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Coming up with chord voicings that sound good on the Hammond is an interesting challenge. Since most jazz Hammond players will be walking a bassline in the left hand, the voicings have to fit entirely in the right hand. For some of the more extended or altered chords, there are only a few ways to get the tones that define the chord to fit. In addition, some dissonances that sound good on the piano won't sound quite right on the Hammond, and some clustered voicings will sound muddy, especially in the lower octaves or if the organ is overdriven a bit. Below are some voicings that jazz organists use frequently. It is by no means a comprehensive list.

Minor 7th Voicings

C bass / Bb D Eb G |


C bass / Bb Eb G |

   Cm7.  Use this one instead of the above in the lower registers to avoid muddiness.

C bass / D Eb G C |

   Cm add9.  Larry Young uses this one a lot.  Take off the C on top to get a different version of the same sound.

C bass / Bb Eb F |

   Cm11.  Also works well for Cm7b5, especially in minor ii-V's.

C bass / Eb G Bb D |

   Cm9, stacked 3rds.  Everyone uses it.

C bass / F Bb Eb G |

   Cm11, the "So What" voicing.

Dominant 7th Voicings

C bass / Bb E G |

   C7, standard voicing.  You can add a D in the middle to make it C9.

C bass / Bb D E A |

   C13, close-voiced.  You can add a Gb in the middle to get a nice close-voiced C13#11.

C bass / Bb E A C |

   C13, wide-voiced.  As an example, the first chord Jack ?McDuff plays on "Oblighetto" from Moon Rappin'.

C bass / Bb E A C# |

   C13b9, or A/C7 as a polychord fraction

C bass / Bb E G# C |


C bass / Bb Eb E G# |

   C+7(#9).  Like above, but with a 1/2 step dissonance.  Donald Fagen loves this voicing.

C bass / Bb E G# |

   C+7.  Like above, but with no 1/2 step dissonance.

C bass / Eb E G# C |

   C+7(#9).  Like above but inverted upwards.

C bass / Bb E G# C# |

   C7#5b9, or Dbm/C7 as a polychord fraction

C bass / E A Bb D |

   C13, close-voiced with a half-step dissonance.

C bass / E Bb D |

   C9, same voicing as above but without the half-step dissonance.

C bass / E Bb D# |

   C7#9, the "Jimi Hendrix" voicing.  You can add in an Ab (the #5) or a Gb (the b5) to add to the character.

C bass / E Bb Db |

   C7b9.  You can add in a #5/b5 as with the previous voicing.

C bass / E Bb Db Gb |

   C7b5b9, or F#/C7 as a polychord fraction.

C bass / E Bb Eb Gb |

   C7b5#9, or Ebm/C7 as a polychord fraction.

C bass / E Bb D F# |


C bass / G Bb D F |

   C11, the gospel 5 chord.

Major 7th Voicings

C bass / B E G |

   Cmaj7.  The standard.  Add a D to get Cmaj9, or a C to get a half-step dissonance.

C bass / E G B D |

   Cmaj9, stacked 3rds.

C bass / F# B E |

   Cmaj7#11, stacked 4ths.  Think Larry Young on "Zoltan".

Half-Diminished (m7b5) Voicings

C bass / Gb Bb Eb |

   Cm7b5, standard voicing, same as what a guitar player would likely play.

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