How to play chords using Upper Structure Triads. “An original approach by mDecks Music”

For a piano player, knowing how to voice chords is an essential skill, not only for comping (accompanying or laying the chord progression for others player to improvise over), but also to use those voicings as an improvisational aid. All piano players get many melodic ideas or lines from their voicings.

Other instrumentalists also take advantage of this concept to create sharp angular lines using the incredible power of the triads (and other small structures such as dyads, quartals and sevenths chords)




There are many ways of practicing and developing a voicings vocabulary.
A standard approach is to stack simple structures (triads, quartals, dyads) on top of other simple ones, thus creating a richer color palette for your voicings. These structures are usually called Upper Structures.

If you want to learn how to incorporate this powerful device into your playing I recommend that you check the YouTube series: Upper Structure Fridays


This is an incredible series, extremely original presenting one upper structure a week. Each upper structure is presented in detail from several points of view. Each perspective is a useful approach at looking at the upper structure.

And now you can follow the series with an accompanying interactive PDF you can use as a portal to access all related material such as 12-keys workouts with backing tracks and complete song charts including a demo for each song using only upper structure triad voicings throughout.


The best part, in my opinion, is the way in which each lesson is presented.
Upper Structure Piano Voicings for Piano Voicings and Improvisation is a unique, unprecedented piano method with comic strips teaching one upper structure a lesson.  The comic strip is the perfect summary of the lesson, allowing you to focus on playing right away, since the essential information about the upper structure is clearly expressed in a simplified manner in the speech bubbles.


You can access each lesson in video format and the 12-keys workout from within the book (pdf or paperback).

The course includes all major and minor upper structure triads over dominant chords, major sevenths chords and minor seventh flat five chords, lesson challenges to practice each upper structure over a backing track and complete song charts of well-known jazz standards using only upper structure voicings throughout. Each song is also demoed by a seasoned piano player.

If you want to find out more about the course visit mDecks Music (Music for Musicians by Musicians) at



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: