Jazz Piano Voicings – Why Not Just Two Notes?

1+3 jazz piano voicing

By Sam Griffith

A lot of times in jazz we need to remove ourselves and look at the bigger artistic picture of what is happening when we are playing a jazz song. The deeper we get into studying harmony, rhythm, form, memorizing standards, etc.., the easier it is for us to lose track of the big picture. What is the big picture?

In most cases, this is the journey we take from the beginning of a song to the end. Frequently these journeys will take several minutes and MANY choruses. Remembering that ahead of time can help you develop a plan for what you will do for different soloists or what you will do for the first chorus (as opposed to the last).

I mention this, because over the last week I’ve seen too many pianists sight-read tunes and attempt voicings that are either too difficult for them or have have no place in the first chorus of any solo (even their own!)

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