Archive for July, 2016


A Fun Way To Practice Runs & Fills!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016
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Have Some Fun With Runs & Fills!

Duane: Good morning, this Duane. Today, I’d like to show you a fun way to practice runs and fills, all kinds of right hand variations. You can do it with any chord progression at all, but I recommend the simple chord progression of 1, 6, 2, 5. We all recognize the … (music) that Blue Moon chord progression, which is in the key of C. It would be C, A minor, D minor 7th, G 7th. To make it a little more interesting, on the C major, you could put in a 6th if you want. On A minor, put in a 7th there, so make it A minor 7th. This is just to make it easier. You don’t have to if you don’t want to. D minor, make it a 7th, and G 7th, a four note chord, all four note chords. C6.

 

I’ll do it from the root so you can see it. That’s C major 6. This is A minor 7th, D minor 7th, and G 7th. I’m going to play it inverted as well so you can have practice playing it in all ways. For example, in the left hand, all you need to do is keep a chord pattern going between those four chords. D minor, G7, C, A minor, D minor, G7. Just get something like that going. In your right hand, just take the chord, whatever it is, and break it up. Like this. That’s a C 6 chord being broken up. Here’s an A minor 7th chord being broken down. Here’s a D minor 7th chord being broken up. Here’s a G 7th chord being broken up. See how simple that is?

 

Now you can mix it up, though. Here’s a C major, A minor coming down, D minor, G, C, D minor, G 7th. See I’m just playing random notes, but out of that chord. It’s a good way to start improvising, too, as well as runs. See how I’m just making up a melody out of the notes. You can do that endlessly. Let me speed it up a little bit now. I just took the A minor chord and broke it up like that, tucked my thumb under. When I’m ready to come down, go down the same way if you want. When I get up there, I’ll probably come down the A minor 7th chord, maybe up the D minor 7th chord, and down the G 7th chord. I can pause. I don’t have to go straight up. I could go … Let me just do it a little bit …

 

It’s just a fun way to practice so you can get a lot of different things going in your right hand. Those were runs but I played some single notes, too, as you noticed. What I didn’t do is I didn’t use a straddle or a two on or a three one. Here’s a straddling. You take any two notes of a chord and leave one out, then play the other two notes. You can do that. See that sort of thing. Or three one means you hit three notes, then one. Three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one, three, one. Okay? Lots and lots of varieties.

 

Just some fun ideas to practice your runs and fills and it’ll lead into improvisations. Thanks for being with me and if you enjoy these little video tips come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for all of them. Thanks. Bye-bye for now.

 

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW7WW4LrZFk&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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You are NOT Too Old To Learn To Play The Piano!

Friday, July 22nd, 2016
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Adults Can Learn To Play The Keyboard At Any Age

Why not you?

If you are interested in learning the keyboard or piano and want to Learn To Play The Piano from the comfort of your own home, online keyboard lessons are the way to go. Many sites offer you the instruction you need to begin playing the piano now.
By performing a simple search with phrases like “Keyboard Lessons Online” or “Piano Lessons Online,” you will open up a world of resources. Each of the sites you visit will teach in a different style. When looking for keyboard lessons on the web, you need to choose the method that suits your learning style.

You can find instruction from places that have only a web presence. The other option is to find a music education facility in your area and ask if they have an online learning program. The benefit of this is access to resources at their facility, such as music books and an instructor you can meet. You can take online lessons and have the hometown one-on-one support you may need.

For those that prefer straight web teaching, online sites that offer all their resources at the click of a mouse are plentiful. Consider the following when choosing keyboard lessons online:

* Use proper search phrases as mentioned above, but with variations. You will find a variety of sites to enable you to make an informed decision. Try other search phrases, such as “Play Piano,” “Piano Playing,” “Keyboard Courses Online,” and “Play Keyboard.” Come up with your own variations and see what happens.

 

Click on www.pianolessonsbyvideo.com to learn all about it
* If you find personal instructors, familiarize yourself with their credentials. Do they have the knowledge to guide you properly through the online lessons?

* It’s great to learn with others. Does the online piano teaching site have a forum for students to chat with one another about lessons and other musical topics? With a members’ forum, you don’t have to feel isolated in your piano study.

* Consider whether you want to study with text and accompanying diagrams or something more. Some sites offer audio instruction, and some offer both audio and video lessons. Many offer e-books for download as part of online learning.

* Look at keyboard lesson sites that combine practical playing with theory lessons. Sometimes it pays to know the elements that make up what you’re playing. This allows for deeper understanding of the piece as a whole.

Keyboard lessons from home afford you the opportunity to learn at you own pace on your own time. You do not have to worry about getting to a lesson on time because you’re stuck in traffic. Keyboard lessons online are great for those with time-constraints. They’re available 24/7 and are waiting for you now.

Click on www.pianolessonsbyvideo.com to learn all about it

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How To Turn a Chord Tremolo Into A Rapid-Fire Run On Your Piano

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
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What Is a Chord Tremolo?

Duane: Good morning. This is Duane. Today I’d like to cover the subject of how to turn a chord tremolo into a rapid-fire run. Take a chord tremolo of any sort really; let me just take a G7th chord. That’s a G7th chord inverted, isn’t it? I could play it like that, in root position, but it’s easier if I have two of the notes together. It fits my hand better. I’m playing it in 2nd inversion with the 5th on the bottom, then the 7th and the root and the 3rd. A tremolo, of course, is a rapid alternation of all the notes. It’s like that. You’ve heard that sort of thing. It’s just a rapid alternation of notes.

 

Once you have that tremolo going, to make it turn into a run, all you need to do is to break up the notes of the chord and then tuck your thumb under and do it in the next octave. Then if you want to come back down, you certainly can come back down the same way you went up. Same notes, just you’re going backwards now. See, I’m just playing the notes of the G7th chord, nothing else. It’s good if you play a nice solid base on your left hand so that everybody understands what the root of the chord is. That’s a G7th chord.

 

If you don’t, then some people might identify it as a D chord or some- … but it’s just safer to play the root in your left hand, okay? Now, in addition to playing the notes like that, bringing them up the keyboard, you can take your left hand, after the right hand gets out of the way, and emphasize one or more of the notes. That sounds kind of strange, but if I speed it up, you get the idea.

 

Let’s take a F major 7th chord and do the same thing. Notice in the left hand, I hit just one of the notes, not always the same one. Whoops. In other words, just take one of the notes and that way you can make it stand out a little more, okay? I was going to say, if you connect that to that, that would even be better, but that’s a different subject, so let’s just leave it there.

 

Instead of a G7th, let’s do a G9th. That’ll work too. F-A-B-D. F-A-B-D, F-A-B-D, F-A-B-D, and then come down the way you went up. By the way, you can hesitate. That was terrible, but you can hesitate; you can go up, start back down and so on. Take a regular tremolo and then start breaking it up up the keyboard as many octaves as you want to. It helps to keep your foot on the damper pedal so that they all blur together, but if you make a mistake like I just did, then of course you want to let the damper pedal up to let the air go away.

 

Okay, hope that helps a little bit. If you enjoy this kind of thing, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our series of little videos and lessons like this. We’ll see you tomorrow. Bye bye for now.

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube:

***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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Matching Melody to Chords

Monday, July 18th, 2016
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Matching Melody to Chords

 

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“How To Match The Melody Notes Of Any Song
To A Chord In Your Left Hand!”

If you’ve ever wondered how you can know which chords go with which melody notes, I’ve got good news for you!

It’s easier than you might think to learn how to go about matching the Melody to Chords (the tune) of any song to the appropriate chords. It’s really a simple 2-step process, once you understand it, but if you don’t know the secret, you can wonder about it for years. But if you learn it now, you will know it the rest of your life.

Back when I was a teenager learning to play the piano, it used to puzzle me which chords to use with which melody notes:

“I wonder how those top pianists know which chords to use? I mean, they don’t always use the C chord to harmonize the C melody note, or the D chord to harmonize a D in the melody, and so on — so how do they do it?”

A few years later I had the extremely good fortune to find a teacher in Hollywood by the name of Dave. He was THE teacher — he taught many of the recording artists and names you would recognize — plus a young aspiring piano player named Duane (me). And he showed me how to go about matching the melody notes of any song to the appropriate chords.

That changed my musical life. I didn’t have to wonder any more — I knew for sure which chords went with which notes, and when and why.

It’s really a simple process once you understand it, and it has to do with knowing just 2 facts:

Fact 1: There are 3 basic chords that will harmonize any note, and that note is a member of all 3 chords. For example, in the key of C there are 3 basic chords (in music theory they are known as “primary chords”) that are organic to that key because they are the only 3 chords that occur as major chords without having to add any accidentals. Those chords are the C chord, the F chord, and the G chord — also known in music theory as the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord (Roman numerals are used in classical music notation). So if you play any note of the C scale — C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C — you can harmonize that note with one of the 3 primary chords — either C, F, or G — because all of the notes in the C scale are members of one or more of those 3 chords.

Fact 2: These 3 chords rotate as the melody moves through the song, so pick the chord that has that melody note in it. For example, let’s say you are trying to pick out “Silent Night” by ear, and you start on G. Simply ask yourself “Which of the 3 primary chords — C, F, or G — has the G note in it? The answer is both the C chord and the G chord. So you try one, and if it doesn’t sound quite right, try the other. Before long you will be sensing which chord is the better choice. Like in any subject, there is a learning curve, but it’s not a steep learning curve — especially when you enjoy what you’re doing!

Then once you master the primary chords, you can widen your scope to “cousin chords” (known in music theory as “secondary chords”) then later on you can add “neighbor chords” and “color chords” and all kinds of other exciting variations, and then the sky is the limit in terms of improvising and making up your own musical sounds.

For a complete course in matching chords to melody notes, please click on the banner below:

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Duane Shinn is the author of over 500 music courses for adults including “Pro Secrets: Piano Playing Secrets Of The Pros”. http://www.piano-playing-by-ear.com He is also the author of the popular free 101-week online e-mail newsletter titled “Amazing Secrets Of Exciting Piano Chords & Sizzling Chord Progressions” at www.playpiano.com with over 61,400 current subscribers
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How To Straddle a 7th Chord On The Piano

Friday, July 15th, 2016
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Some Ways To Manipulate a 7th Chord On The Piano Keyboard

Good morning. This is Duane, and today I’d like to talk about how to straddle a 7th chord on the piano.
First, let me define what a 7th chord is, and I’m sure you know this, but it’s any kind of triad with the 7th degree of the scale with it. That’s a C major 7th, that’s a C 7th, but it’s still a 7th chord. There’s different kinds of 7th chords. There’s major 7th chords and dominant 7th chords, and minor 7th chords and so on, but the principle’s the same. A 7th chord is the 7th degree of the scale, or the altered 7th degree of the scale, such as a flat 7th. A straddle is where you play two of the four notes, so in those four notes in a 7th chord, obviously, one, two, three, four. If you straddle one while playing two, so you play two, and you’re straddling that one, and then you play the other two, that’s a straddle right there.

 

If you’re new to straddling, that can be a little intimidating. It may take a little practice. It might take a lot of practice, matter of fact, to get that down to where you feel comfortable with it, but it’s worth pursuing because you can get a really nice sound with it.

 

That kind of feel. Let’s take it slowly. Play the top note and the second note from the bottom, and then the bottom note and the middle note, and you can do that with any 7th chord at all. You can do it with other chords too, but let’s just focus on 7th chords right now. If I do it on D minor 7th, same principle, E minor 7th. It doesn’t have to be a minor 7th, by the way. You can have a dominant 7th, or a C minor 7th. E flat 7th, E flat minor 7th.

 

That’s a D flat 9th. You can do it with 9th chords as well. For example, that’s C major 7th, but that’s C major 9th, that is, if you’re playing the root on the left hand, so you can straddle that.

 

Of course, you can do it in all kind of rhythm. It doesn’t have to be a smooth rhythm like that. It could be … Depends what kind of music you’re playing. Notice I’m sliding off one of the notes there as I play.

 

You can slide off any one of the notes. Usually with my index finger it’s a little easier than with any other note, but you can do it with other notes as well.

 

Okay, that’s a 7th straddle. Now, I said you could do it to other chords as well. For example, let’s say I want to play an E flat, well that would be a 7th chord too. I was thinking, you could play … That’s an E flat major 7th. That’s just the same thing as we did, except it’s inverted, turned upside down.

 

Any chord, let’s take C6, same principle, so you can do it to any chord that has four notes, obviously.

 

Okay, that’s it for today. Hope that’s helpful to you. It’s a technique you can plug in to lots and lots of different songs and situations. If you enjoy this kind of thing, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our series of videos and newsletters on chords and chord progressions. I think you’ll like what you see there, so hope to see you there. Bye bye for now.

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC51YKtbs8U&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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