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"After buying loads of books on piano chords nothing has come close to this excellent course … it has to be the best on Udemy" - Michael Fallon
"Even if you already know your scales and chords, this course brings you through the variations so that you can do more than just play a triad each and every time." - Richard
This course teaches you how to interpret basic chord symbols at the piano, and explains them:
I'll teach you concepts using original techniques that I've tested on hundreds of students over a decade, including signed artists and other industry professionals. By the end you'll know many ways of playing any chord symbol that's likely to crop up in popular music. (I'm working on a follow-up course that teaches more advanced chords that you find in jazz.)
What this course is
This course shows you many ways of playing:
so that you can:
I'll show you many ways of playing each chord so that you can not only work out what chord to play but also turn it into a complete accompaniment.
What this course isn't
This course doesn't teach you how to play the piano - it assumes you know how to play the piano already. And the pieces used are mostly extracts that are designed to illustrate certain types of chord, so the goal isn't to play complete pieces but to acquire skills that you can apply to other pieces.
Also, this isn't a music composition course: I don't talk very much about why certain chords sound good together. However, if you are interested in learning about chord progressions this is a good starting point.
So, if you've ever wondered what Dm7/G means then give this course a try! You can always get a refund if you decide it isn't for you.
Best of luck on your musical journey,
Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.
Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.
Certificate of completion.
|Section 1: Introduction|
What you can expect from this coursePreview
Bonus, 13/01/16: all the scores in 4 PDF's
A chord is just more than one note playing at a time.
|Section 2: Root-5th-root chords|
An intervals is the distance between 2 notes.
Intervals have names like 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
A 5th is either:
except B-F# and Bb-F.
Example: "To Build a Home"Preview
Exercise: harmonize "With or Without You"Preview
Solution: "With or Without You" harmonizedPreview
A root-5th-root chord is a 5th with the root repeated at the top.
Example: "Rolling in the Deep"
Example: "The Heart Asks Pleasure First"
Exercise: harmonize "Fields of Gold"
Solution: "Fields of Gold" harmonized
An arpeggio is when you play the notes of a chord one-by-one.
Example: "Fields of Gold" with arpeggios
Exercise: harmonize "Always on My Mind"
Solution: "Always on My Mind" harmonized
Example: "Always on My Mind" with arpeggios
|Section 3: Major triads|
2 notes are a semitone apart if there are no other notes between them.
(In North America, semitones are called "half-steps".)
2 notes are a tone apart is they're 2 semitones apart, in other words if they have exactly one note between them, including white and black notes.
2 notes are a major 3rd apart if they're 2 tones apart.
Exercise: harmonize "Amazing Grace" using major 3rds
Solution: "Amazing Grace" harmonised using major 3rds
Exercise: harmonize "Kumbaya"
Solution: "Kumbaya" harmonized
Exercise: harmonise the verse of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
Solution: the verse of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" harmonized"
|Section 4: Minor triads|
2 notes are a minor 3rd apart if there are exactly 2 notes between them, including white and black notes.
Example: "Clair de lune"
Exercise: harmonize "The Tetris theme"
Solution: "The Tetris theme" harmonized
A broken chord is when you split a chord into groups of notes.
Example: "The Tetris theme" with broken chords
|Section 5: Practicing major and minor triads|
Exercise: harmonize the chorus of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"
Solution: the chorus of "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" harmonized
Example: "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" with arpeggios
Exercise: harmonize "Mad World"
Solution: "Mad World" harmonized
Example: "Mad World" with broken chords
Exercise: harmonize "La valse d'Amélie"
Solution: "La valse d'Amélie" harmonized
Example: "La valse d'Amélie" with broken chords
Practice: "La valse d'Amélie" in 6 keys
Exercise: harmonize "House of the Rising Sun"
Solution: "House of the Rising Sun" harmonized
Example: "House of the Rising Sun" with arpeggios
Exercise: harmonize "Memory"
Solution: "Memory" harmonized
A root-5th-10th chord is a triad with the 3rd moved up an octave (an octave and a 3rd is a 10th).
Example: "Memory" with arpeggios
Example: analyzing the chords to "Für Elise"
|Section 6: Major triads in inversion|
4ths are inversions of 5ths. That means that if you take a 5th and move the bottom note up an octave you get a 4th. So a 4th is either:
apart from F-Bb and F#-B.
A major triad in 1st inversion is a major triad in root position with the root moved up an octave. So in 1st inversion:
Exercise: harmonize the accompaniment to "All Day and All of the Night"
Solution: the accompaniment to "All Day and All of the Night" harmonized
A major triad in 2nd inversion is a major triad in root position with the 5th moved down an octave. So in 2nd inversion:
|Section 7: Mixing major inversions|
Example: "Kumbaya" harmonized using inversions
Exercise: harmonize the riff to "Forget You" using major triads in inversion
Solution: the riff to "Forget You" harmonized using major triads in inversion
Exercise: harmonize "Green Onions" using major triads in inversion
Solution: "Green Onions" harmonized using major triads in inversion
|Section 8: Minor triads in inversion|
A minor triad in 1st inversion is a minor triad in root position with the root moved up an octave. So in 1st inversion:
Example: "Lean On Me"
A minor triad in 2nd inversion is a minor triad in root position with the 5th moved down an octave. So in 2nd inversion:
Exercise: complete the chords to "Creep"
Solution: the chords to "Creep"
Example: repeating the chords to "Creep"
|Section 9: Practicing major and minor triads in inversion|
Exercise: harmonise the chords to Pachelbel's "Canon"
Solution: the chords to Pachelbel's "Canon"
Exercise: harmonize the riff to "Golden Brown"Preview
Solution: the riff to "Golden Brown" harmonizedPreview
Exercise: analyze the chords to "Comptine d'un autre été, l'après-midi"
Solution: the chords to "Comptine d'un autre été, l'après-midi" analyzed
|Section 10: I-V-vi-IV|
When using Roman numerals to denote chords you're describing where the chord falls in the scale, so G is chord V in C major because G is the 5th note of the C major scale.
In C major I-V-vi-IV is the chord progression C, G, Am, F.
Here's the original Axis of Awesome video: https://youtu.be/5pidokakU4I
Example: "With or Without You"
Exercise: harmonize the riff to "Where is the Love?"
Solution: the riff to "Where is the Love?" harmonized
Exercise: harmonize the chords to "No One"
Solution: the chords to "No One" harmonized
Practice: I-V-vi-IV in C, Eb, F# and A
As a general rule, move chords as little as possible and pick inversions whose top notes produce interesting lines, but more than anything do what sounds good.
|Section 11: Breaking triads into their component notes|
Example: harmonizing "Kumbaya" using single notes
Exercise: harmonize "Amazing Grace" using single notes
Solution: "Amazing Grace" harmonised using single notes
Exercise: harmonize "Hallelujah" using single notes
Solution: "Hallelujah" harmonised using single notes
I'm a London-based piano coach with over 10 years of teaching experience. Students include signed artists, senior record executives, and other industry professionals.
I'm currently workshopping a musical which I wrote the book, music, and lyrics to, and which I was invited to play to Stephen Sondheim, plus I've also worked as an official arranger for Beyoncé, Michael Bublé, Cher, and others.