Archive for December, 2010


Piano Chord Variations on “Auld Lang Syne”

Friday, December 31st, 2010
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Like any song, there are countless variations you can use on “Auld Lang Syne”, and since it is New Years Eve as I’m writing this, I thought I might share with you one way to add color to everybody’s favorite New Years Eve song:

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne?

Chorus:

For auld lang syne, my jo,

For auld lang syne.

We’ll tak’ a cup o’kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

Translated to more-or-less modern day English it reads something like this:

The Days of Yore

Should we forget our former friends

By whom we set great store?

Should we forget the friends we’ve met

And the brave days of yore?

Chorus:

The days of yore. My dear

The days of yore,

We’ll tilt the jug and drain the mug

to the brave days of yore.

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How To Make Any Simple Piano Chord Sound Complex

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
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You can make any simple chord sound more complex simply by using inversions, using different voicings, and adding color tones. You can also add arpeggios, grace notes, turns, and lots of ornaments to “dress up your playing”.

Click the audio player below to hear this short but interesting podcast.

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“The First Noel” – a carol made of a simple scale

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
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Melodies (the tune of a song) are made from scales, and sometimes purely from scales.
In “The First Noel”, for example, the melody is made entirely from the diatonic scale. I demonstrate it in the key of C, but the same would be true in any other major key. Watch this short video:

Lots of great courses on this type of thing over at our catalog.

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Using Chord Subsitutions on “Silent Night” on the piano

Monday, December 20th, 2010
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“Silent Night”, like many songs, can be harmonized using just 3 chords. But there’s no limit to the number of chords that could be used — it is only limited to your imagination.
Watch this short video:

If you are interested in arranging carols like this, come on over to How To Play Spectacularly Beautiful Christmas Carols.

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Adding some rhythm to “Joy To The World” on the piano

Sunday, December 19th, 2010
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Joy to the World is one of those wonderful songs that we get to play and sing every year. Many people don’t know the music was partially written by George Frederick Handel, the composer of The Messiah, with it’s finale, the Hallelujah Chorus. The words are in an English hymn by Isaac Watts.

We can add some rhythm to Joy To The World simply by adding a simple bass line and juxtaposing it with 3 chords played in the right hand beneath the melody. Watch this 9-minute video:

If you are interested in arranging carols like this, come on over to How To Play Spectacularly Beautiful Christmas Carols.

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