Archive for September, 2014


Please Subscribe To My Channel – www.YouTube.com/ChordsGalore

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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YouTube Channel – www.YouTube.com/ChordsGalore

Hi – this is Duane, and I’d like to take you to my YouTube channel. For those of you on YouTube that already know about how to get to channels and so on, you can tune it out right now. This is for people that don’t know about the YouTube channels and how you can benefit from them.

This is my YouTube channel, called Daily Piano Tips, as you can see at http://www.YouTube.com/ChordsGalore. There’s a picture of the guy that teaches these classes, and that would be me. You can see right above at the top … Well, maybe you can’t, but there’s 21,715 subscribers, 4,537,310 views. That’s not a lot for YouTube, but it’s a lot for a piano playing channel.

There’s a way to subscribe to our channel. On each web page, there’s a little button called “Subscribe”. I mean, on each video in YouTube, there’s a little button that says, “Subscribe to my channel,” or something like that, so just click that, and then you’ll be notified about every new video that I put out.

We have videos for beginners, as you can see here, intermediate piano players, and then music theory, what makes music tick, and advanced and semi-advanced amateur piano players. I say amateur piano players. A lot of pros learn, too, but I say that particularly because there’s lot of pros, of course, that don’t need what I have to teach, so I call it amateur stuff.

Let’s look at the beginners. One of the videos in the beginner area is learning minor chords fast, learn major chords in 5 minutes or less, 3 ways you can improve your piano playing right now without practice, how to learn intervals while you play Chopsticks.

In intermediate, there’s grace notes and turns, what those are, musical fillers, the swing bass and syncopation, 2 elements of ragtime, how many styles you can play with the same song. I go over many, many different styles that you can play on any given song. This video is about double flats and double sharps.

Come down to the music theory, what makes music tick. A lot of people say, “Why don’t I improve faster? I practice and practice, but I never get better.” Well, I address that question in this 6:40 video. Complex chords aren’t really complex once you understand what’s going on, the music theory behind the blues, double flats and double sharps, and learn … I guess I already covered that.

Okay, and advanced and semi-advanced. Disguised chord progressions, can you recognize them? There’s chord progressions that are used in various kinds of songs, and you probably … unless you’re used to chord progressions, you probably don’t know that they’re used over and over again, but they are, and this video addresses that. Somebody asked me if they can play the blues in a minor key, and I answered that, and the answer is yes. The blues scale, which scale do I use? Chord triplets, one way to fill up the empty spaces in a song, and music theory behind the blues.

That’s just a sample. I have 600 videos that are averaging 5 minutes long, so come on over to YouTube, and the channel is Chords Galore. You can just type in YouTube and then Chords Galore, and you’ll come right to this channel. Make sure to subscribe while you’re there, so you’ll be notified of every new video that I put out. Okay, thanks for being with me, and I hope this helps explain a bit. Thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmUxkY6R7os&feature=youtu.be

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Alternating Swing Bass Piano Style With a 4th Beat Lead-In Note

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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Alternating Swing Bass Piano Style – With Some Variations

 

Good morning, this is Duane and we’ve been talking about the swing bass, the left hand swing bass and we started with just a root and chord. We said that if you hit a low note like a low C and then a C chord that’s constitutes a swing bass because you’re swinging from a low root to a chord. If it was the F chord, we hit the low F and then the F chord. If it was G, we’d hit a low G and so on like that.

Then last time we talked about the alternating bass. Instead of always hitting the low root sometimes we hit the fifth. We played like the C chord, G but C chord, C, G. Your low note is alternating between the root and the fifth just to give it more variety. We talked about that.

Now this time I’d like to talk about the alternating swing bass piano style – a fourth beat kicker where on the fourth beat of some measures when we’re leading into another chord we don’t play a chord but we play a different note. A note that leads into where we’re going. For example, if I’m going from let’s see the C chord to the G chord, I could go like this, C, whoops sorry, C. See that’s a lead in on the fourth beat. Three, four, one. Three, four, one. Like so. You get the idea. On the fourth beat of some measures on the measure before you change chords, you’ll want to play a note that’s close to the target note you’re hitting.

Let me just give you an illustration. I’m playing and now I want to go to the G chord so instead of hitting the alternate note I hit the fourth beat kicker on the way to G. Again I’ll take it very slow. Now in addition to the fourth beat kicker, we could do some walkdowns like if I’m going from C to F, I could go and then continue the chording there. Let me take it slow. See that.

As I was going to the F chord I walked down from C to F, now you’re probably wondering why I’m hitting that B flat. It’s because that is in the F scale, that’s not in the C scale but it’s in the F scale. The F scale goes like that. You use the scale of the chord you’re going to. That time I uses a walkup, I was going from G to C so instead of continuing the G chording I went. I had to use a chromatic passage simply because that’s not in the scale but I had to use a chromatic passage because I needed four beats. One, two, three, four, one. If I only went like that, I’d only have three beats so I had to add a beat in it so I added that. I could’ve added, that probably would’ve been a better choice.

Just to review. The swing bass means to swing back and forth between a root and the chord. The alternating swing bass is to hit a fifth on every other time. Then the fourth beat kicker is as you’re going to a new chord you hit a note that’s close. Let me illustrate, say I’m going from the C chord to the D minor chord, I might go. See that. I was going to D root so I went because I slid down from E flat to D.

Sometimes in addition to the fourth beat kicker we can do a walkup or walkdown. Walkdown like that. If we were going to F, we could walkup. One, two, three, four. Again we need four beats so I need to put in a black key on the way to use up the time. Somebody asked, “What if the songs in 3/4 because those are all 4/4 cut time any way, right?” In 3/4, obviously, you have to hit one low note in two chords. One, two, three, one, two, three. The alternating bass would be one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two and so on. You can use the third beat kicker in that case if you wanted to, same way.

Okay well that’s it for today, hope that gives you a little insight into some variations of the swing bass. Tomorrow I think we’ll take up left hand arpeggio styles. Left hand arpeggio styles where we break up the chords, we don’t play a block chord but we break them up in various ways. We’ll start that series tomorrow.

Thanks for being with me and again if you hadn’t signed up for our free newsletter be sure and do that because they have all kinds of piano tips in it. We’ll see you then. Bye-bye for now

If  you like the idea of a swing bass, you might be interested in my course in Ragtime For Beginners at www.PlayPiano.com/Ragtime

If you enjoyed this little piano tips, come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips. I think you’ll enjoy them so we’ll see you there.

Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddp6YIvg-ms&feature=youtu.be

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The Alternating Bass Style Of Swing Bass Piano

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
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Swing Bass Piano Using An Alternate Low Note

 

Good morning. This is Duane. Today I’d like to talk about the alternating swing bass – a variety of swing bass piano. Last time we talked about the swing bass and we said it’s called the swing bass because you’re left hand is swinging between a low note and the chord. For example, if the chord’s C, you’d hit a C with your little finger, a low C. Then you’d swing up with your left hand and play the C chord, preferably an inversion. I’m playing second inversion of the C chord there, but either inversion is fine. Even if you prefer the root, that’s okay, too. The thing that gives us this name is the swing between the low note and the chord, whatever inversion you play the chord in.

Now today instead of playing just the root … In other words, if we have a C chord we can go like this, until change to the F chord. Then we’d do that. Then we change to the G chord, we do that and so on. Now this time, though, we’re going to use an alternating low note. In other words, we won’t always hit C. Sometimes we’ll hit another chord note out of the C chord. The C chord’s made up of three notes: C, E, and G. We won’t always hit a low C. Sometimes we’ll hit a low E, then the C chord or a low G, and then the C chord. You’ve probably heard this before where you play the root and the fifth alternating like this. Fifth, root, fifth, fifth, root, fifth, root, fifth.

If you played the F chord you’d hit a low F and then the F chord. Then you’d hit another note out of the F chord, preferably a C, because the C is the fifth of the F chord. Fifth sounds best. You can use the third, and sometimes that’s appropriate, but not as much as the fifth. If it was a G chord you’d hit a low G, then the G chord. Then you’d alternate with a D because that’s another member of the G chord.

Let me go through those three chords – C, F, and G – and just watch my left hand, and I’ll do it slowly. C, nothing but the C chord there, but the low note is alternating between the root and the fifth. Now we’re going to go to the F chord. F, F, a little low C but the chord’s still F. Now G, hitting a low G, then we’re alternating it with the D below because that’s the fifth of the G chord.

Now sometimes you can use the third, however. I’ll come back to C, C, G, C, E. That’s particularly effective if you’re going to move to the F chord, because E is adjacent to F, isn’t it? You’d go like this: C, G, C, E, now the F chord, G, back to C. That’s your alternating bass. You don’t always use the root, but sometimes use the fifth or the third.

I apologize for my voice. It’s kind of breaking up today, so sorry about that. That’s all I want to cover today – the alternating bass style. Then tomorrow we’ll take up a variation of that alternating bass where you can do this sort of thing, and create a counter-melody like that; that’s tomorrow. Tune in tomorrow, same time, same station, when we’ll cover that. If you enjoy these little piano tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for them while my voice is still functioning. Thanks. Bye, see you tomorrow. Bye bye for now.

If  you like the idea of a swing bass, you might be interested in my course in Ragtime For Beginners at www.PlayPiano.com/Ragtime

If you enjoyed this little piano tips, come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips. I think you’ll enjoy them so we’ll see you there.

Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaKSZjW0qRc&feature=youtu.be

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Swing Bass Piano Styles For Your Left Hand

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014
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Swing Bass Piano Styles – The Basis of “Swing Piano”

                       Good morning. This is Duane and now I’d like to take up the left-hand bass styles. We’ve been talking about right-hand styles playing a single melody like that or a third under the melody or a whole chord under the melody or an octave third or a stopped octave. We’ve done all those recently, those videos on each one of those styles. Now, I’d like to turn to the left hand and take up some of the swing bass piano styles that you can use for pop piano. By pop piano, I mean anything except classical. This applies to anything from ragtime to jazz, to rock, to pop songs, to gospel, whatever and you can do it in various styles. Today, I’d like to talk about the first basic left hand sound that’s called swing bass. Swing bass and the swing bass … Let me just play a little swing bass. That song like that but notice the left hand swings between a low note and a chord.

That’s why it’s called the swing bass because your left hand is swinging from a low note to a chord, okay? That way you get … If you just play chords like that, that’s fine and that’s a style too but you don’t get the low note in position so that’s why the swing was involved. Now there’s a lot of varieties to that. In the subsequent lessons, we’re going to take up the varieties but right now, I just like to focus on the swing bass and get that down. By the way, this series is for beginners. If you’re advance, you don’t need to know this because you already know it. I’m just taking it for beginners. Let’s take the C chord. Let’s say that you’re playing a C chord. What you would do if you have a C chord, you hit a low C with your little finger or an octave if you feel like it, if you hand is big enough. Some people play in octaves and that’s fine too and then you come up and play the chord.

Normally, I don’t play the chord in root position. I like to play it either at the first inversion or second inversion. It’s particular if you’re in octaves, you can hit that and then that. That’s easier than coming up with playing that because you see, that note is duplicated both in the octave and the chord. I hit a low note and then come up and hit the chord. Now, let me just make it a little simpler and not play the octave but just hit a simple low note. Do this with me if you’re just starting out, if you’re a beginner. Hit the low note and push your pedal down, your sustain pedal, the pedal on the right at the same time and then come up and play the chord. Now, let the pedal up before you hit the next note. We’ll say the next note is F. Hit a low F the come up and play the F chord.

Again, your pedal goes down as you play the low note and then after you play that chord, then you can let the pedal up. How long you hold the pedal is kind of up to you. Usually, your ear can decide how long you want that to hold and two, it depends on the context of the song. If you’re playing ragtime like I just did, you probably want to let it up right away but if you’re playing something like this, then you want to probably sustain that pedal longer, not let it up right away. It’s very simple. Use your little finger on the low note, if you’re not playing an octave that is. If you’re playing an octave, it’s the little finger and thumb obviously but use you use your little finger because that’s the shortest route up here, right, from here to here. If you play it with your thumb or something, you got a longer way to go so use your little finger and come up and play that.

Let’s take the F chord, G chord, C chord. Now, if you’re just a pure beginner, I would just focus on those three chords and get that down really well, the pedal and the chording pattern. Just go back and forth between those. Then if you know some other chords at this point then use those. If you know say, the A flat chord, then hit a low A flat, come up and play the chord. If you know the D flat chord, play it low D flat, come up and play the chord, whatever it is. By the way, this applies to minor too. For example, if you’re playing A minor, you hit the low A and then come up and play an A minor chord. If you’re D minor, you hit a low D, come up and play the D minor chord. Okay, so very simple swing bass. Tomorrow, we’re going to take up some varieties of the swing bass because that gets boring if you just do that so we’re going to take up some varieties to add a little interest to your swing bass, okay?

If  you like the idea of a swing bass, you might be interested in my course in Ragtime For Beginners at www.PlayPiano.com/Ragtime

That’s it for today. If you enjoyed this little piano tips, come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips. I think you’ll enjoy them so we’ll see you there. Bye-bye for now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c5796KuNkTw&feature=youtu.be

 

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Ragtime Piano: Can You Learn To Play It?

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
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Learning To Play Ragtime Piano: What You Need To Know

Hands on Keyboard 7

Ragtime piano music was a popular musical genre during the late part of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, especially in the dance halls and saloons in the USA. It has a cheerful, bouncy, and amazingly versatile sound capable of emotional lyricism and a fun type of sophistication. In the 1970’s, it experienced a revival due to the award winning movie The Sting because of an unknown Scott Joplin ragtime song called The Entertainer that became an instant hit.This “ragged time” music also covers other musical styles like jazz, pop, and the blues.

If you would like to learn to play ragtime piano, we have a course for beginners (not beginners at piano – beginners at playing ragtime) at www.PlayPiano.com/Ragtime Click on the link to learn all about it.

Ragtime music’s main characteristics are a duple bass and a syncopated melody; there are some rag tunes that do not fit this exact mold. The hardest part of playing this type of music on the piano is that you are playing three parts; the harmony, the melody, and the bass line. This essentially means that your left hand must pull double duty and play the bass part on the first and third beats of each measure and the harmony on the second and fourth. You can achieve this using only your smallest fingers for the bass part and to use the remaining fingers to play the harmony.

Additionally, when you play ragtime piano, you must the the sustain pedal to make the piece sound smooth. If you don’t, the piece will sound choppy because your left hand is literally bouncing between two parts. The sustain pedal is most useful when pressed during the odd numbered beats and released during the even numbered ones. This will effectively sustain the bass note for two hole beats which will produce the ragtime sound that you are looking for. Read on for additional tips on how to play the piano with that ragtime feel.

1. Get a feel for the music by listening to famous ragtime composer Scott Joplin songs like The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag.

2. Practice your left and right handed chording because, unlike a lot of piano music, ragtime uses chording with both hands; sometimes at the same time. You should also practice playing arpeggios with your right hand; learning more chords will make your playing more versatile.

3. Learn one of the most popular chord progressions used in ragtime, the I VI II V; it must be played in cut time or 4/4 time. This means that you must play the first, sixth, second, and fifth chords in a specific key. Play them as seventh chords.

4. In order to really get your hands dirty while learning to play, you must practice the syncopated rhythmic feel that ragtime is all about. Although this type of music is played in 4/4, it has an uptempo rhythm and beats that are a little off the expected beat. This is a feel that must be developed over time and practice, indeed, makes perfect. In time you will be able to give any piece a ragtime feel when you play it.

Learning to play ragtime isn’t necessarily an easy task but it can be done. If you would like to give your music a slight edge and a different feel, then delving into this genre of music is well worth it.

If you would like to learn to play ragtime piano, we have a course for beginners (not beginners at piano – beginners at playing ragtime) at www.PlayPiano.com/Ragtime Click on the link to learn all about it.
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