1. D, G, B♭
  2. B♭, E♭, G
  3. C, F, A
  4. A, D, F

Those sound ok to me but 4th sounds wrong when played low down on piano. Or are they all not right?

I've uploaded part of the track. It sounds how I want it to sound (apart from the 4th note sounds wrong to me, but better when played higher up piano), I like the emotion over the original chords... if it's wrong but still able to portray that emotion, I'd appreciate if someone could show me my error.

Soundcloud Clip


You've discovered the importance of something called voicing.

You've chosen four chords (or combinations of notes). These ones happen to be called G minor, Eb major, F major, and D minor. They are pretty conventional chords, and there's nothing wrong with them at all. I haven't checked them against the posted recording, but I'm sure they are OK.

A chord is just a group of notes. You can play those notes on any order. You can even play each note more than once, in different octaves. These are called voicings. Some voicings work better up high, and some are better down low. As a rule of thumb, the lower you go, the more space you should leave between the notes. Otherwise it starts to sound muddy.

In a chord, there's one note that's more important than the other notes. It's called the root. Normally, the bass plays the root of the chord. It doesn't have to (there are no rules here), but it's a good starting point. The root note also gives its name to the chord. In your case, the roots are G, Eb, F and D respectively.

So, to make that last chord sound a bit better, you should try a different voicing. Maybe try moving the D to the bottom of the chord, and then space out the other notes above it. You could even play the D more than once. Experiment with different orders, and see what it sounds like.

There's a lot more you can learn here, so have a look around at the existing questions, and see if they are helpful.

A quick aside: You might be aware that some notes have more than one name. In your post, you've used the names A# and D#. Normally we'd call those notes Bb and Eb in this context. There's a couple of reasons why, which I won't go into right now, but don't be surprised if people tell you that you're not using the right names. It's a bit like replacing the word "the" with "coconut". We can figure out coconut meaning of coconut sentence, but it's easy to get distracted by all coconut coconuts, and miss coconut point.

  • Thank you for your detailed and useful answer. Great help – Scoop Apr 24 '18 at 12:31

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