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The Amazing Tetrachord: How to Instantly Visualize Any Major Scale

How to “Permanently Learn” Every Major Scale using the Major Tetrachord

UPDATED: July 20, 2021.

I’ve had lots of happy feedback about this lesson, ever since I first posted it on YouTube.  People are basically saying that this is the easiest way they have found to learn the notes of all twelve major scales, quickly and painlessly.  I learned about tetrachords in my college theory classes, and I have found them to be a little-known “secret” for organizing one’s thoughts about scales and modes.  Let me know what you think!

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How to Play Difficult Chords on Piano or Keyboards

How to Deal with ‘Over-Crowding’ of Your Fingers when dealing with Awkward Chords

Today’s post is taken from an online exchange between a YouTube follower of mine, and myself, regarding a question he had posted on one of my YouTube tutorials.  The topic of discussion here is playing certain difficult chord-shapes on piano

Continue reading How to Play Difficult Chords on Piano or Keyboards

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Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale

A Powerful Tip for Blues, Jazz, and Rock Improvisers

Good day!

Today’s post is about using the first four notes of a blues scale as a moveable pattern, with many ear-catching possibilities that can fire up your solos in unexpected ways.

This “rock-bottom four” pattern, starting on any given note, can produce a wide variety of bluesy, funky, and jazzy sounds, when used in a context of your careful choosing, guided by your ear as the final judge.

This is a slide show, which is a common format that I use on my Instagram page, @piano_w_kent.

I have discovered that these types of posts seem to work well on my Instagram page, so I’m going to start featuring these here, too.


Continue reading Jazz/Rock/Blues Soloing Tip: Using the ‘Rock-Bottom Four’ of the Blues Scale

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Larger Print ‘Prelude No. 7’ (A-Major) by Chopin | Sheet Music Download | Includes Note-Name Labels | PDF

Chopin Prelude #7 in A-Major | Exclusive Sheet Music for Solo Piano | Includes Note Names (Letters)

Complete and Unabridged!

  • Meticulously engraved and annotated by Kent D. Smith, professional musician and music instructor, and founder of Piano With Kent.

  • Each note is labeled with its musically accurate letter-name, such as F, Bb, C, G#.

  • One downloadable, printable PDF file – Two (2) pages.

  • Your download link is returned to your screen (on this site), immediately upon purchase. Your same private download link is also sent to you by email (using the email address that you used for your purchase.)*

Ideal for the former piano student returning to piano after some time, but with no access to a teacher.

Also helpful for:

  • Those who play mostly by ear, and who know the basics of the 7-letter musical alphabet (note-names).

  • Any student or musician with a reading or learning difficulty that may affect the processes of learning to read sheet music notation.

  • Attention please:  Formal music students who are actively taking piano lessons, with a focus on reading sheet music, absolutely should be guided by your teacher, as regards playing piano from sheet music with note-names added.

Chopin Prelude 7 in A-Major With Letters | Includes Larger Notes | Standard PDF Sheet Music | Note-Names Included

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How To Memorize Music: The Rule of ‘Three Times Right’ for Memorizing Any Task

Piano with Kent Hero Image How to Memorize Music
Learn the rule of THREE TIMES RIGHT and be a GREAT MEMORIZER!

How to memorize music with certainty?

Today, I want to share a very simple technique for being confident that you have memorized a section of music. This works for many similar things, such as an actor memorizing lines.

Continue reading How To Memorize Music: The Rule of ‘Three Times Right’ for Memorizing Any Task

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Learn all 12 Major & all 12 Maj7 Chords by Pattern (not by rote)

<- Back to the Chords 108 Main Course Page

Welcome back!

Today we’ll learn the unique 3-letter formula the applies to every standard Major and Major Seventh Chord.

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!

Description: Learn how to immediately call up the notes to any of the twelve major chords — without having to rely on rote memory.  This lesson applies to all twelve major seventh chords as well.

Video Lesson:

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Chord Symbols: add2 or add9? (includes my video on using added ninth to chords)

Hi Everyone!

I recently received a question today (on my YouTube channel), an excellent one, the topic of which is subject to debate.  The question is in response to one of my videos about using add9 chords on piano.  (A link to the video is included below.)

I thought I would share the thread here:

VIEWER: Isn’t the D in Cadd9 supposed to be an octave higher? I guess I’m just confused as to why it isn’t Add2 instead.

Continue reading Chord Symbols: add2 or add9? (includes my video on using added ninth to chords)

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Chord Voicings for Jazz Piano (Rootless, Left-Hand, Type B)

“Type B” Rootless Chord Voicings for Piano

“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. Continue reading Chord Voicings for Jazz Piano (Rootless, Left-Hand, Type B)

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Blues Piano Crash Course #8: Blue Notes & Pitch-Bending

from The Blues Piano Crash Course

Lesson #8  (video)

In this lesson, we master a couple of specific blues piano tricks of the trade.  I’m using the word specific here, because we’re going to use these devices with a goal in mind, a musical effect that is pretty specific.

The “tricks” in this video are focused on emulating those sounds of blues singers and other instruments who can bend their notes (slide or play between pitches).  You’ll learn about “blue notes,” and also pick up a blues-boogie playing technique called the slide-off.

Continue reading Blues Piano Crash Course #8: Blue Notes & Pitch-Bending