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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 on April 15, 2021:  The video lesson below is from my  blog archives, originally produced in 2014.

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 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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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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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

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How to improvise in modal jazz: “So What” by Miles Davis

Attention!

The following post is not just for jazz players!


It seems to me that contemporary modal improv, which had its jazz  birth in the late 1950’s, was a huge influence on the increasingly improvisational rock of the 1960’s, (even when players might not have consciously realized it!), and has never stopped being at the heart of so many great pop/rock/jazz solos until this very day.

This is a brief introduction to the idea of “modal jazz.”  We’re going to look at probably the most famous example of modal jazz, a tune called “So What,” by Miles Davis and Bill Evans.

We’re looking at this piece because (1) it was part of a ground-breaking approach to jazz improvisation and composition when it came out, and it’s still definitive of the modal jazz genre (maybe the definitive  recording?) (2) because “So What” is the best-known track on one of top-selling jazz albums of all time, “Kind of Blue.”

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How to Find Your Way Across the Piano Keyboard Landscape

Here’s a musical overview of your piano keyboard, along with helpful hints for remembering the letter-names of the keys.

 

Linus the Jazz Cat
Linus the Jazz Cat

 

SHEET MUSIC WITH LETTERS 

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

Rootless Left-Hand Chord Voicings for Piano – ‘Type A’

“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 A)