, basically moving it in parallel. (piano chords) I’m just transposing the same voicing. In fact, that’s what Bill
Evans does in “So What.” He plays an E minor seven,
going to D minor seven, and he uses the same voicing. (“So What”) And that would be a great
way to ingrain this voicing, would be to just do some slip-slipping, where you just build
the same voicing pattern from different group notes,
and move this voicing up and down by half-steps and whole-steps. (piano chords) So block chords are
another type of voicing that jazz piano players can play. They can have a very nice and dated sound. (jazz music) So there’s different voicing
patterns that you can use for block chords, but
one of my favorite ways just to start simply, is just to enclose each chord voicing in an octave. So let’s say you had
a C minor seven chord, and the melody note was
the ninth which is a D. Well, you would start by
doubling the D down an octave, and then you just want to contain the rest of the chord voicing
between these two notes. So that just means you want to get as many of the chordal tones and to fit
them in between this octave. The chordal tones are just
the root, third, fifth, and seventh of whatever chord it is. So I might play this, and I could squeeze in the C as well, but it’s actually good
principle to give a bit of space to the melody note, so
you don’t really want a whole step below. It just makes it hard for the
ear to spot the melody notes. So, I might skip out the C for this one, and just play the third,
the fifth, and the seventh enclosed in the ninth. And then when the melody note changes, you change the bottom octave with it. (octave) And then you’re just trying to fill in as many of the chordal
tones within that octave. (octave) (jazz piano music) Okay, so let’s take a look at
a really nice chord voicing. Now, this is for a C seven sus four. So let’s just take a look at
this chord without the voicing. This would be C dominant seven sus four. It’s basically when you take
a C dominant seven chord, but instead of playing the major third, you shift the third up and
play the fourth instead. This is the suspended fourth, that’s why it’s called a sus four. So this is a modification you can do to dominant seven chords. But now let’s take a look at the voicing. It’s quite a simple voicing. We’re just going to play the
root in our left hand, the C. And in our right hand, we’re gonna play a B flat major triad. Now as with most jazz chords,
it doesn’t sound amazing on its own, but when you
put it in context, it does. So this is a dominant seven chord. Dominant seven chords like
to resolve down a fifth. Hit it to an F major seven
chord or an F minor seven chord. So I’m demonstrating this
sus chord built from C. So it’s gonna resolve
down to either of these. (chords) Now I call this the
Horace Silver Sus 4 Chord. Why? Well, Horace Silver uses
this voicing in his song, “Song for My Father.” There’s this lovely bit at the
end of each line pretty much. (“Song for My Father”) So the music is in F minor, makes its way down to this
dominant chord, C dominant seven. And he plays C in the root and then in the right hand you just play a B flat major triad. And it resolves really
nicely to F minor nine. You get really nice voice leading here. If you go to an A flat major seven chord, which is the voicing he uses
for the F minor nine chord. Now all of these voices just go outwards. (“Song of My Father”) Now if you want more
exotic jazz piano sounds, well I’ve put together a
free piece of sheet music, which goes into even more
exotic jazz piano sounds. You can download that for
free at the link below. And apart from that, I’m gonna hand pick the next
jazz tutorial video here. So you can continue learning
more jazz piano sounds that you can walk away
with and use a piano today. My name’s Julian Bradley. Thank you for watching! And I’ll see you in the next video. (piano jazz music)


  1. Julian you're amazing! Most of all thank you for the spirit in which you share. I've been following and learning from you for some time now and you are consistent and very humble in your approach. Many thanks and blessings to you as we continue to grow and learn from you.

  2. I absolutely adore the "Horace Silver" suspended dominant chord voicing! The sound of a simple triad over a maybe unexpected bass note is really luscious. I started using them a lot after encountering them in the chord progression of Anita Baker's Sweet Love.

  3. Nice one. The last one I write as C11 when preparing charts for musicians. After many years of experimenting I found this the most popular and easy to read chord name. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks for the lesson! However I don't understand why you call it a Cmin7 chord when it has a 4th in it. Shouldn't be called Cm11 instead? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/So_What_chord

  5. Simple but astonishingly brilliant. Especially the brief section on block chords. I always think of George Shearing when I hear that
    particular sound.

  6. Great video!!! As a big Evans fan, I liked that one, and hope to see more of his voicings coming up in the future 🙂

  7. This is great! The Horace Silver sus-thing, isn't that pretty much the same as a C11 chord? Bb, D and F (major 7, 9 and 11). Can you reason a bit on why you you call it a sus4 instead?

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