Most Frequently Asked Question

A modern Western worship team leading a contem...Image via Wikipedia
 Music, by its nature, is not a competitive endeavor. However, in our culture competition has become a defining factor in determining how high along the music ladder a performer or ensemble climbs. Whether the musician applies to a competition, auditions for an opening group, or performs with a combo in a contest, he or she is bound to get caught up in this ever-present quest to do better than other musicians. 

I have met serious college students whose pursuits were primarily focused on academics, with the exception of extra-curricular performances which kept their musical techniques sharp. Other musician friends had won competitions and that victory had provided them with opportunities to jam with some other great musicians.

Through piano competitions, many will say that winning the competition wasn't to shine the spotlight on themselves, but that it was more about opportunities and doors that winning could open.
After winning a music scholarship back in my high school days, I found for myself,the same perspective to be true that I have heard from so many others. Winning any type of music competition gives you an incredible opportunity to learn at the side of great master musicians.

I think with humility and maturity the attitude comes through about the fact that we are always learning so in that sense when we jam with other musicians, it's not that we feel like we're the leader of the band or group or worship team but that we're part of a collaborative effort.

In my experiences through the many years of playing the keys with many worship teams, I found the other musicians were many years ahead of me but I loved the experience of playing with other musicians because it helped me to grow musically.

I've been teaching piano to children and adults for over fifteen years now. My respect for teaching is based upon my belief that it is not necessarily the best players who make the best instructors, but that teaching itself is an art form which takes a deep understanding of how to translate the information one knows in an efficient and effective way.

To all my dear readers, I thank you for your many letters and notes. Although I can not  answer each and every one, I would say that the number one question I am asked is "Where can I get chord charts (for free) to Christian Contemporary Worship songs?" I really don't mind questions, so please, continue to ask away and I'll try to post answers to the best of my ability.

Here is a great reference that I use:
I Will Worship.com

When you arrive at this incredible site, type in the search box Chris Tomlin, for example, and then click artist.... watch how many chord charts will be listed... Eureka! You have found a gold mine from one of my favorite artists. Plus, another great thing is that some songs are listed in different keys which is always nice for those who are new at modulating.

Well, I hope you will return to this post and leave me a comment on your favorite artist and what chord chart you will be using for your personal piano practice and for sharing with your worship team practice... Happy Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by.

I hope you enjoy your stay at LadyD Piano.
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Learn To Play Latin Jazz

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 31:  Musician Chucho...Image by Getty Images via Daylife
So many free resources on how to play latin jazz!

Chord Charts - Mike Prigodich
 http://www.mikeprigodich.com/chord-charts

Latin Sheet Music
http://www.latinsheetmusic.com/latinjazz.html

Free Jazz Sheet Music Links
http://www.freesheetmusic.net/Jazz1.html

 One of my favorite songs to play is the Girl from Ipanema. I enjoy Diana Krall's arrangement and so many others. Are you familiar with the song? I would love to hear from you on your experiences of practicing latin jazz.

Chords to Girl From Ipanema:

FMaj9 - FACEG

Gb7b5 - GbBbCE

F6 - FACD

G9 - GBDFA

Gm7 - GBbDF

C7 - CEGBb

FMaj7 - FACE

Gb7 - GbBbDbE

G13 - G/FACE

GbMaj7 - GbBbDbF

B7 - BEbGbA

Gbm9 - GbADbEAb

D9 - DGbACE

Eb9 - EbGBbDbF

Am7 - ACEG

D7 - DF#AC

G7 - GBDF

Gb9 - GbBbDbEAb

Latin Jazz Tutorials:

Latin Jazz Salsa Style Gospel Chords

  

http://GospelMusicians.com 

Piano man teaching on how to end Latin jazz style songs. Learn gospel chords jazz chords and so much more!!

Am-Dm-G-E-Am


 

 www.anointedmusicians.org
http://www.latinjazznet.com

Here's one more tutorial on Blue Bossa Latin Groove
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D63odAop0kg

And more piano tutorials:
http://www.drjassmusic.com/

Thanks for stopping by.
I hope you enjoy your stay at LadyD Piano.

Warmest Regards,
LadyD
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Teaching The Two-Sided Tritone

Tritone substitution: F#7 may substitute for C...Image via Wikipedia
Teaching piano lessons also includes understanding the tritone. Many keyboardists are comfortable with simple triads and seventh chords. Others find it difficult when it comes to more sophisticated, jazzy harmony in contemporary music. Where do these sounds come from and how can they be used? Here's a way to think about these sounds and a simple technique you can use to spruce up any harmony with them.


Let's begin with one of the most basic chord progressions in both pop and classical music: V7 - I. In the Key of F, this would represent a C7 chord moving to an F chord. Are you familiar with this progression? There is no question that it "works." Many people are not aware of why it "works." The answer is "voice-leading." The notes of the C7 chord move smoothly to the notes of the F chord.


The two notes in the C7 chord which form the interval of a tritone: Bb and E.


The tritone is a very jazzy but unstable interval, and in the C7 - F progression, it finds stability by moving outward - the Bb down to A (the third in the F chord), and the E up to F. This resolution is pleasing, and it gives the progression a strength and inevitability. (BbE to FA)


The same two notes, called by the names A# and E, occur in the F#7 chord, which is the V7 of B. Here, the notes of the tritone move inward to find their resolution in the notes of the B chord. 
(A#E to BD#)


The fact that our tritone interval can lead strongly in either direction makes possible the art of chord substitution; contemporary players often substitute the F# for C7 and vice versa. (These chords lie opposite each other on the "circle of fifths."


Musicians can make use of the two-sided tritone to add new flavors to old chord progressions. Suppose you were faced with the progression F#7 to B7. Remember, that interval of A# and E can move outward as well as inward. Here the base line moves from F# to B, but the tritone in the right hand acts as if we were playing C7 to F. We have purposely confused the harmonic movement, taking advantage  of the vagueness of the tritone. (F#/ A#E to B/ AF)


Try playing a whole circle of fifths, using this concept. If you keep in  mind the idea that each hand is capable of "voice-leading" in its own direction. the result can be refreshing and quite beautiful. To start off, here is a sample using C7 - F7 - Bb7 :
C/BbE to B/AEbF then Bb/AbDG

Piano Lessons - Learn Tritones Phatten Up Your Gospel Chords - GospelMusicians.com




On teaching piano lessons for intermediate and advanced players, I have found this great music dvd piano instruction on tritones.
 



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Learn to Play El Shaddai by Michael Card and John Thompson

Age to Age album coverImage via Wikipedia
I have decided to share your requests here in my blog posts because of numerous requests for chord charts to specific songs or similar questions on music theory. One particular favorite requested song dates back to 1981. Remember El Shaddai when Amy Grant sang it?
* El Shaddai Chord Chart
El Shaddai
John W. Thompson, Michael Card

Key: Dm
Chorus:
       Dm          G/B
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
      C         F
El Elyonna Adonai,
        Bb                   E7/G#
age to age you're still the same,
         Am   G/B    A/C#
by the power of the name.
       Dm          G7/B
El Shaddai, El Shaddai,
      C       F
erkamkana Adonai,
          Bb            Dm7/A  G
we will praise and lift you high,
Gsus    C
El Shaddai.


Verse 1:
              Dm                   G
Through your love and through the ram,
               C          F(add9)
you saved the son of Abraham,
             Bb            E7
through the power of your hand
                Am   G/B     A/C#
you turned the sea into dry land.
         Dm             G
To the outcast on her knees
    G7/B      C       Cma7    F
you were the God who really sees,
    Bb                 G                 C   Csus C
and by your might you set your children free.


Verse 2:
             Dm                 G
Through the years you made it clear
          C                  F
that the time of Christ was near,
            Bb              E7
though the people couldn't see
        Am    G/B     A/C#
what Messiah ought to be.
             Dm                 G
Though your Word contained the plan,
            C              F
they just could not understand,
          Bb                G           Bb/F              G
your most awesome work was done in the frailty of your Son

El Shaddai - Instrumental


Beautiful song!
All the Best,
LadyD
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Learn To Play By Ear: God Will Make A Way by Don Moen

Happy Valentine's Day to all my readers!

 
Chord Chart to God Will Make A Way

G               D
God will make a way
           C              G
When there seems to be no way.
   C                 G        Em
He works in ways, we cannot see,
C              D
He will make a way for me.

G             D
He will be my guide, 
        C              G
Hold me closely to His side.
     C                      G         Em
With love and strength, for each new day,
C              D
He will make a way, 
C              G
He will make a way.

(Repeat)

Eb                  F             Eb    Bb
By a roadway in the wilderness he leads me.
Eb            F             G
Rivers in the desert will I see.
C                     D
Heaven and earth will fade,
        Bm              Em
But His word will still remain.
C          D             E
He will do something new today!

G               D
God will make a way
           C              G
When there seems to be no way.
   C                 G        Em
He works in ways, we cannot see,
C              D
He will make a way for me.

G             D
He will be my guide, 
        C              G
Hold me closely to His side.
     C                      G         Em
With love and strength, for each new day,
C              D
He will make a way, 
C              G
He will make a way.

     C                      G         Em
With love and strength, for each new day,
C              D
He will make a way, 
C              G
He will make a way.
http://www.cse.msu.edu/~rossarun/songs_chords.htm
4 Video Instructions for playing by ear learning God Will Make A Way
1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBu0XYjS95E
2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YXfWiAfJUY (split chord- C/E )
3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqIfpWfbpO0 (left hand inversions-r.h. 2nd chords)
4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4iT_sUUvHs
* Hear and Play Digital Valentine's Sale:
Until 11:59 p.m. pacific on Sunday night (Valentine's Day)
you can get Jazz Piano 201 and Salsa Piano 201 digital
training systems for HALF OFF.
 
There's also two jazz and salsa video clips on that
page that I'm sure you'll really like. 
 
 50% Off Sale Digital Downloads 

All the best,
LadyD
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How To Accompany a Singer on the Piano

 I wanted to share a great tutorial about backing up a singer on the piano. Whether you're playing for your church or doing a gig, the tips in this video lesson are important to understand. You want to follow the singer and play some beautiful parts on the keys without playing the exact melody line he or she is singing. Plus, no loud chords of banging in the lower register. I especially like PianoFellow's input on adding ninth chords such as C2, F2, and G2. Enjoy hearing his style of worship and blues behind a singer. Visit his website for more information:
http://www.thepianobyear.com


In this video PianoFellow will show you HOW to accompany someone who
is singing.  It's a quick video that's detailed yet simple... good instructional video.
 


All the best,
LadyD
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Miking The Drums

There is no great trick to making a set of drums sound like a well-tuned, punchy, solid drum set. Properly well-tuned, well-played drums coupled with good songwriting and solid engineering will always record the best. 
Miking The Kick:

The best way to find the perfect spot is to listen in the control room while your assistant moves the microphone around. As the drummer plays the kick drum, you listen for the sweet spot - you will know it when you hear it. When you hear it, tell the assistant to stop. that is the best starting point.
For a heavier rock sound, you might put the microphone a few inches from the inner head, then baffle off the kick drum. For a more jazzy sound, you might leave the front bass drum head on, then place the microphone a short distance from the front head in a more open environment. Don't underestimate the importance of a good kick drum sound. It carries the downbeat of the music. This is what people dance to.

Miking The Snare Drum:

A loud snare drum's high transients mean that a dynamic microphone may work best. Start by aiming the microphone across the drum head toward the center of the drum where the stick meets the head. Keep the microphone about an inch above the rim. Maybe aim the microphone off center to eliminate some of the click and to coax more of the tonality from the drum. Listen and move the microphone to suit your needs. Aim the snare microphone off-axis to the high-hat to minimize leakage.

Miking The Tom-Toms:

Dynamic microphones work well on close-miked tom-toms where the player hits hard. Condenser microphones sound good on less aggressive styles, as they capture the player's rich subtleties and dynamics. Close-miked condensers may overload.
If possible, use the largest capsule microphones on the lowest tom-toms. Pull the microphones back some to capture resonance from the tom-toms that may be lost with close-miking. The farther away they are, the more the rest of the drums affect the sound, picking up more of the bulk of the drum. The tom-toms won't lose as much low resonance through the floor.
Lower the ringing in the toms by tossing a handful of cotton balls inside the toms. Ringing decreases depending on how many balls are tossed in. Even properly tuned toms can ring out. Try hanging the drummer's stick bag off of the side of the floor tom to reduce rattle.

Tips I've learned from drummer friends and sound teams along the way, to share with you that great sounds can be gotten with a few microphones!

Great resources I have recommended to my drummer:

Play Drums by Ear





All the best,
LadyD

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Another Seventh Chord!

Upright piano from ca. 1900 (A. Jaschinsky) , ...Image via Wikipedia
I found  a few piano tutorials on seventh chords online. Here's a few good ones:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLoxE6je7kc


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut6r4JRumHs 


We've discussed Major Seventh chords before and how they're built. The second type of seventh chord is called Dominant seventh because it's naturally formed as an extension of the V chord. (The I chord is known as the Tonic, and the V chord is known as the Dominant. So the type of Seventh Chord that occurs on the V is called a Dominant Seventh.) The V often moves to the I. The Dominant Seventh makes that movement even stronger.


G7 to C or G/BDF to CG/CE


The strength of the movement is a result of the strong voice leading that takes place: the seventh of the G7 (F) moves down to thw third of the C chord (E), while the third of the G7 (B) moves up to the root of the C chord (C).


GBDF to E,  GBDF to C and BF/CE


You've probably noticed that the Dominant Seventh interval is one half step shorter than the Major Seventh.


C to B = Maj.7 and C to Bb = Dom.7


To build a Dominant seventh chord, simply construct a major triad (2 steps + 1 1/2 steps) and add a minor third (1 1/2 steps) on top:


C to E =2, E to G =1 1/2, G to Bb =1 1/2 ... so, CEGBb


For practice, form and play Dominant Seventh chords (indicated by the symbol 7, as in C7) on the following roots:


F,  D,  Bb,  G,  Eb,  C, Ab, E, Db, A, B, F#



Free Chord Charts:
http://www.may-studio-music-lessons.com/piano-chords-chart2.html

Isn't she cute?!! Love it!



O.k. musicians, now it's time for the Super Bowl! Hope you're team wins and keep playing the blues!
~ LadyD

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Four Videos for Free on Playing Piano By Ear (and More)

(de) Klavier, Tastatur; (en) piano, keys.Image via Wikipedia


Jermaine Griggs, the founder of http://www.hearandplay.com is reintroducing his great music resource offers, that is piano dvds, once again. I wrote a post awhile back on these excellent resources and if you missed it, here it is again:
http://ladydpiano.blogspot.com/2009/11/musician-transformation-collection.html

You can also see Jermaine and Sarah Grigg's new addition. Stop by his blog:
http://www.hearandplay.com/main/

VIDEO LESSON #1 - “Finding the key to any song”
If you ask any ear-musician, this skill will be at the center
If you can’t determine what key a song is being performed in just by listening, you’ll have many problems down the road (at least when it comes to playing by EAR in situations where you need to “think on your feet.”)
This is the most “intuitive” of all the skills and knowledge you’ll attain. It’s not like reading sheet music where you look at the grand staff and determine what key the piece is in by the number of flats or sharps that appear at the beginning of the music.
YOU DON’T HAVE MUSIC IN FRONT OF YOU.
No reference.
Just your ear.
This video will make it plain… Note: If you really like what I talked about, I have an 80-minute course that covers finding the key to any song. You can find it here.

VIDEO LESSON #2 - “The KEY to getting to the next level in your piano”
This next lesson reveals a very important STRATEGY you MUST have as an ear-musician.
Again, if you’re reading sheet music, this probably isn’t emphasized as much… but when it comes to playing by ear, “NUMBERS” rule.
And your ability to know your numbers “inside” and “out” will determine how far you get… and how fast you get there.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check out the next lesson below. There is also a 28-pg report that goes along with it.
(You may also find my “core fundamentals” courses helpful)

VIDEO LESSON #3 - “The SECRET to playing ANY and EVERY chord you want in SECONDS”
This next lesson will take you even further…
It borrows a very familiar concept from the car industry (popularized by Henry Ford in the early 1900’s) and adapts it to music!
It’s the very next logical step in the process and you’ll get it laid out for you plainly in this video…
(there is a 14 page report included at the bottom of the video)
If this topic interests you, then you may like my “hear & play chords” series.
RESOURCE: Click here to download the free 14-pg report that goes along with this video lesson.

VIDEO LESSON #4 - “The MISSING PIECE OF THE PUZZLE to playing almost any song out there”
This last video could arguably be the MOST IMPORTANT part when it comes to learning real songs and understanding just how closely related songs are (yes… all songs follow the same general patterns and principles — this video will reveal all of this to you…)
There’s also a 12-pg report that goes along with it…
RESOURCE: Click here to download the free 12-pg report that goes along with this video lesson.
(If you’re into gospel music, GospelKeys 202 really breaks down the idea of “patterns.” 70 to 80% of songs have the same common movements in them. This course is revolutionary in that it breaks down all these patterns and covers the “how,” “what,” and “why.” Click here for more information)

Resources:
http://www.hearandplay.com/findingkey.html 

All the best,
LadyD




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