Free Composing Software
The best part is, you don’t have to spend a ton of money. In fact, you don’t have to spend any money at all. There is a great notation software program called musescore, and it is available for mac or pc for free. The sound is usually not the greatest, but you can also look for SF2 sound files on the internet and load them into the program.
And here are some free soundfonts. These can be used with Musescore to get a better sound out of the program:
Upper structures, also called upper structure triads, are triads that have been superimposed above a tritone. Upper structure triads are predominantly used on dominant chords but can also be applied to other chord types. In this lesson we’re just going to focus on dominant uppers structures triads.
Incorporating upper structures into the tunes you play will really take your playing forward and make your dominant chords sound much more interesting and sophisticated.
From a practical standpoint, upper structures allow you to easily remember voicing s for complex altered sounds in all 12 keys.
Ultimately, thinking of the lower and upper structures of the chord separately provides a shortcut as our brains have to process less pieces of information to get the same chord.
A practical and systematic method that teaches how to practice jazz piano voicings so that they become automatic and intuitive. The method progresses step-by-step from 2- to 7-voice chord structures with fourths and upper-structure triads. Each chapter presents essential harmonic progressions written and spelled out in all keys, along with fingerings to help non-keyboardists. Also provided are songs written out for both hands, which utilize the techniques and voicings just learned. Includes comping rhythms, bass line techniques, and practice strategies. Excellent for both classroom and individual study. Strongly endorsed by Mark Levine, Bobby Shew, Denis Diblasio, and many others. The included play-along CD allows you to practice the piano exercises in the book with bass and drum accompaniment. You can also practice comping along with a saxophone soloist. A demonstration piano track on one channel, played with a stylistic comping feel, gives you an idea of how the piano voicing exercises should sound. Large 248 page spiral-bound book and CD.
Today there are many examples of composer’s learning from, and borrowing from older composers. As Newton said, “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”let me show you one of my favorite types of jazz voicing…
This term refers to a whole range of voicings that you can create based on the same idea:
Upper Structures are usually applied to V7 chords (perfect for the V chord in any ii-V-I).
They’re a simple way to play lots of colorful notes, without much brain work.
Let’s say the chord symbol says C7, here’s some Upper Structure voicings you could play:
The left hand is always the same – you just play the root, major 3rd and minor 7th of the chord (C E Bb).
But in your right hand you can play a variety of major and minor triads – and each one gives you a different set of colorful chord extensions: