If you’ve been keeping up with my introduction to chords and chord symbols over the past few weeks, congratulations! With a little bit of time at the piano, you should now be familiar with all these chords: Major, Minor, Major 7th, Minor 7th, Dominant 7th, Sus2, Sus4, Add2, Open 5th, and (Add)6. That’s a lot! With little more than this information, you can now open up any pop fake book and interpret most of the chords in pretty much every chart. Go you! (If you’re just now joining us, you can get totally caught up in no time by starting HERE) However, our ambitious journey doesn’t end here, we’ve only just started! This week we look at a super fun (and super easy) concept: Slash Chords.Read More
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In my last post, we kicked off our journey into the land of chords and chord symbols. We talked about improvisation way back in the day (see also: Baroque Era), defined just what the heck a lead sheet was, and discussed why we even care about chord symbols in the first place. Finally, we got right down to the nitty-gritty and deciphered some chord symbols as we learned the five basic foundation chords, Major, Minor, Major 7, Minor 7, and Dominant 7. I hope you practiced at home between then and now, because today we're going to make things a little more spicy!Read More
I mentioned in an earlier post that I'd dive into more detail and really break down chord symbols and how to understand them, and this is the start of that journey! Once you get the basics down for how chord symbols work, it will unlock a whole new way of thinking about music! This "harmonic shorthand" is the key to quickly playing pop songs, changing the key of a song (so that it's in YOUR range), and even writing music of your own! It may seem a little tricky at first, but we're going to break it way down.Read More
It never fails - every time I take on new piano students (especially teens and adults) the primary reason they want lessons is so they can play the music that they love. Church hymns, pop music, show tunes, even budding songwriters who want to bolster their instrumental performance skills. I am totally inspired by these new, eager students! Their drive, their vision... there's no better reason to make music than because you love it.
I usually start out the first session with an informal chat about their goals with piano, what they want to get out of private lessons. Their eyes light up as they describe themselves performing the music that they are passionate about.Read More