Phat Chord Voicings Piano Lesson series
Piano lessons Video Overview – “Phat Chord Voicings, Ch. 3″
This piano lessons chapter of the ‘Phat Chord Voicings’ Series is titled ‘Crunch Chords’. So far in this series, we’ve been exploring the technique of opening up piano chords, creating ‘open’ voicings by taking the notes of chords and spreading them out on the piano.
Today, we’re going to take some of those same chords and go the opposite direction. Instead of ‘opening up’ the chords, and spreading them around on the piano keyboard, we’ll compact the chords so that they always have at least two notes that are a whole step, or even a half-step apart on the piano. This compact voicing of the chords is why they are called ‘Crunch’ chords.
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These Crunch chords are especially effective when you need a little bit of an extra punch in your sound. For instance, when you are playing piano in a band situation, and it comes time for you to take a piano solo, change some of your chord voicings into Crunch chords and you’ll be amazed at how they cut through the mix!
To illustrate the use of these piano chord techniques, we’ve mixed together a full jazz song on the piano showing the use of the Crunch chords in the right hand. In addition, you’ll see that we’ll go through a detailed ‘how-to’ for your left hand on the piano, showing how you can take some typical descending line passages and change them into Phat Crunch chords!
Crunch chords can be really effective comp chords in your left hand to support a right-hand piano solo. Because a crunch chord is a very tight piano chord voicing, it can punch through the sound like a tight snare drum. Open voicings on the other hand, tend to really open up and surround the sound with a lush musical pad. But when you really want to have a percussive musical device underneath your right-hand piano solo, crunch chords are the way to go.
One thing to be aware of when playing left-handed crunch chords on the keyboard is that you cannot play them in the extreme lower registers. Because the notes of a crunch chord by definition are very close together, they tend to really fight in the lower registers. What I tend to do when I’m playing crunch chords in my left hand on the piano is to play them somewhere in the range of middle C or higher. This really produces a tight sound. Of course your right hand will then need to be playing a solo even higher.
Crunch chords can also be very interesting on the piano when you play them with your right-hand and then let the left hand take a solo. Remember that the crunch chords are usually played somewhere around the register of middle C or higher.
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