Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsSo let’s try our fourth-based voicings with a C minor blues. In fact let’s use the same playalong as we did for the last session with “Equinox”.

Skip to 0 minutes and 24 secondsWhat happens when we get to the F minor 7 section - bar 5? The answer is that we do exactly the same thing, namely we take the scale F Dorian and we build up fourth-based voicings staying on that scale. And now the weird thing is that if we start with the bottom note being F then we end up with exactly the same voicing as we’ve been saying is our key fourth-note voicing for C minor 7

Skip to 1 minute and 0 secondsNow if we go up on the scale: we go up one note - that’s a tone all round, we get that chord. Now if we go up on the scale, we don’t get a perfect fourth anymore. We get our friend the 13th voicing for B flat7 - that’s not a perfect fourth any more. If we go up on the scale, that is …, that is …, that is … but we’re high enough. Let’s also use our ‘Trane blues sequence, so when we get to bar 9 we’re playing A flat7, and when we get to bar 10 G7.

Skip to 1 minute and 41 secondsWhen we play these chords we’ll play the 13th voicing but not thickened - just the 3 note voicing so that we keep a 3-note voicing all the way through. What I am mostly interested in at this stage is that you get an idea of the sound of what fourth-based voicings is like - in this case for a minor blues - that you get the sound in your head. To keep it simple I’ll just try and play chords on beats 1 and 3 legato in the left hand and then add over the top the Dorian scales that go with those chords.

Using fourths with a Cm Blues playalong

We discuss and illustrate using fourths with a Cm Blues playalong. Click here for a playalong for “C Minor Blues (‘Trane)”.

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This video is from the free online course:

Learn Jazz Piano: II. Improvising on Jazz Standards

Goldsmiths, University of London