Voicings II - Jazz Chords and Slash Chords

Jazz Chords

When the bass notes are played by a bass player, the following voicings are perfect for rhythmical accentuations or chord melodies, or to create a smooth voice leading from one chord to another.

Voicing 5 1 3 7

Voicing 3 7 1 5

Voicing 7 3 5 1

Slash Chords ???

These Voicings force you to skip (dampen) one string above the lowest string of the chord shape. That makes the lowest tone stand out a bit more than in other voicings.

If there's no bass player involved or you want the bass player to play/emphasize the lowest note of the voicing instead of the root, you should use slash chord notation for the following chords* by adding a slash plus the bass note to the chord symbol, e.g. Cmaj7/E, C7/E, Cmaj7/G, etc.

If you want a bass player to play/emphasize the root instead of the lowest note of the voicing, you should use these voicings with caution, because your lowest note may clash with the root from the bass player, especially when it is a major 7th and you're playing your chord in a lower position.

*) except dim7 chords. Since they are completely symmetrical (created from stacks of minor thirds), you can always consider the lowest note as root: e.g. Cdim7/Eb = Ebdim7, Cdim7/Gb = Gbdim7, Cdim7/Bbb = Cdim7/A = Adim7.

Voicing 5 3 7 1

Voicing 3 1 5 7

Voicing 7 5 1 3