1.3 voicing chords across two hands

There are so many keys on a piano, and the wonderful thing is that the more you spread a chord the more the sound is widened to the ear. In comping under a melody or just playing chords in a groove it's good to use both hands! The starting point is what we call shell voicing and you will play these root chords typically the 1-3-5-7 with the root and 7th in the left hand and the 3rd and 5th in the right as shown in the lesson. Shells are pretty cool, they are the foundation of comping under a melody with two hands.

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Shell voicing can be extremely effective - Listen to Ben playing the 12 bar blues and shell voicing the chord progression with the backing of the myJazz band. 

Ben plays the 12 bar blues


MJB trio


Here is an introduction to the mysteries of comping under jazz vocals sung by Stephanie Paris accompanied by the myJazz band. The shell voicings are slightly more complex but the essence is the same.

Stephanie sings The Old Country by Nat Adderley


MJB trio steph