Week Four – Focus on Inversions & New Rhythms
Week four's lesson dives immediately into chord inversion, a technique used by every pianist to shorten the distance between two similar chords. Duane explains the principles of chord inversion and common tones by examining pointer chords and showing how they can be rearranged to accommodate a more fluid playing style, quickly putting the technique into practice with a series of new songs. He then shows you several ways to add variety to an otherwise simple bass line. Using the pointer system and chord inversions as a guide, he explains various types of bass accompaniments (including the popular swing bass) and how they can be applied to create a more dynamic sound.
This week's lesson also boasts a brief introduction to new rhythms and note types -- eighth notes and dotted quarter notes -- and you'll learn the value and notation of these rhythms by way of a popular German folk song. Additionally, week four's lesson contains new versions of songs you've already played. "Oh, Susanna," for instance, is reworked to include a more complicated pointer bass; it is also markedly longer than the version found in week two. This is the first week that you'll truly begin to see the song levels advance; both the main text and supplementary book now begin to contain more demanding and technique-heavy pieces.
After a brief quiz to test your knowledge of chord positions, Duane ends the lesson with a detailed close-up of the new concepts. He again walks you through the two inversions taught earlier in the lesson, showing you the precise fingering needed to play each chord and how to move fluidly from one chord to the next.