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Piano Facts

  • Classical Piano Lessons versus Pop Piano Lessons

    Thereís only two kinds of music. No, not Country and Western. Itís Classical and Pop. Whatís pop? Everything except classical (and ethnic). Pop includes blues, rock, jazz, show tunes, standards, country, gospel...literally everything...except classical.

    Classical piano teachers are abundant and have structured teaching methods. Pop teachers (good ones) are much harder to find. And they are much more in demand. Here are some direct contrasts between the two.

    Features OF Classical Studies And Features Of Pop Piano Studies

    • Learn by reading notation Learn by listening to examples
    • Sequential, step by step learning process Non-linear learning process
    • Obsessed with precision Allows latitude
    • Demands discipline Encourages creativity
    • Student progresses at teacher's convenience Student progresses at his own convenience
    • Printed page driven Recorded music driven
    • Work Work Work Fun Fun Fun
  • Arpeggios

    Want to have a little fun with arpeggios? Check this out. An arpeggio, by definition, is merely a chord thatís played one note at a time. A G7 chord is comprised of the notes G - B - D - F. Play these notes one at a time in succession, and you get a G7 arpeggio. Itís that simple.

    So what do you do with these arpeggios? Piano players use them often, in many different circumstances. Try this.

    Play the lowest G on the piano and then play the rest of the notes in the G7 chord (G - B - D - F) with the left hand. Repeat what you just played with the right hand in the next highest octave.

    Then cross the left hand over the right and repeat the G7 arpeggio in the next octave. And so on.

    Starting with the lowest possible G on a full 88 note keyboard, you should be able to play no fewer than six complete G7 arpeggios.

    Practice this until you can play this six octave arpeggio pattern rather quickly, smoothly, and without mistakes.

    Know what you have there? Itís an arpeggio you can use as an introduction for ANY SONG IN THE KEY OF C.

    This is an example of a little trick used by all professional piano players. Allow yourself to try this as an intro to any tune in the key of C. Amaze your friends by your ability to play this ďcomplicatedĒ trick without sheet music.

    Weíll look at some more tricks we can do with arpeggios next time.

  • Arpeggios, part 2

    Last time we looked at using a G7 arpeggio as an introduction to any song in the key of C. But what about the other keys?

    Each key has its own special chord to use as an intro chord. To find it locate the note a fifth above your key note. The distance of a fifth is the first five notes of a major scale. The G(7) chord is used as the intro chord for the key of C because itís a fifth (five scale tones) above the C. The table below will complete the list.

    If the Song is in This Key Use This Chord as an Intro Arpeggio
    C G7
    Db Ab7
    D A7
    Eb Bb7
    E B7
    F C7
    Gb Db7
    G D7
    Ab Eb7
    A E7
    Bb F7
    B F#7

    Now you have an arpeggio intro for any key. Practice these arpeggios. Extra: The fifth is a very important concept in music. You would do well to memorize the fifth of each key (in other words, memorize this table). We will see this fifth concept again.

See Also:

Piano Keys
Piano History
Piano Tuning
Piano Strings

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