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#1127776 - 05/02/07 11:21 PM C7 fingering...How do you do it?
josuff247 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
OK, so I am new to chording.
I am having trouble with the fingering of the C7 chord, particularly the Bb.
My fingers don't stretch that way. The only way I can get it comfortably is to move my finger inbetween the black keys, and when I do that, I hit the black keys unintentionally.

I tryed inverting it leaving the CEG where they are and using the Bb to the left of it, but it doesnt sound as good.

How do you guys do it?
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#1127777 - 05/02/07 11:38 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13817
Loc: Iowa City, IA
One very common way is to play it in first inversion and leave out the fifth:

E, Bb, C

LH fingering: 521

Leaving the G out works well in root position, too. Just play C, E, Bb with 5, 3, 1. When playing your thumb on the Bb, move your entire hand forward to avoid twisting.
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#1127778 - 05/02/07 11:43 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
Left Hand ?

You can leave out the G and just hit C E Bb with 5 3 1 fingers. For me it's easier and faster to do that and yes I do stretch my fingers between black keys.

Serge
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#1127779 - 05/03/07 01:43 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
josuff247 Offline
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Registered: 01/18/06
Posts: 169
Thanks, both work great.
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#1127780 - 05/03/07 01:59 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
sylvainiris Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 46
Loc: France
Keep your hands well over the piano so that the thumb is always in position ready to strike a note without having to hoist your hand up over the notes. Like this you should easily be able to reach that chord. Leaving out all the time means your hand will never shape that way....
Good luck
Iris

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#1127781 - 05/03/07 11:14 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by sylvainiris:
Keep your hands well over the piano so that the thumb is always in position ready to strike a note without having to hoist your hand up over the notes. Like this you should easily be able to reach that chord. Leaving out all the time means your hand will never shape that way....
Good luck
Iris [/b]
Try approaching the impending F chord of resolution from two directions harmonically:

Left hand: C G D
right hand: E Bb F# (C9 #11)

Nice open sound!
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#1127782 - 05/03/07 11:57 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Serge88 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/27/06
Posts: 775
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Originally posted by Disciple:
Try approaching the impending F chord of resolution from two directions harmonically:

Left hand: C G D
right hand: E Bb F# (C9 #11)

Nice open sound! [/QB]
I will need 3 hands to play those chords. I can't go more then octave.

Serge
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#1127783 - 05/04/07 03:03 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Serge88:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Disciple:
Try approaching the impending F chord of resolution from two directions harmonically:

Left hand: C G D
right hand: E Bb F# (C9 #11)

Nice open sound! [/b]
I will need 3 hands to play those chords. I can't go more then octave.

Serge [/QB]
OK. Here's the condensed version:

L: C G Bb
R: E F# A D (C13 #11)

Still a nice open sound for the smaller hand.
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#1127784 - 05/04/07 03:10 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
John Anthony Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/07
Posts: 115
For what it's worth, you don't always need to hit certain notes in the chord if it is being played in the other hand. In many cases it can sound "funny" having a unison like that. For instance you could play a C-major in the left hand and if B-flat is in the right hand then you've still got a C7.
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#1127785 - 05/04/07 09:28 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by John Anthony:
For what it's worth, you don't always need to hit certain notes in the chord if it is being played in the other hand. In many cases it can sound "funny" having a unison like that. For instance you could play a C-major in the left hand and if B-flat is in the right hand then you've still got a C7. [/b]
Ah, but duplication of tones in different octave within voicings lend a different melodic weight if you have melodic lines running through your chord changes!
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#1127786 - 05/04/07 11:51 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
steveb40 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 113
Loc: New York City
I like Disciple's voicing so while you're at it make it a 13 without the #11 as this shape will double and triple its value depending on what you play in the bass. Good starting point before grabbing those #11s...

You can move your hand closer to the fallboard to reach what you need with your thumb.

L: C G
R: Bb D E A
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#1127787 - 05/05/07 11:26 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by steveb40:
I like Disciple's voicing so while you're at it make it a 13 without the #11 as this shape will double and triple its value depending on what you play in the bass. Good starting point before grabbing those #11s...

You can move your hand closer to the fallboard to reach what you need with your thumb.

L: C G
R: Bb D E A [/b]
The best thing about the open voicing I initially gave him is the resolution gravity to chromatically ascending or descending similar voicings. You can create a very nice harmonic progression by use of staggered, many common tone 1-5-9 voicings such as:

C G D E B F# (C maj #11)
C G D E Bb F# (C dom #11)
C G D Eb Bb F (C min 11)
B F# C# D# A# E# (B maj #11)
B F# C# D# A E# (B dom #11)
B F# C# D A E (B min 11)
Bb F C D A E (Bb maj #11)
etc., etc.

Interesting, right?
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#1127788 - 05/06/07 01:24 AM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
steveb40 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 113
Loc: New York City
Yes, that is a nice sound. I use it all the time.
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#1127789 - 05/06/07 01:34 AM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by steveb40:
Yes, that is a nice sound. I use it all the time. [/b]
Most don't! How about left hand flatted ninth voicings instead of octaves for the roots of major tonalities?

B C(b9th up) instead of C octave or C B
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#1127790 - 05/06/07 08:57 AM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
it would be nice if someone had a list of open voicings..

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#1127791 - 05/06/07 10:37 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Newbie:
it would be nice if someone had a list of open voicings.. [/b]
OK, Let's keep it simple. Do this one at a time. How about the "Outer Limits" major voicing:

Cmaj 13th: LH: C-G-D RH: A E B

Try it in every key. Beautiful open sound and reachable for most.
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#1127792 - 05/07/07 03:23 AM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
sylvainiris Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/20/07
Posts: 46
Loc: France
Gorgeous if you have big hands:-(
Iris

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#1127793 - 05/07/07 05:21 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by sylvainiris:
Gorgeous if you have big hands:-(
Iris [/b]
You should see some of Earl Hines' voicings!! He could play 11ths as easily as most play octaves and could set up to stretch voicings with 12ths!!!

Here's a little trick to playing that C-G-D-A-E-B voicing. If octave aren't a problem, try playing it left C-G-CD (that is the thumb on BOTH the C and D, so you can cheat the full distance to D slightly), and right hand AB-E-B (same thing, thumb depresses both the A and B).
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#1127794 - 05/08/07 01:56 AM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
Here's this evenings interesting open voicing. If you like augmented chords, you'll love this open voicing as a substitute for a dominant 7th:

LH: C E G# RH: D F# A#

Let's analyze this voicing before trying it on other starting points. It's two augmented major triads sounded together at the interval of a ninth. It's a C9+ #11.

ALL of the notes of a C whole tone scale are present. The chord is made up of the entire whole tone scale inclusive! Note that a D9 #11 would be comprised of the SAME EXACT NOTES, as would any of the notes of that whole tone scale included in our initial chord!

A Db9+ #11 would be comprised of all 6 of the remaining notes NOT used in the C whole tone scale

Try that voicing at the piano. It's easy to move around from any starting point because analytically, it's an augmented major triad with another augmented triad played in the right hand a ninth up!

C E G# D F# A#

Now this is a two-for-one voicing as well. Try changing the two juxtapositioned triads to produce this voicing with a slightly different, narrower sound:

LH: D F# A# RH: C E G#

Augmented major triad in the left hand, augmented major triad a dom. 7th up in the right.

Great sound, easy to envision.

Charles Ives used this voicing in alot of his piano and string music!
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#1127795 - 05/08/07 01:03 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
dpvjazz Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/12/05
Posts: 287
Loc: phoenix az
Great stuff as I sit by the piano and work out those voicings given here and of course here is my two cents worth. These are open voicings based on fourths and you can hit the root with your left hand pinky finger when you do not have a bass player. Plus by using two fingers only in the right hand and how you place them it will allow you to do some runs or inter tonal movement between the chords.
1. Left hand Right hand
E Bb D , G C a C7 chord with the third in the bass
2. Left hand Right hand
Bb E A , D G a C7 chord with the dom seventh in the bass
3. Left hand Right hand
D G C , F Bb a C7 chord with the second in the bass
4. Left hand Right hand
G C F , Bb D a C7 chord with the fifth in the bass
5. One more is the C6 with the 9th
Left Hand Right Hand a C9 chord with the sixth in the bass
A D G , C E

The chords are based on fourths and produce a nice open sound and are great when comping or playing behind lead players. To practice these hit your root then run through
All five options and mixed them up. Hit a low C in the bass and then move though your vocings # 1 first then # 2 then # 4 then # 5 then # 3 back to # 1. That is just one example you can mixed them up and hear a lot of sounds plus try and work a little lick or run in the right hand while doing this ALWAYS trying to LEAD into the next chord with your note choices And when done with the C chord move up a fourth to F and then Bb THRU THE CIRCLE OF FOURTHS. Thanks to Disciple for those great examples by the way which scales would sound good with those chords. DPVJAZZ

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#1127796 - 05/08/07 09:11 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
Good observations, DPV. And eq
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#1127797 - 05/08/07 09:22 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
Good observations, DPV. And equally good additions!

Tonight's voicing is a common tone, quartal resolution! I'm basing this on some of DPVs suggestions.

Open voicings join together most smoothly when there is carefully controlled, smooth, melodic voice-leading. Nothing works as smoothly as having a common root and a minimum of travel in the other components of the voicing. So here's a beauty based all on 4ths with a beautiful V (bII maj) - I substitute type of resolution. This open vociing also fits a snall hand very nicely:

Key of Bb:

LH: Bb Eb Ab, RH: Db Gb Cb, to
LH: Bb D G, RH: C F Bb

Analytically, this is a Cb 13 vocied with the major 7th in the root, to a Bb 9.

The bottom note remains unchanged while all the other voices move down 1/2 step chromatically!

Simple, yet elegant.
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#1127798 - 05/08/07 11:29 PM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
steveb40 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/02/06
Posts: 113
Loc: New York City
Have to love those stacked fourths...
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#1127799 - 05/09/07 12:39 AM Re: C7 fingering...How do you do it?
Disciple Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 288
Loc: NYC
 Quote:
Originally posted by steveb40:
Have to love those stacked fourths... [/b]
And the beauty of it is that it's not only easy to find in any key for a beginner (just build triadic fourths in both hands from any starting point, keep the left hand pinky note and drop all the stacked fourths down 1/2 step), but since the MOST important fourth interval in that voicing resolved to a major third (the first interval of the voicing), even though the rest are all still stacked fourths from the second note, the resultant voicing doesn't SOUND ambiguous, as most quartal voicings do! It resolves beautfully because the ear focuses on that Bb Eb to Bb D resolution, the rest of the tones adding color, from tension to rest with a very triadic type of sound, though very quartally based. It's all in the set up, the way the bII was voiced with the 7th in the root that became the tonic of the resolution!

Needless to say, this should be practiced from any chosen arbitrary starting point.

More tomorrow night along this type of harmonic logic.
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