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From the earlier subject, we know that a chord can be played in different ways in which we call the inversions of chords. When you use inversions, your hands don’t have to move around as much. And that is basically what voice leading is about. Voice leading is a smooth movement of the notes from one chord to the next. In music, we often try to minimize note changes as much as possible to make a smoother transition.

 

For example, let’s say you want to play a C Major chord and then an A minor chord. You could play C, E, G and then A, C, E but you’d have to move your hand a few inches. Instead, you can play C, E, G and then C, E, A. That way, you only move one finger. In theory wise, if you begin with the root position of C, the best inversion to use for Am will be the 2nd, since there is only a change of one note which is A.

 

In the above example, voice leading is applied. Whether in solo playing or comping style, voice leading should always be taken into consideration. It is not entirely about minizing finger moments but rather the smoothness of sound changes. Voice leading is particularly useful in improvisation for both solo and accompaniment playing style. Or rather, it should be a must as you advance in all aspects of music. Try forming the rest of the other chords in different inversions. You have to be familiar with chord inversions to apply ‘voice leading’ which is one of the most important aspect in music.

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