Finding Thirteenth Chords On The Keyboard

A Roland EXR-3 Arranger KeyboardImage via Wikipedia


Of all the common chords, thirteenths are the biggest - and the hardest to visualize on the keyboard. Any given type of thirteenth, for example, makes twelve different visual patterns of black and white keys, one for each root along the chromatic scale. Each pattern, of course, can be individually memorized. But such learning by rote is tedious. Here's an easier way to learn thirteenth chord patterns, a way that requires only the recognition of Major and minor thirds or the recognition of Major and minor triads.

* Major and Minor Third Recognition

White key Major thirds always enclose two black keys; white key minor thirds enclose only one. Example: Major 3rds F to A, C to E, G to B and Minor 3rds: B to D, A to C, E to G, D to F

Black key Major thirds always enclose another black key; black key minor thirds do not.
M 3rd: Gb to Bb and mi 3rd: Eb to Gb and Bb to Gb

Black and white key Major thirds always enclose two white keys; black and white key minor thirds enclose only one. M 3rds (white over black): Db to F, Ab to C, Eb to G, Bb to D. Then we have M 3rds (black over white): D to F#, A to D#, E to G#, B to D#

mi 3rds (black over white) F to Ab, C to Eb, G to Bb and (white over black) Gb to A, Db to E, Ab to B

* Thirteenth Chord Structures

Alternate letters along the musical alphabet specify chord components above the root. As the next example shows, thirteenth chords contain all seven:
1 3 5 7 9 11 13
C E G B D F A

Here's an easier way to learn thirteenth chord patterns. Just spot the Major and minor triads.


* The Model Thirteenth Chord Types

Among all the types of thirteenth chords, three predominate. The first type, the Major thirteenth (#11), alternates Major and minor thirds upward:
CM 13(11#) = C to E (M3), E to G (m3), G to B (M3), B to D (m3), D to F# (M3), F# to A (m3)

The second type, the minor thirteenth, alternates minor and Major thirds upward, just the reverse of the first, Cm13:
C to Eb (m3), Eb to G (M3), G to Bb (m3), Bb to D (M3), D to F (m3) and F to A (M3)

The third type, the Dominant thirteenth(#11), groups its inner thirds in orderly pairs. It encloses two successive minors then two successive Majors between its bottom Major and its top minor: Major, minor-minor, Major-Major, minor. C13 (11#):
C to e (M3), E to G (m3), G to BB (m3), Bb to D (M3), Gb to A (m3)

So the three types also look like stacked triads: Major-Major-Major, minor-minor-minor and Major-minor-Major. Altered notes produce additional types. and there's a way to find all the possible thirteenth chords types. Either position of the third (Major or minor) combines with any position of the fifth (Perfect, augmented, or diminished) to yield six types. Then, mixing in various positions of the seventh, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth multiplies the number of possible types to more than two hundred! lol


I highly recommend the 300 page course book to you. Jermaine Griggs of HearandPlay.com
has a great theory instructional book for you that you will want to have and refer to it often.

Music Theory book

All the best,
~ LadyD










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How To Transpose, Modulate and Memorize Music

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 11:  Schoolgirls Kaila ...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Have you ever tried to memorize a song? Have you ever experienced the frustration of finding that no matter how many times you played the melody, it still eluded you? One of the best ways to memorize involves transposition, or "moving" a melody from one key to the other. When you transpose, even though the notes change, the distance between them (the intervals) remain the same. First, let's look at one of the easier transpositions- up a half step- and next we'll use this as an aid in memorizing.

There are different ways to transpose. Following is one of the simplest involving cooperation between the eye and ear. This is what I share with my piano students:

1. Select a melody and get to know it by playing it a few times.
2. Then, to transpose it up a half step, play the melody while visualizing sharps being added to all the notes. For example, C would become C#. If a note already has a sharp, make it double sharp. Don't forget to change the
accidentals in the key signature, too.

Let's try this out on a song, "I've Got The Whole World on a String". Work slowly- one phrase at a time- while listening to what you're playing, letting your ear sometimes take the lead.

Example: single right hand melody notes

C, F, A, D, C, Eb, D, C, B, F, B, A, G... becomes

C#, F#, A#, D#, C#, E, D#, C#, B, F#, B, A#, G#


I found this great article called Transposition and Modulation: How To Transpose To a Different Key & Modulate Between Keys by Duane Shinn.

http://www.artiiclesauce.com/Article?Transposition-and-Modulation--How-To-Transpose-To-a-Different-Key---Modulate-Between_Keys/24805



"How do transposition and modulation relate? Are they the same? Let's take a look at both of them and see what makes them tick.

I am sure that you have had the experience sometime in your piano-playing life when someone asks you to play a song -- but in a different key than in which it is written. It might be a singer wanting you to lower the song a step so he/she doesn't screech. It might be a song leader wanting you to play a song in a more comfortable keys for a congregation or group. It might be a trumpet player looking over your shoulder and wanting to play along with you -- but when he/she plays the same note you are playing, it sure doesn't sound the same!

So....it's your job, as pianist, to get that song moved to a different key. That's transposition -- playing or writing a song in a different key than in which it was originally written.

Modulation is similar but different -- modulation means the process of getting from the old key to the new key. In other words, if I'm playing in the key of C, and then want to play in the key of Eb, I have to learn to modulate -- move smoothly from one key to another without being too abrupt and jarring."



Duane goes on to say that:

"There are basically 3 ways to transpose:

1. by intervals

2. by scale degrees

3. by solfege -- the moveable "do" system.

But since solfege applies mostly to singers, we will ignore that possibility and just take up the first two:

1. Intervals: If the new key is an interval of a minor 3rd above the old key, then all notes in the song will also be an interval of a minor 3rd higher. In other words, if you are transposing from the key of C to the key of Eb, which is a minor 3rd higher (or major 6th lower -- whichever way you want to look at it), then all melody notes will also be a minor 3rd higher:

"G" in the key of C would become "Bb" in the key of Eb. "E" in the key of C would become ":G" in the new key of Eb. "A" would become "C", "B" would become "D", and so on. All chords would also move a minor 3rd higher. The "C chord" would become the "Eb chord", the "F chord" would become the "Ab chord", and so on.

2. Scale degrees: Each key you play in has it's own scale degrees. In the key of C the scale degrees are: C=1, D=2, E=3, F=4, G=5, A=6, B=7, C=8. In the key of Eb, however, Eb=1, F=2, G=3, Ab=4, Bb=5, C=6, D=7, Eb=8. So if I want to transpose Silent Night, for example, from the key of C to the key of Eb, I need to notice what scale degrees I am using in the key of C, and then use those same scale degrees in the key of Eb. For example, Silent Night starts on the 5th degree of the scale, goes up to the 6th, back to the 5th, then down to the 3rd. In the key of C that is: G-A-G-E. But in the key of Eb it is Bb-C-Bb-G. Why? Because the scale degrees 5-6-5-3 are constant -- we just need to apply them in each key. What about chords? Same idea. If the chord progression on Silent Night is the I chord followed by the V chord, followed by the I chord, followed by the IV chord, etc. -- then in the key of C that means C-G-C-F-etc., but in the key of Eb it means Eb-Bb-Eb-Ab-etc.

Modulation means getting between keys, so let's say you are playing in the key of C, but you want to get to the key of Eb smoothly, without jarring the nerves of the listeners. There are lots of ways to do it, but the main point is that you have to get to the V7 chord of the new key. So from the key of C to the key of Eb, that means getting to Bb7. How do we do that smoothly? We look for chords with common notes. Since the V of the V of the new key would be Fm7, we have C as a common note. So we hold the C in the C chord, and move the rest of the C chord to Fm7, then Bb7, then Eb, and presto -- we are there!"

Transposition means to play a song in a different key. Over the years of having the experience to play with various worship teams, I've learned that tenor worship leaders usually select songs in their voice range that they're comfortable singing in. So we would play lots of songs in the Key of E or G. Remember that modulation is the process of getting from key to key. So, when playing some of Israel Houghton's songs, as a team we would modulate several times in just that one song. It produces a very effective, professional sound.

Thanks for taking the time to read this music theory lesson. Learn to play one song in all twelve keys... have fun learning!

~ LadyD



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Learn How To Play Gospel Music



Learn how to play gospel piano, gospel piano lessons!



Learn Gospel Songs By Ear

Learn how to play gospel piano by ear. For free gospel piano lessons visit our gospel piano site. There are lots of gospel piano courses from beginner to advance.

Musicians, check out gospel piano lessons at:

http://www.icanplaygospel.com


Ascending bass run (1-5):

Ab C Db D Eb F Gb G Ab

Descending bass run (1-5):

Ab Gb F E Eb F Gb G Ab

So, a good break down on l.h. bass walk downs can be found by the best teacher of Gospel music, Jermaine Griggs at his blog on "How to Play Uptempo Shouting Music By Ear!"

http://www.hearandplay.com/main/how-to-play-uptempo-shouting-music-by-ear


Ascending bass run (1-4):

Ab Bb B C Db F Gb G Ab

Descending bass run (1-4):

Ab Gb Eb D Db F Gb G Ab


Play Shouting Music Today!


So, what are bass runs?

"In popular music, a walking bass is a style of bass accompaniment or line, common in jazz, which creates a feeling of regular quarter note movement, akin to the regular alteration of feet while walking.

Thus walking basslines generally consisting of unsyncopated notes of equal value, usually quarter notes (known in jazz as a "four feel"). Walking basslines use a mixture of scale tones, arpeggios,chromatic runs, and passing tones to outline the chord progression of a song or tune, often with a melodic shape that alternately rises and falls in pitch over several bars.

Walking basslines are usually performed on the double bass or the electric bass, but they can also be performed using the low register of a piano, Hammond organ, or other instruments. While walking bass lines are most commonly associated with jazz and blues, they are also used in rock, rockabilly, ska, R&B, gospel, latin, country, and many other genres."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walking_bass


Another article I found regarding playing shout music can be found at:

http://www.strugglingchurchmusician.us/shouting-music


And another great resource you will want to sign up for free newsletters:

http://www.learngospelmusic.com/articles/view.php?1gmid=4


Now let's say you want to slow things down a bit. I found this cool technique online from Matthew Stephens newsletter:

http://thepianobyear.com


* Hand Technique

The tenth chord is an excellent technique you can use on your left hand. The 10th chord is basically following this:

Every major chord is made up of these three numbers 1-3-5 of the scale played simultaneously. Basically, the 10th chord is made up of these three numbers inverted and played either simultaneously or in a "roll" form.

1-5-3 (the 3 actually becomes the 10)

For example:

C D E F G A B C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1
1 2 3 4 7 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

That means that on the left hand you would play C-G-E. Now this may be rather hard for some of you. In fact, when I started playing the 10th chord I have to "roll" it until my fingers stretched out enough to play it as a chord. I have small hands...lol!

* How Do I Use The 10th Chord On Slow To Moderate Songs?

The most common way of using the 10th chord is to use the left hand on most "down" beats. It creates a wonderful full sound. Another common way to use the 10th chord is in a roll. This would mean the pianist would create the rhythm to the song playing the following numbers:

Moving up the keyboard: 1-5-3-5-1 (repeat)


Give your left hand a work out with Gospel piano bass runs!

All the best,
~ LadyD




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How To Play a Blues Scale

Player pianoImage via Wikipedia

Surfing around the web this week, I was thinking a lot about blues scales and I found an interesting article that talked about how to play a blues scale on the piano. It was rather informative and made me realize that blues scales are important. I've pasted this article below for you to check out yourself. It's a great way to begin moving your right hand with blues scales and playing chords with the left hand.

How to play a blues scale on the piano
By SuzDoyleMusic

http://www.ehow.com/how_4455659_play-blues-scale-piano.html


* PLAY THE REGULAR C Major SCALE.
On the keyboard, play notes 1 through 8, also called the letter names C, D, E, F, G, A, B and C.

* NOW PLAY THE NOTES OF THE C BLUES SCALES
Instead of C scale notes (1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and 8), play notes number 1, b3, 4, #4, 5, b7 and 8 (note names C, Eb, F, F#, G, Bb and C). Use your Thumb on the white notes and the pointer or middle finger on the black notes.

For additional information on the C,D and A Blues Scale visit:

http://ladydpiano.blogspot.com/2008/07/learn-blues-piano.html


* BONUS
Can you figure out the riffs to Smoke on the Water, Iron Man, and Indagadadavida? They all use notes of the C Blues scale (hint: They start on the C note)

* PLAY THE BLUES - C CHORD
Press and hold the C chord with your left hand, and play the C Blues scale with your right hand

* PLAY THE BLUES - F CHORD
Play the F chord in your left hand, and play the C blues scale with your right hand.

* PLAY THE BLUES - G CHORD
Play the G chord in your left hand, and play the C Blues scale with your right hand.

Tips & Warnings

The C blues scale (based on the 1 chord of the scale), also works well with the 4 chord (F), and the 5 chord (G).

Most blues songs are made out of just 3 chords (the 1, 4 and 5 chords). You can improvise and make up melodies using the blues scale built on the 1 chord, which goes nicely with all 3 chords used in the song.

Learn How To Play The Piano>



* Just for fun listen to this 2 min. video
A great old number that always seems to go down well!

Old Piano Roll Blues!




Cheers,
~ LadyD


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I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues by Elton John

LAS VEGAS - APRIL 22:  Musician Sir Elton John...Image by Getty Images via Daylife


By far, this is a great piano tutorial I found for playing Elton John's I Guess That's Why They call It The Blues.



* Chord Chart

http://www.eltonchords.com/chord_librart/iguess.txt


I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
by: Elton John, Bernie Taupin and Davey Johnstone

intro: C - Em - F

G
Don't wish it away
Em F C-F-C-F-C-F
Don't look at it like it's forever
C G
Between you and me
Bm F C-F-C-F-C-F
I could honestly say that things can only get better
C G B7 Em G/D C
And while I'm away bust out the demons inside
C G
And it won't be long before you and me run
Am F C G/B G7
To the place in our hearts where we hide

Chorus :
C G F
And I guess that's why they call it the blues
C G F
Time on my hands could be time spent with you
C G
Laughing like children
Am
Living like lovers
C F D/F#
Rolling like thunder, under the covers
F G
And I guess that's why they call it the blues

2nd verse:
G
Just stare into space
Em F C-F-C-F-C-F
Picture my face in your hands
C G
Live for each second
Bm F C-F-C-F-C-F
Without hesitation, never forget I'm your man
C G B7 Em G/D
Wait on me girl, cry in the night if it helps
C G
But more than ever I simply love you
Am F C G/B G7
More than I love life itself


Song Facts:
Elton's lyricist Bernie Taupin wrote this as a love letter to his wife at the time Toni Russo, who is the sister of the actress Rene Russo. In the album credits, Bernie wrote, "Hey Toni, this one's for you." (thanks, Jim - Dunedin, FL)

Stevie Wonder played harmonica on this track.

This song was the comeback collaboration between Elton John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin, after a few years' break.

http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=1420


* Free Sheet Music- I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

http://pianotte.szm.com/I.htm


* One of the best piano playing videos of the song:


* More of Elton John music:


ELTON JOHN - CANDLE IN THE WIND
ELTON JOHN - CROCODILE ROCK
ELTON JOHN - DANIEL

ELTON JOHN - DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME
ELTON JOHN - FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND
ELTON JOHN - I GUESS THAT`S WHY THEY CALL IT BLUES
ELTON JOHN - LEVON
ELTON JOHN - NIKITA
ELTON JOHN - ROCKET MAN
ELTON JOHN - SACRIFICE
ELTON JOHN - SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT
ELTON JOHN - SORRY SEEMS TO BE THE HARDEST WORD
ELTON JOHN - STAN
ELTON JOHN - TAKE ME TO THE PILOT
ELTON JOHN - THE LAST SONG
ELTON JOHN - TINY DANCER
ELTON JOHN - YOUR SONG

http://my-piano.blogspot.com


Have fun with the song, pretty easy to play. I love to hear the intro melody playing in thirds with the right hand. And there are some great walk downs & walk ups for the left hand.

~ LadyD



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