Learn How To Sound "Pro" A Nibble At A Time
Really Gets You Playing Some Nice Chord Sounds - Will Change How You Think About Piano Chords
Pro Piano Chord Bytes is your personal ticket to piano chord mastery... the pro way, of course.
Any professional piano stylist will tell you that many of the best learning experiences transpired outside the context of
formal lessons when he or she had the opportunity to look over the shoulder of an admired performer... and usually,
it only took about a minute to learn one valuable chord idea that could be used again and again forever! Indeed, these rare,
brief but priceless "aha!" moments are precious opportunities no player would want to miss if and when they ever present themselves.
Maybe you've already had the privilege of experiencing such eye-opening moments. Even if you haven't, this is your chance to take
advantage of this very rare "sneak peek" at a pro's insight as to how to play some of those super chord sounds... and in the right places!
Yes, each idea is presented in the context of an actual song so that you can learn how a professional is really likely think in such a situation.
Take each idea and start "inserting" it into other songs of yours and your "chord confidence" will skyrocket! Collect all of these precious gems and
just listen to what you'll sound like over a period of the next several weeks! This program serves as the perfect compliment to ProProach!
Let's get started with your first one, which is complimentary. Remember, things get more interesting as we progress,
and this one serves as a great beginning...
by Erroll Garner
Here we have the first measure of that famous classic Misty by Erroll Garner (Johnny Burke later wrote the words).
We are presenting this in the key of C Major for illustration purposes...
A pro cocktail pianist might consider a very powerful open chord voicing
for that melody note (C) in this first measure such as the one shown below.
Play it and listen!
What Did We Do?
A basic Cmaj7 chord in root postion looks like this>>> C E G B
We simple took the 1 and 5 of the chord ("C" and "G") and put it in that lower bass area
of the keyboard and put that 3 and 7 of the chord ("E" and "B") above that (or to the right).
The 7 is the melody in this case.
Why this particular piano chord voicing?
From A Pro's Perspective:
This is the beginning of the tune. You've got those two pick-up notes
leading into that first melody note in the first measure. Playing those
pick-ups as single notes and following up with that piano chord voicing
shown above makes for a powerful contrast. It has been said more
than just a few times: Contrast is the first law of all art. We achieve
nice contrast here because, in addition to that voicing being "open"
it also utilizes the bass area of the piano keyboard... we get that nice
"bottom" as well as an open sound. So a pro would use this voicing
if that's the kind of effect he or she wants at any particular time.
When To Use It:
Naturally, as an ever-growing piano stylist, you are the artist
who will make these decisions on your own with experience.
In general, this chord voicing works nicely when you have:
1) a melody note of longer duration (but that's not always necessary)
2) the melody note is the 7th chord the chord (in the case above, "B" is the 7th of Cmaj7)
The standard key of Misty is Eb major. In that key, what would be the melody note?
The chord? Now, go ahead and adapt the voicing above to the situation!
Extra "To Do" For Fun and Musical Growth:
Play the same voicing and play an "A" (or 6th) between that E and B with the right hand...
then try the "G" next to it instead. Then play both at the same time (yes, four keys with
that right hand!)... how "thick" sounding! Wow, the possibilities... listen to all of them! : o )
You are highly encouraged to learn this chord voicing in other keys. As you're going
through some of those songs of yours, look for maj7 chords where the melody is the
7th and then apply this voicing. The confidence you will experience as you make
a habit of following these suggestions on a regular basis is almost uncanny!
As you continuously become a more creative player, remember...
PLAY WITH PASSION!
We have a lot more chord fun to discover! Simply enroll by clicking
on the ADD TO CART button below and you'll receive
another Pro Piano Chord Byte each week for 6 months!
It's just $25 with this special promotion! But act TODAY to take advantage...
If you experience any challenges with your order, simply email me at info @ pianoamore.com.
It will be my pleasure to take care of you : o ) - Dave
"Dave...I'm working through In The Wee Small Hours of the Morning at the moment (I'm a huge Sinatra fan). In the first 6 bars alone I have been able to incorporate voicings from the first two lessons of Pro Piano Chord Bytes, a fill created using a variation of concepts taught in lessons 2 and 6 of ProProach, voicings from lesson 5 of ProProach, and another fill using a variation of a concept shown in Sneak Peaks 1 (walking up a fourth using open-voiced, diatonic chords). Through it all I'm sticking to your advice to pay attention to contrast (sometimes using a 9th, sometimes not) and dynamics. I'm loving the way it sounds and there are still 10 bars and tons of great styling tips to explore. Thanks for helping make all this so much fun..."
Jason, Massuchusetts, USA
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