Archive for June, 2015


The 3 Diminished 7th Chords

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015
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3 Diminished 7th Chords That Can Turn Into 12 Chords!

Good morning. This is Duane. We’ve been doing a series of videos about music theory called Good Stuff You Really Ought to Know About Music. One thing you really ought to know about music is that there are three chords which are really 12 chords. Now I know that sounds like a puzzle but it’s absolutely true. There’s three chords that are actually 12 chords. Those three chords are the 3 diminished 7th chords.

Let’s back up a hair. You have a major scale, so row of notes that follows some rules about half steps and whole steps and so on. In any case, if you make a major triad, that’s three notes: root, 3rd, and 5th. If you make a minor triad, you lower the 3rd a half step, so that’s a minor triad. If you want a diminished triad you lower the 5th a half step. If you want a diminished 7th triad you start with the 7th and go down a double flat. C diminished 7th looks like that. That note, I guess you can think of it as A if you want to when you’re playing, but I think of it as B double flat because it’s really the 7th double flatted.

In any case, that’s one of the three chords that you need to learn that suddenly become 12 chords when you know all three chords. Still sounds confusing, doesn’t it? Now take that chord and slide each note up a half step. You see that? That’s a diminished 7th chord too, but it starts on C sharp. It’s a half step higher, but it’s exactly a half step higher, mathematically exactly the same. You just slip up a half step.

Now if you take that chord and slip up a half step again, what do you have? You have the third chord, don’t you? This is different than the first chord and different than the second chord. That’s the third chord. But, if you slide up another half step, what do you have? You got the same chord you started with, just upside down. In other words, that’s the C diminished 7th chord, isn’t it? I just have the C on top instead of on the bottom. You see that? It’s the same four notes. That is one of the three chords. We’ll call it C diminished 7th.

Go up a half step and that’s C sharp diminished 7th. Go up a half step and that’s D diminished 7th. Go up a half step and we’re back to C diminished 7th, aren’t we? However, we could call it E flat diminished 7th and we’d be right. In other words, it has more than one name, doesn’t it? I could also call it F sharp diminished 7th because F sharp can function as a root as well. Or I could call it G flat diminished 7th.

If I go up another half step I come to G, B, D flat, and E. Now that is different than the first chord, isn’t it? Each note of that chord can function as the root. In other words, that’s the G diminished 7th chord, the B flat diminished 7th chord, the D flat diminished chord, and the E diminished chord. If I go up another half step, that could function as the A flat diminished chord, B diminished chord, D diminished chord, F diminished chord.

In other words, if you know those three chords, you know all 12 diminished 7th chords, don’t you? That’s it, because there ain’t no more. That’s all. Learn those three diminished 7th chords. I’m illustrating them in the right hand but of course the same thing is true in the left hand. Diminished 7th chords create a tension like that that’s usually resolved to a harmonic chord. In other words, a chord that sounds nice after you build up that tension.

That’s it for today. Three chords that can function as 12 chords. We’ll see you again tomorrow with another Good Stuff You Ought to Know About Music. See you then. 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!”

Here’s a great little book on chords and chord progressions on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Chords-Chord-Progressions-Exciting-ebook/dp/B0076OUGDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404158669&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+chords+duane+shinn

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

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4-Chord Progression Turnarounds To Use At The End Of a Musical Phrase

Monday, June 29th, 2015
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Chord Progression Turnarounds – What Are They?

 

Good morning. This is Duane again and we have been doing a series about music theory called  Good Stuff You Really Ought To Know About Music. One thing you ought to know about music, when it comes to piano playing at least, is that there are things called turnarounds. Turnarounds are chord progressions, usually made out of 3 or 4 chords, that fill up the empty spaces between phrases. So we are talking about chord progression turnarounds in this video.

Let me give you an example. Say you’re playing  America the Beautiful. That is the end of a phrase, isn’t it? You can tell that because if you know the words, it pauses after that, but even if you didn’t know the words, there’s 1, 2, 3, 4, and that note holds for a whole measure before it goes on. Up to then, it’s busy. The melody ends on the 5th degree of the scale. We’re playing in the key of C. 2, 3, 4, so to make it more interesting, we want to do something while that note is being held, and what we can do is use a turnaround made out of 4 chords, going from the 3rd to the flat 3rd to the 2nd to the flat 2nd and then ready to start again.

Let me just play it in context so you can see what I’m talking about and then we’ll slow it down. That was a turnaround. Notice it’s when the 5th of the chord is on top. There are different turnarounds. If the 3rd was on top, we’d have to do something like this. If the root was on top, we’d have to do something like this. There’s lots of different turnarounds you can use but this is the one that’s quite effective when the 5th is on top. You’ll find many situations in songs, many situations where the 5th is on top, the top note of the melody, so you need to turnaround like that.

Let me play it very slowly. Now, we start on the 3rd, see the 1, 2, 3. E is the 3rd so I’m going to play an E minor 7th with the melody on top. Melody has to stay on top. Then, I’m going to sync down half a step to E flat 7th. My left hand’s going to go like this incidentally. E, E flat, D, D flat, C. I’m just playing that at an octave, so nothing is easier than that.

The right hand’s playing E minor 7th, and then E flat 7th. You can play an E flat if you want to too, but I’m playing E flat in the left hand so I don’t have to. Then D minor 7th, now I know that G is not in the D minor 7th chord but G’s in the melody so I’m going to include it there. Then finally D flat 7th. Now I’m voicing it like this, G on top, E flat and C flat, looks like B but it’s called C flat because it’s a D flat 7th chord.

In other words, roll my hands small so I can’t play all the notes I’d want to but I could do this, D flat, A flat, F, A flat. If I do it quickly, I can get away with it but if you don’t want to do that, just play the octave D flat with those 3 notes and that’ll work because you’re only holding the one beat. Then you’re back home to the chord. Here we go, 1, 2, 3, 4.

Once more, 1, 2, 3, 4. That’s the 4-chord turnaround that you can use when the melody is on the 5th note of the scale. I’ll take you up other turnarounds as we go along. That’s it for today. If you enjoyed these little tips, come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for free piano tips, and hope to see you there. 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!”

Here’s a great little book on chords and chord progressions on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Chords-Chord-Progressions-Exciting-ebook/dp/B0076OUGDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=140415 8669&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+chords+duane+shinn

Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=658CoRtU1yc&feature=youtu.be

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How To Make “Waterfall Runs” From Chords!

Friday, June 26th, 2015
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Use “Waterfall Runs” As Intros & Fillers In Your Piano Playing

Please watch this short video as I explain and demonstrate how to turn chords into Waterfall Runs. I call them that because they resemble a waterfall – notes tumbling over notes as the chord comes cascading down the piano keyboard. You can use them either as an intro to a song, or as a filler when you have a “pause” in a tune. They are beautiful and folks love to hear them, and they are not as difficult to do as you might suppose at first.

***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!”

Here’s a great little book on chords and chord progressions on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Chords-Chord-Progressions-Exciting-ebook/dp/B0076OUGDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404158669&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+chords+duane+shinn

Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CwLEkkwYVfE

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Create a Piano Intro To a Song With Just 2 Chords!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
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Easy Way To Make a Piano Intro To a Song

Good morning, again, this is Duane, and we’re doing a series about music theory called “Good Stuff You Really Need To Know About Music”. One thing that’s helpful to know about music, is that you can make an introduction to most any song with just two chords, so this video is about an easy way to create a piano intro to a song.

Let’s say you’re playing in the key of C, and it doesn’t matter what the song is. Let’s say you’re playing Moon River. You’re in the key of C. Here’s the two chords you need to use. You need to use the one chord in second inversion, that means put the fifth of the chord on the bottom. Then use the four chord as the second chord, so just the one chord and the four chord, and I think that’s all you need. Watch me do it. You can even hint at the melody a little bit, if you just play the one chord. See that? All you need is the one chord and the four chord. One, two, three, four, whatever the fourth note of the scale is.

Say you’re playing in the key of E flat. What’s the one chord? Well, it’s obviously E flat, isn’t it? What’s the four chord? A flat. The second inversion of the one chord, that’s the E flat chord broken up, and then the four chord, which is A flat. You can play the one chord again and then the four chord. Whatever song you’re playing, all you need is the one chord and the four chord. But, do have that ostinato bass, in other words, the fifth note of the one chord on the bottom, second inversion of the one chord. That makes it sound unfinished. If you put the root on the bottom, that’s not as near as effective as this. You can just improvise, just play a melody in thirds, or make reference to the song, like I did there with Moon River.

Another intro you can do for more up tempo things is to do this. Say you’re in the key of C, so you want the chord in second inversion and then play like this. Whatever you’re playing, okay? All you do is play the one chord, and then you go to the diminished seventh chord of that key. So you’re playing the C chord in the key of C over G, and then you go to the diminished seventh chord which is Cdim7, but I’m playing it in first inversion, so you go from the one chord to the diminished seventh chord, to the four chord, that’s the four chord, and you could go just from there. Or, you could do something like this and then go on with whatever the tune is.

There’s a couple of ideas for creating intros for most any song out of just two chords. Thanks for being with me today. If you enjoy these tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our whole series of tips, because they’re free. Okay, thanks. 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!”

Here’s a great little book on chords and chord progressions on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Chords-Chord-Progressions-Exciting-ebook/dp/B0076OUGDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404158669&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+chords+duane+shinn

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

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How To Create a Fake Ending To a Song

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2015
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Fake Ending Through Chord Subs

Good morning this is Duane. We’ve been doing a series of videos about music theory, which I’ve called “Good Stuff You Really Ought to Know About Music.” One minor point you really ought to know about music is that there’s such a thing as fake endings. Fake endings are formed by using substitute chords on the final, or next to the final chord. Let me just illustrate, let me, say I’m playing Misty, the very end, you expect it to go here. What if I do this, that’s called a false ending, because I didn’t go to the tonic chord, I didn’t go to the home-based chord. I went to a substitute chord.

The way you pick a substitute chord is really pretty easy. The first thing you ask yourself is to what other chord is this noted. The final note of Misty is “C”, right, if you’re playing in the key of “C” obviously, the tonal center. I asked myself into what other chord will “C” fit beside “C” chord. It will fit in the “F” chord won’t it? I could use that as the substitute chord. It’s also in the “A” minor chord, it’s also in the “A” flat chord, and that’s the chord I picked to use. Let me do it with the “F” chord. See, I went to the “F” chord, and then I walked down “F” to “C” to “F” to “C”. It’s simply in my left hand I’m going “F”, “E”, “D”, “C”. My chord is going “F”, “C”, “F”, “C”, very simple.

I disguise it a bit by putting in some color tones, and some right hand straddles, or whatever. Let me do it again. See there’s “F”, “C”, “F”, “C”, but I could have gone to “A” flat, couldn’t I? When I went to “A” flat then I followed “A” flat with “D” flat, which is just a half step above “C”, and then slide down to “C”. Of course, there’s other ways to end it, but you can always use a false ending if you want to, to kind of delay the ending, or throw a curve ball at your listeners. You eventually though end up on the tonic chord, almost always.

That’s the idea for today, so hopefully you enjoyed this little series. If you do come over to playpiano.com, and sign up for our series of free videos and tips. Hope to see you there. 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!”

Here’s a great little book on chords and chord progressions on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Piano-Chords-Chord-Progressions-Exciting-ebook/dp/B0076OUGDE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404158669&sr=1-1&keywords=piano+chords+duane+shinn

Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myJX_G2lD6k&feature=youtu.be

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