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Dissect your basic playing for me please?


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I'm still trying to learn keyboard without a teacher (there aren't any here). I have another question which I would be very grateful for advice on; simple task - moving Cmaj triads up the keyboard - root, 1st inversion, 2nd inversion, root (+8va), etc etc.


Can I ask when you learnt, did you let your finger on the middle note of each, linger just a touch to help position the next triad up? (Sort of ease your thumb onto the key before moving the middle-note finger away?)


Or, did you pick your hand up completely and replace it in the new position? (When I do this without looking, I miss quite a bit).


Of course, this question is for playing without looking at the keys at all.


Thanks as always (It's hard without a teacher sometimes)

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Patrick, It is good to see you are still hammering away at this. I had to go to the piano for this question. If I play as you have requested I lift my hand and replace it.


However if I do what naturally feels comfortable to me, i.e. my playing style. I will add the 7th to the chord and break the chord down playing two or three fingers and use the rest of the chord as a transition to the next inversion.


Hope that helps.


To get the notes right every time is repetion. Boring but worthwhile.



Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others. Groucho




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Originally posted by BluesKeys:

To get the notes right every time is repetion. Boring but worthwhile.

I agree with this. It really depends on what two chords you're moving between and what position the hand takes from one chord to the next. My advice is to not simply learn triads, but invest some time to learn inversions. It takes more thought at first, but in the long run, it cuts down on the repetition time because it's easier for the hand to move from one chord to the next...
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Plus knowing the inversions can make the chordal changes flow better and more melodically. You might have a I-iii-IV-V progression, where the chords go up, but have the top note go down.


Learn all the inversions and alterations you can. Lends more interest and creativity to the background comping.

"In the beginning, Adam had the blues, 'cause he was lonesome.

So God helped him and created woman.


Now everybody's got the blues."


Willie Dixon






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Plus the general rule of thumb to move as little as possible when voiceing a chord progression makes it necessary to have learnt the different inversions... nothing gives away a non-ackomplished player as much as when they play triad after triad in root position..(that is, apart from playing unintentional notes out of sync with the music lol.)


Tonica (T) Tonica-paralel (Tp), Subdominant-pararel (Sdp) and Dominant (D) in the key of C would be voiced CEG, ACE, DFA, GBD instead of a far more "economical voicing" of CEG, CEA, DFA, DGB (as an example) .....


So I wholeheartedly agree.. learn the inversions.. and the more colourful the chords, the more necessary it becomes to be fluent in inversions, I.E, when you start looking at chord progressions with more "add on" notes... Dm7, G7b9, Cmajor7 (II V I) as an easy example...

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hawkan2580: I'm not familiar with the terms you use above, can you elaborate a bit on this?


On the one hand, you're clearly talking about the vi, ii and V. But whenever I hear a concept that I understand described by words that I don't, I assume that there are things I don't know about. :D


Anything you could share would be appreciated!



Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.


My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/


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"My advice is to not simply learn triads, but invest some time to learn inversions"


Thats what I'm trying to do - all the inversions. But as I go up the keyboard unless I look I find it hard to hit the correct bottom note of each inversion. Hence my (real) question, do you leave/linger your middle note finger so the thumb can find it ready for the next inversion. I think Blueskeys said it; REPETITION.. but I'm curious how the movement is taught by a teacher and thus how you remembered learning.

Again I thank you for your insights - they really help!

Bear in mind I'm just slowly progressing through the Alfred's Adult piano series - at this point they want me to play the ascending inversions of the Cmaj triad, one after the other, fairly quickly. (The song is that Aloha OE thing from Hawaii for those who know it). Easy if I look, much harder if I don't!

Again, thanks for all the help.

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oh.. those words are what is often used in classical music theory ala bach when talking about chords...... another way of naming chords and their relations to eachother... So if we are talking the key of C for example....

Root chord © is called Tonica...

The minor counter part to C is Am and that is called Tonica paralel....(or Tp for short)..*note: A major chords minor pararel is always a minor third down*.

The F is called Subdominant (always the major scales 4th from the root) and F's minor counterpart Dm (again.. F paralel is a minor 3rd down and minor since F is a major chord) would then be Subdominant paralel (SdP)

G is the Dominant to C (not sure how to explain it but believe me, that is what it is called..listen to a 12 bar blues.. The Subdominant is "weaker" then the Dominan and it is very evident in a 12 bar blues LOL) The Dominant is always the 5th note from the root in a major scale...

The method of numbering the chords is a fairly modern version of pretty much the same thinking... I use both the above version and the numberered version. Each has a strength and weakness... naming chords with numbers don't really tell much about the Relationship between the chords in the same way as the above version but both methods are obviously a great help when transposing on the fly....

When looking at Baroque classical music... they had rules of what chords could and should be included in a tune... and they referred to the relationships between the chords with the above method ...


So by learning this system as well as the numbered system, you can instantly transpose most pop-rock songs as they largely are built around the same "rules" as Bach used...(and more complex songs.. downfall of the above system is that it only goes to a certain extent.. but say that you wanted someone to play a C (T) in 3rd inversion.. you would write T3... or the common.. F, C/E, G/D, C progression would be written if you wanted a certain voiceing.. SD5 T3 D5 T the numbers represent what inversion and is the bottom note when building the triad.


Study example... Diana. (you know the.. "pleeeeaaase stay with me... Diana." one).... horrific song but servers as a good example... T, Tp, Sd, D.. in C... C Am F G... and if we transposed it to say.. Ab.. Ab Fm (minor 3rd down from Ab)... Db (4th note in the major scale of Ab) and Eb (5th note in the major scale of Ab)....


Looks way more complicated then what it is... don't know if it is just me but I find it very useful and quick... especially if I want to communicate and have people reading chord charts where the Key of the song is not determined and they are fluent in this system... I would literarly just write out .... T Sp D, Dp Sdp D... etc etc.. it then don't matter what key it turns out to be.. no rewriting of chords to do.. and it does help when transposing.. it is quicker to be thinking in terms of relationship between the chords you are playing then thinking: Lets see, original key is C.. and we are now playing in D#.. So the F in the old key must now be.. hmmmm.... hmmm...wait.. almost there.... G#.... I rather think in Tonica - Subdominant... (or in this particular example.. I - IV... as I said, I use both systems and I'm equally fluent in both. ...the Word system is better when you want specific voicings and is stronger in its harmonic relationship and the number system is giving more "freedom"...


Not sure if I made much sense.. this was all learnt in Swedish a million years ago LOL...

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