Piano Chords: Using Major, Minor, Diminished & Augmented Chords To Improvise


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Piano Chords: Using Major, Minor, Diminished & Augmented Chords To Improvise

Here is a transcript of the video if you want to follow along:

Good morning. This is Duane and today I would like to talk about getting started improvising using just the four basic piano chords types. Major [chord] Minor [chord] diminished [chord] and augmented [chord]. When people start improvising I encourage them to take a real listen and use the basic chord. Now later you can use sixths and sevenths and ninths, elevenths and all that. Complex stuff that we would like to use but you don’t have to. You can start up very simply. Let me just play a little bit, using just those kind of chord and see if you can tell what they are.

[Duane playing piano]

I used all four kinds of chords right there, let’s take it slow, I went [Duane playing piano]. That’s C major [chord], A minor [chord], D minor [chord] G7 [chord] and then G augmented [chord] major, minor, minor [Duane playing piano] that’s the 7th chord I think I used and then [Duane playing piano] that’s minor, and then I think I went like this, C major, C diminished, minor, G augmented and then C.

You can play; you don’t have to play real complex stuff when you start out. Just take a simple melody, make up a silly melody; that was a silly melody but its a melody, and it’s a motif, Its a theme and I just played around with the music. I may not do the same thing around this time, so you’ll see. I’ll start on G this time.

[Duane playing piano]

Okay, so improvising can be very simple. In the right hand I’m just making up that simple melody, in the left hand I was using a simple swing bass. Now, a simple swing bass is just hitting a low root, whatever it is, if you’re playing a C chord you hit a low C and then the C chord. Then if your chord is A minor hit a low A and then an A minor Chord. Then if you are playing D minor hit a low D and then D minor Chord. Then if you are playing G augmented hit a low G and then play the G augmented chord. Then, [Duane playing piano]. That was kind of a swing along kind of swing base, notice that I’m doing the same thing I’m plying a C chord but I’m playing a little thing here before the rest of it [Duane playing piano]. It gives a little of rhythmic kind of a horse kind of plodding along; that kind of thing. If you want to do that that’s fine. Use your pedal to hook the low note to the chord then let it up; push it down again as you hit the new low note, hook it to the chord, and so on.

Combine that with something in the right hand and you’re off to the races as far a improvising is concern. Of course that’s is just one style, that’s kind of a fun kind of silly style. You can improvise in any style, of course. Let me do an entirely different style okay?

[Duane playing piano]

That was kind of a formal full chord style. I could play this [Duane playing piano]. I

I hope you recognize that I played the same chord progressions on all three or four of those improvisations. It’s just illustrating that the same chord can be used to play many many different styles and it’s all in improvisation. That’s not a song, by the way, I was using chords that I made it up as I was went along.

Okay, and you can do the same so have at it. See you tomorrow with another piano or tip. If you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter be sure to do that, come over to playpiano.com and sign up for my free newsletter. A lot of good stuff there about piano chords of all kinds, see you there. Bye bye for now.

Piano Chords: Using Major, Minor, Diminished & Augmented Chords To Improvise

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_chords

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