A Lesson on Chord Voicing

by Charles
(Accra,Greater Accra,Ghana)

I would like you to give a lesson on chord voicing.Maybe give examples of progressions and explain how to voice them.

ANSWER

Hi, Charles--

The choice of voicing for chords depends upon what you are wanting to do. For example:

1. If you are playing with a bass player, you may want to voice the chords in a higher position so as to allow the broadest range of harmony.

2. If you are playing to accompany a singer , you may want to voice the chords so that the melody note is the highest note in the chord. This tends to lend support to the vocals.

3. Pianists and guitarists should try to play in different voicings so as to spread the sound out and avoid duplication.

4. If you are playing a chord melody, you will DEFINITELY want to voice the chords so that the melody note is the highest in the chord.

In addition, you will want to play the chords in a manner that will require the minimum movement of your hand(s). On the guitar, this means that you will want to find those chord positions which are closest to one another.

On the piano, it means using chord inversions which allow you to change chords with a minimum of motion. This concept is explained in detail at
What are Chord Inversions?.

Hope this helps. If you have further questions, I will be glad to try to help.

Best Wishes,
Lynne



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