Focus: Sharps, Flats, Naturals and Minor Chords
Week 11 is kicked off in a similar manner to week one: with the piano keyboard. This time, however, you'll be learning about the black keys, or half-steps, that represent a scale's sharps and flats. Duane explains sharps, flats and naturals, detailing their purpose, how to identify them and their notation on a piece of music. He also explains how a major scale is formed and how to recognize and name a scale based on just a few characteristics. You'll then be given an exercise to practice the sharps, flats and naturals just learned.
The lesson then introduces three new pointer chords: D, A and F, all chords that place your thumb on a black key. You'll be shown the fingering and note placement of these chords before trying your hand at a song that includes seven individual chords; this piece is designed to provide practice of the old chords while transitioning to the new chords in a careful, fluid motion.
Next comes an introduction to minor chords by way of another set of pointers: Dm and Am. After learning their fingering and note placement, you'll be introduced to the rules of minor pointer chords and taught a template for their construction. Duane also explains the art of playing a piece with expression; he introduces the several notation terms that denote the intended dynamic and demonstrates how to achieve the sounds indicated by each notation.
After learning the bass clef and inverted versions of Am, Dm and E, the lesson ends with a close-up focusing on the hand positions of the new pointer chords and major chord construction.
Review by Mollie Wells