How to Memorize Piano Chords Quickly | ‘Chords 108’ – Top Page

A free tutorial vlog series on memorizing piano chords by pattern

HERE ARE THE FIRST FOUR VIDEO LESSONS (MORE TO COME)


Half-Step, Whole-Steps, and Thirds on the Piano

Learn all 12 Major and Major Seventh Chords Together (24 chords)

Learn all 12 Minor and Minor Seventh Chords Together (24 more chords)

Learn all 12 Dominant Seventh Chords Together (12 more chords)


Supplemental Catalog of 108+ chords

Piano Chord Reference Book (PDF)


DESCRIPTION

This course/series describes a relatively simple system for memorizing the “108 Essential Piano Chords.”

See the chord symbol, or hear the chord name, and you will know all the notes, with certainty!

Further in, you will learn how to build — and remember — any altered or extended chord on the piano keyboard as well.

In the end, you’ll be able to determine the unique set of notes that define any one of HUNDREDS of chords, on the spot. This impressive accomplishment requires zero rote memorization of any chord. (What?)

Because of the above, my focus on “108” as being the number of chords you will acquire is an understatement. One can see (in the second, more optional part of this course) that the rest of the “standard chord universe” opens right up — as soon as you know how to alter and extend any member of the “Big 108” group.

When it comes to these 108 chords — by far the most common and useful chords in both popular and classical music — you will never again need a chord catalog, chord poster, or web search.

Even though this course has the goal of weaning students off chord catalogs, so to speak, I will definitely include a downloadable picture-based catalog for these 108 chords. Such a reference will no doubt prove useful for checking your understanding of this system. But ultimately, I don’t want you to need any such piano chord reference…

…Because that’s the whole theme and purpose of Piano Chords 108: Lose the catalog (so to speak)!

Continue reading How to Memorize Piano Chords Quickly | ‘Chords 108’ – Top Page

Posted on Leave a comment

Music Theory “Trivia” Time

Which interval is pictured above?

(a) Diminished Seventh.

(b) Minor Sixth.

(c) Augmented Fifth.

(d) Both A and C are correct, with name depending on the implied key center. They sound the same, by either name.

(e) Both B and C are correct, with name depending on the implied key center. They sound the same, by either name.

(f) The famous “Lost Interval of Egypt.”

THE CORRECT ANSWER  is….

Continue reading Music Theory “Trivia” Time

Trouble Playing Certain Chords? Some Notes can be Omitted!

UPDATED: Feb. 9, 2019.

Good day! Good evening! Today I’m sharing my answer to the following student question:

Sometimes I can play the C7 Chord, lots of time I am hitting the G# because I have to move my hand higher on the keys to sound the chord. Any hints on fingering or practicing this? Thanks much!

 

My answer: Continue reading Trouble Playing Certain Chords? Some Notes can be Omitted!

Posted on Leave a comment

Sheet Music: Lick #2 from “A Study in Blues Piano”

 

Here’s a downloadable PDF file of sheet music for Blues Piano Lick #2, for optional use with “A Study in Blues Piano.”

This is entirely optional material, as far as completing the above course is concerned. As I said yesterday, this is a supplement I’m putting together, in response to recent requests that  I’ve had from students who can read music.

Non-music readers:  This course was designed to require ZERO reading of music.  Fear not!

Posted on Leave a comment

Memorize all 12 Minor Pentatonic Scales – Today. Yep!

The minor pentatonic is a five-note scale, comprised of selected pitches from the natural minor scale.  An extremely popular source of melodic and harmonic material in many cultures, the minor pentatonic’s distinctive signature can be heard “all the time” in improvisational genres like rock, pop, blues and jazz.

For those of you who like to put words to music: The word “pentatonic” comes from the Greek word pente, meaning five, and tonic, meaning tone.  Bring that up at your next book study group, and you will look like a raging party animal. Things will go right off the hook from there, bro, seriously.

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.

Continue reading Memorize all 12 Minor Pentatonic Scales – Today. Yep!

Posted on Leave a comment

Blues Lick #12 “Chromatic Sixths”

Congratulations! After finishing this lesson, you will have completed the entire course, “A Study in Blues Piano – Focusing on 12 Licks!”

You will then have learned (1) a complete intro section, (2) lots of raw soloing material (specifically, those 12 licks and their endless possibilities), for you to copy, extend, alter, etc., (3) a solid structure for your soloing (that is, the 12-bar blues structure, with a supporting bass-line). Also (4), you now have a solid “turn-around” to use, which will keep that energy moving forward, into each new chorus, and finally, (5), that same turn-around can be used as an ending (and very effectively).

So, here we go, the final lesson: Lick Number 12, “Chromatic Sixths.”  This pattern is way-cool, and also quite versatile.  It has a traditional, honky-tonk sound you will probably recognize, a real staple of the “boogie/blues/rock/jazz” piano vocabulary.

Continue reading Blues Lick #12 “Chromatic Sixths”

Posted on Leave a comment

Blues Lick #9: “Turn Around and Come Back, Please”

 

This one involves two hands, and can be used as a turn-around or ending.  You will probably recognize this essential staple of the blues!

Continue reading Blues Lick #9: “Turn Around and Come Back, Please”

Posted on Leave a comment

Blues Lick #8: “The Doodly At”

A versatile pattern using a four-note cluster. The main focus here is the pattern, because this four-element cluster can be played in several starting places, within a single chord or key.

Continue reading Blues Lick #8: “The Doodly At”

Posted on Leave a comment

Blues Lick #5: “Ba-do-dee You Bop”

Welcome Back!

Today we present Lick Number Five, which is formally called the “Ba-do-dee you bop” lick. That is some academic terminology right there, and you know that I did not make it up.

Ha-ha. As with Lick #2, I named this lick with syllables that match each note of the pattern, so that you can sing the name of the lick as you practice it, which is a really good way to get the feel of it. You might want to read the lesson description for Lick #2 for more insight on that singing idea.

Enjoy!

Continue reading Blues Lick #5: “Ba-do-dee You Bop”

Posted on Leave a comment

Blues Lick #4: “You Gimme the Run-around”

Welcome back!

I call this type of pattern a “run-around” lick.

Lick patterns like these are easy to make into ear-catching runs, the kind you can easily move around the keyboard. The result can be some interesting and longer lines, even though the lick it’s based on is usually quite simple. A good “run-around” lick fits well under the fingers, and often has two connected fragments, which allows the two parts to kind of “leap frog” and “run around” with each other.  Dig? You’ll see.

Continue reading Blues Lick #4: “You Gimme the Run-around”