That course is video-based, and teaches from a chord-based improvisation point of view.
I sometimes resist providing notation for improvisation-focused courses, because it can almost promote blind imitation, rather than creative playing.
That said, I’ve had a couple of convincing requests lately from students who wanted to have sheet music to supplement this class. As a result, I’ve decided to provided some helpful notation for each of the licks. Ain’t no thing man, I feel you. (Wah?)
Today’s video lesson was created especially for my new course, “Piano Chords 108.” In this lecture, students will learn how to visualize and play half-steps, whole-steps, minor thirds, and major thirds on the piano.
What’s in the video lesson below?
Half-steps and whole-steps are the two intervals that we use here to define minor and major thirds (which are also intervals). It’s the all-important thirds that we are especially focused on here, and we will construct them easily today, using just half-steps and whole-steps.
…Leading to Chords
In our chord speed-learning class called Piano Chords 108, you will achieve impressive memorization skills for chords by using the music theory concept of “stacking thirds.”
As prerequisite knowledge for that class, this lecture is basically the stuff you gotta know.
After this Lesson:
Before moving on from this lesson, please be sure you can play (or visualize) both a minor and a major third on piano, starting on any given note, without stopping to think. Even in the middle of a car chase, or a toddler’s birthday party at that pizza-and-games place, this should be something you can do without thinking.
Assuming maybe you’re not there yet, no worries! Today can be the day. It probably won’t take more than one solid practice session after this video, for you to OWN what’s covered in the lesson!
Important: Today’s post is the 3rd movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata 14 (“Moonlight”) in C# Minor (below).
If you’re looking (instead) for the most famous movement of this sonata, the slow, sort of haunting first movement, that sheet is right here: Moonlight Sonata 1st Movement.
Hello again, Beethoven fans!
Here’s a brand new sheet music offering. This one is another custom job for keyboard players who read music “a little bit,” but who may have trouble remembering the details about key signatures, or may sometimes be unsure about which piano key belongs to which line or space on the staff. Perhaps you’re an adult who had lessons many years ago, for example.
This Beethoven piano sheet music was prepared by me, and was very carefully cross-checked for accuracy by doing note-for-note comparisons against three other “standard format” publications of this sonata. All references used are from reputable sources.
The minor pentatonic scale is a hyper-cool five-note scale. An extremely popular source of melodic and harmonic material in many cultures, this scale’s distinctive signature is heard “all the time” in improvisational genres like rock, pop, blues and jazz.
For those of you who like to put words to your music: The word “pentatonic” comes from the Greek word pente, meaning five, and tonic, meaning tone.
The purpose of today’s lesson is to give you an easy pattern to memorize, and to show you how to use that pattern to construct any minor pentatonic scale. By “construct,” I mean you will visualize the correct five notes for the minor pentatonic scale, starting on any given root note.
As a result you will have “memorized” all 12 minor pentatonics on the keyboard today.
These three tutorials would fit somewhere near the center of the jazzy-rock genre spectrum, if there was one.
I guess there could possibly be a jazzy-rock genre officially defined somewhere, like in a big canvas binder at the Genres Office, or like that. Regardless of the possibility of this being regulated, I’m using the term freely here, maybe even whimsically, maybe even having some devil-may-care attitude going.
If I had a managing editor you would not have seen the previous paragraph. Don’t worry, with your continued support, we will hire a managing editor.
Van Morrison’s Moondance is the “jamming vehicle” we’re using in this trio of lessons. Moondance is a catchy tune, and it serves really well as a straightforward case study in jazzish-rockish piano improvisation.
Here’s a detailed tutorial on how to interpret slash chords on piano. This lesson includes insights into several ways that slash chords are used, such as indicating an inversion, implying a descending bass line, or a simply notating a fresh chordal sound.
Composers and songwriters can use the “slash chord idea” in their creative thinking. That is, the effect of playing any given chord over bass notes that are not the actual root of the chord opens up endless possibilities. Some of the thinking behind these possibilities is discussed in this lesson.