Jazz Piano Chord Voicings – Chord Voicing Rules

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This Jazz Piano Tutorial is about Chord Voicing Rules.

When playing a chord, take account of:
– Chord itself – notes that make up the chord
– Chord voicing – the order of and interval between notes

The voicing of a chord relates to the intervals between the notes. You can alter the tension of the chord by altering the voicing of the chord, even if you’re playing the same notes.

Generic Chord Voicing Rules:
– Avoid using too many 3rds (too boring)
– Using 4ths and tritones creates a more ‘open’ and ‘harmonically ambiguous’ sound
– Play wider intervals at the bottom
– Play dissonant intervals in the middle
– Play a consonant interval like a 3rd or 4th between the two highest notes
– Avoid ‘doubling’ notes within the chords, except the top note which can be doubled
– Keep all intervals smaller than a Perfect 5th, except the interval between the two bottom notes that can be wider

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