Rootless Voicings Left Hand Stride Drill
Welcome to the first lesson in this practice series on Rootless Voicings.
In this lesson we are going to work on our recognition of rootless voicings using a left hand stride drill. We will do this for major, minor, and dominant chords, and we will explore how to visualise
these voicing shapes so that we can find them quickly and easily whilst playing through jazz standards.
Before we dive into the exercises, it will be nice to demonstrate how you can apply this style to your solo piano playing so that you can see the end result of working on these drills.
Using the tunes “Misty”, & “Body & Soul”, we will play the A Sections with stride and left hand voicings and the melody on top in our right hand. You should hear how effective this style can be in ballads. Playing the root, and then coming up with our left hand to add colour and tensions using rootless voicings.
The first drill is Major 9 Rootless Voicings and we will do this for both type A and type B in stride style. We will play the root low down, and then type A voicing formula is 3-5-7-9. We will take this all the way around the circle of fifths.
The next drill is to repeat the same exercise for type B, the formula is always root in the bass, and then 7-9-3-5.
We can then repeat the same exercise for minor 9th chords. All we do is flatten the 3 and 7 of each voicing. For type A, we would play b3-5-b7-9 and for type B, we would play b7-9-b3-5.
Again take these voicings all the way around the circle of fifths.
The final drill is to do it for dominant chords. This is the trickiest of the 3 exercises because the shapes are harder to visulaise on the keyboard.
Isolating them in this exercise will help you become familiar with the shape and construction of these versatile voicings. For dominant voicings, there are 2 important inversions to visualise and memorise:
In practice slot 2, we will add all of these chords together into the major 251 progression. Congratulations on getting this for and see you in the next lesson.