One handed chord voicings

Hi, I’d just like people’s thoughts on reducing chord voicings down to one hand, like when playing left hand bassline?

All the 251 chord lessons seem two handed ,as well as most chord lesson’s I’ve gone thru. I almost always play left hand bass, don’t know if there will be a time I’ll actually play with a (Jazz) bass player.

I work out voicing’s best I can as to what sounds ok to my ear, but thought maybe there’s a better, systematic approach, even a chord cheat sheet ,for one hand rootless voicings etc

Are there any specific lessons on basic principles as to the notes you need leave in(asides 3rd & 7th) as per chord group ,or ,could a supplement lesson be considered on this topic perhaps?

Thanks all! :smiley:


Hi Niall,

Interesting question.

A lot of this is down to taste.

It’s best practice to have the 3rd and 7th in the voicing as these are the essential chord tones. However, this is not a ‘set-in-stone’ rule.

Based on our taste we can choose to include chord extensions and also alterations in our voicings.

The alterations b9, #9, and #5/b13 are particularly useful to add more tension to our dominant voicings. You might like to check out these 2 practice series for more info on rootless voicings and the specific alterations that we can include:

It’s important to familiarise ourselves with the sound of each alteration, and how they change the flavour of the chord. We can then make more informed choices on when to include them in our voicings.

Here’s a few lessons on left hand voicings by myself and our other teachers:

As you will see, there is no definitive way to play these voicings but the above lessons will give you some insights into the different options available to us.

We have the creative freedom to choose the number of notes we include (2, 3, or 4), the extensions we include (unaltered 9ths, 11ths, and 13ths), the alterations (b9/#9/#11/#5), and even the spacing of the notes to create different textures.

I hope this helps Niall - check out those lessons and let me know if you have any further questions.

I do like the idea of a rootless voicings cheat sheet and it would certainly be possible to create some rough guidelines in PDF form so leave that with me. :+1:



Thanks Hayden, that’s given me enough points to reference & work with as a general rule ,which is what I was looking for.

I’ll also check the links you provided.

thanks again,



I would love to see such a cheat sheet. In fact, the more cheat sheets, the better.


Have to agree Wendy !