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Unlock the Secrets of Jazz Quartal Voicing: A Beginner's Guide

Jazz music is known for its unique and complex harmonies that can be achieved through various voicing techniques. One of the most popular techniques is quartal voicing, which involves using chords built from intervals of fourths instead of traditional chords built from thirds.




A quartal chord is built by stacking intervals of fourths on top of each other. For example, a C quartal chord would consist of the notes C, F, and Bb. This differs from a traditional chord built from thirds, such as a C major chord, which would consist of the notes C, E, and G.


In a jazz quartet setting, quartal voicings are typically played by the piano or guitar, providing a unique and modern sound to the ensemble. Quartal voicings are often used in conjunction with traditional chords to create rich and complex harmonic progressions.

To create a quartal voicing, start with a root note and stack fourths on top of each other. For example, to create a C quartal voicing, start with the note C and stack fourths on top, resulting in the notes C, F, and Bb. This can be notated as a C quartal chord or C7sus4.

Quartal voicings can also be inverted, meaning the root note is not the lowest note in the chord. For example, a C quartal voicing in first inversion would consist of the notes F, Bb, and C.


When playing quartal voicings, it's important to pay attention to the spacing between the notes. Quartal chords often have a wide intervallic spacing, which can make them sound dissonant if played too close together. To avoid this, it's important to spread the notes out across the instrument's range.


Quartal voicings are a popular technique in jazz music, providing a modern and unique sound to harmonies. By stacking intervals of fourths on top of each other, quartal chords can be created, adding a complex and interesting harmonic progression to any jazz ensemble. Unlock the Secrets of Jazz Quartal Voicing: A Beginner's Guide

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Hi Zac is there a quick tip to know the 6 and 9 of each chord because my brain use to play 3-5-7 ?

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