Duplicating Notes in Chord Voicings

I’m confused about duplicate notes in chord voicings. I’ve heard from some teachers that you should never duplicate a note in a voicing unless it’s the melody. I just went through the first few lessons and Hayden’s voicings sometimes include two 3rds or 7ths and I think even the fifth. The voicings sound great so I’m wondering if there is such a rule or if you just go by ear.

Brilliant question @kirk2

In the beginner jazz standard tutorials I try to emphasise the voice leading as clearly as possible and sometimes this results in duplicate notes, particularly if the 3rd or 7th is in the melody.

When we incorporate chord extensions and chord alterations into our voicings we have more options and so as you progress through the upcoming courses you see more varied voicings.

Non-Redundancy In Chord Voicings

Here’s a short and concise tutorial on “non redundancy in chord voicings” which I’d recommend watching as a priority.

It Depends On The Style Of Music

My view is that doubling notes depends on the style being performed. For example if you check out the following lessons from our blues/gospel library, you will see doubled or even tripled 5ths and roots in voicings.

In summary, no definitive answer to your question here, but the 3 lessons above should give you some different insights and perspectives on the topic at hand.

Perhaps other community members can chime in with their views.

I had the same question. At my current ability level, I’m still working on internalizing the 3-note voicings. These can sound a little “thin” at times on their own, and there may be a lot of space between a root note in the left hand and 3/7 in the right. Doubling notes helps to fill in that space and provide a fuller sound. (It’s also a step in the direction of playing higher-note voicings, i.e., using more fingers on each chord.)

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