Piano Chord Voicings

Hey guys. Does anyone know anything about piano/keyboard chord voicings at all?

I’m trying to use samples less in my music, but the stuff I sampled was all funk and soul records.
I think I have enough synth and sampler patches to plaly most of the keyboard parts…Only problem is I don’t know how to voice the chords to get the same sound.
Any advice you can give me, or links with relevant info would be appreciated.

Cheers guys.
Renoise rocks.

What a coincidence. I bought this book the other day and read it all today. It’s entirely about different chord voicings and the implications of doing them that way. Unforunately the Amazon “search inside” function doesn’t show any of that :( I would really recommend the book though.

Piano voicings are a big part of what makes a piano player unique; voicings are as different as players are.

That said, here’s a couple of tips I’ve picked up along the way:

-If the left hand is playing a “bass” part (below, say, the C below middle C), then chords in the left hand should be “open” chords with intervals no smaller than a fifth. Close intervals in that register sound too muddy.

-If the left hand is playing the third of a chord (e.g. the e in a C major chord), the characteristic sound of the “inverted chord” is clearer if you don’t play the third in the right hand at all.

-In the right hand, you can get a jazzier, more upbeat sound by playing 4-note “close position” chords that support the melody. An example would be to play “Frere Jacques” with these chords:


…note that there aren’t any intervals greater than a third, and there are lots of 2nds thrown in. That’s the characteristic “close position” style.

-For jazzier or funkier voicings, always keep in mind the fun ways that jazz extends chords (adding 7ths, 9ths, 11ths) and also always keep in mind that you don’t have to play all the chord tones, including the root. My favorite way to spell a G7 chord is f-b-e. (Try substituting a Db for the bass and it sound especially good.)

Dunno if that was what you were looking for?


There, you’ll find 3 black charts. The 2 lower ones I condensed from a complete keyboard chord poster.

I don’t have documentation yet on how to use the 1st chart (the one with the keyboard). That’s my condensed version of a chord progression chart.