Learn To Play Take Me Out To The Ballgame On The Piano

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015
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“Take Me Out To The Ballgame” – Learn To Play It!

 

Well, good morning, This is Duane and as I’m speaking, spring training is in practice, is in session in Arizona and other places. Baseball season is upon us so I thought let’s learn “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. A lot of people would like to be able to play that in a pinch. I played it at certain occasions and it’s kind of a fun song anyway, so let’s work through it.

I just saw Will Ferrell playing centerfield for the Angles this morning and that was a lot of fun. He actually fielded the ball quite well and hit the cutoff man, so he was pretty proud of that.

In any case, let’s work through the melody first of all. Let’s do it in the key of C so it’s based on the scale of C, of course. It starts out with C, I start at middle C, and then it jumps up an octave.

Now all those notes are members of the C6 chord. There’s the 6th. D, then back to C. Very easy, right? Let’s take it that far.

Incidentally, what I’m doing in the left hand is just playing the root of the chord. The first chord is C, then A minor, D minor, G. It’s that old, you probably heard me say 1,000 times that that chord progression is used literally thousands of songs. It’s often disguised like, I don’t think somebody would think about that as they listen to “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” but that’s indeed what it is.

If I played it with both hands, I might go like this. I went C, A minor, D minor, G7th. Let’s continue with just the right hand first. Very easy, right? Now it goes up a half-step. Then back to the start. That phrase repeats three times, doesn’t it?

Okay, let’s take a look at the chords then. C, A minor, D minor, G or G7th, C, A minor, D minor, G7th. Now A7th, the next chord is A7th, then D minor. Got that? A7th, D minor, now D Major or D7th, G7th, C, I’m sorry, C, A minor, D minor 7th, G7th, C, C7th, F, F, now this is F sharp diminished. It’s a transition chord so we have F, F sharp diminished 7th which is F sharp, A, C and E flat, now C, A minor — A7th, I’m sorry, D7th, G7th, C.

There at the end we go right out around the circle of 5ths, don’t we? We go from A7th to D7th to G7th to C. If you’re familiar with the circle of 5ths, that progresses up the 4th. The 4th above A is D, a 4th above D is G, and a 4th above G is C. There’s a zillion progressions that follow that circle of 5th as well.

Just by knowing those two things, the Blue Moon chord progression and the circle of 5ths, you’ve got a lot of the song covered.

Now, let’s take it with both hands slowly. It’s in 3/4 time so I’m playing a low note, chord, chord, low note, chord, chord, low note, chord, chord, low note, chord, chord. Later we might syncopate it a bit but right now let’s just do it a straight waltz time.

Low C, two C chords, a low A, two A minor chords, a low D, two D minor chords, a low G, and G7th chords, and then again. Now the next chord is A7th, isn’t it, so low A, A7th, you’ve two measures of that and then low D, D major, D7th, G7th, and then back to C, A minor, D minor, G, C, C7th, F, two measures of F, three measures of F, F sharp diminished, C, A7th, D7th, G7th, C.

Okay, let me take that slowly. When you get done, you can do something like this, play right through the C chord and left hand going C, G, A, C, the right hand going C, E, G, C, up, or any combination like that. It just kind of finishes it off a little bit.

Now that was a straight waltz. It could use a little bit of a jazz waltz feeling since it’s kind of playful. It’s fun to be out at the ballgame so you might do something like this.

Now notice I was going, in my under notes, under my right hand, I was sometimes playing on the off beat. It’s like 1, 2 and 3, 1, 2 and 3, 1, 2 and 3, 1, 2 and 3.

Okay, so there’s some ideas for “Take Me Out To The Ballgame”. It’s a lot of fun to play, so enjoy.

We’ll see you tomorrow with another short video like this. If you enjoy these video tips, come on over to playpiano.com and sign up for our free newsletter because it’s free and you’ll learn a lot over the course of time. 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=_GT0uuYJAmI&feature=youtu.be

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Amazing Grace Piano Arrangments For Beginner To Advanced

Saturday, February 21st, 2015
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Amazing Grace Piano Arrangements – A Song Anyone Can Play – Beginner Or Advanced

 

Good morning, this is Duane and today we’re going to take a look at Amazing Grace Piano Arrangements and take a look at how easy it is to play it because it just has three chords in it. You probably heard me say that there’s thousands of songs literally that just have three chords. They’re called the primary chords of any key.

For example, if I was in the key of C, which is based on the scale of C like that, the primary chords are the C chord, that’s home base or the root chord, and I form it just by playing a root third and fifth up from the root, okay? That’s called the 1 chord in the key of C.

Another prominent chord, another primary chord is the 4 chord so I count up 1-2-3-4, and build a chord there, so that’s called the 4 chord in the key of C.

The other chord that’s used a great deal is the 5 chord, 1-2-3-4-5, so I count up 5 notes and play the chord right there. The primary chords in the key of C are 1, 4, and 5. With those three chords I can play lots of songs.

If I was in the key of F however, then those wouldn’t be the 1, 4, 5, would they? They would be based on the scale of F which goes like that, and I won’t get into why there’s a B-flat in the key of F. You can look that up. I’ve covered that many many times.

In any case, here’s an F scale. The 1 chord is built on F, the 4 chord is built on the fourth note scale, and the 5 chord’s built on the fifth note of the scale. If I just 1, 4 and 5, I can play “Amazing Grace”. I’m going to play it through just to show you how easy it is.

If I pick out the melody on F, 1 chord, 5 chord, 1, 4, 1, 5, 1. Fortunately, we don’t have to play chords in root position. They don’t have to be played with the root on the bottom. There’s the 1 chord in F. An easier way to play the 4 chord is just to keep my finger on F, little finger on F and move up to B-flat and D. That’s called an inversion of the B-flat chord.

There’s the F chord, there’s the 4 chord B-flat, and the 5 chord is right there, the C chord. So I could play 1, 4, 5, 1, all without moving my hand very much. Watch me do it.

Now I’m not limited to that however, am I? That’s a very easy way for a beginning to pick out “Amazing Grace” but you’re probably more advanced or you probably wouldn’t be watching this so I’m going to show you a couple more advanced ways.

First, on the left hand instead of just holding the note, I can chord it. I can go something like that. Now I can also put chords under the right hand melody, can’t I? It sounds a little fuller there.

As you advance, you’ll learn to put in color tone so I could add a 6. There’s a 6 to the F chord, and I can also syncopate it. Add in a seventh, and so on like that.

Now, I could eventually get to the place where I could play it by combining all that stuff, added notes and substitute chords and so on, and I could play it in a full-blown style maybe like this. That’s really a mixed style but I could play in a flowing style too, couldn’t I?

In other words, I’m not limited to one style or another. Once I know those chords, I know the principles of adding chord substitutions and color tones and so on, the sky’s really the limit in arranging a song.

Now, am I limited to just playing in the key it’s written in? I think it’s probably written in the key of F, I haven’t looked it up lately, but I could play it any key, couldn’t I, as long as I know those three chords.

Let’s say I wanted to play in the key of E-flat. First I’d have to know the scale of E-flat and then figure out the primary chords in the key of E-flat which would be the 1 chord, the 4 chord, and the 5 chord. I could play it in E-flat and so on like that.

I could play it several keys, couldn’t I? I could start in E-flat, I could go to F, I could go to G, all kinds of things. I won’t demonstrate that but I just want you to know the possibilities are endless for this. Hopefully it will motivate you to learn different keys and chord substitutions and color tones and arranging and so on.

Anyway, that’s my little tip for today, actually a challenge to you to learn as much as you can so that you can have more fun at the piano as you play and be of more use to people too. Thanks for being with me and we’ll, excuse me, see you tomorrow with another little short video like this. 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

You’ll learn piano chords galore and how to apply them when you play piano – major chords, minor chords, augmented chords, diminished chords, 6th chords, 7th chords, 9th chords, 11th chords, 13th chords, suspensions, alterations and more. Chords are the “missing link” in most piano lessons and you can learn them all easily. Learn piano playing and music theory at the same time – it will make your progress faster
and you will understand music like you never have before.

Here is the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yLhGnBLdQA

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Free Sheet Music Online – Go Get It!

Monday, August 11th, 2014
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Finding Free Sheet Music Online

Sheet Music

If there’s one thing all musicians need, it’s music. If you are an enthusiastic musician, you can’t get enough music. Sheet music can be expensive to acquire. Not that composers don’t deserve to be compensated – but having access to even a little free sheet music online can help.

Here are some well-known, and some not so well-known online sources for sheet music you can print out and use.

MusOpen

Musopen describes itself as a nonprofit that provides access to free (non-copyright) music and music related resources. Most of the music listed was written by classical composers and no longer covered by copyright.

The MusOpen organization posts recordings, sheet music, and textbooks free. Under the sheet music tab, you can browse and select compositions by composer, instrument, musical period, or musical form.

IMSLP

The International Music Score Library Project, also known as the Petrucci Music Library, is a virtual online library of public domain music scores. It launched in 2006 and currently contains more than 267,000 music scores.

The fact that IMSLP is considered the largest free online sheet music source in the world also makes it somewhat difficult to navigate. You can search for a specific composition or composer or browse, along the left hand side by composer, nationality, time period, or instrumentation.

There is even a “search by melody” feature by which you play a part of a melodic line on a screen-based keyboard and the search engine will find compositions that contain that melody.

Sheet Music Archive

The Sheet Music Archive contains a huge collection of public domain or out-of-copyright piano sheet music. You can search by composer, instrument, genre, and title.

One note of caution: Sheet Music Archive does contain hundreds of pieces that are free to download. Like many such sites it also has a subscription option ($5.99/month) that lets you download more than 100,000 pages of music at no additional cost.

Choral Wiki

The Choral Public Domain Library (CPDL) currently contains free scores for almost 18,000 choral and vocal works representing more than 2,300 composers.

CPDL is free (it does accept donations) and like many totally free sites, is a little more trouble to navigate than many subscription-based sites. Still the search function – either by keyword or a more-restrictive exact match functions well.

In addition, if you click on “Music Scores” on the left side of the main page you will be led to a number of options for browsing within various categories.

Free-Scores.com

Free-scores.com offers, not only the sheet music, but also often a sound file and even – on occasion – a YouTube video of a performance of the music. That makes this site a great option for someone learning a new piece of music who would also like to hear it performed.

This site also includes contributed music by contemporary composers – some of whom place restrictions on the use of their music. In general, all music is free to download and use – you just can’t sell it to somebody else.

Exercise Caution

There are literally hundreds of sites on the Internet that advertise “free” music. Many of them are subscriber-based (for a fee). Once you subscribe you can freely download music, but depending on the cost of a subscription, these sites can be expensive.

Others violate copyright laws by offering music that is not in the public domain. No matter how temping, you should always avoid downloading anything illegally.
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Make Your Piano Songs More Interesting Using This One Concept

Friday, August 1st, 2014
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Rearranging Your Piano Songs With Fresh Harmonies

Good morning. This is Duane and today I’d like to talk to you about the one question that can absolutely revolutionize the sounds you get on your piano songs. I’m talking about reharmonization of a melody, because that will change … The reharmonization you apply from this one question can absolutely change all the structure of what you’re playing. Now that sounds kind of scholastic, doesn’t it? But let me illustrate what I’m talking about.

I’ll take a simple hymn like “Fairest Lord Jesus.” And so on. There’s another section to it, okay? By this one question … Here’s the question you should ask. When you see a melody note, you’d ask yourself, into what other chord will this melody note fit? It’s obviously, it’s written in the key of F, I believe, and the chord that you’d be given is F. By the way, what I played was just 3 chords. F, B flat, C seventh, and [ander 00:01:18]. So it’s 3 primary chords, okay? But if I ask myself, what other chord will that fit into, there’s lots of answers.

It’ll fit into the F chord, yes. But it’ll also fit into the B flat chord. It’ll also fit in … It’s a member of the G minor seventh chord. It’s a member of the D flat chord, you see. It’s a member of the G flat major seventh chord, isn’t it? In other words, there’s lots of chords that that’ll fit into. Now, let me reharmonize that by just asking that question. What other chord will this melody note fit into? I’m going to choose B diminished, but it also fits into B flat minor seventh. It also fits into A seventh. It also fits into A flat diminished. It also fits into G minor seventh. The E fits into C, of course, but it also fits into G flat seventh.

Why did I pick those chords? Because I saw an opportunity to use a countermelody. Notice that the root of what I picked. You see it? That just made a nice countermelody there, as the right hand was taking on the same note. Any time you have a melody that stays on the same note for quite a while, that’s an opportunity to do things like that. Let me apply that same question to the whole song and see what we come up with. I’ll play it up an octave so you can hear it better.

What you could do, if you’re playing a solo at church, for example, you could play it the way it’s written, use arpeggios and so on, like this, the first time, and then the second time, you could go into that arrangement that I just made. Okay? It gives you lots and lots of opportunities to ask yourself that question. Into what other chord will this melody note fit?

Does this just apply to hymns? Oh, no, of course not. I use it on jazz tunes. Listen. Whoops. You see, lots and lots of possibilities on all kinds of tunes, not just gospel songs, but jazz songs, ballads, country tunes, pop tunes, whatever. Okay? So there’s my little exhortation for the day. Remember the question you ask is, in what other chord will this melody note fit? The answers will surprise you and delight you, and will really revolutionize your piano playing once you realize that you have the whole world of chords in front of you. You don’t have to play it the way it’s written.

Okay, thanks for being with me. 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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlPV6osTi6M&feature=youtu.be
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Compose a Piano Song With Just 3 Chords & a Simple Tune

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014
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Compose a Piano Song With Just 3 chords & a Simple Tune

Good morning, this is Duane. We are going to compose a piano song with just 3 chords and a simple tune. I’d like to talk about beginning improvisation using just an octave fifth. This is for people that are just beginning at the piano or maybe they’ve began a bit but certainly in the first year or so. What I’d like you to do is play an octave from A to A that’s an octave. Octavo, octopus eight notes, right? We’re going to play an octave and then we’re going to play the fifth that’s between the octave notes. That’s called the fifth because I’m playing the note that’s five notes higher than the original A. I’m playing root, octave fifth. Okay? Push down your damper pedals, you do that and do it again, do it again.

Nothing could be simpler, couldn’t it? Then the left hand we’re going to use just three chords, we’re going to use A minor chord which is like that, A, C, E, except we’re going to spread it out. We’re going to play it as an arpeggio. Okay? You’re simply taking the notes of the A minor chord and you’re starting on A and skip C because that’s too muddy down there. Skip C and go to E and then A, C, E. Let’s play it that far. See how that, that’s a nice sound isn’t it? It’s an empty, hollow sound, maybe a sad sound but I like it and maybe you do too. You play this three note and as you play the E, the middle note the E fifth then you play your left hand part. Here we go.

Now, I’m going to play the same thing on the right hand except I’m going to move to the D minor chord. D, F, A, and again instead of playing it there we’re going to arpeggi, break it up. We’re going to play, D, A, F, A, D. Let’s take it that far. First A, A minor, now D minor. Now, we’re going to play E minor, E, G, B. You see, they are all white keys. I’m not going to get in any black keys here so again we’re going to arpeggi that chord E, G, B down here E, B. Again we live out the G because that sounds too muddy down there. E, B, let’s say, E, G, B. It didn’t really matter as long as there are certain notes to that chord, okay? Let’s try that. See that? Okay, let’s try all three now.

Here’s A minor, D minor, E minor. Did you get that? A minor, D minor, and then we’re going to play this melody twice on E minor. Then back to A minor. Just by varying a little bit you see that’s one rhythm then the middle rhythm is … It just gives it a little variation but you’re still playing the same notes. Now, what I want to show you in the left hand is you’re playing the three primary chords and the key of A minor. That’s all that’s going on. The A minor chord, the D minor chord and the E minor chord. For those of you that know music theory, you know that the one, four, five chord are the family chords, thy are called primary chords, the family chords in any given key. It’s the simplest thing we can do. A minor, D minor, E minor and succession like that.

Okay? Then if I was building a song that’s a nice thing but if I was building a song then I would do something different for the middle part and then come back to this, this is the last part. A lot of songs are in a form called AABA. What we just learned was the A form. Maybe tomorrow we’ll learn it, maybe tomorrow we’ll learn, maybe tomorrow we’ll improvise the V form. Let’s do that tomorrow. Okay? Right now let’s just master the A form. Now, the A form is three quarters of any given song, okay. If you mastered this you got 3 quarters of the song and done. Here we go. A minor, D minor, E minor, A minor. Okay? Then that’s the A section and then we’d repeat it again.

Then tomorrow we’ll create a B section or release the contrast to that A section and then we’ll comeback to the A section again we finish off with that. If you’re a beginner you already have learn three quarters of a improvisation in A minor. Okay? If you enjoy this kind of thing, come on over to playpiano.com and be sure to sign up for my series of newsletters on chords and chord progressions and it’s all free, newsletter is. Come on over and sign up and we’ll see you there and we’ll see you also tomorrow as I continue this little series. Bye-bye for now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZlCYMpFEj0
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