We'll help you compare piano teachers...

Student Center

Play 4th Chords

Using 4th Chords on the Piano

In this video, we're going to talk about fourth chords, and these are common in a lot of modal jazz songs, and one of my favorite sounds. They really kind of give it more of an open sound and give you a lot of harmonic freedom. So the best way to start with these types of voicings is to first just get them under your fingers, and they're called fourth voicings because they have fourth intervals in them. So if you start from C and go up a major fourth, that will be your first note. Then go up another major fourth, that'll be your next. So always, you've got a fourth, major fourth, in between each one. And so one good way to get them under your fingers is to just go up chromatically with them, all the way up till you get back to C. Then go back down. Then try arpeggiating them all in one motion. So say we're going to always be going down with the arpeggio. Then you can go up with it. You can go up and down. Then try putting your left hand with it. And you'll hear this in a lot of-- there's a great player named McCoy Tyner who does a lot of-- in his left hand, he'll be doing all these chromatic type of motion with fourths while he's soloing in his right hand. If you notice, it gives you tension because if you're playing in one key in your right hand but you're a half-step off in your left hand, that's what's going to give you the tension. But that's probably enough to get you started at least. Again, start just by getting them under your fingers. Another thing you can do is if you add- you build fourths and then add a major third on top. So got fourth, fourth, fourth, so these are all fourths. And then on the very top, I've got a major third. And that's actually the Miles Davis song So What? That's what he's doing. He's bringing those up and down, fourth of the major third and down. So anyway, those are some ideas to get started with with fourth voicings. Play around with them and be creative. See what you can do with them. Listen to other players that are using them.

We'll connect you with teachers ready to help you learn

What instrument(s) would you like lessons for?

most popular

+view all lesson types

What is the age of the student?

What is the skill level of the student?

Where will lessons take place?

Do you have an instrument to practice on?

When do you want lessons to begin?


Almost done - last step!

How should teachers contact you?

Please enter the student name
A valid email address is required.
A valid phone number is required.