Bill Evans Voicings - Rootless Chords Pt. 2 (Podcast Episode #23)

Posted by: JAZZEDGE on March 23, 2021

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00:06 Hey guys, Willie Myette creator of jazz edge I want to welcome to episode 23 of the confident improviser Podcast. Today we are talking about Bill Evans chord voicings, this is part two. Today we're going to cover the minor seven flat five chords and also the diminished rootless chords. Alright, so as a reminder, this is this podcast is a companion podcast to the confident improviser program. If you want to learn improvisation from the ground up, definitely check out the confident improviser you can learn more at back at jazz edge or at the confident Alright, so, Bill Evans chord voicings. So today what we're going to do is we're going to focus on these two voicings, which is the minor seven, flat five, and also the diminished seventh chord. Remember, at Bill Evans chord voicings, this is just like kind of a label that we give to these rootless voicings, we kind of attribute them to Bill Evans, not to say that necessarily, this is the way that Bill Evans is going to play all of his chord voicings. But anyway, this is great techniques to learn for your minor seven, flat five and your diminished. Alright, so let's get started. minor seven, flat five, C minor seven, flat five, the notes of the minor seven flat five chord or C, E flat, G flat, and B flat. Now, before we move any further, you need to understand that you might hear this chord referred to as a half diminished chord, you might see a circle with a line through it. Okay. That is another way that some players like to refer to this chord, I learned it as a minor seven, flat five. And I honestly think a minor seven flat five is a better voicing, it's also a lot easier to see on the bandstand. Because at least you see that it is a minor, you're not seeing it as a diminished, and then you have it. So anyway, it's personal preference, you decide which one works for you, I refer to it as a minor seven, flat five. Alright, so now, on the minor seven flat five chord, really, there are no tensions that you need to add to this chord voicing to make it a rootless chord voicing, what you do is just take the root out. So here I'm playing the third on the bottom. So I have E flat, G flat, B flat, and C. Now a lot of times we know we would go up to the D there, right, but we're not going to add in that ninth. Because the ninth sometimes and sometimes doesn't work, sometimes the natural nine sounds good. Sometimes the flat nine sounds better. And this is why we have our locrian natural nine scale for those times that we're going to use the natural night. So if you find that you're going to be utilizing the natural nine in your chord voicing, and it sounds good, then that locrian natural nine scale is going to fit just perfectly right. We're not going to dive into that scale right now, we will talk about that. We talk about it on the site, but talk about that at a later date. So anyway, minor seven, flat five, right. So you have E flat, G flat, B flat and C that's my a form my B form is to simply put the seventh on the on the bottom note, you have B flat, C, E flat, and G flat. So B flat, C, E flat and G flat, I put the C in the left hand sound your C minor seven flat five. Now let's move on to diminished. And I'm going to show you a hip little minor seven flat five chord voicing in just a little bit. But let's let's do our diminished chord next. Okay, so C diminished C, E flat, G flat and a. Okay, that's my diminished chord. If we wanted to be technically correct, we can write this as double B flat. So write a B with a double flat next to it. But here I'm just writing it out as a. So with the diminished chord, what you do is you go one whole step above the top note right or the last note in the chord voicing. Okay, so here we have C, E flat, G, flatten a, so this top note is a go a whole step higher. And I have a B and that's my diminished chord voicing with added tension. Now I can also do this and inversions. Remember, I could play the C diminished chord, C, E flat, G flat a right then I could go E flat, G flat, A C, then G flat, A C, E flat and a C, E flat, G flat, right? So remember, I go through all these different inversions. Now, I could take that top notes 04:52 right right so you hear that top note I have that top note. And I can take that top note and go up a whole step. So I have would see on the bike, and the bottom there is when he flatten the bottom, there's a G flat on the bottom, and there's a on the bottom. So now the notes that I'm getting here is C, E flat, G flat, and B, E flat, G flat, A and D, G flat, A, C and F, and A, C, E flat, and a C, E flat, A flat rate or G sharp. So now the two forms that I'm thinking about here is just putting the third on the base or the third of them as the bottom note, that's your a form, or your B double flat or a right and put that one as the bottom note and that's my B for. Now, the diminished chord, that little tension trick there, it works really great. I use it all the time in my playing, but you don't necessarily have to use it on every single diminished chord. Okay, again, a lot of these voicings really are relying on you utilizing your ears if you play something and it just doesn't sound good with the melody, or it doesn't sound good with the song. Alright, well then you're going to want to try something different. Remember that jazz musicians do not play chord voicings the same way every single time, jazz musicians will typically have a kind of like a stack or a library of different voicings, okay, so in other words, for C major seven, you know, you might play eg B and D for my rootless chord voicing. But I might also use quarrels or clusters and intention to they're doing all this different stuff. And it's still a C major seventh chord voicing. So the idea is that the more voicings you learn, they get added to your chord library. Now, in order to be able to play these, you obviously need to work them out in other keys and through other progressions. Now, what I've done is I've created a simple progression here for you, C major seven, E flat, diminished, D minor seven, flat five, G seven, altered C minor seventh. So you can take this progression, go ahead and play it, I'm going to play it for you in just a second. And then you can work through that in multiple keys. And it'd be a great way of learning these voicings. The other great way of learning these voicings is by applying them to songs, that's exactly what we're doing in standards by the dozen. So if you're not familiar with standards by the dozen, that's my premier course in which I'm going through and teaching a new standard every single month. And we're going through the lead sheet, rootless chords, improvisation, two handed comping baselines shells. So if you want to play solo piano or in a group setting standards by the dozen is a great way of getting down those standards and expanding your repertoire. It's also a great way of getting these rootless chords really solidly locked in your hands and fingers. Okay, so check that out standards by the dozen. Alright, so, here we have C major seven, right, E flat, diminished, D minor seven, flat five, seven, alter them back to C minor seven. So, C major seven, C. So I have my C major seventh rootless chord voicing. G, B, D, E flat diminished, I have G flat, A, C and F, G minor seven, flat five, I have an F, A flat C and D, G seven. All right, which we've talked about many times before in the courses and also the podcast. This fault voicing means that you are going to be altering the ninth and the 13th. Okay. Often the night, sometimes the 13th could have flattened out with a natural 13. Anyway, so rather than writing out all of these tensions, we say that it's altered. And then you go ahead and play 09:08 voicing Now here, the one that I have written here, yes, one with a flat. 09:15 So F, A flat, B, E flat, and then you go to C minor seven, E flat, G, B flat, and D. Now remember, like I said, this is all recorded on video, you can get this all back at the confident improviser in that course, found that jazz edge, right so if you want to watch the video, you want to be able to download the sheet music you can get all of that. Now, I did want to tell you that there is a special way in which you can get the sheet music if you have not become a member or you're not a member of the site. Just go back to jazz piano Put your name and email address in there. You'll be able to download the sheet music for this podcast episode and the previous podcast episode. So all of those Bill Evans voicings absolutely free of charge doesn't cost you anything, you don't put in anything other than your name and email. So no credit card information. And then you're also going to get a free account to jazz edge, which is going to give you access to dozens of different lessons and chapters, you literally have hours and hours of content available there, absolutely free of charge, again, does not cost anything and you're never built. So if you're looking to improve your piano skills, and you do not have a free jazz edge membership, I would definitely suggest that you check it out, just go back to jazz piano, put in your name and email address right there. And then everything will get set up for you. Alright, so now the other thing I wanted to show you is I have some chord notes down here, minor seven flat five chords do not need any added tension. So just good to remember that and it also diminished chords play a whole step above the last note, or you can also think of that as the top note of your voicing. So go a whole step above and that top note, and then that will sound great. Now something to note on your C diminished, right? So my top note is based off of my C diminished block chord, right? If I do the C diminished, and I take the a and I go into B, don't get confused and think, Oh, I go up another whole step from B to C sharp No, no, this is all based off of that original block chord and the inversions of that original block chord. The other thing too is you want to do it as the top note because listen to what happens if you do it inside there and doing it like going from F sharp to G sharp with the A. Right? If I do with the E flat up to the F, and it doesn't sound, what if I go in the seat, right? A my belly get away with that. So kind of call attention. That's kind of neat. But really, it's that top note is what really, really sounds good, you can start to get some of these sounds. You probably heard that kind of stuff before. Alright, so anyway, the advanced voicing for the minor seven flat five chord that I wanted to share with you, I'm just going to do this real quickly, it's a little bit more advanced. So if this is over your head, then just you know, you can just like pass by it for right now. So you start on D and do a D minor seven, flat five and build a chordal starting on D so I have D, G and C and then I also add in the flatted fifth, right so d G A flat and C that gives me my root, my 11th my flat and fifth and my seventh. Notice there's no third in this voicing. That's okay, I don't have to put every note in every voicing, okay, otherwise, that would be boring. Sometimes like as jazz musicians, we might might just even play like a little cluster of notes. Just a few notes from the voicing. But as long as you know that it's a D minor seven, flat five, you know, when you're when you're going to improvise, you know, to add in that, that F natural. Now the other kind of neat thing to note about this is that this Voicing is the same voicing as B flat seven. So if I went down a major third and created a dominant seventh voice in there, that's the same as d minor seven, flat five. So let's say that I wanted to do F minor seven, flat five, right? So what I would do is I would go to D flat seven, build a D flat seven chord voicing, put F in the base. 13:32 And then I get my minor seven flat five chord that way as well. So just kind of a neat other way of seeing him. Okay. All right. So anyway, like I said, if you want the free chord charts, you want to get a free account, just go back to jazz piano, fill in your name and email address there. And if you have any questions, and you're a member of the site, remember jazz has members. every other Thursday I get to be on live. I am on live I do my confident improviser q&a session. You can ask me questions you could play get feedback on your playing. So it's a great way of really staying connected, staying accountable and learning new stuff every single week and making sure that if you have questions, you can get them answered. Alright, so anyway, that's it for me. Thanks guys. Willie Myette creator jazz edge. I'll see you guys in the next episode.

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