Kent D. Smith is a professional piano and drum instructor, and a professional pianist/keyboardist, based in Orange County, California. He holds a degree in music and piano performance from Fullerton College.
At age seven, Kent began formal lessons in drums. By age fourteen he was a part-time professional drummer in a popular R&B band, playing gigs in and around the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At that same age, he discovered piano and was hooked.
Having started classical piano lessons at age fifteen, Kent went on to graduate with honors from Fullerton College, with a degree in piano performance and general music, including jazz studies. Kent made his living after college as a pianist, keyboardist and sometime drummer in various bands.
Later in his twenties, eager to settle down with a more predictable income, Kent began a parallel career in software development. Now, recently retired from AT&T, he has returned to music full-time. Kent has gained a wealth of professional experience over several decades in teaching, performing, composing, and studio work.
“Rootless voicings” on piano (especially for left-hand support) are great for handling big jazz chords that normally can’t be covered by one hand alone. This video tutorial shows you how to play a rich sounding II-V-I in the left hand, while allowing the bass player (or you, on another beat) to cover the root.
This is Part Two of a pair of lessons, covering “Type B” voicings. The first lesson, covering “Type A” shows another way of executing the same idea, only with the notes in a different arrangement.
Here’s a nice jazzy drill, to give you practice on:
(1) Adding interest to your melody lines, by sometimes preceding the “target tone(s)” of a chord with “approach tones;” and,
(2) increased mastery of any given scale, especially as it relates to the underlying chords.
As a result, the repeated act of mindfully (and not mindlessly) practicing this drill can increase your general facility with approach tones, as well as give you (possibly new) theoretical insights regarding chord-scale relationships. Dig? You’ll see.
Today I’m happy to present the next lesson in my ongoing course, Chords 108.
Class Audience: Any musician who’s struggling to memorize the individual notes to all those dang chords on piano or keyboards, and looking for a solution.
Today: Learn how to immediately call up the notes to any of the twelve minor chords on a keyboard — without having to rely on rote memory. This lesson applies to all twelve minor seventh chords as well.
Coming next: Dominant seventh chords.
*This series is currently FREE to the public, but will soon be a premium members-only course. Our members keep this site alive, and 100% ad-free. Thanks to all!
MEMBERS: Here’s a new custom sheet, Prelude in C by Bach, from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book One. Prelude in C is an extremely popular piece that will never lose its appeal to piano players and listeners alike.
This sheet music has each note labeled with its musical letter-name, such as E, D#, A… Some markings (dynamics, etc.) have been omitted to make room for the added letters.
You can read about the pros and cons of marking in letters on sheet music, here.