Successful Composition and Improvisation is not just about melodic invention. An enormous range of music can be created by playing chords in a variety of simple patterns. Here, for your consideration are some commonly-used voicings and rhythms for a C Major Triad…
Note: Studying-practicing such patterns the right way (as integrated theoretical, visio-spatial, aural, and kinesthetic ideas) in all keys greatly expands your musical comprehension and fluency and develops your ears.
This simple two-fisted pattern establishes both a solid rhythm and major harmony…
Notice how a simple change in rhythm creates a whole new kind of music, something with a kind of lilt…
Arpeggios, Two-Hands, Triplets
Block Chord Voicings
Think about playing these chords melodically…
Arpeggios, One-Hand, Triplets
A standard accompaniment in classical music…
Four Part Choir
Here are the notes arranged as if for the four voices (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass) in choir. This is considered an “open” voicing, meaning that the notes are spread out.
Fifties Rock & Roll
Ballad Accompaniment Variation 1
Outlining the major harmony in 3/4 time…
Fingering Suggestion: I prefer to use my middle finger on the G, but some people might prefer to use their index finger. In my experience, this makes the span from G up to E very awkward and tense, but feel free to try both fingerings and see which one you prefer.
Ballad Accompaniment Variation 2
Outlining the major harmony in 6/8 time…
One of those instantly recognizable rhythms…
(Play one octave lower than written)
Arpeggios, Cascading Quadruplets
New Orleans Rock & Roll
Two-Handed Chord Melody
As used in ragtime and jazz…
Is that it?
Of course not! Countless other chord patterns are possible, but you get the idea. An incredible amount of music can be made by the creative combination of chord voicings and rhythms. Can you think of or invent some other patterns?