Flexible voicings like triads are very practical to add to your jazz blues chords. We can do a lot with Triads and they are fairly easy to play and move around. This video is taking a look at how we construct 3 note voicings for a jazz blues and then adding a triad voicing that fills a gap on the fretboard.
From there I show how you can take that thorugh a chorus and develop it into another similar type of chord which also gives us a complete set of voicings on the blues.
3-Note Jazz Blues Chords
Most of us use triad chords coming out of the chords that we already use but without a root, so for F7 we end up with these two voicings: F7 + F9 as seen in example 1 here below:
They work really well, but there is a long gap from rootless F9 to F7.
Constructing another voicing to close the gap
If we look at the F7 chord then a basic F7 is an F root and an A diminished triad and we can use that triad as a voicing as well.
A C Eb and that sort of bridges the gap between the two.
If I use a bit of voice- leading I can comp through a blues using this type of voicing as shown in the example 2:
The F7 is here the A dim triad: A C Eb. On the Bb7 this is voicelead into Ab C D which works as a Bb7(9). Then back to F7 and going to a F7(b13) : A Db Eb.
In bar 5 the chord is again the Bb7(9): Ab C D. The B dim is easy to create changing the C in to a B, so Bdim: Ab B D. This moves up chromatically to the F7: A C Eb. The D7(b9) is achieved by moving up the entire voicing so that the top note is an F#: C Eb F#.
The Gm7 is the upper-structure: Bb major triad: Bb D F. This is turned into a C7(9) by lowering the F: C7(9) Bb D E. The F7 is the original voicing and the last C7 is the C7(b9) version of the other voicings: Bb Db E.
Another voicing to check out!
There is one more voicing that we can check out from the previous example.
The 2nd chord on Bb7 is this Bb7(9): Ab C D. If this is transposed to F7(9): Eb G A
This can be turned into a complete other chorus:
In example 3 I have a shift from the D7(b13) down to a Gm7 chord that is a 1st inversion Bb major triad. This is one way of doing this, but another way would be to really aim for getting smooth voice-leading:
This is a bigger stretch but also a very smooth moving chord progression.
Harmonizing the F7 scale based on the 3 voicings
A cornerstone in my vision on comping is that the top note melody has to make sense. To make this possible it is very important to also be able to play the entire scale with a chord sound.
This lesson started with two 3 note voicings that I then added a 3rd voicing to, and using these 3 chord voicings you can harmonize the F7 scale as shown here below:
3-note flexibility and voice-leading
The flexibility and the fact that you can easily be quite free when working with 3-note chords is probably a huge part of why I use these voicings so much. I hope you can use this material to get more out of your comping and make it easier to play some solid ideas in your comp and in your solos.
Get the PDF!
You can also download the PDF of my examples here:
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