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An overhead shot of a woman playing piano.

3-Note Jazz Piano Voicings

3-note jazz voicings are the simplest way to play 7th chords. They are great for beginners, but don't underestimate them -- the professionals use them all the time too.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Sep 29, 2020
An overhead photo of my hands playing a sharp 11 chord

How to use Sharp-11 Chords

A sharp-11 chord can be little intimidating of a concept, especially if you are new to playing jazz, but it's actually one of the most common ways to color major and dominant chords. In this article, we’ll explore various ways to use this chord in your playing.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Aug 09, 2020
A man covering his ears to muffle the sound of avoid notes.

What Is An Avoid Note In Jazz?

An avoid note is any note in the scale that is a half-step away from a note in the chord being played. As an example, playing an F on top of a C major chord sounds dissonant, since it's a half step above E, the third of the chord.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Jul 23, 2020
A honky tonk piano which hardly looks playable.

Is Ragtime Hard to Play?

One of the most common questions I hear from beginning piano students is "can I learn to play Maple Leaf Rag?" Or, "Is The Entertainer approachable as a beginner?"

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Jul 08, 2020
Hands on a piano

Jazz Chord Progressions — The Ultimate Guide

These 7 chord progressions make up 90% of jazz standards and are a critical skill in learning to play jazz piano.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Jun 13, 2020
An artistic rendering of a tonnetz tone grid map

Using Tonnetz Tone Mesh To Understand Jazz Harmony

The Tonnetz is a 2-dimensional mesh which maps the tonal landscape of western music. It serves as an analytical tools for understanding the theoretical structure of our music.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Apr 27, 2020
A woman playing an upright piano

How Sus Chords Work and When To Play Them

Sus-chords were first used in classical music to delay the resolution of a cadence. Jazz musicians use sus-voicings in many different scenarios.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Apr 17, 2020
An overhead shot of a woman playing piano.

How to Voice Dominant 7th Chords

Dominant 7th chords are the most exciting and colorful chords in jazz. The fundamental voicings are used in all jazz standards, and altered extensions provide endless varieties to get creative.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Mar 28, 2020
Hands playing a piano from up close

How to Voice Major 7th Chords

Major chords can be voiced using a number of techniques, including shells, rootless voicings, 6/9 voicings, extended voicings with the sharp-11th, fourth voicings, and more.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Mar 28, 2020
Overhead view of a pianists hands on a piano keyboard

How to Voice Minor 7th Chords

Minor chords can be voiced using a number of techniques, including shells, rootless voicings, extended voicings with the 11th, fourth voicings, and more.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Mar 28, 2020
Sheet music laid across the piano keyboard.

7 Modes of the Major Scale Used in Jazz

When I started my study into jazz harmony I learned just how important the modes of the major scale are. It's a bit of a deep topic, and in this post I'll demystify it for you.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Mar 22, 2020
A photograph of a violin

Using the Overtone Series

The overtone series is the physics behind all western music, including jazz. It is the bedrock of everything we do as jazz musicians.

Josh Walsh
Josh Walsh on Mar 14, 2020
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