Finding Your Voice with Voicings

Some people ask us jazz pianists:           “How do you know what notes to play?”      Other times, I am reading a lead sheet and they ask, “If there’s only one line on the page, where do the other notes come from?” This is where our secrets lay. With all […]

Piano Voicings – Similar Sounds

By Sam Griffith It is very easy to get so involved with harmonic substitutions, we forget about simple things we can do to harmony. In many cases, a small adjustment such as leaving a specific note out, or changing the quality of a chord can completely change the sound of the song. Frequently these little […]

Jazz Piano Voicings – How To Comp Like Wes Montgomery

Wes Montgomery is frequently overlooked when talking about the GREAT jazz soloists. Montgomery’s approach to jazz improvisation should be utilized by ALL soloists but especially pianists. Instead of focusing on specific harmony or rhythm devices used, the core of Wes’ improvisation come from his use of different textures to develop ideas. Pianists can take full advantage of […]

Jazz Piano Voicings – Why Not Just Two Notes?

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 […]

Jazz Piano Voicings – Think Like A Big Band

By Sam Griffith A few years ago, Wynton Marsalis participated in an documentary on HBO that featured him directing a group of prodigious high-school jazz musicians. Wynton gives tons of great feedback to the musicians, especially  to the pianist of the group. In a discussion about  comping, Wynton gives several awesome conceptual ideas for the pianist to explore. […]

Jazz Piano Voicings – How To Create LH Voicings

Everyone always is looking for more jazz piano voicings. Whether its two handed, or one handed, it seems like a jazz pianists is on a never ending journey for more voicings. I can’t say I wasn’t in the same boat at one point in my life. This is how we all start. But if I […]

What Rootless Voicings Are, And How To Use Them

Wow! Well it’s been quite a while since my last blog post. I’ve been extremely busy gigging, teaching and trying to raise money to upgrade this site in the coming months. I’m very excited about this because I’ll be working with a great branding and marketing company by the name of Dreambox Creative. The owner […]

How To Use The “Shells” Of Chords To Improve Your Playing

When I was a young lad studying jazz piano with the great George Russell Jr. back at New England Conservatory in Boston, he had me doing all these exercises playing the shells. While I practiced, I couldn’t help but think, “This is the most pointless practicing ever.” Little did I know he was giving me […]