Archive for December, 2016


All Music Is Made Out Of The Same “Stuff”…

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
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Hello again this is Duane and this is  good stuff you really ought to know. One thing you ought to know is about the commonality of music, the things that are in common between styles or generous of all kinds of music. In the past unfortunately those musicians with the more formal training have kind of looked down their noses at those who didn’t have the benefit of a formal training and improvised. That was a serious mistake as they’re learning now; there have been some wonderful teachers that have pointed out the great masters such as Bach and so on were all great improvisers.   There’s nothing new about improvising, people have done it down through the centuries. All Music Is Made Out Of The Same “Stuff”

In fact most written music was first improvised and then because the composer liked what he heard himself improvised he got it written down one way or the other. Bach would often improvise his preludes and feuds in church and if it went well then he would go home and write it down, if it didn’t another day he would come. Particularly in the last century classical musicians kind of looked down their noses at Jazz musicians.

Unfortunately people like Leonard Bernstein and Andre Previn came along to kind of pop a bubble in that myth and show that all music has commonalities, it’s all made out of chords, it’s all made out of scale fragments, it’s all made out of patterns, it all has dynamics, it has chord progressions and so on and so on, so forth. Look at Fur Elise with me if you will [Duane playing piano] and so on like that. Now let’s just consider the little portion that’s right there. [Duane playing piano] We have a little pattern and then we have [Duane playing piano] the A minor chord, if you add up those notes, [Duane playing piano] it’s A, C, E that’s A minor, we’re in the key of a minor by-the-way. There are no sharps or flats in the key signature, so it’s either in the key of C or it’s in its relative minor, A minor. How do we know?  We look for the primary chords in the key of C. Do we see them? Do we see C, F, and G? No not in this song. What we see [Duane playing piano] A minor.

The next chord is what? [Duane playing piano] E, G sharp, B, and D. Is there a D? No there’s not. That’s the E chord isn’t it? Then  A minor [Duane playing piano] A minor, E, A minor, so we just have two chords. [Duane playing piano] A, A, A, that’s the one chord in the key of A minor, the five chord in the key of A minor, one chord, the five chord, the one chord. Now listen [Duane playing piano]. The first section of that great tune Summertime has just two chords, A minor, E, A minor, E, A minor, E, A minor, and then it goes onto the four chord which would be D minor and so on, but my point is there’s very little difference at all in the form between Fur Elise [Duane playing piano] and Summertime [Duane playing piano]. There’s a different feeling, a different rhythm and so on, but it’s the same chord progression, so look for those kinds of things, because they occur in all kinds of music. Just another one of the good stuff you really ought to know. Thanks for being with me, see you soon.

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A Very Cool Chord Progression You Can Play…

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016
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A Very Cool Chord Progression You Can Play…

Good morning, this is Duane, your Headless Piano Teacher with another little lesson about chords and chord progressions. I’d like to show you the four to four to one chord progression today, which is a very very useful chord progression, you can use it in a wide variety of songs and settings and so on, lots of things you can do with it. It’s really very simple, but until you understand it, it doesn’t seem simple, but all it is is the one chord, say you’re in the key of C, as you know, in the key of C, C is the one chord. What would the four chord be? That’d be the four chord, wouldn’t it? What would be the four of the four, in other words, what’s four notes up from F? It’s B flat.

So those are the three chords we’re dealing with. The four chord, which is B flat, the four chord which is F, and the one chord which is C. Let me say that again. The one which is C, the four chord which is F, and really the flat seventh chord which is B flat. B flat is four of F, but in the key of C it’s a flat seventh, isn’t it? So it’s the flat seventh to four to one chord progression really.

Now what you do is you play those chords inverted. In other words, that would be awkward to play it like that, so what you do is you play the four of the four in first inversion, that would be … Here’s B flat in root position, here’s first inversion. So you play the four of the four in first inversion, and then you play the four chord, which is F, in second inversion. And then you play the one chord in root position. As you know, there’s three possible chord positions of a triad, there’s root position, first inversion, and second inversion. We’re using all three inversions, but on three different chords. On B flat, we’re using the first inversion, on F we’re using the second inversion, and on C we’re using the root position.

Here we go, the four of the four, to the four, to the one. Try that with me. Four, four, one. Four, four, one. Now let’s slide off a note or two. Four, four, one. Four, four, one. Let’s use an ostinato on the left hand, a solid bass, say like C. Four, four, one. Four, four, one. Get that?

Now we can do it, say we’re playing the blues, we’ve just been on the C chord so far, so now we go up a fourth to the F chord. The one chord is F, if we’re considering F is our root. The four chord is B flat, and the four of the four is E flat. So we do the same thing on F as we did on C. We take the E flat chord in first inversion, the B flat chord in second inversion, and the F chord in root position. So we have this.

Now any time you’re playing the blues or want kind of a funky sound, it’s good to put a seventh in it. Hear that, I put a seventh in the one chord. Now I’m doing the same thing to … I should have stopped there, I did the same thing to the B flat chord as I did to C and F. So the root, the four, and the four of the four, which is A flat, back to the four, and then back to one. You can play through the blues just doing that, couldn’t you? I’ll do that real slowly here. Then you go around again.

That was a waltz, actually that I got into, a little waltz in the key of C using the blues format and using the four of four format. So there’s lots and lots of things you can do for it. Just one more thing you need to know about piano playing. If you like tips like this, come on over to PlayPiano.com and sign up for our free newsletter. That’s www.PlayPiano.com, and you’ll get a tip like this every three days or so. Thanks for being with me, we’ll see you again soon, bye-bye for now.

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Piano Podcasts

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016
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Here are a few of my podcasts you can listen to in iTunes:

Name Description Released Price
1

Articulation-The-Key-To-Clean-Piano-Playing 3/7/2016 Free View in iTunes
2

Open-Voicing-Stacked-4ths 3/7/2016 Free View in iTunes
3

How To Make Any Chord Sound Complex 3/7/2016 Free View in iTunes
4

How-To-Simulate-Chimes-On-Your-Piano 3/7/2016 Free View in iTunes
5

How-To-Create-An-Intro-From-Only-Two-Chords 3/7/2016 Free View in iTunes
6

False Endings-Deceptive Cadences 3/7/2016 Free View in iTunes
7

Key-of-C-Review 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
8

Major Chords From Major Scales 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
9

MinorChord-Substitutions 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
10

Modulation 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
11

Paralel-Contrary-Octaves 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
12

Parallel Stacked 3rd Chords 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
13

Passing Tones 2 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
14

Passing-Tones 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
15

Polytonality 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
16

Right-Hand-Rapid-Fire-Runs 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
17

Suspensions 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
18

Syncopation 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
19

The-Blues-Scale 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
20

The-Circle-of-Keys 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
21

The-Commonality-of-Music 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
22

The-Modal-Scales 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
23

The-Order-of-the-Sharps-Flats 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
24

The Overtone Series 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
25

The Picardy Third Ending 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
26

Appoggiaturas in piano playing 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes
27

Appoggiaturas 2/29/2016 Free View in iTunes

Customer Reviews

Lovely!
     

Very easy to understand and follow. I have just started listening to these podcasts, but I find them very helpful! I hope to see more!

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