Category Archives: How to Study-Practice

Piano Technique: Mental or Physical?

Practice and Exercise are two different behaviors with two very different goals:

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Chord Progressions: i-V7-i Theory & Ear Training

Study the i-V7-i Chord Progression (the minor counterpart of the major I-V-I) and you will understand the harmonic tension and release formula that makes an incredible amount of music tick…

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Chord Progressions: I-V7-I Theory & Ear Training

Study the I-V7-I Chord Progression and you will understand the harmonic tension and release formula that makes an incredible amount of music tick…

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Chord Progressions: Roman Numeral Analysis

Harmonic literacy goes beyond knowing the letter name and type of chord being played to understanding how a chord functions in a particulate context. To that end, a common practice for describing chords in functional harmonic terms is to use … Continue reading

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Chord Progressions: Why Study Chord Progressions?

A Chord Progression is a sequence of chords that achieve a larger-scale harmonic purpose than can be achieved by a single chord alone. These purposes include establishing a key center and tonality, building harmonic tension, releasing harmonic tension, creating a sense … Continue reading

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Chords: Melody & Harmony

In order to illustrate how critically-important chords are in music-making, consider this gallery of famous pieces (with chord tones circled)… and notice two things:

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Chords: Why Study Chords?

Chord study, done right, is essential to understanding how an enormous amount of music works. If you study-practice chords the right way, you will…

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Scales: C Japanese Scale

Compare the Japanese Scale to the C Middle Eastern Scale. Notice the dramatic effect of removing two notes: E (Mi) and B (Ti), creating a whole new flavor that is instantly recognized as Japanese!

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Scales: C Middle Eastern Scale

Here’s a delicious-sounding scale from the middle east. I really don’t know what to call it, so let’s call it the Middle Eastern Scale. Compare it to the C Major Scale and notice the dramatic effect created by changing two … Continue reading

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Scales: C Major Blues

The Major Blues Scale is the lesser known cousin of the minor blues scale. Sometimes called the Jazz Blues Scale, it has a more majorish, jazzier quality than the minor blues. Check it out…

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