Archive for December, 2014


Right Hand Piano Song Technique #2: Playing The Melody In Octaves

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
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Playing The Melody In Octaves In a Piano Song

 

Good morning. This is Duane. Today we’re going to look at right hand piano song style number two. If you recall, we went through a whole series of left hand piano styles. Now we’re going to take up right hand piano styles. We’ve already done one but then I got waylayed by Christmas and did a bunch of Christmas videos. I need to get back to that series of right hand piano styles. If you recall, the first right hand piano style we took up is the single finger melody, which is just what it sounds like, and so on. That makes the melody sing, stand out a little more than if you mix it with chords.

Now the second method I’d like to talk about is octaves in the right hand, octaves in the melody. Instead of a single note, play two of those notes. Now you may say that’s very easy. It is unless you’re a beginner. If you’re a beginner it’s a little hard because you got to stretch your hand and make sure you get just eight notes away. It’s easy accept there’s some varieties. You can not only play the notes together like this and so on like that. You can, but you can also offset the notes. You can hit the top note first, then the bottom note, or the bottom note first. It gives a little click to the melody. As you’re playing the notes there’s a little click because of the delay.

Now you don’t want to get in the habit of doing that all the time because it’s a hard habit to break. There’s many times where you won’t that clicking sound so just used to playing the notes at once without offsetting them. But at times for the effect then you can hit the bottom … It’s probably easier to do the bottom note first, then the top note. See that? It gives that little impetus to the melody which helps it along. I’ll do that here.

Sometimes too you can mix it up. You can play just a solid octave and then you can also offset it like that at times. I’m just playing straight here. My first click was there if I want to emphasize that note. That’s probably the best where you mix it up, where you play the straight notes together most of the time, but then certain notes you’ll offset it by hitting the bottom note … excuse me … your thumb before your little finger.

That’s it for today. Very, very simple lesson but it’s one of the important things you need to learn if you’re just learning how to play the piano and various right hand styles. Tomorrow we’ll take up another right hand style, probably thirds in the melody, then sixth and then block chords and so on. So far we have just two though, just the melody, single finger melody, and octaves. Don’t forget about the variety of the click sound by striking them separately. That’s it for today. We’ll see you tomorrow with another right hand style. Bye bye for now.

***For lots more good stuff on piano playing come on over to my website at http://www.playpiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips – “Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions!”

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Right-Hand Piano Arranging Technique #1 – Single-Finger Melody

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
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Right-Hand Piano Technique #1 – Single-Finger Melody

 

 

Good morning! This is Duane and today I’d like to start our series on right-hand piano arranging technique – today on the single-finger melody technique. We did a series on left-hand piano techniques, if you recall, and we said we can do everything in a left hand from strumming the chord like that; to a swing bass that goes like this; an alternating bass; to an alberti bass; and to an arpeggio, intense like that; and a handover arpeggio.

We talked about six or seven different techniques we can use for the left hand and of course they can be mixed and matched. When you’re learning those techniques you would do well to take one at a time.

Today we’re going to take the most simple right-hand technique and that’s called the single-finger melody. Like I said, it’s a stand-alone technique. When you’re starting, you can use it as a stand-alone technique. When I say single-finger I don’t mean just playing using one finger. I mean you’re only playing one note at a time with the right hand.

Let me illustrate it. I might start off with a chord then … Here’s the bridge. What do you notice about that single-finger? I hope you notice that the melody is standing out. If you want a strong, identifiable melody that’s a good technique to use, but you should mix it with other styles, which we’ll take up gradually. You should mix it with chords. For example, when I start it out, I start out with a chord with my right hand and then the single-finger melody.

I also encourage you to be playful with the melody. You don’t have to just play it … but you can be playful like this. You notice I kind of slow up to that. I kind of slow up B flat to B and then up to C. You notice after I got the single-finger melody, I use the chords to help up up my left hand.

It’s not our subject to talk about what the chords are and all that. I presume that you have studied chords and if you haven’t you certainly need to do that, but we’re talking about a single-finger melody which is technique #1 in the right hand. I know it’s simple but we needed to start somewhere.

Then the next lesson will be on a different technique and we’ll go through about … I think we’ll have 10 or 12 right-hand techniques that we can use. Then when we go through with that then we can combine the left-hand techniques that we talked about such as swing bass or arpeggio or whatever with the right-hand techniques that we’re going to talk about. That’s when you get a cohesive style when you combine the right-hand techniques with the left-hand and you mix and match and that’s why every pianist has a different style. It’s a recognizable style because he or she mixes and matches different than any other pianist and that’s one of the things that make music interesting.

OK. That’s it for today. Come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for a free piano tips if you haven’t already so. We’ll see you there. Bye-bye for now.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK-MfCbwgB8&feature=youtu.be

 

 

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How To Play Auld Lang Syne On The Piano Using Just 3 Chords

Monday, December 29th, 2014
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Playing “Auld Lang Syne” On The Piano Using 3 Chords – Then Many More

 

Good morning, this is Duane. Happy New Year to you. You’ve heard me say many times, I’m sure that there are three primary chords that are the most used chords in any given key. You can play just thousands of songs literally with those three chords, if you master those three chords. Today, we’re going to play Auld Lang Syne on the piano, and we’re going to learn it just using three chords. Then I’m going to show you some other possibilities.

Basically, we’re just going to play it with three chords. If you’re a beginner, then you can get through Auld Lang Syne with just three chords. It’s usually played in the key of F, not always but usually. That means it’s based on the scale of F which goes like that. If I take the one chord in the key of F, that’s the F chord. If I take the four chord, that’s B-flat. If I take the five chord, that’s a C chord. My three primary chords, my three homeboy chords are F, B-flat and C in the key of F. Those are used way more than any chords in the key of F. I’m going to play through Auld Lang Syne just using those three chords. F, C, F, B-flat, F. C, B-flat, B-flat C, F. F, C, F, B-flat, F, C, B-flat, C and home to F. We just use those three chords, and that’s all there is. If you’re accompanying somebody singing, like a crowd on New Year’s Eve, you wouldn’t even have to play the melody because you could just start them. You can start them like that, and then just play the chords. You can accompany a group or a person just playing the chords itself. Of course, you could use rhythm if you want to … All kinds of things you could do.

Don’t feel limited though to just those three chords. If you’re more advanced, please don’t limit yourself to just those primary chords because you could use tons of other chords. Let me just show you a couple. I’ll just call them out as I use them. I’m playing the F chord. Instead of staying on F, I’m going to move to the D-minor chord. Why? Because F is in the D-minor chord as well as it is in F. I ask myself in what other chord will that note fit? One answer is D-minor. Besides that, it fits in the next note too. F, D-minor … Now, I’m   going to go to G-minor, and then C, F, F-seventh, B-flat. I’m going to creep up from B-flat to B-diminished-seventh, D, B, A-flat and F in any sequence. It doesn’t matter which one is on the bottom or top. Then F, D-minor, G-minor … I can play E-flat-seventh or A-seventh, D-minor, B-flat, C, F. Between the verse and the chorus I could do play a plagal cadence. You know what that is, it’s an amen cadence. Notice, I move from the F chord to the B-flat chord by just moving my inside notes. It’s called an inside plagal cadence by the way because my little finger on both ends stay on the F.

Then I can turn it around if I want, as I often do. Let me just take the end of that. Now, that’s C-seventh, but I’m putting a 6th in it, actually a 13th. 13 and 6 are the same thing. Then I flat it. Then that’s the F-six-nine chord. It’s the F chord with a nine and a six in it. I could go to D-minor-seventh, G-minor-seventh, C-seventh. Instead of going straight to F-seventh, I could use C-minor-seventh over F, and then resolve to F-seventh and then B-flat. I’m using a B-flat-major-seventh. Then go to that B-diminished chord again. F, D-minor … Now I can throw a curve. I can go to E-minor-seventh, B-flat-seventh, D-minor, B-flat, C. Then instead of going home to F, I might go to D-flat, E-flat, F. Why?

Because the note F is in the D-flat chord as well as it’s in the F chord. It’s also in the ninth and the E-flat chord. Then I go home to F that way. There’s some ideas for playing Auld Lang Syne both ways, very simply and then a little more complex. Happy New Year to you, and we’ll see you tomorrow with another little piano tip like this. Thanks. Bye-bye for now.

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 dear, For auld lang syne,

We’ll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne!

***For lots more good stuff on piano playing come on over to my website at http://www.playpiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips – “Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions!” ___________________________________________________________

 

 

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Left Hand Piano Arranging Style #5 – Arpeggios in 10ths………

Monday, December 29th, 2014
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Break Up Any Three-Note Chord in 10ths – Left Hand Piano Arranging Style #5 

Good morning. This is Duane, and we’re taking a series of lessons on left hand styles. We’re going to do a series of left hand styles and a series of right hand styles, and then we’ll put them together.

This is fifth in the series of left hand piano arranging style, and today I’d like to take up the arpeggios in 10ths. Now arpeggios simply means a broken chord. Last time we learned the Alberti bass, which was bottom top, middle top, middle top, middle top, like so. Today we’re going to stretch the chord out. We’re going to play arpeggios. Arpeggio means broken chord, but we’re going to do it in 10ths. That is, we’re going to play the low root down there and then the 5th of the chord, and then the 3rd an octave higher.

Now if you have a small hand like I do, what you’ll have to do is pivot on that index finger. A lot of you won’t have to. I wish I had big hands like you, but I don’t. If you have small hands like I do then pivot on the index finger like that. You see the logic there? You’re taking the middle note out of the chord. Instead of playing the chord like that you’re taking the middle note out and playing it an active higher. That’s all that’s happening.

It’s okay to play it there but you’ll be running into your right hand. If I play … it would be kind of tight. Besides, I likes the sonority better down there; it gives a fuller sound. Now push your damper pedal down as you hit the lowest note, and then you want to let it up when you get through with the highest note, before you go into the next one. Now, if you don’t know chords very well then you’ll have to slow it down and figure out what the root and the 5th are, and then take the 3rd an octave higher.

For example, if you’re playing C minor then you’d play C, G, and then you’d take this E flat and play it an octave higher. It would look like that. Let’s do it on C. What we’ll do is we’ll just play that over and over again until we get the feel of that. If you’re playing in 4/4 time you would be one on the low note, two on the 5th, three on the 3rd an octave higher, and then on the 5th again. One two three four, one two three four. If you’re playing in 8th notes then probably want to just toggle between the two top notes after playing the bottom note, like so. One and two and three and four and, one and two and three and four and. If the chord was D minor, for example, here’s a root 3rd 5th, so root 5th 3rd 5th, 3rd 5th, 3rd 5th. If the chord was E flat then you’d have to know what the E flat chord is and you’d play root 5th 3rd. On those black keys sometimes I have to use my third finger to make it up there because my hand is so small. If the chord was D flat: D flat, A flat, F.

Let’s stay on C, F, and G for the time being and just practice a bit. C, F, G, back to C. Let me put something in right hand with it. Let’s say we move to C augmented there. See C augmented is C like C, E, G sharp, so you can play it G, C, G sharp, E, back to F, C, F, G. Then when you end it you probably go like this, and end on a low root. It feels more finished that way.

Again, with the pedaling you push the pedal down at the start of the sequence and let it up at the end, unless there’s too much going on in your right hand. Sometimes the melody changes too much and it’s all a blur. If you need to let it up twice a measure, that’s fine. I even sometimes pedal on every single beat, but you probably won’t need to do that at this point.

You understand the concept; it’s called arpeggios, which means broken chord, but in 10ths. It’s a 10th between there and there. That’s why I call it 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 – arpeggios in 10. The 10th is the same thing as the 3rd an octave higher. Get used to that feel. I would go through all the major chords and do that. That’s D flat, D. Some are easier to reach than others. E flat – and like I say, if your hand is small it’s going to take some practice. E. It’s a very good style you can use on so many different techniques. You see this is smoother style than the swing bass. In swing bass we swung back and forth like that. The alternating bass we hit the 5th on the offbeat. Then the Alberti bass, it’s an arpeggio too, but we played bottom top, middle top, middle top, middle top with songs. Arpeggio in 10s is a little different in that we stretch it out.

Learn that well because it will be the basis for so much of your playing. Let me just play it a little bit. You see, so it does provide a nice left hand accompaniment to whatever’s going in the right hand. Sometimes I call it the orchestral bass because it provides that background orchestra sound to whatever’s going on in the melody. That’s it for today so thanks for being with me. If you enjoy this series or you enjoy these videos at all, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free video tips. We’ll see you then. Bye bye for now.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QltM8PUu_Dc&feature=youtu.b

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Reharmonizing “Auld Lang Syne” With Colorful Chords

Sunday, December 28th, 2014
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 Reharmonizing “Auld Lang Syne”

Today we are going to do some reharmonizing of Auld Lang Syne with some creative and colorful chords. It can be played many ways of course, and in many different keys, but here is one way to re-harmonize it using chord substitutions.

***For lots more good stuff on piano playing come on over to my website at http://www.playpiano.com and sign up for our free piano tips – “Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions!”

 

 

 

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