Archive for February, 2014


Left Hand Piano Walkups In 3/4 Time…Using Amazing Grace…

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Left Hand Piano Walkups In 3/4 Time…Using Amazing Grace

Here is a transcription of the video in case you would like to follow along:

Good morning. This is Duane and today I’d like to talk about the magic of left hand piano walk-ups in 3/4 time using Amazing Grace. Walking up with your left hand in 3/4 time is an easy almost magical technique that you can use on lots and lots of songs because all it involves is an octave, playing in an octave and going up four notes. You walk up from one note to another. What you do is you walk up a forth. If the cord progression is from C to F, you see that’s a forth isn’t it, one, two, three, four. If you’re in 3/4 time you can play C D E F on one, two, three, one, you see that? Three beats in a measure one, two, three, one.

If the cord is F and you’re going up a forth, the next cord is a forth. What’s a forth above that? One, two, three, four, B flat so you’ll walk up to B flat. Walk up to B flat and again the time is one, two, three, one, two, three. If you’re on B flat and the next cord is E flat, you walk up to E flat. One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three and so on. You have to know what the next cord is but if the next cord is a forth higher than the one you’re playing right now, then you can just walk up an octaves in your left hand. Let me illustrate that by playing maybe Amazing Grace, okay watch.

One, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three and one, two, three, one, two, three. Now the next cord is F, one, two, next cord is B flat one, two, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two. Okay so it’s a very easy thing to do. Now that sounds kind of boring and that was very straight but you can combine it with other things. I don’t mean that’s the only thing you should do but I’m just illustrating one particular technique. Always mix your techniques. Let me play at a little [inaudible 00:02:48]. Okay, remember if you’re in 3/4 time and the next cord is upper forth, upper [inaudible 00:03:30] cord then you walk up to that cord in your left hand. Do mix it with other styles but that’s one particular technique you can use. See you tomorrow with another idea until then God bless you. Bye bye for now.

Here is the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c_gtsMdB7w

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 8.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

The 52-Week Home Study “Crash Course in Exciting Piano Playing”: The Secret “Backdoor” To Sounding Great!…

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

The 52-Week Home Study “Crash Course in Exciting Piano Playing”: The Secret “Backdoor” To Sounding Great!

In computing the term backdoor refers to a method of bypassing normal authentication (identity checking). In terms of learning how to play the piano, the backdoor method is similar in that it bypasses the “normal” way of doing things. But it is a means to the same end and your identity as a piano player will still be as valid as if you had travelled the more traditional route! Good morning. This is Duane and today I would like to talk about The 52-Week Home Study “Crash Course in Exciting Piano Playing”: The Secret “Backdoor” To Sounding Great!

Most people beginning to learn the piano will take piano lessons. This will normally be as a child, although adult piano lessons are becoming increasingly common. The format and content of piano lessons vary enormously, but they will generally start with teaching which key on the piano represents which note and then helping the learner understand the association between these physical keys and the notes on sheet music. The learner will usually learn to play from music and will be able to play increasingly complex pieces of music as their proficiency grows at reading music and associating the printed notes with the physical keys on the piano – and learning the most appropriate fingering shapes and patterns to play those notes effectively.

This is a perfectly effective and time-tested way of learning to play the piano and has produced many thousands of wonderful pianists. However, it is not for the faint-hearted as many hours of practice are needed for significant progress to be made. Many would-be pianists lose heart and give up long before achieving their goal of being able to play the piano for pleasure.

This is where the backdoor method can help! With this exciting new method a beginner will learn to play the piano using chords rather than sheet music. This enables significant progress to be made more quickly which encourages the learner to keep going! Once a student has a strong grasp of chords they will be able quickly to understand and learn how to read sheet music and associate that with the physical keys on the piano.

To explain the theory in a little more detail it is important to understand what a chord is. A standard piano contains 88 keys arranged in sets known as octaves. An octave consists of 8 white keys – C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C. There are 7 1/2 octaves on a standard piano. In addition to the white keys there are black keys. Between C and D there is a key known as either C# (sharp) or Db (flat), between D and E there is D#/Eb, between F and G – F#/Gb, between G and A – G#/Ab and between A and B – A#/Bb. This set of 12 notes forms what is known as the chromatic scale which means that there is a musical interval of exactly one semitone between each of these notes.

There are various different scales in music. They are differentiated by the intervals between each note in the scale. Most western music is written in what is called the “diatonic” scale, consisting of 8 notes and 7 different intervals. These scales are also referred to as “heptatonic” which means that they contain 7 different notes, and an 8th note (“octave”) which is the same as the the starting note. For example you could start to play at one C and then through 7 more notes up to the next C ie D – E – F – G – A – B – C. The diatonic scale may also be major or minor. The example we have just looked at is a major scale which has the following intervals between notes:

C – (1 tone) – D – (1 tone) – E – (1 semitone) – F – (1 tone) – G – (1 tone) – A – (1 tone) – B – (1 semitone) – C

So a major diatonic scale has an interval pattern of tone-tone-semitone-tone-tone-tone-semitone – which can also be represented as T-T-S-T-T-T-S: where S means semitone; T means tone.

There are different types of minor scale but the most common is harmonic minor which differs from the major scale in that it reverses the tone/semitone intervals either side of the third and sixth notes. It therefore has the following intervals between notes:

C – (1 tone) – D – (1 semitone) – Eb – (1 tone) – F – (1 tone) – G – (1 semitone) – Ab – (1 tone) – B – (1 semitone) – C
which could also be represented as T-S-T-T-S-T-S.

It is important to understand something about scales as every piece of music is written in a “key” which refers to the predominant scale used in that piece of music. The major scale key of C that we looked at above only contains notes represented by white keys whereas all other keys includes at least one black note. Black notes are essential to preserve the correct interval between the notes in the scale.

If you are learning to play the piano from music you may find that you concentrate on the notes of that music without a full awareness of the scale that the music is written in. However, if you are learning by the backdoor method, scales are critical to your understanding because a scale can be further broken down into a chord.

There are many variations of chords but the most commonly used chords are those that contain the 1st (or “root”), 3rd, 5th, and top note (octave) of the scale. The root note refers to the key that the chord is in. So, a C chord would contain C-E-G-C. It is not even necessary to include the top note as it simply duplicates the bottom (root) note an octave higher up- so a simple C chord could be just three notes C-E-G. In music, three notes are known as a triad.

Different parts of a piece of music will be based largely on different chords, usually relating to notes within the scale of the original key. For example, a piece of music written in the key of C major could use a chord starting on any note within the scale of C. So you could work up the C scale forming a triad starting on each note of the scale and using the major 3rd and 5th notes above it. However, each time this necessitates the use of a note that is not also in the scale of C then that note in the chord is changed to fit back within the notes in the scale of C. This forms a different type of chord. Where all the notes in a chord are in the scale of C major, that is a major chord. If one note in a chord has to be flattened the chord then becomes a minor chord; if two notes have to be flattened it becomes a diminished chord.

For the key of C major would use the following chords (consisting of the notes in brackets):

C major (C – E – G)

D minor (D – F – A)

E minor (E – G – B)

F major (F – A – C)

G major (G – B – D)

A minor (A – C – E)

B diminished (B – D – F)

Once you understand how chords work, it is relatively straightforward to play the outline of a piece of music just from the chord. Rather than focusing exclusively on written sheet music, it should be possible to take a set of lyrics and chords for a song of your choice (guitar tabs are often laid out this way) and start to make some progress. As you do this, your confidence will grow and you will then feel able to start adding some melody to fill out the song in more depth.

I can speak about this from personal experience. I took piano lessons as a child and learned to play well from music, but there was never any spontaneity about my playing – I could not play something unless I had learned and practiced it. Unfortunately in so doing, I often lost the joy of playing for playing’s sake and it became more a case of a goal to be achieved. It was not until many years later, when I started playing for a church and realized that for many styles of song you simply do not need to play every note that is written on the sheet music. It was whilst looking at the guitar tabs for such songs and seeing the chords printed there that light suddenly dawned and I learned to enjoy playing a song from the chords in it and embellishing it as I went along with additional chord progressions, melodies and harmonies. It put the pleasure back in my playing and I have never looked back!

So if you are interested in piano playing and want to learn how to play the piano, look no further than the backdoor method and within a short space of time you will be making real progress and enjoying every minute!

To learn how you can get started on this wonderful course, please click here: http://www.PianoLessonsByVideo.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY_CVe-Fxjs
————————————————————————

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

How To Play The Nearest Chord Inversions In a Chord Progression…

Monday, February 24th, 2014
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 6.0/10 (4 votes cast)

How To Play The Nearest Chord Inversions In a Chord Progression

Good morning, this is Duane. Today I’d like to talk about moving to the closest inversions – the nearest chord inversions in a chord progression. We’ve learned all kinds of chords major, minor, diminished, augmented and so on, but it’s important to learn inversions for a couple reasons.

One, it makes you, give you more variety in your playing. In other words, that’s the C chord that’s the first inversion of the C chord, that’s the second inversion of the C chord. Same of course in the right hand, okay?

You can play a lot smoother if instead of jumping from the root of a chord to a root of another chord to the root of another chord is moving more smoothly by moving to the closest inversion. For example, if I move from C to F maybe the smoothest move would be to keep the C, because that’s part of the F chord, and just move the two top notes up. That’s a lot smoother than (plays the chords).

If I move to G, what would be the closest inversion? Probably that (plays chord) probably move the two bottom notes down and keeping the G. (Plays the chords)

If I was moving to D, what would the closest inversion be? It might be this (plays chords) or that might be close enough to just move to the root position. If I was moving to D 7th though I’d go like this (plays chords). That’s real smooth if you have a 7th in it because you can keep that C.

Anytime you can sustain one note, a note that in both the first chord and the second chord, do that whenever you can do that. (Plays chords) see I’m moving from C to F there, but I’m keeping the C. I’m moving from C to B flat what would I do? Instead of going (plays chords) it’s smoother to do that. The same with A flat or G flat. Go to the closest inversion whatever that is.

When I’m playing voicings like this, like if I’m playing the Blues, (plays chords) if when I move to G I’ll go like this (plays chords). You see how much closer that is? Move that chord to that chord. If I was moving to F I’d probably go like that. Let me just play a little bit.
[Plays the piano 00:02:40 – 00:02:53]

See how, see the F 7th?

[Plays the piano 00:02:56 – 00:03:03]

Sorry, hard to follow that because I’m swinging down to a low noted, but the point is I’m just moving like that from the C chord I’m playing C 6th 9th, but to play F 7th I’m just moving to that because with a low, I need to play a lot F 2, but that provides a smooth move. Sometimes I go like that (plays chords).

All I’m doing there is moving up the half a step, another half a step would do that. Let me do that.
[Plays the piano 00:03:39 – 00:03:46]

My point is move to the, two points learn all the inversions of the chords you play and then try to move to the closest inversion of the next chord. It’ll make your playing smoother.

If you grew up playing organ, people that grew up playing organ understand this because on the organ as soon as you let the keys up there’s no sustain pedal the sound goes away. They have to create. I once did a recording of a lesson that I called “How to be a real creep” and it talked about creeping like that from chord to chord. That was for the organ, but it applies for piano too to some extent.
(On screen: Free Email Newsletter on “Piano Chords & Chord Progressions” at www.PlayPiano.com)

That’s a little tip for today. Hope that helps a bit and if you enjoy this kind of thing come on over to Play Piano and sign up for our free newsletter. We send it out most every day and it’s loaded with stuff like this, so if you like it come on over. Thanks, bye.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0pF7gPj-5M&feature=youtu.be

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 6.0/10 (4 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Piano Chords: Do I Really Need To Learn All Those Chords?

Friday, February 21st, 2014
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Piano Chords: Do I Really Need To Learn All Those Chords?

Good morning. This is Duane, and over the years, a lot of people have asked me something like, “How many piano chords do I really need to know?” I think couched in that question is a fear of, “Oh, wow! I don’t want to learn hundreds of chords, or thousands of chords.”

Well, the answer to that question is easier than you would suppose. The answer to that question, “How many chords do I really need to know?” is, “As many as you need.”

Now that may sound like a cop out but it’s absolutely true. You don’t need to learn chords that you’ll never use, okay, but you need to learn chords well on the chords you will use. For example, if you want to play complex jazz, then the answer to that is thousands and thousands and thousands of chords, because it’s not just the chord itself, but it’s voicing of the chord.

For example, here’s a G minor 7th (music), but jazz pianists often play (music) that kind of sound, okay? Now that involves thousands and thousands of chords in each octave, but only if you want to play that sort of thing. If you don’t … let’s say that you’re playing at a country church. Typically, you play three-note chords there. You’ll play (music) chords like that. (Music). Sometimes rhythmically, sometimes straight, and so on, but you don’t need a whole bunch of chords.

If you’re playing in a rock group, same thing there. They’ll have a certain chord (music). Certain chords you’ll need, but a lot of chords you won’t need, so the answer is, “As many as you need.”

Let me just go through the possibilities of chords so far. We haven’t gotten into extended chords at all. We haven’t learned about sixths or sevenths or ninths or 11ths or 13ths, or altered chords or anything like that. We’ve just been talking about the basic chords, so let me just walk you through the basic chords once more, and calculate how many chords we can come up with.

First of all, there’s seven octaves on the keyboard. (Music). One, two, three, four, five, six, seven. There’s seven octaves in which you can build chords, okay? All the chords you learn in that span … if you learn that chord (music), that applies to that octave, and that octave, and every other octave, so, when you learn a chord, you’ve already learned seven more because they’re playable in any other octave. You got that? Okay.

We learn the 12 major chords and we said that three major chords were all white (music), C, F and G, and then three major chords had a black third (music), D, E and A. If you’re not up to speed on that, look up some of my other videos on the basic major chords. Three chords were black on the outside, white on the inside, like an Oreo cookie. (Music), D-flat, E-flat and A-flat. One’s black and, that’s G-flat, and one is … two are counted left over. The B chord, which is white, black, black and the B-flat chord, which is black, white, white.

We learn those 12 chords (music), and we’re able to play those fairly rapidly. Then we said that to make a minor chord, all you do is you lower the third, so in any minor chord, just lower the third of a major chord, whatever it is, okay? So, you learn 12 chords and suddenly you’ve got, what, 24 chords because you’ve learned to change a major into a minor, so there’s 24 different chords.

Then you learned diminished chords, and that was made out of a lower third and a lowered fifth, so you can add another 12 to that. We were at 24, that’s 36, and then you learn augmented chords, which were you raise the fifth a half step and that takes you to 48 chords. Forty-eight basic chords. Major, minor, diminished, augmented. Major, minor, diminished, augmented. Major, minor, diminished, augmented. Major, minor, diminished, augmented, and so on. Those are 48 basic chords, but, you can turn each chord upside down three times, can’t you? In other words, three positions of each chord.

The root position of a chord (music), that’s root position of the C chord, now I’m going to turn it upside. I’m taking the C off the bottom, putting it up on the top, so that’s the same chord, but it’s inverted. (Music). That’s the first inversion of the C chord. I can do it again. I can turn it upside down (music), and that gives me a new voicing of C. It’s called “second inversion,” all right? If I turn it upside down again, I’m in the next octave, aren’t I?

Okay, so I can multiply those 48 chords times three inversions. That’s 140 … I mean that’s … yeah, 144 chords. We’re up to 12 dozen chords, 144 chords, okay? Now, each chord, each of those 144 chords, can be played in each octave, so I can play them here (music), here (music), here (music), here (music), here (music), here (music), here (music), okay? All over the keyboard, so, suddenly, I’ve multiplied the 144 times the seven octaves and I come out with something a little over a thousand, maybe 1,007, something like that, okay?

So, there’s way, way, lots of chords that are possible, but you don’t have to learn the ones you’re probably not going to use. It’s good if you do. I know a whole bunch of chords that I never use at all, and it’s good because then it gives you confidence that you could form them if you need to, all right, but you don’t have to. It depends on what kind of music you’re playing, and where you’re going to play at.
So, the answer to, “How many chords do I need to know?” The answer is, “As many as you need.” Now tomorrow we’re going to get into more complex chords. We’ve learned the major and minor, diminished and augmented, now we’re going to take up diminished seventh chords, and then seventh chords, and then major seventh chords, and augmented seventh chords, and minor seventh chords and diminished, half diminished seventh chords, and then major ninth chords and dominant ninth chords, and ninth chords with a flat. Flat nine in other words.

We’re going to learn an eleventh chord and a thirteenth chord and then we have to get into voicing, because all those chords can be played in different ways, right?

Okay, that’s it for today. Hope I’ve whetted your appetite a little bit for learning more chords, but if not, that’s fine. You’ll learn the chords you need to learn. Okay, that’s it for today, and if you enjoy this sort of thing, come on over to Play Piano and sign up for our free piano tips. You get something like this most every day, and if you like piano and music as much as I do, you’ll enjoy it. We’ll see you there. Bye-bye for now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaOLCsEzFOY&feature=youtu.be
—————————————————————–

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Major & Minor Intervals & The Chords They Form

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

Major & Minor Intervals & The Chords They Form

Hi, this is Duane and no matter what kind of music you play, you play both balanced and unbalanced chords – Major & Minor Intervals & The Chords They Form. I’d like to talk a little bit about those two things, balanced and unbalanced chords. Have you ever thought about that? Here’s a major chord. That’s the most common of all chords, it’s used in music may be 60, 70% of the time.

Twenty or 30% of the time minor chords are used. They’re far more used, major/minor chords are are far more used than augmented or diminished chords and I’d like to show you why, in case you don’t know, may be you do know why.

Major chords are unbalanced. Minor chords are unbalanced while augmented chords are unbalanced and diminished chords are unbalanced. Here’s why. A major chord is made out of a major third. A major third is the third note of the scale or you can count half steps. One, two, three, four. A major third is four half steps.

A minor third is three half steps. One, two, three. There’s a major third and there’s a minor third. Now let ask you a question, when you play the C chord, what are those two intervals? That’s the major third, obviously but what’s that? Is that a major third? Sounds very major, doesn’t it? That’s because your mind is filling in that note. After having played the C chord and then if I play just those two notes, your mind is filling in that note even though I’m not playing it.

I’ll prove it to you. If I play an E down there, now does it sound major? No, suddenly it sounds minor. Why? Because I’m emphasizing the E is the root, not C. If C was the root, it would sound like that. It would sound major but if I play E, it sounds minor, doesn’t it?

Here’s why, because between E and G is only a minor third. One, two, three. We have an unbalanced chord. We have a major third with a minor third on top of it, don’t we? A major third and a minor third. Unbalanced. We like the sound, we like the sound of unbalanced chords.

Now, what about minor. That’s unbalanced too, isn’t it? It’s a minor third with a major third on top. Just the opposite of a major chord. A major chord has a major third on the bottom, a minor third on top. While a minor chord has a minor third on the bottom, major third on top. Those are the two most used chords, major and minor. We hear that all the time in our playing.

Now a chord that’s used may be five or something like that percent of the time is a diminished chord. It goes like that. In fact, diminished chords are almost always including that note too. I’ll show you why in a minute. A diminished chord is balanced, isn’t it? Even though it sounds, we’re really not comfortable with leaving it.

If I played that note and told you to go to bed, played that chord and told you to go to bed, you’d want to get up and turn it off, wouldn’t you? Because it’s unbalanced. I mean it is balanced but it gives you an eerie feeling.

It’s a minor third followed by a minor third. Now the reason that that note is often included in that chord is because that’s a minor third too. Notice it’s a minor third up to the octave note. We have all minor thirds, very balanced.

Now, that’s called a diminished seventh chord. How many diminished seventh chords would there be, do you think? Do you think there’s 12 different diminished seventh chords like there’s 12 major chords and 12 minor chords? No, there’s only three diminished seventh chords. Why is that? Watch me go up a half step.

That’s a different diminished seventh chord and that’s a diminished seventh chord but now is that a diminished seventh chord? No, all I’ve done is taken the C off the bottom and put on top. That’s why it sounds that why because it’s totally balanced.

Now another chord that’s totally balanced is an augmented chord. Instead of making of being made up of all minor thirds like a diminished chord is, it’s made up of all major chords. I mean all major thirds. Major third, major third. From here up to the octave, what is it? Major thirds. It’s totally balanced. It’s totally balanced.

How many augmented chords do you think there’d be? Will there be 12 like major and minor or would there only be three like the diminished? How many notes are in it? Three. How far to the octave? Eight or 12 half steps. There is one, two, three. There’s only three, isn’t there? I mean there’s only four, isn’t there? Because when I get to that, that’s the same chord we started at, just inverted. You got that.

There’s four different augmented chords. One, two, three … One, two, three, four and then we come down to the same augmented chord that we started at just inverted, turned upside down.

The augmented chord, by the way, is based on the whole tones scale. The whole tone scale used nothing but whole tones and the augmented chords are based on that. You have that feeling of lightness or I don’t know, something, some feeling that’s created out of that chord.

Anyway, that’s the difference between balanced and unbalanced chords. I just thought you’d like to know that because your major and minor chords, you play more all the time are unbalanced. While the chords like diminished and augmented are totally balanced.

That’s it for today, if you enjoyed these kinds of tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips. We’ll see you there. Bye-bye for now.


————————————————————————

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)