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CHORDS

MAJOR(M) Root MINOR(m) Root DIMINISHED(dim) AUGMENTED(+) Root MAJOR 6th(6) MINOR 6th(m6) Root 7th(7) MINOR 7th Root MAJOR 7th(maj7) Root 9th(9) 11th(11) 13th(13)
then perform in 2nd inversion

3rd 5th b-3rd 5th Root b-3rd 3rd #-5th Root 3rd b-3rd 5th Root 3rd b-3rd 5th 3rd 5th Root + 5th

b-5th

then perform in 2nd inversion(5th will be the root

5th 6th 6th 5th b-7th b-7th 7th 5th [7th(7)] //add the 7th not the maj7 [7th(7)] [7th(7)] [9th(9)] [9th(9)]

9th(octave+1)

3rd8play the root


play the root play the

Root + Root +

11th (leave the 3rd) [11th(11)]

5th+1(13th)

root then perform in 2nd inversion

SUSPENSION(sus)

Root #3rd 5th

DIMINISHED 7th(Dim7) C-Eb-Gb-Bbb(A) && C#-E-G-Bb && D-F-Ab-Cb //add half step from C ALTERATION(+n,-n) Chord +number(sharp the key) -number(flat the key) ex. C7-5 will be
C(Root)-E(3rd)-Gb(5th)-Bb(7th) number 2)-E(3rd)-G(5th)

ADD(addn) Chord +number(include the key) Slash Chords(chord name/lower note)

ex.

Cadd2 will be C(Root)-D(2nd or the

SKILLS
Technique Fingering Chords Scales Ear Training Music Theory Sight Reading Rhythm Styles Runs & Fills Transposition Modulation Accompanying Repertoire Improvisation Arranging Pedaling Dynamics Feeling & Emotion

ex.

C/Ab will be Ab-C-E-G

SCALE BLUES Scale

(WWHWWWH)

Root 2nd

b-3rd 3rd

4th

b-5th 5th

6th

b-7th 7th (add the flatted 3,5,7)

Natural Minor Scale: 8 Harmonic Minor Scale:

When the root is on the bottom of a triad, it is in root position. When the 3rd is on the bottom of a triad, it is in first inversion. When the 5th is on the bottom of a triad, it is in second inversion.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

The Relative Minor Pentatonic Scale of a key is the same as its Major

So "C" is at the top of your circle, and Gb (same as F#) is at the bottom of your circle. Now memorize that circle. You'll soon notice that each letter is a 4th above the previous letter -hence, the "circle of 4th". Or if you go the other way, you'll soon notice that each letter is a 5th above the previous letter -- hence, the "circle of 5ths". This is the way chords "want" to move -- up a 4th. Or up a 5th. You will find those to be the most common chord progression of all -- up a 4th from the previous chord, or up a 5th from the previous chord. For example, if the chord you are playing is C, the most likely chord to occur next is either F or G. You will notice that F comes directly to the right of C on the circle, and G directly to the left. (And you do remember, don't you, that C, F, and G are the "family chords" of the Key of C? -- the primary chords -- therefore, the most likely chords to occur? -- Now you know why!)

Major Keys: C F Bb Eb A D G

Ab

Db

Gb

Relative Minor = 6th on the scale of the key ex. C, the relative minor is Am It works the same way as the major circle of keys, with one exception: When figuring the 3 most likely chords in any key, you still look left and look right, but because of the fact that most songs written in the western hemisphere use the harmonic minor scale instead of the natural minor scale, the chord to the left is usually a MAJOR chord instead of a minor chord.

Minor Keys:

Am Dm Gm Cm Fm Bbm Abm Dbm Gbm Bm Em

Ebm

FLATS (ORDER) = B E A D G C F thats it! 4 flats = Ab is the key SHARPS (ORDER) = F C G D A E B step! 2 sharps = D, 1 sharp = F#

to know the key of the song take the 2nd to the last flat and to know the key of the song take the last sharp and go up

CHORD PROGRESSIONS I. Oh Duh! I-IV||V


if you determine that a song is in the key of F, what is far and away the most likely chord? Of course. F. What chord would you expect the song to start on? Of course. F. What chord would you expect the song to end on? Again, F. So after the first chord, there are just two possibilities for the 2nd chord. Either the IV chord or the V chord. (It might be any chord if you care to get picky, but we're speaking here in mathematical terms. The likelihood of the second chord of a song being anything other than IV or V is small, so if you were betting, you would certainly bet on IV or V.) How can I tell whether the second chord is the IV chord or the V chord? And the answer is: What's the melody note at that point? Is it part of the IV chord, or part of the V chord? If the melody note is a member of the IV chord, then.... Oh Duh! The chord is the IV chord! If on the other hand the melody note is a member of the V chord, then... Oh Duh! The chord is the V chord! 1. If there are 3 primary chords in a key -- I, IV, and V -- and there are; 2. And since most songs start and end on the I chord -- and they do; 3. Then the obvious conclusion is that there are only two possibilities for the next chord -- the V chord or the IV chord; 4. So if the melody note is part of the V chord, then the chord is probably the V chord. (Duh!) If the melody is not part of the V chord, then the chord is probably the IV chord. (Duh!)

II. Musical Form! A = Theme B = Contrast C=Another Contrast/Theme


A B A A A B A A B A C A A B A B

III. The Creep Chord Progression! Go up half step until you reach the next/last key
C6 C#dim7 Dm7D#m7 Em7 F(ending) (creeping up steps until a stable chord is reached
(primary chord)

IV. The II-V-I Chord Progression!


Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key of of of of of of of of of of of of C: F: G: D: E: A: Gb: Db: Eb: Ab: B: Bb: D G A E F# B Ab Eb F Bb C# C G C D A B E Db Ab Bb Eb F# F C F G D E A Gb Db Eb Ab B Bb

Each chord is a 4th higher than the previous chord. In other words, in the Key of C, after the D chord is used, you go up a 4th (4 scale notes -- in terms of traditional harmony it is a "perfect 4th) to G. Then after the G chord is used, you go up a 4th to C to complete the cycle.

V. The VI-II-V7-I Chord Progression!


Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key Key of of of of of of of of of of of C: F: G: D: A: E: B: Gb: Db: Eb: Ab: A D E B F# C# G# Eb Bb C F D G A E B F# C# Ab Eb F Bb G C D A E B F# Db Ab Bb Eb C F G D A E B Gb Db Eb Ab

VI. The Blue Moon Chord Progression!

vi7

ii7

V7

Usually the two "middle chords -- the VI and the II -- are played as minor chords, and are then known as vi and ii (use small Roman numerals for minor chords). Usually, too, all the chords except the I chord have a 7th in them --in other words, in the key of C: C Am7 Dm7 G7

VII. Embedded Chord Substitutions!


C Am7 Dm7 G7 = C Bb7 Am7 Eb7 Dm7 Gb7 G7 Db7 C Add half step slides (creeping)

VIII. The 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression!


7th is usually added to each chord -- so if the I chord is F, you would usually play F7 -- that is kind of assumed in the blues.

4 bars of the I chord 2 bars of the IV chord 2 bars of the I chord 1 bar of the V chord 1 bar of the IV chord 2 bars of the I chord

IX. The 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression with Embedded Chord Substitutions!
1. Use 7ths on all the I, IV, and V chords 2. Use some half-step slides 3. Use a suspension on any one of the primary chords before resolving to the chord itself 4. Substitute a minor 7th chord a perfect 4th lower than the 7th chord being used, and then resolve to the 7th chord 5. Ask yourself this question: "Into what other 7th chord will this melody note fit?" pick 3 or 4 notes that more or less go with the chord, and make a simple motif out of them

X. Cousin III Chord Progression! III-VI-II-V-I


Key of C: E A D G C Key of F: A D G C F Key of G: B E A D G Key of D: F# B E A D Key of E: G# C# F# B E Key of A: C# F# B E A Key of B: D# G# C# F# B Key of Db: F Bb Eb Ab Db Key of Eb: G C F Bb Eb Key of Ab: C F Bb Eb Ab Key of Gb: Bb Eb Ab Db Gb

Key of Bb: D G C F Bb

XI. The 'Alternating 7ths & m7th Chords' Chord Progression!


You'll notice that between each of the 12 chords there is a 7th chord which connects one chord to the next chord as you move around the circle counter-clockwise. There is also a minor 7th chord which could be played as an alternative to the major chord. Now -- here's the deal: Thousands and thousands and thousands of songs have a section of this circle embedded in them! Not all the circle -- just part of the circle. For example, in the song All The Things You Are", the right-hand part of the circle is being used from F to Db. Go to your piano and play these chords: Fm7 Bbm7 Eb7 Ab Db You will recognize those chords as the chord progression used in that particular song. The progression simply followed the circle around 5/12th of the way! If you knew about the circle of keys, that would be completely logical to you, and you would pick it up in a flash. If you didn't know the circle, you might think they were just random chords! Can you begin to see and understand why knowing chords and a chord progression is so critically important? Then in the very next phrase of the same song the progression goes like this: Cm7 Fm7 Bb7 Eb Ab Hmmm. Does that ring a bell? Sure. Another progression moving 5/12th of the way around the circle. That's how songs are made -- combining one progression with another. Usually, though, songs only have 3 or 4 sets of progressions, and those progressions usually repeat within the song. So if you grasp the progression the first time it happens, you are looking for it to occur again, and you won't be surprised when it happens. Do you know the old song " Please don't talk about me when I'm gone"? It uses this same progression. Here's the theme: Ab C7 F7 Bb7 Eb7 Ab After starting on Ab, the composer jumps across the circle to C7, then predictably follows the circle 5/12ths of the way around the circle.

XII. Chord Subs Technique #1


The "What Other Chord?" technique is one of the best ways to create a fresh harmonization of a familiar melody. You simply ask yourself: "In to what other chord will this melody note fit?"

XIII. Chord Subs Technique #2


The "m7 down a 4th for 7th" Chord Substitution Technique
7th chord C7 F7 G7 D7 A7 E7 B7 Db7 Eb7 Ab7 Gb7 Bb7 ----- m7 chord subs Gm7 Cm7 Dm7 Am7 Em7 Bm7 F#m7 Abm7 Bbm7 Ebm7 Dbm7 Fm7

XIV. Chord Subs Technique #3

The "Half-Step Slide" Chord Substitution Technique


Slide into the target chord by playing the chord 1/2 step above or below it. 1. The "Into what other chord will this melody note fit?" technique. 2. The "m7 down a 4th for 7th" technique. 3. The "half-step slide" technique.

XV. Gospel Chord Progression Technique #1


4 of the 4 Chord Progression
The IV chord of the IV chord, followed by the IV chord, followed by the I chord.

Use the 1st inversion of the first chord (the IV chord of the IV chord), the 2nd inversion of the 2nd chord (the IV chord), and the root position of the last chord (I). You can either use the root of each chord as your left hand low note, or you can use the root of the I chord as an ostinato (constant low note). Key of C Bb to F to C Key of F Eb to Bb to F Key of Bb Ab to Eb to Bb Key of Eb Db to Ab to Bb Key of Ab Gb to Db to Ab Key of Db Cb to Gb to Db Key of D C to G to D Key of A G to D to A Key of E D to A to E Key of F# E to B to F# Key of B A to E to B Key of Bb Ab to Eb to Bb

XVI. Gospel Chord Progression Technique #2


"Walk On Up!" Chord Progression
Walk in 10ths from the I chord up to the IV chord,

but quickly move to the IV of the IV first, then back to the IV, then back to the I chord. Use 7ths freely. You can toggle back and forth all day long on those 3 chords -- the I7 chord (put a 7th in all chords to make them sound bluesy), the IV7 chord, and the IV7 of the IV7 chord. Transposition and Modulation
I'm sure that you have had the experience sometime in your piano-playing life when someone asks you to play a song -- but in a different key than in which it is written. It might be a singer wanting you to lower the song a step so he/she doesn't screech. It might be a song leader wanting you to play a song in more comfortable keys for a congregation or group. It might be a trumpet player looking over your shoulder and wanting to play along with you -- but when he/she plays the same note you are playing, it sure doesn't sound the same!

So....it's your job, as pianist, to get that song moved to a different key. That's transposition -- playing or writing a song in a different key than in which it was originally written. Modulation is similar but different -- modulation means the process of getting from the old key to the new key. In other words, if I'm playing in the key of C, and then want to play in the key of Eb, I have to learn to modulate -- move smoothly from one key to another without being too abrupt and jarring.

There are basicly 3 ways to transpose: 1. by intervals 2. by scale degrees 3. by solfege -- the moveable "do" system. But since solfege applies mostly to singers, we will ignore that possibility and just take up the first two: 1. Intervals: If the new key is an interval of a minor 3rd above the old key, then all notes in the song will also be an interval of a minor 3rd higher. In other words, if you are transposing from the key of C to the key of Eb, which is a minor 3rd higher (or major 6th lower -- whichever way you want to look at it), then all melody notes will also be a minor 3rd higher:
"G" in the key of C would become "Bb" in the key of Eb. "E" in the key of C would become ":G" in the new key of Eb. "A" would become "C", "B" would become "D", and so on. All chords would also move a minor 3rd higher. The "C chord" would become the "Eb chord", the "F chord" would become the "Ab chord", and so on.

2. Scale degrees: Each key you play in has it's own scale degrees. In the key of C the scale degrees are: C=1, D=2, E=3, F=4, G=5, A=6, B=7, C=8. In the key of Eb, however, Eb=1, F=2, G=3, Ab=4, Bb=5, C=6, D=7, Eb=8. So if I want to transpose Silent Night, for example, from the key of C to the key of Eb, I need to notice what scale degrees I am using in the key of C, and then use those same scale degrees in the key of Eb. For example, Silent Night starts on the 5th degree of the scale, goes up to the 6th, back to the 5th, then down to the 3rd. In the key of C that is: G-A-G-E. But in the key of Eb it is Bb-C-Bb-G. Why? Because the scale degrees 56-5-3 are constant -- we just need to apply them in each key. What about chords? Same idea. If the chord progression on Silent Night is the I chord followed by the V chord, followed by the I chord, followed by the IV chord, etc. -- then in the key of C that means C-G-C-Fetc., but in the key of Eb it means Eb-Bb-Eb-Ab-etc. Modulation means getting between keys, so let's say you are playing in the key of C, but you want to get to the key of Eb smoothly, without jarring the nerves of the listeners. There are lots of ways to do it, but the main point is that you have to get to the V7 chord of the new key(perform the ii7 of the new key before the V7 to make it more smoother). So from the key of C to the key of Eb, that means getting to Bb7. How do we do that smoothly? We look for chords with common notes. Since the V of the V of the

new key would be Fm7, we have C as a common note. So we hold the C in the C chord, and move the rest of the C chord to Fm7, then Bb7, then Eb, and presto -- we are there! Intervals are simply the distance between any two notes. So if we have two notes, say, C and D, the interval (another word for space between) is a 2nd; C is 1 and D is 2. If the two notes are C and E, then we have a third. C and F constitute a 4th, C and G a 5th, and so on. It's one thing to know that, but an entirely different thing to be able to HEAR the difference between any two notes and recognize what interval it is. It is also an entirely different thing to be able to SEE any interval and immediately recognize it. For example, if I can recognize a 7th when I see it in written music, and I know what a 7th feels like when I play it -- in other words, the span between notes is familiar -- then I can play it without thinking and my sight-reading speeds up immensely. Any even numbered interval, such as 2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th, 10th, or 12th, is made up of one line and one space. It can't be otherwise. Any odd numbered interval, such as a 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, or 11th, is made up of either two lines or two spaces -- never one of each. It can't be otherwise. Just knowing and understanding that alone can make a BIG difference in your sight-reading. "Voicing" has nothing to do with using your voice -- it is a technical term that refers to the way in which notes of a chord are arranged. For example, you know the "C" chord is made up of 3 notes -- C, E, and G -- correct? But those 3 notes can be arranged in a variety of ways. We could have C on the bottom of the chord, or we could have E on the bottom of the chord, or we could have G on the bottom of the chord. Those are inversions, and we dealt with those a couple issues ago. But we could also space the notes differently. We could have C on the bottom of the chord, skip the E, and have G come next, with E on top. That is called "open voicing" because there is an "opening" between the various notes of the chord. Chords that don't have any openings are called "closed". So we have closed voicing and open voicing. But when we combine closed and open voicing with inversions, we get more possibilities, don't we? For example, if we put E on the bottom of the chord, skip G, then use C, with the G on top, we get the 1st inversion of the C chord in open voicing. If we put G on the bottom of the chord, skip the C, then use E, with the C on top, we get the 2nd inversion of the C chord in open voicing.

MODAL SCALES
Back in the period between roughly 1150AD and 1400AD there developed scales called "modes". (Actually deriving from the Greeks some thousand years before.) And since music was centered in the church during that period (I'm sure there was plenty outside the church as well, but we don't have much in the way of records of that period) they came to be known as "church modes".

These modes haven't been used very much for about 500 years, but now many contemporary musicians are using them as a basis for their compositions or improvisations. Listen to any "fusion" musician, such as Donald Fagan or Dave Sanborn or Dave Grusin or Russ Freeeman of the Rippingtons, etc, etc., and you'll hear many of these ancient scales being used. While these modes can be played in any key, you can get a feel for them by just playing the white keys on your piano at first, noting the relationship of half-steps and whole-steps and listening to the distinctive sound of each mode. Here are the church modes and their intervals:

Dorian: WHWWWHW (like playing the C scale from D to D) Phrygian: HWWWHWW (like playing the C scale from E to E) Lydian: WWWHWWH (like playing the C scale from F to F) Mixolydian: WWHWWHW (like playing the C scale from G to G) Aeolian: WHWWHWW (like playing the C scale from A to A -- also known as the A natural minor scale) Locrian: HWWHWWW (like playing the C scale from B to B) Ionian: WWHWWWH (Does that look familiar? It ought to -- it's just a major scale!)

SCALE C scale Db scale D scale Eb scale E scale F scale Gb scale G scale Ab scale A scale Bb scale B scale

1st Note(do)

2nd Note(re)

3rd Note(mi)

4th Note(fa)

5th note (sol)

6th Note(la)

7th Note (ti)

8th Note(do)

C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B

D Eb E F F# G Ab A Bb B C C#

E F F# G G# A Bb B C C# D D#

F Gb G Ab A Bb Cb C Db D Eb E

G Ab A Bb B C Db D Eb E F F#

A Bb B C C# D Eb E F F# G G#

B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A#

C Db D Eb E F Gb G Ab A Bb B

I Toni c C D D E E F G G A A B B

ii Supertonic Dm E m Em Fm F m Gm A m Am B m Bm Cm C m

iii Mediant Em Fm F m Gm G m Am B m Bm Cm C m Dm D m

IV V vi vii VIII SubDominant SubLeading Tonic dominant mediant Tone F G Am B C G A B m C D G A Bm C D A B Cm D E A B E C m D B C Dm E F C D E m F G C D Em F G D E Fm G A D E A F m G E F Gm A B E F G m A B

How To Predict Which Chord Comes Next


Part 1
Wouldn't it be nice if you could predict which chord would probably come next in a song? I've got some good news for you. It is possible. Not 100%, but somewhere on the order of 75% to 85% accurate. That's because music has FORM -- like the skeleton that holds your flesh, muscles, and skin up. If you had no bones -- no skeleton -- your flesh and all the other parts of you would fall in a heap on the floor. Not a pretty picture. But because you DO have a skeleton, you are able to walk around and pretty accurately predict which way your next step will take you. It's the same in music. Music has FORM -- a skeleton to hold it up, hold it together. And that skeleton is made out of chords -- harmony -- the tonal center of the song or piece. You Can Predict Which Chord Comes Next

In any given key you can play in, there are PRIMARY CHORDS -- chords that occur way more than other chords. They are like family members of that particular key. At your house, let's say you have 3 people in your family -- your spouse, your child, and you. On the same block, but down the street a few houses, lives your cousin and her family. At any given moment, who are the most likely people to be in your house? Al Gore? George Bush? Mark McGwire? I don't think so. It's possible, of course, but not too likely. If I had to guess, I would say it would be either you, your spouse, or your child. It might be your cousin down the street -- there's a much better chance of that than, say, Mark McGwire -- but my best odds would be to guess that the family members would be there. It's the same way with chords. In any given key, there are 3 "family members" that are residents of that key -- the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord. They are far and away the most likely chords to occur in any given key. For example, if I am playing in the Key of C, and the first chord is the C chord and I have to guess what the next chord is, I would guess that it would be either the F chord or the G chord. Why? Because those are the other "family members". So we have narrowed the odds a great deal just by knowing who the members of the family are.

The most likely cousin-chord to show up in any key is the II chord. In other words, after the I, IV, and V chords, the II chord is the next most likely to be used. It might show up in one of several forms -- it might be a major chord, it might be a minor chord, it might be a 7th chord -- but however it shows up, it is far and away the most likely chord to occur after I, IV, or V. So in the key of C, that means that some form of the D chord is the 4th most likely chord to occur. Maybe D7, maybe Dm7, maybe just D, but whatever the form, it is like the cousin that likes to show up at dinner time to eat with the fam. And when it does occur, you can then predict with uncanny accuracy which chord will come after it -- the V chord. And after that, the I chord. So if you were a betting person, your odds would go sky high at that point for that succession of chords to occur. In musical terms, this progression is known as the II - V -- I chord progression. And it happens over and over and over and over again in countless songs. We said that cousin II might occur as a major chord or as a minor chord or as a 7th chord, but however she appeared, she then almost always followed the chord progression of II, V, I. So once you meet cousin II, you pretty much know where she is going, don't you? She's almost always going to V, and V is almost always going to I.

If cousin II is in her 7th form, such as II7 or IIm7, that even strengthens her predicability more -- those 7th chords REALLY want to move up a perfect 4th, for reasons we'll discuss later. So if you're playing in the key of C, and you find yourself on a Dm7 chord, you've got an 85% chance of predicting that the following chords will be G followed by C. You don't know when, of course, but just knowing the likely path gives you an enormous advantage over the musician who doesn't have a clue. COUSIN III go to number X Chord Progression

Circle of 4th reveals at least 10 secrets of chord relationships: 1. The primary chords for each key (the fam). 2. The secondary chords for each key (the cousins). 3. The way chords "want" to move -- up a 4th. 4. The least-likely chords in any key. 5. The order of the flats. 6. The order of the sharps. 7. How many sharps or flats each key contains. 8. Which chords are enharmonic. 9. Which keys are enharmonic. 10. The relative minor key of each major key.

Which Chords Should I Play With This Tune?


1. Find out what key the song is in. Until you know the key, you're just guessing which chords to use. But once you know the key....

2. Locate the primary chords in that key. In other words, what is the I chord? What is the IV chord? What is the V chord? Those are the primary chords in any key. So if you're in the key of Eb, the primary chords are I=Eb, IV=Ab, and V=Bb. If you are in the key of A, the primary chords are I=A, IV=D, and V=E. If you are in the key of G, then the primary chords are I=G, IV=C, and V=D. 3. Look at the tune of the song. Does it start on one of the notes in the I chord? If so, chances are 90% or so that the chord you should use with that melody note is the I chord. Then take a look at the other notes in each measure and ask yourself "Does this melody note belong to one of the primary chords?" If so, play either the I, IV, or V chord depending upon which melody note matches the notes in those chords. After all, every note in the diatonic scale is found in one of those 3 chords, so no matter which note of the scale is being used in the melody, one of those 3 primary chords will match up to it! 4. Look at the tune again. Do you see any accidentals? If so, that means you will have to use one of the secondary chords in any key -- either the II chord, or the IV chord, or the III chord, or the VII chord.

SCALES The scale which includes every key of the piano, black and white is called a chromatic scale:

Another much-used type of scale is the harmonic minor scale, used to improvise on a minor chord or in a minor key:

Still another form of minor scale is the melodic minor:

There is also the diminished scale:

And the whole tone scale:

And the five-tone pentatonic scale (This is the scale which is used all over the world as the basic tonal background of much folk-music. It is equivalent to playing all the black notes on the keyboard, and no white notes.):

Then there is the Alexandrian scale, very popular around the Mediterranean area:

And the blues scale, derived from combining our Western diatonic scale with the blue notes sung by Black slaves and their descendents in the South:

VOICING
Voicing is the art of choosing the most appropriate form for a given chord in a particular situation. Sometimes the limitations of the human hand dictate the need for voicing; more often, voicing is required to produce a sound which fits the feel of the music. For example, if the chord given were C major, you could play it in root position, like this:

That sounds a little square for jazz, so you invert it:

Thats better, but still the sound is a little sterile for modern music, so you add a 6th:

Thats much better, but we can even go farther and allow the root (C) to be implied (it will probably be in the right hand part somewhere anyway, since it is a C chord were playing), and add a 9th (D) for color:

Now were getting close to a contemporary sound, but it still sounds a little cluttered in the middle of the chord. Lets leave out the 5th (G), allowing it to be implied, and see what sound we get:

Perfect. Thats the sound we are after, and thats the sound lots of contemporary jazz pianists are using these days. Notice that the chord is now voiced in 4ths, not 3rds! Notice that through voicing, we have: 1. Allowed the root to be implied (or played in the right hand, or by another instrument in the group.) 2. Allowed the 5th to be implied (or as above.) 3. Added two color tones, the 6th and the 9th. 4. Created a fourth construction, which produces that contemporary, open sound:
TENSIONS(VOICING)
9th ,11th# = maj7 9th,11th = m7 9th,11th#,13th || 9thb,9th#,13thb = dom7

Amazing Diminished 7th Chords


If you lower any one note in a dim 7th chord, you end up with a dominant 7th chord, which of course is the V7 chord of some key, so you can use this insight to help you modulate from one key to another. If you raise any one note in a dim 7th chord, you end up with a minor 6th chord. If you lower any two notes in a dim 7th chord, you end up with a major 6th chord. If you raise any two notes in a dim 7th chord, you end up with a major 6th chord also.

POLYTONALITY AND SUPERIMPOSITION


Polytonality refers to two key centers at once, like playing in the key of C and the key of G at the same time. For example, I could play in C in my left hand while improvising on the G scale in my right hand:

Superimposition refers to one chord piled on top of another chord, such as the E flat chord over the C chord: