Jazz Chord for the Left Hand – Lesson and Video

In today’s free jazz piano lesson we are going to take a look at a very simple yet very powerful jazz piano chord.  This particular lesson will focus on a rootless dominant seventh chord voicing. (video lesson and notation below).

(This is a follow up lesson to my rootless minor chords lesson.  That lesson has been one of my most popular so far and by far the most popular Youtube video I’ve created.  Be sure to also watch that one.)

As a reminder, rootless chords work great in many situations. For example, you can use them to comp behind yourself while soloing in a trio.  They sound fantastic when a bass player is laying down a root below you. Bill Evans made this approach famous among many other ways of playing chords.

You can even hear modern jazz piano players use them at times when playing solo piano.   Sometimes I’ll also play them in my right hand when I’m playing a more complex left hand part or when I’m accompanying a singer.  They’re unbelievably versatile!  (If you want more solo piano chords also check out this article solo piano chords)

Lets take a look now at how to play these special chords. 

Jazz Piano Chord Construction and Notation

Here’s the voicing when played in the left hand.

jazz chord rootless dominant

We have the 3rd on the bottom, 13th, then the b7, and the 9 on top.


Here’s the voicing when played in the right hand.

jazz chords dominant rootlessWe have the 7th on the bottom, 9th, then the 3rd, and the 13th on top.

Make sure you learn these voicings in a number of keys (preferably all 12) and definitely throw them into to your favorite jazz tunes.  

If you enjoyed this free jazz piano lesson please leave a comment below and/or sign up for the free jazz lessons mailing list.

Steve Nixon