Any thoughts on how to spice this up?

Hey there,

I’m working on a quick 60-second cover of a well-known song from the movie “Animal”, titled “Arjan Vailly” YouTube Video here, its getting popular here in Dubai. It’s coming along, but I feel like the last few bars could use a bit more flair.

Here’s a quick video of the current rendition. If anyone has the time to check it out and offer some advice or suggestions on how to add a bit more spice to the final part, I’d appreciate it.

Here’s the the video:

Thanks in advance for your help and insights!


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Hey @BigManSmallPiano :wave:

Here are some recommendations for chord voicing options and for creating a 25 progression back to the Eb- chord where your progression starts:

I added chapters into the video above so that you can cross reference the chord voicing names to the related videos below.

Here are the related lessons on these topics:

Extended Chord Voicings

Firstly, our chord extensions course explains the extensions 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths and how to visualse these tones for major, minor, and dominant chords:

Your progression is comprised entirely of minor chords (Eb-, Bb-, and Ab-) and so learning some extended voicings for minor chords could be a nice place to start.

Here are 2 lessons which cover the exact voicings that I demonstrate in the video:

I recommend students to learn these voicings in all 12 keys as they are extremely useful and versatile chord voicings. In the lessons above I explain the construction, the application, and how to practice them so that we can play them in all 12 keys.

Closed Position Minor 9th Voicings

Here is a lesson on major and minor 9th chords.

In my video above, I was primarily playing the ‘closed position minor 9th voicings’ for Eb-9, Bb-9, and Ab-9, and you can find those voicings in the final chapter here:

Again learning these shapes in all 12 keys is very useful to create more colourful and textured chord voicings.

As I mention in the video, it could be nice to start with your triad voicings and then after a handful of cycles through the progression, switch to extended chord voicings to build up to a climax.

Right before you switch to the extended voicings, perhaps you could add the additional 25 progression which would create a nice transition:

Additional 25 Progression

We enhance the harmony of the progression by adding a 25 which takes us back to the Eb- chord. This creates a sense of tension and resolution and also helps to establish the Eb- as the ‘home base’ of the progression.

A 251 progression in Eb- would be:

F-7 to Bb7 —> Eb-

So now your progression looks like this:

Eb- / Bb- / Ab- F-7 Bb7 / back to Eb-

The 25 progression resolves into a minor chord (Eb- ) and so it can be nice to add some chord alterations to the V7 chord Bb7. We cover this in detail in our chord alterations course which you can find here.

Coincidentally, I covered the exact voicings that will work for your progression in the lesson below - see the 2nd chapter (251 In Eb Minor). Even if you don’t understand this theory right now, I recommend to copy the voicings and apply them to your chord progression.

The first step to mastering this theory is to familiarise our hands and ears with the shapes and sounds of the voicings. The full theoretical understanding will come after studying the theory and completing the drills. Check out the lesson here:

I do play some other variations such as F-11 instead of F-11b5 that you can see around 12m50s my original video response above. These are some different options for the addition ii-7 chord that we are adding into the your progression.

I hope that helps Troy - if you have any follow up questions just let me know.

Talk soon,

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Wow! Thank you so much. That lesson was incredible. I really appreciate the time.

Those voicings are a major step up from the basic triads I was messing around with.

So, I recorded this a few days back, but your tips are too good to pass up. I’m thinking of finding someone local who can sing in Punjabi, slow it down to like 70bpm, and do a piano-only jazzy take on the song. Maybe add some brush drums.

If you’re interested in how the original 3rd grader piano turned out here it is:

Thanks again Hayden!


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