Rootless Jazz Voicings-Min7th’s

Want to learn some cool left hand jazz chords? In this video I teach you how to use and apply rootless jazz piano voicings.  This video specifically focuses on Minor 7th voicings.

Rootless voicings are essential for any jazz piano player’s toolkit.

Be sure to also check out part 2 in the series where we learn rootless dominant chords and part 3 where we learn a whole rootless chord progression

In addition, if you want to check out other types of jazz chords you should also check out this free jazz lesson on two handed comping voicings or this lesson on shell voicings here.

If you’re entirely brand new to jazz chords and need help learning the basics we have lots of lessons and courses on this site to help you.

For example, you can check out this basic 7th chords lesson.

These days most jazz pianists use rootless chords in their playing. They are sort of bread and butter sounds. About 60 years ago the concept was fairly new. Players like Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly made this style of jazz piano voicings common.

The reason rootless chords work is that ultimately you are using the upper extensions of individual jazz scales to get the best sounding notes.

In fact, for the most part you’re just playing the 3rd of a chord, the 5th of a chord, the 7th, the 9 and sometimes the 13th.

Each chord’s extensions and top notes are derived from the individual scales.

The other interesting part about the upper extensions of each individual chords is that ultimately when you play a 2 5 1 chord progression you’re voicleading very smoothly form one note to the next.

For example, 3rds turn into 7ths, 7ths turn into 3rds, 9ths turn into 13ths, etc. etc. It’s a very cool sound once you get it together.

The other nice part about it is that it’s very pianistic. This means they fit very easily under your hands.

The altered scale can be a bit trick if you’re new to jazz theory though. So, if you’re new to jazz you can always start with the pentatonic scale. I’ve actually create a pentatonic scale piano lesson that shows you all the notes.


If you enjoyed this free jazz lesson please let us know. Lave a comment right below the article.  Also, be sure to subscribe to the email list to receive all the latest lesson easily in your inbox. You’ll be joining a jazz piano school of over 20,000 jazz piano students just like you. 

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  • Paste1949

    Thanks very much for all your licks and information. Really great stuff that is very helpful. Thanks again and “keep on steppin”

  • Gabe T.

    Yo Steve, I just signed up, this is such a blessing from God, youre the man!

  • Chiu Chi-wei

    Hi Steve! this sound is very cool and mysterious. I have one question. Do min7b5(half diminish) and diminish7 have rootless voicing technic? If they have, how could I play?

  • Ian

    Very helpful! I needed a better understanding of piano chords so I went to this video. It was confusing finding a starting place, but I just went to Chord Lessons, and clicked “older posts” (or something similar) until I found the first page.