How To Arrange a Song From Start To Finish

Thursday, August 13th, 2015
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

How To Arrange a Song Using  Intros & Endings

Our video today is about how to arrange a song to make it unique.

Good morning. This is Duane, and we’ve been doing a series about how to color on the piano without crayons, and the subject is, how to arrange songs and make them more interesting, by adding things, adding chord substitutions, adding rhythmic devices, and so on.

We took the song, “Ain’t She Sweet,” and we talked about it in several aspects. First we said that every song has a form, and “Ain’t She Sweet” has a form of AABA, which means there’s a theme. That’s theme A. Then it repeats. That’s another A. I won’t play it through again. Then, there’s the bridge, which is different in style, and sometimes in tempo, as well. Then we go back to the theme.

We said, in the left hand, there’s many things you can do style wise, but in the left hand, I use the swing base, which we swung back and forth between the low note and the chord, also known as stride piano.

In the right hand, we said we could play the chords with the right hand, and we can just play them as block, but it makes it a little bit more interesting if we add rhythm to the chords and break them up, in other words … See that? Okay.

Then, we took up the bridge last time, and we said the bridge is a constrasting section, so we want to stop the swing base, and do something different, and what I did was called a sustained, playing the chord on every beat like that, okay? That was the contrast.

Now, I want to put it all together, okay? Let’s put a little front door on it. We could do this, and then we’re ready to go. All you do to put a front door on it, is play the fifth of the first chord. The chord is E flat, so play the fifth note in your left hand, and the right hand you can play the one chord and then go to the mini seventh chord, and then go to the five chord, like so, and then begin.

At the end, well let me just play it through like that, okay, and when I get to the end, I’ll show you, a real simple back door, okay? Then back to the theme. When I finished I went, Ain’t She Sweet, and then I played the flat, the fifth flat, and then the fifth, and then the root, and then end with the one chord of some sort.

That’s how to put a whole song together, and arrange it so it has more color. Now, that was really sloppy. I haven’t practiced it or anything, but you get the idea of how to put a front door and a back door on a song, and then create the styles for the left hand, the right hand, and then the contrasting section in the middle.

That’s kind of how to put a song together in an arrangement. Thanks for being with me, and we’ll take up another subject tomorrow, so bye bye for now.

Click on this link to watch this video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2aoNjmp7QM&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

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________________________________________________________________________________

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

What Is Swing Bass?

Friday, August 7th, 2015
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Playing Piano Songs Using Swing Bass

Swing bass is a style which provides not only the chords of the song, but also creates a rhythm.

Good morning. This is Duane. We’ve been doing a series called “How to Color Without Crayons on the Piano.” In other words, how to make our songs colorful. When I teach a song, I’m not really teaching the song itself. I’m teaching transferable concepts that will apply to lots and lots of different songs. Last time we talked about form in the song “Ain’t She Sweet.” But there’s form in every song, so if you haven’t reviewed that, be sure and do that first because it’s important. When you learn the form of a song, you can learn it faster and remember it better. We said that in “Ain’t She Sweet,” there’s eight measures. Then it turns around and then it does it again. Another eight measures. Then we said there’s a bridge which is eight measures. Then the final eight measures, which is just like the first eight measures. By learning eight measures, you’ve really learned three-quarters of the song, haven’t you? That puts you way ahead.

That’s called musical form. Every song has some kind of musical form. You just need to figure out what it is and then apply it. Now the second thing I’d like to teach you about “Ain’t She Sweet” is what my left hand is doing. This is called swing bass. Watch my left hand. You know why it’s called swing bass? Sure, because my arm swings back and forth. Low note, chord. Now you have to know what the chords are, but in a fake book or even a printed sheet it usually tells what the chords are. You can figure it out. The first chord is E flat, so I’d hit a low E flat. Then I’d come up and play some form of the E flat chord. I’m playing an E flat 6th. It doesn’t matter what inversion I play it in. I could do it there or there or wherever I want. In any case, as I play that low E flat I push my pedal down and only let it up as I play the chord. It hooks that low note to the chord, doesn’t it?

The next chord is E diminished 7th, so I hit a low E and then the E diminished 7th. The next chord is F minor 7th so I hit a low F, pushing the pedal down and keeping it down until I play the chord, then letting it up. Then the next chord is B flat 7th. Again, E flat, E diminished 7th, F minor 7th, F, B flat 7th, E flat, G, C 7th, F 7th, B flat 7th, E flat. Then it repeats [singing 03:19]. That’s what the swing bass is. You swing back and forth between a low note and a chord. If I were just learning that I would practice hands alone. I’d just do the left hand until I got the feeling of swinging back and forth. Now at first you’re probably going to have to look down at your hands, but in time you can be doing something else and you can pretty well find those notes because of the muscle memory in your left hand.

That’s it for swing bass. Tomorrow we’ll take the right hand. In the right hand I want to show you how to break up chords in the right hand under the melody. For example, I do this. Lots of ways to do it, but that’s one way I do it. I’ll cover that tomorrow. Then the next session after that will be the bridge. That’s an entirely different style. When you get to the bridge of a song you want to make it contrasted with the theme of the song. You have not only a different sound but you have a different style going on too. That’s it for today. If you enjoy these little piano tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our whole series of tips. I 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=nZ-kQlIvQ0I&feature=youtu.be

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­_________________________________________________________________________________________

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Adding Piano Fillers To “Londonderry Air”

Friday, July 24th, 2015
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

How To Add Piano Fillers To Most Any Song

You can make any song more interesting by adding piano fillers to the “dead spaces” in the song.

Good morning. This is Duane. We’ve been doing a series called “Good Stuff You Really Ought to Know About Music.” We covered block chords yesterday. I used the tune “Oh Danny Boy” to illustrate that. The original tune was “Londonderry Air,” although the tune itself has been used for several songs. There was a Christian song a number of years ago called “He Looked Beyond my Fault and Saw My Need.” That was set to “Londonderry Air,” too. Probably a zillion titles to the same tune, but anyway, the tune as you know goes like this. Yesterday I talked about block chords on “Oh Danny Boy” and how to create block chords. We said that we play the melody in both hands. Under the right hand melody you put in the chord notes, whatever the chord is. You make that left hand stand out over the right hand. The right hand, the chords and the melody is kind of a shimmering overtone of the melody. You want this to stand out.

We covered that yesterday. Today I’d like to talk about putting fillers in a song like “Londonderry Air.” I’ll play the block chords but then I’m going to put in some fillers and talk about the fillers today. That’s filler number one. We played the block chord like that. Then when I got to that chord there’s several beats where you hold that. One, two, three. There’s three beats. There’s plenty of time to do a filler. What I did is I just took that chord in my right hand, C6 chord, and broke it up. Again. How many octave? One, two, three, four. I had time to go up four octaves. One, two, three, four.

Then we continue. Now there we hold the note. We could do another run like that, but let’s do something different. When I get to that F chord, why don’t we take a F chord and do a 2-1 breakup like that coming down. A 2-1 breakup is where you take only two notes out of the three. There’s three notes generally in a chord. In a triad there’s always three notes. If you’re playing a four-note chord, then it could be a 3-1 breakup, but I’m just playing a three-note chord so I’ll play two notes and then one, then turn the chord upside down. 2-1, 2-1, 2-1 like so.

Again that far. See that? That’s all that I have time. Then I got to continue. Now that’s the next note we hold. I could do a run there but I think I’ll just do an echo. All I did is I played the chord. When I got to the chord, which is a C chord, I put a 2nd in it. I just echoed it one octave and two octaves higher. Let’s take those three fillers so far. First the run, 2-1 2-1, echo echo. Now here the chord is G 7th or G 7th suspension. I’m going to do a half-step slide. Instead of going right to G 7th I’m going to go to A flat 7th and then slide down to the G 7th. I’m playing A flat in my left hand. In my right hand I’m playing some of the notes of A flat 7th, but the melody is D so I’m going to have a B flat 7th chord over A flat. Let’s take it that far, and I’ll slow it down.

Echo echo. Now half-step slide. Instead of going to G 7th I went to A flat 7th and I took that B flat 7th chord over it and broke it up coming down. I’m using a straddle there. A straddle is where you take two notes out of the chord but leave a whole, and then another two notes like so. Again, that far. Echo echo. Now the half-step slide. My left hand is going to play that chord, low A flat and then three of those chords while my right hand comes down in that break up. Once more.

Then it resolves to G 7th. When I got to G 7th I kind of slid off B flat like that, then resumed the block chording, the same thing the first time. Echo echo. Now I get to the end of the phrase so I’m going to play the tonic chord, the C chord. Then I’m going to go down a whole step and walk up my half-steps. I’ll go from C chord to B flat chord up a half-step to B chord, and then to see. It’s kind of a filler. You don’t have to do that. You could go to the F chord and then back to the C chord, do a plagal cadence. There’s lots of things you could do, but I’m just showing you one thing. I went to B flat, B, and then to C.

I think we’ll take the second half of the song tomorrow because this video is already kind of long. We’ll pick it up right there with fillers. We’ll see you tomorrow with the same idea. If you like this sort of thing, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free video series. 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=WCkR3qnCbJo&feature=youtu.be

_____________________________________________________

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

How To Play “Oh Danny Boy” Using Block Chords

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

How To Play “Oh Danny Boy” (also known as “Londonderry Air”)

Today we are going to learn how to play “Oh Danny Boy” with block chords to make the melody stand out.

Good morning. This is Duane. We’ve been doing a series of videos called “Good Stuff You Really Ought to Know About Music,” particularly related to piano playing. It’s music theory related to piano playing basically. One thing you really ought to know about music as a piano player is that if you want to make the melody stand out, there’s several ways to do it, but one way to do it is to use block chords on the melody. Now block chords is where you play the chord in the right hand and the melody in the left hand. Actually, you play the melody in both hands.

I could take any tune, but let me take “Danny Boy,” or “Londonderry Air.” Instead of playing just one note, it’s so much stronger if you play it in octaves like that. Under the right hand octave what you do is you put in the chord notes. If the chord is G 7th, you put in the notes to the G 7th chord under the melody. Then you make your left hand stand out by playing it a little louder. Or what I’m doing there is I’m sliding up to B like so. You see that? Let me do it again. And so on.

You mix in other styles with it, but what I wanted to show you is to make the melody itself stand out you can use that block chord style, which again involves playing the chord in the right hand and the melody in both hands. Then you can experiment with the chords. That’s all G 7th. Since the melody is C, I’m going to change it to F briefly and then back to G 7th or G 9th or G with a flat 9th. You can experiment with the chords. The main thing is make that left hand stronger than the left hand so you got that shimmering overtone from your right hand chord. Then as I said, mix in other things.

For example, you can’t just use block chords all the time. There’s an opportunity for a fill like a run. Any kind of fill like that will work. There I’m not using block chords as a contrast, then back to it there. You see that. Mix it up. That’s all that you need to know really about how to make block chords. You simply play the melody in both hands with the chord under the right hand melody, and make that left hand stand out. If you enjoy these little tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our series of free piano tips. I 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=h2sW9bJdW8k&feature=youtu.be

________________________________________________

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

An Easy Piano Arrangement Of “The Nearness Of You”

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Today I will cover an easy piano arrangement of that great ballad “The Nearness Of You”

Good morning, this is Duane and we’re doing a series on how to make songs more colorful by adding colorful chords and chord substitutions and so on. We took up, last time we took up It’s the Nearness of You by Hoagie Carmichael and I walked through the chord progressions, so if you haven’t seen that be sure and watch that first. I promised I’d be back today and play it slowly so you can kind of look at the voice again and so on.

I think I’ll just play the melody very simply up high like so for the most part, and then just play the chords, strum the chords with my left hand like that. Okay, so here we go. That’s the F chord. C minor 7th. B flat major 7th. That’s B flat diminished 7th chord. A minor. D 7th, with a flat 5th. G minor 7th. C 7th. A minor. A flat. D flat. C. A minor. D. G 7th. That’s a B flat going to F.

Now this part, we get the bridge part we could do in block chords. Now let me review block chords a little bit, because I don’t think I mentioned that last time. Block chords, there are several styles of block chord but one style is to play the melody on both hands, but under the melody put in the chord notes, so we have the F chord, and then we come to G minor 7th chord, A, again in context. B flat 7th, A minor 7th, D 7th, G 7th, D flat 7th, C 7th suspension, and back to the theme. F major 7th. Now the chord is C minor 7th, but what I’m doing is I’m keeping the F as the low note and it’s almost like a F 7th suspension, in fact it is. Instead of the 3rd I play the 4th, see that? That gives you the same feeling as a C minor 7th chord. That gives you the same feeling as a C minor 7th chord over F.

Then to B flat major 7th. That’s that B flat diminished 7th chord. A minor. Now we could sink down a half step to A flat 7th, and then G minor 7th. That’s A minor 7th, D 7th. We could do the block chord there. Then the final chord of course it goes to F, but I think I’ll go to D flat first. Then G flat major 7th, and then settle back into F.

Okay, now I wasn’t going to put all that commentary in so I’ll play it through again, and I won’t say a word okay? So you can just watch. I’ll play it very slowly. This is a very simple arrangement by the way, we could do a lot more complex. As you know there’s a thousand ways to play the same song, but I’m just playing a simple way so you can kind of follow the chords. Here we go.

Something like that. Notice at the end I went to F, but I used a poly-tonal kind of thing, I went and played the G chord over the F chord, kind of ended it like that. If you don’t like that, just go to a straight F and that’s fine too, okay? Well there’s just a couple ideas on arranging The Nearness of You. So we’ll see you tomorrow with a different song, so hope, if you’re not signed up for our whole series of videos, come on over to playpiano.com and be sure and do that. Okay, thanks. 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=toMH8ed1h1c&feature=youtu.be

———————————————————————————————————–

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Review our article:
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)