arranging, Jazz piano, Music Theory

Jazz Harmony – Building Chords – Simple to Advanced

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This is one of my favourite worksheets on harmony - it's really a basic > advanced jazz harmony in only 2 pages! The stages are:

  • Building up chords vertically
  • Building chords along the scale, horizontally
  • Adding extensions to the chords
  • Altering the extensions
  • Voicing the notes across the keyboard

Download the PDF and go over the examples.

There are two approaches to thinking about chord construction which are essential.  We can build a chord from it's root, adding the upper notes relating to the interval from  the root (rather than the key) 
Vertical Harmony:
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Chord Voicing
These chords now need to be positioned on the keyboard (or arranged)
so as to make the most effective use of the notes-this is known as "voicing":
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James Treweek

James Treweek

James trained classically in Piano & Clarinet and studied Jazz at University. He has worked as an MD & pianist at Ronnie Scott’s, Pizza Express Jazz club Dean Street, The Hippodrome, Leicester Sq Theatre, London Palladium, & was MD for the “Rat Pack” band for David Beckham (with Elton John as support!)