Archive for June, 2010


Piano chart — what it can do for you

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010
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Did you know that I got my start in piano playing from a chord chart I ordered from an ad in Popular Mechanics?

Sounds unlikely, doesn’t it?

But it’s true.

I took piano lessons as a small child, but never would have really gotten into music if it were not for that $2. chord chart. The chords I learned from that little two-buck chart got me hooked. From then on I couldn’t wait to learn the next chord, the next progression, the next riff, the next substitution.

That 2-buck chord chart got me started in a career in music that….well, enough about that.

The point is this:

YOU can learn a TON about music just from this chord chart!

Did you know that it is quite possible to know exactly which chords will occur in any given key?

It’s true.

Once you know the principle behind it, it becomes easy to predict which chords you are going to encounter in most any song.

Why is that?

Because in any given key, there are 3 “primary” chords: the chords built on the 1st, 4th, and 5th degrees of the scale. I all these 3 chords “the fam”, because they show up more often than any other chords in that key. Just like at your house you and your family probably show up oftener than, say, Tony Blair, Tiger Woods, or Governor Terminator.

There are also 3 “secondary” chords: the chords built on the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th degrees of the scale. I call these “the cousins”, because while they don’t show up as often as “the fam”, they show up much more often than, say, Hillary Clinton, Bill Murray, or Sean Hannity.

Other chords can be used, of course, and sometimes are, but by mastering the “big 6” you probably will cover 80% to 90% of the chords you’ll every meet in any given key — and that’s a HUGE advantage!

To see a similar chart, please go to http://www.playpiano.com/chart

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Can you imagine a world without music?

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
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What in the world would you and I do if there was no such thing as music?

Can you imagine a world without music? No songs, no tunes, no rock, no roll, no jazz, no hymns, no boogie-woogie, no country-western, no symphonies. No singing in the shower. No whistling Dixie.

Lovers wouldn’t have songs to romance to. There would be no such thing as “our song.” Sinatra couldn’t fly to the moon. Elvis couldn’t complain about people stepping on his blue suede shoes. Tony Bennett would have to write a letter about how he left his heart in San Francisco. And Ray Charles would look pretty strange up on stage without a piano telling us that Georgia is on his mind.

Then when the wedding day arrived, what would the bride march down the isle to? A poem? Silence? Applause? And when the happy couple marched out of the church together, would they do it to the bark of neighborhood dogs, or perhaps all the wedding guests talking at once?

And at the reception, what would they dance to? The Funky Chicken just isn’t the same without music. Since rhythm is part of music, no drums would even be allowed.

And the honeymoon I suppose would take place with radio news on, or perhaps the educational channel accompanied by the drone of an air-conditioner.

When baby arrives, do we lull her to sleep with a reading from Shakespeare? Or perhaps random readings from the dictionary or encyclopedia? Could we bore her to sleep with words?

Nursery rhymes would have to be chanted or recited instead of sung. School music programs would of course be non-existent, as would school choirs and orchestras and bands. When the school football team plays, there would be no school fight song. Cheerleades would have to cheer and dance minus any music.

And when those birthdays roll around, we would have to all recite together in a monotone “happy birthday to you.”

And when duty calls, what would soldiers march to? What would take the place of music in parades, since there would be no marching bands. John Philip Sousa would have had to get a day job.

And on the 4th of July there would be no patriotic songs – just speeches. At Christmas time there would be no Christmas carols. No rousing gospel music at Easter, no hymns in church.

And can you imagine radio without music? Nothing but news and talk shows and bla bla bla bla….

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had it up to here just thinking about it. I’m heading for the piano now to celebrate the fact that our Creator gave us the wonderful and inspiring and uplifting gift of music that we all take for granted.

I think I’ll play a nursery rhyme or two, then the wedding march, then Silent Night, then Auld Lang Syne, then Fur Elise, then the blues, then…..

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How To Add Flavor To Your Piano Playing On Most Any Song

Monday, June 7th, 2010
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Do you play the piano, but don’t really like the sound you are getting? Do all your songs tend to sound pretty much alike? Want to add some flavor to your piano playing? Here are some ideas for adding interest and flavor to your piano playing:

Click on any of the links below:

Making your piano playing fuller and more exciting.
Praise & Worship Piano Styles
Home study courses in improving your piano playing

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How to add runs and fills to your piano playing

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
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Here is a short video that demonstrates how you can add interest to your piano playing by adding runs of various kinds as well as fillers to most any song:

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