Herbie Hancock Chords – Free Video Tutorial

Herbie Hancock chordsWould you like to learn some Herbie Hancock chords?

Do you love the incredible artistry and soul of Herbie Hancock’s music?

Well, to celebrate the launch of my new Premium Membership course  I created a special free Herbie Hancock lesson for you.

I am truly humbled by the love and support I’ve received and continue to receive from you guys. It is truly a pleasure sharing jazz piano lessons with you guys!

So, in today’s lesson we’re going to learn how to play the chords from Herbie Hancock’s classic composition Maiden Voyage (video lesson, tips, and notation below).

This is one of my favorite tunes and a great tune for people learning jazz piano at all levels. Let’s get started learning!

Herbie Hancock Chords Video

Why not take 2 minutes and watch as I teach you how to play the 4 main chords in Herbie Hancock’s classic composition “Maiden Voyage”.

Watching an listening is vital part of learning jazz! 

Now, let’s pick up some extra tips to help you learn this lesson.

5 Tips To Help You Master This Herbie Hancock Chords Lesson

1) Maiden Voyage is considered a modal jazz tune. This means that instead of the tune having lots of fast chord changes, the chords tend to be move in a slower motion.

So, the harmony stays on 1 chord for long periods of time.

In this tune the chord changes are held for 2 measures at a time. This gives you plenty of time to explore the mode and the sound of the chord.

This is a very different style of jazz harmonically then some of the more bebop type tunes that have faster chord changes and often times faster tempos.

If you want to explore more about modal jazz check out this So What jazz scales lesson.

2) 3 of the 4 chords in this song are Dom7(sus4) chords. Anytime you see a Dom7(sus4) voicing in a song you can use this voicing.

3) The form of this tune is a very traditional “AABA” 32 bar form. You’ll find this form being used in hundreds of jazz standards.

4) If you want to check out a list of jazz tunes to learn. Check out this list of jazz standards to learn.

If you need help learning jazz tunes, I will be of course be teaching you how to play tons of essential jazz standards inside the Premium Membership course. 

5) If you want to practice improvising on this tune, I recommend you first start exploring the tune using mixolydian or the dominant bebop scale.

Herbie Hancock Chords Notation

Herbie hancock lessonHere is the notation for all the chord voicings I play on Maiden Voyage.

Herbie Hancock chords

Use these voicings as a springboard. Eventually you can try some of your own voicings and techniques on this tune.

One of things that I LOVE about Herbie’s playing is that he definitely subscribes to this philosophy.

Every time you hear him play a tune he brings something new to the table on it. It’s never the same as the time before. Herbie is a genius…

Premium Membership Important Detailsjazz piano lessons online

Every month I receive hundreds of emails and comments from you guys asking for new lessons on topic “x”.

I definitely listen when you guys comment and write in!

99.9% of what I put in the Premium Membership are things you guys have specifically asked for.

So, I’ve filled the Premium Membership Course with powerful new content…

  • A Rich Jazz Piano Chords Library
  • Essential Jazz Song Tutorials 
  • Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced Lessons
  • Full Notation Of Every Song
  • MIDI Files & Chord Charts
  • Tons Of Helpful Text on Screen
  • In Depth Monthly Improv Course
  • Killer Licks Library (new licks added every month)
  • Step By Step Reharm Lessons
  • Pro Jam Tracks (new jam tracks & new tunes every month)
  • Comping & Jazz Rhythm Patterns
  • Brand New Lessons Updated Every Month
  • & Much More…


herbie hancock chordsUpdate: The Premium Membership Elite Jazz Lessons Course has launched! Here’s the link to get access to it www.freejazzlessons.com/premium


Thanks everybody for the continued support. I hope you enjoyed today’s Herbie Hancock lesson.

I can’t wait to continue to share jazz piano with you on a deeper level through the Premium Membership Course.

If you have questions on today’s Herbie Hancock chords inspired lesson, Maiden Voyage, the Premium Membership Course, or just want to say hi please leave a comment below.

It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!


P.S. I recommend you also print up a copy of those Herbie Hancock chords and jam along with me in the video above. Have fun and see you on Monday!

  • Greg Peterson

    Can’t wait for the premium membership. Quick question though Steve, are there other songs you can you use these chords on? I like the sound of em..

    • Hey Greg! Looking forward to having you as a Premium member. Yeah, I like sus chords too. Theoretically, you can use these chords as substitutions anytime you see a dominant chord in a chart. Make sure the melody doesn’t clash with the chord though.

  • Antony

    Hi Steve,
    I also can’t wait to get your premium access. Until then another basic question from the beginner that i am. How can I use for example this chord progression you showed us and play the melody of the tune ?

    • Great Antony! Looking forward to having you as a Premium member. To play this song in a trio format, where you’re the lead instrument, you could play just left hand voicings and the melody in the right hand.

      There are some free lesson samples on the site that you could use as voicings for the left hand. For example, you could simply just play D G C as a sus voicing in your left hand.

      I also have lots of chords that you can grab inside the Premium Membership’s song library.

      When you can take chords you’ve learned from one song and apply them to another song you’re really developing your artistry and heading in the right direction!

      • Antony

        Thank you Steve. I followed your instructions about how to learn a tune. I picked up satin Doll, and now i’m ok the chordes changes and melody but my left remain very poor. the shell chord work well, but as i use them on the beat the overall looks flat, if i can say that.

        • Check out my lesson on jazz rhythms and try to incorporate some of those techniques in there. Adding some of those rhythmic techniques in will make a big difference.

          • antony

            Thank you so much Steve!!

  • Tom

    Hi Steve,
    Stumbled upon your website today and am enjoying it very much. I just wanted to let you know that on your free Maiden Voyage lesson there’s a flat symbol missing in the letters typed at the top of the screen after the “E” on the F7sus(9) chord, every time it appears. (I would hate for someone to be led astray.)
    Thanks for the website!

    • Thanks Tom for the kind words and the heads up. For others that are reading this please make sure you play Eb and not E on the F7sus chords. I play it correctly on the video and the notation is correct. Just a little typo on the on screen text.

      My pleasure on the website. Enjoy the lessons.

  • Paul K

    The famous “fourth chord” of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage is not a Db7(sus) or Dbm7(9), but a Dbm13 spelled out as follows: Db E Ab B Eb Gb Bb. The last four notes are the 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th. A great alternate voicing of this chord used by Hancock is: LH E Ab B Eb; RH Bb Eb Gb Bb (bass plays root notes Db and Ab). Fifty years later, the magic is still there!

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment! Did you transcribe those chords? I’ve heard some different things there but would love your thoughts.