Archive for March, 2016


New Chord Flavors In “What Child Is This?” (Greensleeves)

Monday, March 28th, 2016
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“What Child Is This?” – Chordal Variations

Good morning, this is Duane. Today, I’d like to talk about some chordal variation in What Child is This? What Child is This?, of course, is the same as Greensleeves, so you can call it either title. I’ll call it What Child is This? You know what the normal chords are. If we play it in D Minor, the chords would be D minor, C major, B flat, and A or A 7th is better. Okay? Those are just the 4 chords, D minor, C, B flat, and A. Then in the bridge, you go to F, back to C, B flat, A, F, C, D minor, A, D minor. There’s just 5 chords, right? D minor, C, B flat, and A plus F, okay. F is in the bridge, but that’s it. You have 5 chords, are very easy but you can get a lot more variety and more flavor to it if you put in some extra chords.

I just want to talk about those chord variations. Of course it goes with that saying that you can add color tones to the chords. In other words instead of playing just D minor, you can play D minor 6 or D minor 7th or D minor major 7th or any combination there are. Okay? I’m going to talk about the basic chords you could use in instead to harmonize it, so let me just start up. What I might do just to change the feeling is right away, it starts on D minor and it’s supposed to say on D minor, but I’m going to change to F and then go to C and then go to A minor, B flat, E flat, A minor, A or A 7th. Okay?

What’s the logic of that? Well, why would I go to F instead of D minor, staying on D minor? It gives it a change of feeling but not only that, F major chord is relevant to D minor. They have the same notes, except it was D on the bottom. Now go to C chord. Now what’s the relative minor of C major? A minor and that’s why I choose A minor there. Then the next chord is B flat and most people stay on that B flat, but I’m going to go to E flat major 7th and here’s how I voice it. In the left hand, I play the root and the 5th and the melody of course is D and then B flat, G and I put an F the 9th. Then back to A minor. That’s A 7th. Let me do it up here. Let me do it again.

C, A minor, B flat, E flat, A minor, then I changed up in octaves. When I play that A 7th chord in octave higher, I did this. I’m using a major third and a minor third at the same time. It gives a … I like the sound. It moves you on to the next chord in a hurry. If you don’t like that, of course just use A 7th. F, C, A minor, B flat, A 7th, D minor. Now the bridge, F. Now instead of staying on F, let’s go to G 7th. Another one F, G 7th. Now the next chord is C, but I’m going to go to E minor. Why? Because they have similar notes. A minor, B flat, E flat, A minor. There’s that A minor 7th with a major or minor third in it and then back to F. Instead of F, I think I’ll play D minor because they are similar. In other words, D minor is a relative minor chord to F major.

Now G 7th, D minor, A minor, B flat, A 7th. Now if you want to end on a Picardy third, you can. It’s traditional to do that sometimes if you hear Greensleeves or What Child Is This? A Picardy third is where a song is at a minor key but you end it with a major chord. In other words instead of ending with D minor, I end up with D major. It puts a cheery end on that. Well, there’s just a few ideas for reharmonizing What Child Is This? Or Greensleeves. Hope this helps and we’ll see you again tomorrow with another short little video. If you haven’t already signed up for our series of videos and newsletter and so on, come on over to playpiano.com and do that because you’ll get a lot of good stuff. Okay, well talk to you later. Bye-bye for now.

 

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQSeIMWTMCo&feature=youtu.be

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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

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The Half-Diminished Seventh Chord – How It Is Used On The Piano

Saturday, March 26th, 2016
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Half-Diminished Seventh Chord – What Is It Good For?

In music theory, the halfdiminished seventh chord—also known as a half-diminished chord or a minor seventh flat five (m7♭5)—is formed by a root note, a minor third, a diminished fifth, and a minor seventh. Its consecutive intervals are minor 3rd, minor 3rd, major 3rd.

Good morning. This is Duane and today I’d like to talk about the half-diminished 7th chord. You know what a 7th chord is, it’s a chord that’s built out of a triad plus the 7th note of the scale, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. There’s 2 kinds of 7ths. There’s a Major 7th and there’s a dominant 7th. Well, this half-diminished 7th is a diminished triad. In other words, you lower the 3rd and the 5th a half-step, so it’s a root flat 3rd flat 5th, and a flat 7th. That’s why it’s called half-diminished.

A full-diminished would be a whole step down from the 7th. This is a diminished 7th, as you know, that uses a whole step, a double-flat on the 7th, but this is only a flat 7th, so that’s the chord you have. Now it’s not a very much used chord but it’s a beautiful chord at the same time. It’s really like playing E flat minor 7th over C. I kind of like that feeling, it’s a nice, nice feeling to it, particularly if you just go up a 4th, for example. That’s a C 7th of sorts going to an F 7th, very nice.

I just want to show you something. Let’s come down a half a step from that C diminished half-diminished 7th, move down almost down a half-step and what do you have? You’ve got B half-diminished 7th, don’t you? Here’s B Major, so you lower the 3rd, you lower the 5th, and you lower the 7th a half-step. The 4 notes are all white, is my point here, which makes it easy then to do something like that, to make a run.

I’ll give you an example. Let me play “Summertime” because it has that chord in it, and there’s a lot of songs that would come to B diminished 7th, but let me play that. I’ll play real slow so you can get the idea. Now this is a half-diminished 7th. Now when you get there, you have a chance to take that chord, I would invert it to make it a little easier to run, so I play F, A, B, D, F, A, B, D, F, A, B, D. Then you’ve got plenty of time if you want to, to come back down to the next chord before you go on. Now I’ll do it context.

Notice I think I have time to go up 3 times, 1, 2, 3, yeah, 1, 2, 3, before I ran out of time to continue. That’s a nice way to make a rapid-fire run if you want to. Of course, you don’t have it 3 times, you can do it once and go all the way up if you wanted to, and then go on. There’s just an idea you can use in your piano playing anytime you run into a half-diminished 7th.

That’s it for today. We’ll see you tomorrow with another short little video like this. I hope to see you there. Bye-bye for now.

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Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2pWQF-yp-PQ&feature=youtu.be

***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

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What Is Pedal Point? How Can I Use It In My Songs?

Friday, March 18th, 2016
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Pedal Point – Chords Over An Ostinato Bass

Good morning. This is Duane. Today I’d like to talk about chords over pedal point. Pedal point is a term that was originally used by organists because they would play one particular pedal (with their left foot, in case you’re not familiar with the organ). Let’s say they were in the key of F, and they might push down a C on their pedal. Then over that C they would play different chords, that sort of thing. Of course you can use it on the piano by just using the same note of the left hand, also called an ostinato bass, something like that. You see that I’m using the B flat chord, and then the F chord and then the C7th chord to get that kind of feeling, but it can be used in all kinds of songs. For example, listen to this. You probably recognize that as “Chariots of Fire.” How about “Over the Rainbow”? My left hand is basically the C, is playing a C chord. My right hand is varying between C, F, C6 and then G and then back to C.

Let’s take a jazz tune. That’s called “Green Dolphin Street.” Notice the C chord, C minor 7th over C, F minor 7th over C, D flat major 7th over C. Once more. Of course, you don’t continue that forever, but you do it for a while to establish the feeling. This is just an idea for you to use. Sometimes try using a pedal point with the left hand with different chords over it and see what you get. Try it out on various songs. I just played what, 4? I think I played Chariots of Fire, Over the Rainbow, Green Dolphin Street and something else. Anyway, it can be done. Just an idea for you that are a little more advanced to try things like that. Thanks for being with me and if you’re not already signed up for our free series of videos and newsletters, come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for that. Thank you. Bye-bye for now.

 

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Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKGCZer-71E&feature=youtu.be

***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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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

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Chords Upside Down – Piano Chord Inversions

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016
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Piano Chord Inversions: Root Position, 1st Inversion, 2nd Inversion

Good morning, this is Duane and today I’d like to take a look at piano chord inversions. In fact, I’d like to take you to a page that you can bookmark on the net that shows all the piano chord inversions and explains how they work. All the major and minor piano chords upside down, so I’ll give you the address of this page so you can go to it and bookmark it and always have it to refer to. Chords upside down, of course, are just what it says. You take any chord like the C chord; C, E, and G, turn it upside down. In other words, take the bottom note off the bottom and put it on top. Instead of C, E, G, we have E, G, C. It’s called first inversion of the C chord. The second inversion of the C chord is like that except we take the bottom note there, E, and put it on top. We have the same 3 notes G, C, and E, but upside down.

 

We have root position, first inversion, and second inversion of any three note chord, of every three note chord. For example, here’s the C minor chord. C, E flat and G, if I put the C on top, that’s the first inversion of the C minor chord. If I put E flat on top, it’s the second inversion of the C minor chord. They’re all C minor chords. In your playing, you want to get used to using all of the inversions because each one gives a little bit of a different sound. Here’s a picture of root position and the first inversion of that chord. The second inversion seems to have gone away in the photo. I’ll have to fix that. Here’s a video that says, “How to turn 48 chords into 144 chords instantly”. There are 12 major chords, 12 minor chords, 12 diminished chords and 12 augmented chords. That makes 48 basic chords. If you invert all 3 of those, 3×48 is 144. You could learn 144 chords without a whole lot of trouble, just by learning how to turn those upside down. This kind of sums up the whole concept of inversion.

 

If you’re not signed up for our newsletter, by the way, be sure and toggle to the back of the page and plug in your name and email so that you don’t miss any of these little tips. I will put the address of this, the URL of this page right below this video. Just look below the video and click on that link that I put in, and you can go to that page. Then bookmark it so that you can always find it. Okay, thank you. Bye. Click here: http://www.playpiano.com/101-tips/5-inversions.htm

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2vMSovnHZRk&feature=youtu.be

***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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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

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Major Triads – 3 Note Chords

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016
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Major Triads – The Root, 3rd & 5th Of a Major Scale

Good morning, this is Duane and today I would like to talk about triads. You know about chords of course, there can be 5 note chords and 4 note chords and complex chords, all kinds of course and of course you know that. Today I’d just like to take up major triads. A triad, like trio or tricycle is a 3 note chord and they of course are the basis of all complex chords, so we need to really master triads first before we have hope of dealing with thirteenths and flatted ninths and all that complex kind of thing as well as voicing.

 

A lot of the sounds you get has to do with the way you position the chord on the keyboard. For example, here’s a sixth chord and here’s a ninth chord but if I voice it like this instead that adds a little different sound than if you play the whole chord. In other words I was leaving something out. I was voicing a chorus right then. It depends on how you voice a chord but it all starts with a mastery of triads. Let’s just think through triads. There are major triads, minor triads, augmented triads and diminished triads.

 

Let’s look at major triads today. A major triad is a three note chord made out of the root, third and fifth of whatever the major scale is for that key. For example, if I am in the key of C that’s a major scale right there and it follows a formula that goes like this: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. In other words: whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half, okay? Now that’s easy to see when you’re in the key of C but if say you’re in the key of B, what’s a whole step above B? It’s not C, that’s a half step so you go up to C sharp so the second note on the B scale is C sharp. The third note is D sharp, the fourth note is F a half step up. Then a whole step which is F sharp, G sharp, A sharp and B so we say the key of B has five sharps. I know somebody will ask me, “Why can’t that be D flat?” Well it could be but that would be really confusing because then you’d have sharps and flats in the same key and it’s easy to keep it straight if you call them all sharps and all flats.

 

Besides that if you went from B to D flat you would be leaving out C in that scale; you’d have no C. You’d go from B to D, right? That just wouldn’t make sense. Say you’re in the key of B based on that scale, if you take the root third and fifth that’s the major triad for that particular key based on the root third and fifth of that scale. Okay? If you’re in the key of B flat you have to figure out what the scale is in the key of B flat using that same formula: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. If I take the root third and fifth of B flat that’s the triad based on B flat. That’s the B flat major triad.

 

The A major triad would look like that. The A flat major triad would look like that. The G major triad would look like that with the third and fifth. The G flat major triad would look like that. The F major triad based on that scale would look like that. The E major triad based on this scale would look like that, the third and fifth. The E flat major scale goes like so, if I take the third and fifth that’s the E flat major chord. The D major chord would be like that, the root, third, and the fifth. D flat major chord would be like that: root, third and fifth of the D flat scale. Okay?

 

There’s 12 possible notes you can build a chord on: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 so there’s 12 possible triads, right? 12 possible major triads. C, C sharp or D flat, D, and so on and so if you’re not already familiar with those get familiar with those because those are the basis for all other complex chords.

 

Tomorrow we’ll take up minor triads and then we’ll take up diminished triads and then we’ll take up augmented triads and then we’ll take up diminished triads and then we’ll take up augmented triads and then we’ll get on to the more complex chords. That’s it until tomorrow so if you enjoy these kind of things come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free series of newsletters and videos and you’ll get simple stuff like that plus you’ll get a lot of complex tips as well. So come on over and sign up. See you then, bye bye for now.

 

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQBfqjBk8jU

***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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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

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