|Dear piano playing friend:
I have had many people call or
write me and ask me something like this:
"I play by ear, or by chords, but lots of music
doesn't have chord symbols written in -- how do I
know what chord to play when?"
"Our hymn book doesn't tell which chords to use --
how can I know what to play?"
"I read music but don't have a clue what chords are
being used. How can I know what they are?
If you want to play a song
using chords instead of the written sheet music notes, but
the song doesn't have any chord symbols printed (such as
Cm7, G13, B+, D dim7, etc.) then this great DVD video
course is exactly what you need.
There's a logic behind every note written in music,
& you can learn to understand that logic, and
therefore understand music.
If you can read music to some
degree but don't "see through" the written music -- don't
understand what you are seeing -- now you can put on your
"chord glasses" that good chord detectives wear to see
through all that mass of black printed notes on a white
page of sheet music to quickly understand what chords are
being used and the "family logic" behind it all.
The "family logic" is this: In
every key there are certain chords which are organic to that
key -- "family members", so to speak. For example, in the
key of F the 3 most used chords are F, Bb and C. In the key
of G the most used chords are G, C, and D. In the key of Eb
the most used chords are Eb, Ab, and Bb. Do you see a
Chords are based on scales, and
the chords which are used the most in any key are built on
the 1st degree of the scale, the 4th degree of the scale,
and the 5th degree of the scale. They are identified by
using the Roman numerals I, IV, and V.
So the most used chords in any
key are the I chord, the IV chord, and the V chord. They are
the primary chords, and they are all major. They occur way
more than other chords. The next most used chords are the ii
chord, the iv chord, and the iii chord -- all minor chords.
Just knowing these simple facts
gives a musician a giant advantage when learning or
playing a song. If he or she knows the most likely chords
that are going to occur in a song, based on the key of the
song, then they can scrape together other evidence quickly
to build an air-tight case that they know the chords of that
For example, let's take two
musicians about to play from a piece of sheet music. Both
read music, but only one knows chords and music theory. The
first musician looks at the notes and sees a Bb in the bass
clef as the first note, a Eb in the bass clef in the second
measure, a Bb in the 3rd measure, an F in the fourth
measure, and so on. He can play what he sees, but nothing
else, because he doesn't grasp the fact that the first few
measure have given away the fact that the primary chords
have been outlined.
The second musician looks at the
same music, but with "X-ray eyes". He sees through
the same notes into the chord structure behind the scenes.
The first musician is tied to
the written music and limited to the notes printed on the
sheet music, while the second musician has the best of both
worlds: he can read the music and play it as it is written,
but he can also add chords and fills and come out with a
much bigger, more interesting arrangement than the first
The benefits of becoming a chord
detective are many:
- It allows a musician to immediately identify what key
a song is in...
- It allows a musician to know POSITIVELY which chords
are most likely to occur in each song...
- It allows a musician to look at the first measure and
the last measure and immediately know the harmonic form of
It works by releasing a musician from being "tied to
the written music"...
It works by allowing a musician to add chords of his
or her own...
- It works in any key -- major or minor...
- It works with any kind of hymn or gospel song...
The bottom line is this:
knowing chords and music theory allows a
"chord detective" to develop
"see through eyes" that
immediately perceive the structure of a song and then
allow that musician to use both the written score and any
fillers or improvisations he or she desires to add to a
You'll learn to "read" music like a
map, by using clues to figure out what chords are being
used, then playing by chords instead of the printed score.