Archive for the ‘Chords’ Category

Part One: Modulation Formula for Most Any Key Change!

Monday, July 17th, 2017

treble-clef-on-red-staff

Introduction 

Modulating during any type of prelude (church, funeral, wedding or other occasion)…creates a smooth transition between songs. Without a smooth transition between different keys, the music will sound interrupted or very abrupt.  The articles associated with this lesson and future lessons will deal with modulating to a higher key.  Modulating to a lower key can also be effective but such a topic belongs in a different set of lessons.

The modulation chord formula that works for most any key change uses the  ii7 to V7 chords of the new key.

(I personally like to use the V7 sus instead of a plain V7…but will will illustrate  at the appropriate time).

*Part two will provide a FREE pdf with several examples of modulating up a fifth. (C Major to G Major)

Keyboard visuals of the ii7 & V7 chords in the key of G Major are shown below. (The upcoming examples will cover C to G, G to D and F to C using this chord formula)

ii7 of G Major

ii7 of G Major

V7 of G Major

V7 of G Major

Working on the examples now and hope to share this week!

 

 

Going Live on Facebook!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

I’ve provided the recent “broadcast” from facebook.  *See written article below for essential information that goes with the video.

On a lighter note….”Don’t you just LOVE my piano?!  It’s one of a kind…..treble is at the bottom…bass at the top!  (Just kidding)  *The dilemma was a front facing camera.

Jenifer Cook is going live on Facebook this Thursday at 8 pm EST. (November 10, 2016)

Ever notice how a lot of Christmas hymns have frequent
accidentals…the makings for awkward hand movements…

Hear Jenifer’s suggestions in dealing with accidental passages. She’ll be showing her note changes on the handouts listed below…feel free to either print them or have them on a screen for viewing purposes for tonight’s session. So much to share in a short time span!!

Copy and paste this link in the URL field at the top of your browser page: https://www.facebook.com/Jenifer-Cook-602815303135832/?fref=ts

Print the following FREE music example pages for tonight’s “going live on facebook” session with Jenifer

O Little Town of Bethlehem (verse only)

O Little Town of Bethlehem (verse only w/ application)

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

There’s a Song in the Air

Have a pencil handy too!  writing_pen

Accompanying Made Simple by Shelly Hamilton

Monday, August 31st, 2015

pen laying on staff paper

I recently attended a couple piano workshops by Shelly Hamilton.

“Accompanying Made Simple” was a very practical workshop providing the church pianists with simple yet practical ideas for accompanying special music.

Shelly brought her accompaniment suggestions to life by offering a free arrangement of Day by Day which includes three different accompaniment styles.  Thanks Shelly!

I attended Shelly’s workshops so that I could share accompaniment ideas with my church pianist readers.  Click on the following links to download the handouts for this workshop.

Accompanying Made Simple (outline)

Day by Day page one

Day by Day page two

Free Piano Excerpt of Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Isnt-the-love-CROPPED

Sorry for the delay in posting…our household has been down with the stomach bug.

Here is the excerpt of Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful which I shared with my hymn playing student last week.  The left hand ideas resemble the improvisation I shared in the free piano prelude arrangement of “I Am Resolved”.

It’s always helpful to see the same ideas in several different keys and songs of like nature for ample reinforcement.

(Due to the copyright still active on this hymn…I could only share a portion as stated in the “fair use” copyright law.)

Having said that…if I could have shared more…I would have branched out the right hand an octave higher during the chorus to stretch my student’s playing ground.

Special note: When trying to apply the above left hand ideas… choose hymns of like nature (same time signature; similar rhythmic structure; peppy mood).

Augmented Examples for I to IV Chord Progression

Friday, August 8th, 2014

*Click here to read introduction of diminished and augmented chords to understand the following free handout on augmented examples in hymns.

 

Explanation of the following visual:

When progressing from a I to IV chord…raise the 5th note of the I chord (G) to (G#) making it an augmented I chord which strongly leads into a IV chord.

 

Click here to download a free pdf of the Augmented  Chord Substitution Sheet

 

Augmented-examples-I-IV

The Augmented & Diminished Chord: Introduction

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

  “Diminish” (verb) to make smaller vs. “Augment” (verb) to make larger

A diminished chord is a minor chord with a lowered 5th

Example:  C Eb Gb   Or expressed as: C°

Suggested role of the diminished chord: creates suspense

An augmented chord is a major chord with a raised 5th

Example:  C E G#    Or expressed as:  C+

Suggested role of the augmented chord: generates amazement; surprise; anticipation

The diminished or augmented chord is not found within the scale. The pianist must alter the notes of a chord to create either one of these chords.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Visual examples of the d diminished in the key of C Major

d diminished = D F A flat

*diminished 7ths are more common; create fuller sound

d diminished 7th = D F A flat C

The symbol ° after the chord letter name… represents diminished chord

The / separates the diminished chord from the bass note (the slash is used when the bass note is NOT the root note of the diminished chord.)

Click here to download visual example for application of the d diminished 7th chord.

Application-of-D-dminished-7th-in-C-Major

Special note:  Yes, I should have included a “slash” indicating the “C” as the bass note for the last example on the word “leads”.  Hope you caught it!  🙂

 I will share augmented examples in the next article asap!

These diminished chord examples are just a tip of the iceberg! 

This lesson does not contain a thorough list of diminished chord possibilities  within a key/scale.

 

What I’m Working On…

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

coming_soon

What are diminished and augmented chords?  Where can I use them? The first article on diminished and augmented chords will answer these questions.

The other post I’m creating deals with tips for choosing vocal solos for the male voice.  I enjoy the challenge of looking for solos that fit a certain person’s vocal range/ability.  Singing a song that fits the singer’s range allows for a more positive experience for the soloist as well as the listeners 😉

It’s our responsibility as Christians to be as effective as we can to carry God’s message through whatever means possible and that includes singing.

Looking forward to sharing more soon!

Diatonic Chord Substitution Examples: FREE DOWNLOAD

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

As promised,  here are a couple more examples of a diatonic chord substitution.  (Link to FREE download at bottom of this article.)

Diatonic-Chord-Substitution-Examples

 

Click here to download your FREE copy of the diatonic chord substitution examples.

 

Chord Substitutions

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

wavy staff with colored notes

Church pianists enjoying bringing hymns to life by adding different chords!  A recent question from one of my readers has created the perfect opportunity for me to share tips on chord substitutions….a topic I’ve been wanting to deal with for quite some time.  Chord substitutions can add such color to a song!  It’s a very B-R-O-A-D topic; meaning….there’s an endless supply of chord possibilities in any given key!

Reader’s Question:

“I have been using various resources trying to learn more about theory, but I haven’t found any that go beyond a basic level.

For example, I know what augmented and diminished chords are, but I don’t know how to use them or how they fit into functional harmony. In analyzing your arrangements, I have noticed you use a lot of different kinds of chords, such as chords with altered bass notes or a I-ii half diminished-I-etc. progression for introductions.

How did you learn how to use all these? Do you have any recommendations for resources that would teach me more? Any advice would be appreciated!”

Ashley

 

Hi Ashley,

How did I learn to use different chords from the written music?  You won’t like my answer 😉    I play them by ear…basically whatever sounds right. I do know chord theory but don’t think about theory application when playing….I just….play 😉  (Music writer’s confession: I don’t claim to be an expert theorist.)

For everyone’s benefit…the “different” chords we’re discussing are called chord substitutions. A chord substitution occurs when replacing a chord with a different chord.

Easiest Chord Substitution for Starters…

To replace a major chord within a key…use the chord a 3rd above or below the root note of a major chord.  (The major chords within any key is the I, IV and V).

The I chord in the key of C Major is the C chord (CEG).  Now, what note is a 3rd above CE…so the e minor chord (EGB) within the C scale can be used as a substitution as long as it “sounds” good within the occurring chord path (progression) of the song.  Count a 3rd below C and you find A.  The A minor chord (ACE)  is the second choice for a C major chord substitution.

Two observations about these two chord substitution choices:

1. They’re both minor

2.  They each have two notes in common with the chord being replaced

There are other types of chord substitutions but wanted to start with the easiest kind.

Extra Information:

1.The chord substitution just described above  (3rd above or 3rd below) is called the Diatonic Substitution. A diatonic chord substitution occurs when using different notes within a scale. It’s the most natural form of chord substitution because no note alterations take place; just using what ingredients are already available within that key 😉

2. The key signature and melody of any song dictates what chord(s) can be used.

 ~~Next article will show examples of the Diatonic chord substitution~~

Special Note!

Special Note!

Great theory reference book:  “The Complete Idiot’s Guide toMusic Theory”

The-Complete-Idiots-Guide-to-Music-Theory

 

Related article on Chord Substitutions

 

 

 

Hymnplaying Master Class Critique

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

MVI_1458 (1)

The next post will be a video of me being critiqued in Hymn Playing Master Class at the recent Wild’s Music Conference.

Just don’t feel sorry for me 😉   We all need a work over at times!

I played my free piano arrangement of “The Old Rugged Cross” for this class. So…you may want to have a copy of it handy during the video for reference.

Before you click to download your free copy of  The Old Rugged Cross, you may want to wait until I provide the edited version based on the critique I received in this Hymn Playing Master Class. It’s all up to you.

Click here to print your free copy of “The Old Rugged Cross”. (original version)

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