Piano Lessons: Get Started Improvising Using Chords!


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Piano Lessons: Get Started Improvising Using Chords!

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

Good morning. This is Duane, and today I’d like to talk about practicing chords as part of your piano lessons. It’s good to practice chords like you practice songs. In fact, you can make up a song. Just improvise a song out of a chord as you practice. For example, let’s say that you’re a beginner and you’re just learning your basic chords. Let’s take maybe C major (Duane demonstrating on piano), and A minor (Duane demonstrating on piano), and D minor (Duane demonstrating on piano), and G (Duane demonstrating on piano). Okay, those four chords. C major, A minor, D minor, and G major (Duane demonstrates on piano). You know that as a 1-6 2-5 chord progression, the (Duane demonstrating on piano) Blue Moon chord progression or the We Want Candor chord progression. There’re lots of names for it, but it’s a 1-6, 2-5 chord progression, okay?

Let’s say you’re practicing those chords and you want to learn them real good. I would say break up the chord in the right hand (Duane demonstrating on piano) in various positions. You can’t just learn a chord in one position. You have to learn it in all the inversions, so turn the chord upside down like that (Duane demonstrating on piano).

In the left hand, I would arpeggiate a chord (Duane demonstrating on piano). If you’re playing the C chord, play low C then a G and then an E as open voicing (Duane demonstrating on piano), and then maybe you can bring your fingers over to the higher intervals of the chord and then back down like that (Duane demonstrating on piano).

Let me just illustrate (Duane demonstrating on piano): Now let’s go to A minor, D minor, G. Back to C, A minor, D minor, G major, C, A minor, D minor, G major, and back to C.
All I’m playing steady eights of (Duane demonstrating on piano): one and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three and one and two and three.

You can play it the 4 – 4, too. I can play it in any time signature that you want, but I was just doing it in three, okay?

What’s true of simple chords could be truer of more complex chords. Let’s say you were playing F minor, learning F minor seventh and do the same (Duane demonstrating on piano): E flat seventh, E flat major seventh, A flat major seventh, G seventh, G seventh at flat nine, C minor, A flat major seventh, F minor seventh, B flat seventh and flat ninth, E flat major seventh and so on, okay?

You see, you can really create some nice pretty sounds. It’s probably a stretch to call them a song, but you can call them improvisation anyway. Just by changing the rhythm a little bit, or the inflexion, you can make a nice tune out of it. Let me just illustrate … (Duane demonstrating on piano). Simple but kind of nice while you practice, isn’t it?

It beats boring practice of drills because you’re improvising. You’re doing something creative while you practice, and you’re getting benefit of technique, you’re stretching your fingers out in the way that they go, and you’re practicing some dynamics, some louders and softers and that sort of thing, okay?

Just some ideas about practicing so that’s it for today, we’ll see you tomorrow.

If you haven’t already signed up for my piano lesson news letter be sure and come over to playpiano.com and sign up for it, lot of good stuff there.

See you then, bye-bye for now.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piano_Lessons

Piano Lessons Using Chords

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