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.
There are many ways of practicing and developing a piano 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.
To take full advantage of this course the student needs a good understanding of basic
harmony, chord notation, harmonic progressions, intervals and functional harmony.
Find out if you are ready to start this course by taking the following evaluation quiz
If you know the answer to the following questions you are probably ready to embark in
the study of Upper Structure Triads
• What is a Triad?
• When is a Triad Major or Minor?
• Do you understand enharmonic spelling?
• Which note is the Prefect 5th above C?
• Which notes is the #11 of F?
• Secondary functions. What is the II of IIm7?
• How do you construct the Major Scale?
• How do you construct the Dorian Scale?
• Which is the dominant chord in A major?
• Why is the progression IIm7 V7 so important in Jazz?
• Can you play any triad in any inversion in all twelve keys?
So, how did you do? If you’re pretty sure you know the answers to those questions you are ready to start with the course. You can find out more by clicking here
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