To start your journey from Classical piano to Blues & Jazz piano you need to understand chords. Chords are the foundation of Blues & Jazz in my eyes so you need to understand chords. Let’s start at the beginning..below in this video you will learn what a basic Triad is and the chords – Triads – that come from the C major scale PLUS 5 common chord patterns. This will all help you start your journey to blues and jazz piano.
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Major and Minor Triad – The basic chord is known as the triad which is a set of three notes (or ‘pitches’) stacked vertically in thirds.
Inversions – Major and Minor Inversions with Triads.
There are 3 ways to play a triad on the piano. I have written them out below. Many people ask me;
Q. What is an inversion/s ? A. Inversions are another way to play the same chord and gives the chord a different sound. I will explain this in more detail in future lessons.
Notice: Take the bottom note (your thumb) and play that note up the octave for each new inversion. You can do this all the way up the piano.
PROGRESSIONS – Common chords progressions (patterns).
How to play some rock songs on the piano.
So why learn about chords? To start your classical to blues and jazz journey you need to learn about chords. Unless you are playing free atonal music, songs use chords. Some songs use one chord, other songs use a few chords and others song use many chords with many key changes. So it’s fair to say that if you want to play rock, blues and jazz on the piano chords are where to start. As these genres all use chords. So to start you off I have written down a few common progressions (patterns) to get you going.
To start with let’s look at the chords from the C major scale below.
Diatonic chords in C (root position).
Here are all the triads that are in the key of C notice all are number 1 to 7.
Below are 5 common chord patterns written in root position for the right hand on the piano. I have picked certain numbers from the above 7 triads in C and shown you 5 common patterns many rock songs use. Please note that all the examples are in 4/4. Check them out!
How to play some rock songs – 5 Common chord progressions (patterns).
Cool heh! PLEASE NOTE: that the video only has 4 of the examples.
I put in the 5th progression – II – IV – VI – V – here for another option.
Playing these rock songs with the left hand.
Here I’ve picked the two most popular chord progressions and showed you two different ways to play them on the piano. You can vary these as you want with all the progressions.
Can you name any songs the two progressions above remind you of ? If so please leave me a comment below. The more songs we know that use these progressions the better we all sound. 😉
The next video/pdf will show you how to play these songs with more complicated rhythms and I will also show you how to write your own song… thats right… write your own track!
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Thanks and I hope this has helped you out.
Take it easy,