My Minor Chord To Play &The Melody Note is The 11th(4th) of the Chord-The Kenny Barron Voicing


Yeah that’s right the Kenny Barron Voicing is built from 2 stacked 5ths in each hand separated by a minor 2nd.

I found a neat video on YouTube which explains the voicing played below by one of the best online jazz tutors Hayden from pianogroove.


This one of my favourite minor voicing for the piano its sound fantastic with a bit of practice you can bring this into your playing anytime Let’s look at the Kenny Barron voicing – for C minor 11:

C  G  D  /  Eb  Bb  F

It has all 6 notes of the C minor 11 chord (C Eb G Bb D F) – but they’re spread apart in 5ths (except for D – Eb).

It’s called ‘The Kenny Barron Voicing’ because it was made famous by the jazz pianist Kenny Barron.

If you can’t reach a 9th, try rippling it, or hold down the pedal and arpeggiate it to a rhythm:

When would you play this voicing?

Well anytime there’s a minor chord and the melody note is the 11th (4th) of the chord – then it would just be rude not to play this.

So if I see F minor 7 and the melody note is Bb – then that’s your sign!

F  G  C  /  Ab  Eb  Bb

Now, let’s look at some modifications on this voicing:

Modification #1:

First, we can make this into a C major 7 #4 chord – just by raising the right hand notes up a half-step:

C  G  D  /  E  B  F#

Note: Some people would call this C maj 7 #11 – and #4 is the same chord as a #11, I just like to use #4 for major chords.

Kenny Barron here talks of his career and demonstrates his lovely playing and a beautiful man he is.I saw him last year in Brisbane it was a beautiful concert with his trio.

When would we use this voicing?

That’s right – when there’s a major chord and the melody note is the #4(#11):

So let’s say the chord sheet says G major 7 and the melody note is C# – then that’s our sign:

G  D  A  /  B  F#  C#

So now we can use this voicing for major chords too!

Modification #2:

Here’s another modification we could play:

C  G  D  /  Eb  Bb

I’m leaving off the top note – the 11th (F) – and cutting the chord short so that Bb is the top note (the minor 7th).

When would you use this voicing?

Think for a moment…

That’s right – when the chord sheet says C minor 7 and the melody note is Bb – the minor 7th.

And you could do the same for C major 7 – just raise the right hand notes up a half-step:

C  G  D  /  E  B

When would you use this?

Correct – when the chord sheet says C major 7 and the melody note is B (the major 7th).

Go to the piano and explore the Kenny Barron voicing and the 2 modifications we just looked at. Practice building this interval pattern from all 12 notes at random.


For more 5 ways to play  like Kenny Barron click here


Kenny Barron PRESS KIT 

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