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Trick to Learning and Playing RH Chords

Now that I have your attention – there really is NO TRICK!

  • Was there a trick to learning to read your notes on the staff? YES – you learned the notes on the Lines then the Spaces.
  • Was there a trick to playing clean and fast? YES – you practiced scales, speed drills, Hanon exercises, and worked for “evenly” articulated sections until perfected.
  • Was there a trick to learning a solo by memory? YES – you worked by sections and built each part from the “Bass & Chord” structure upward to the chords – then the melody!
  • SOOO is there a trick to learning to play chords? YES – you learn the notes within the chords for EACH KEY SIGNATURE – with minimum movement of your hand position by starting with playing chords only to simple 3 chord songs.

I have a student that wants to play along with a vocalist – so this is dedicated to YOU – STEVE. AND of course like any other student – he wants to be able to do this NOW – and wants to start with some pretty hard key signature songs….SOOO here is how I am showing him to do it.

  1. Find the song on http://www.YouTube.com by various artists and LISTEN to the movement of the chords and the instrumental accompaniment (embellishments and rhythmic patterns)
  2. Find the LYRICS ONLY to the song through a search engine on the Internet – and the chords with be cued above the words and establish the Key and practice the line for that key – using this Chart – Chord Positions All Keys
  3. Find the lead line or piano sheet music for the song that has the chords cued and practice moving between the chords – by JUST HOLDING THE CHORDS.
  4. ONCE the chords are learned – now start to do something with the chords – Like Blocking them rhythmically, Rocking them, Rolling them – see these links for more ideas.

See LINK – 10 Rules for Playing Chords only for accompanying a vocalist

Now – let’s start: Those Were the Day Key of Bb (Gm)

Start by learning JUST THE CHORDS – Key of Gm – Put 5th finger on G – and find all these chords – with the noted fingering (triads or 3 notes are played for these chords)

  • Gm – Spelled – GBbD – Play (5G 2D 1Bb)
  • G7 – Spelled – GBDF – Play – (4F 2D 1B) always include the 7th note
  • Cm – Spelled – CEbG – Play – (5G 3Eb 1C)
  • A7 – Spelled – AC#EG – Play – (5G 3E 1C#) always include the 7th note
  • D7 – Spelled – DF#AC – Play (4F# 2D 1C) always include the 7th note
  • FM – Spelled – FAC – Play (5A 3F 1C)
  • F7 – Spelled – FACE – Play (5A 2E 1C) always include the 7th note
  • A#(BbM) – Spelled – BbDF – Play (4F 2F 1Bb)

NOW Find the Gm chord and hold it. Then move to next chord – G7, then move to Cm etc. You will start to see that there is usually one note that is common between each chord or the chord only moves one note up or down!

Once upon a time, there was a tavern
G7                                Cm
Where we used to raise a glass or two
Remember how we laughed away the hours,
A7                                    D7
Think of all the great things we would do

Those were the days, my friend
We thought they'd never end
              F        F7         A#
We'd sing and dance forever and a day
We'd live the life we'd choose
We'd fight and never lose
            D7                         Gm
For we were young and sure to have our way

D7       Gm
La La La La La La La La
La La La La La La
      D7                   Gm
La La La La La La La La La La

After you have mastered MOVING between the chords – Now look at the exercises above for Blocking, Rocking, & Rolling the chords.

CHEAT – here is the entire song in the key of Gm. – Link – Those Were The Days Solo Gm