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Yes, thanks BassPlayaOne,
I've just begun learning to play "Autumn Leaves", [piano] my first chord being a rootless B-type Am7 :-
L/H - G B C D. R/H - [ melody note ] = C
I'm wondering if there are any basic conventions I should be aware of when opening and fattening the chord, while playing the melody . For example, which notes would be introduced or moved from left to right? Which may, or may not be doubled? May the root be played in the RH when playing rootless?
[I just don't want to be playing one melody note in the RH.]
I have been looking for information with limited success, so any suggestions regarding voicing, or ideas as to the best sites for info, would be very much appreciated.
1. Add the guide tone note between the LH and RH. You'll be doubling the guide tone line between the two hands, which is always a strong sound.
I can't reproduce the melody itself here because of copyright restrictions, but on the main melody notes you might play in the RH:
Am7: G C
D7: Move G down to F#
GΔ: F# B
CΔ: Move F# down to E
F#ø: E A
B7: Move E down to D#
Em7: D G
The guide tone line is G F# E D# D.
2. Another way to add to the melody is to harmonize each note down a diatonic third.
3. Double the melody at the octave. For an even bigger sound, add the fifth between the octave notes. A variation on this is to combine 2 and 3: play the melody in octaves and add the note a third below the top note.
4. When the melody is very close to the LH chord, there isn't an empty sounding gap between the chord and melody and it's not necessary to add notes.
In such a case, for a smoother sound one often breaks the chord up between the two hands. For instance, one might play:
Am7: LH G B C, RH E A
D7#5b9: LH F# A# C, RH Eb F#
GΔ: E A B, RH: D G
Also "So What" voicings, which have a major third interval on top with quartal intervals below that ...
In both cases, sometimes using 5 notes total, sometimes 4.
A classic voicing book is Frank Mantooth's Voicings For Jazz Keyboard.
Also consider drop two voicings.
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