Left Hand Closed Voicings for Piano

 

There is an optimum region on the keyboard for where to play closed chord voicings in the left hand.

In general, your left hand's index finger needs to be as close as possible to middle C.

The bottom note in the closed voicing chord rarely goes any lower than the D below middle C, and the top note rarely goes above the F above middle C.

The lower limit is due to the fact that closed voicings start to sound muddy any lower than that. The upper limit is mainly because you're cutting into the right hand's domain and the left arm begins to cross the body.

Within this region, ALL of your LH chords can reside. You'll find, more often than not, only ONE inversion fits the bill, and almost never more than two.

Yes, this can be seen as limiting, but it can also be seen as liberating in that you don't have use (and visualize) all the permutations.

As you gain more familiarity with each inversion in that region you will also begin to see the interlocking aspects of the chord sequence. You'll begin to notice that usually there are common tones between two chords in a sequence that will be held through as other chord tones move by step-wise motion to create the next chord in the sequence.

Some of the chords will be in root position (except the rootless ones), but most will be in some other inversion.

If you're not playing with a bassist, it's still a good idea to throw in some rooted chords - especially on the first beat of the first bar of each line (ie. bar 1 - bar 5 - bar 9 - bar 13 etc.)

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