06 January, 2017

Chord Left

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cack-handed Rachel
The guitarist who plays left handedly has a multitude of hurdles to overcome, not least to restring a right-handed guitar to make it caggie-handed. Left handed guitars are available on the market, but can be pricy and harder to find. But my biggest bugbear is trying to work out guitar chords in reverse.

Right Handed Guitar Chord Books

Reading Chords Left Handed
So-called easy chords in guitar song books do not possess the term ‘right-handed’ because it is a given But the unsuspecting left hander will be caught out, as I have. It’s hard enough reading guitar chord charts as a beginner, but the leftie guitarist has the extra difficulty of reversing chords. Simple chords like A and EM aren’t too bad, but most other chords like C7 poses a cerebral contortion, as can be seen in the image.

Left Handed Chords for Guitar Playing

I was tempted to try playing the guitar upside down, but on progression to more difficult chords, found it virtually impossible. This meant I had to


Swing Bass technique (also known as Oom-pah technique) is a left hand technique. Instead of playing all the chords together at once and holding it down until there is a chord change or the chord needs to be repeated in the case of blocked chords technique, swing bass technique uses a more dynamic approach.

In Swing Bass, your left hand will swing between the bass note/root note and the chord while your right hand is busy playing the melody.

For a simple example, for a 4/4 rhythm with C chord (through out the measure), you strike the C note (bass/root note) at the lowest measure of the Piano on the first beat. This makes it the first 'oom' sound. On the second beat, you play the C chord which will be the 'pah' sound. On the third beat, you play the fifth note of the scale - C note - above the bass note you played. This will be the second 'oom' sound. On the fourth beat, you again play the C chord which will make the final 'pah'. So, in essence, 4/4 rhythm will have a typical oom-pah-oom-pah sound.

If there is a cho


deadessays Light Into Ashes
In the early '70s the Dead would sometimes play thematic instrumentals that seemingly sprang fully-formed out of nowhere in the midst of jams and then disappeared again. Some of these, sadly, were played only once - including the "Beautiful Jam" in the 2/18/71 Dark Star -
the "almost-China Cat jam" in the 8/14/71 Other One -
the lovely, unusual cross between Bobby McGee and Bid You Goodnight that pops up at the end of the 3/22/72 Caution (available on the Rockin' the Rhein bonus disc) -
and the long, tantalizing "almost-Spanish jam" in the 7/25/72 Other One.
But other instrumentals would pop up in show after show, eventually to be named by collectors.

One of these was the Mind Left Body Jam, a simple passage of four descending chords that was named because of its similarity to the main riff in 'Your Mind Has Left Your Body', a song on Paul Kantner's album Baron von Tollbooth


Welcome, fellow right-hand-dominant Jazz pianist!  May I begin by so boldy requesting that we introduce our left hand to each other?  Nice to meet you, lefty; for yes, I, too, am the lonely keyboard companion to my Master's right hand.  Let's talk!

You all know it's true.  What is that left hand for?  Even Chopin had trouble with it, especially the typically-weaker ring finger.  What chance do we mortals have?  Well, I'd like to take your left hand on a Jazzy journey of discovery.

A lot of Jazz/solo pianists don't know how to musically employ their left hand's services so tend to settle with plonking chords (known as 'comping') at regular intervals or getting into a stride feel of 'root note of chord > chord', repeat ad nauseum.  It's not so bad and does sound melodic and musical, but come on, we can do better than that.

The left hand is used, as Oscar Peterson once jokingly said, "to put the rhythm section out of work".  What he meant was that it must be used as a keeper of time; it must provide a replacement for guitar chords, bass line movements and even drum/percussive


bairdmusic Gerry Baird
I have been playing chord style piano for about nine years and absolutely love it. But when I first started music lessons I felt like chord style piano was the lazy person's way to play simplified songs until they could gain enough skills to play the "real way." I think this idea came from a misguided belief that chord style piano simply involved playing the melody notes with my right hand while playing block chords at the beginning of each measure with my left hand. While this is a first step to learning very basic chord style songs, I now realize that chord style piano IS a "real way" to play and that there are many techniques that can be used to make songs sound MUCH BETTER than many of the note for note arrangements I used to play. Personally, I find it easier to play sophisticated sounding songs using chord style techniques than by using any other method. Chord style piano also allows me to be more creative, making song arrangements that are uniquely my own. Also, because I don't have to use all of my mental faculties to focus on reading individual notes, chord style piano allows me to be more expressive and make use of the piano's full range of pitches while executing more complex


Over 20 minutes of Free Organ Video Lessons Available Here

The organ is a lot different from the piano, although the concept of progressions and how chord changes work generally remain the same.

Basically, a "2-5-1" progression on the piano is still a "2-5-1" progression on the organ. For example, in the key of C major, the progression would still consist of some kind of D chord (almost always minor) going to a G chord, finally ending at a C chord. While this doesn't change on the organ, how you play each particular chord will differ from the piano.

I would argue that if you understand the way music works... how scales create chords >>> chords create progressions >>> progressions create songs --- then you already have a head-start when it comes to picking up a new instrument (...even guitar).

Don't get me wrong... there are some differences:

One major difference between the piano/keyboard and organ is what I call the


Learning to Bring Out the Melody in Piano Performance with some tips on tone production Part 1 (Beginner to Intermediate)

To have a truly professional sound in your piano playing, you will want to be able to clearly bring out the melodic line as you perform. Being able to bring out important melodic lines with good tone will add beauty to your playing which will also add to your enjoyment.

This is no easy task, especially for beginners. It takes quite a bit of coordination to be able to produce a louder tone in one hand, whether left or right, and in more advanced pieces to be able to bring out one finger of the hand while striking several keys at one time with the same hand.

To learn this technique, beginning students should choose pieces with a strong and clear melodic line. Always use a light and even touch when practicing the accompaniment. Good examples of this would be an Alberti Bass as found in classical style sonatas and sonatinas. An Alberti bass is simply a broken chord played in a repetitive pattern. An example is the


makingmusicianslpm Gina Weibel
Muscle Memory: The Password to Learning

I have four children, and at some point each day one of them asks to use the computer for something.  Since I'm usually elbow-deep in some other task, I answer, "okay- today's password to unlock the computer is PIANO."  And of course I change my password every day!

The other day, as I was leaving the computer to go jogging on my treadmill, I chose JOGGING as my password.  Hours later when someone wanted to use the computer, the password didn't work!  My teenage sons were diligent about trying every misspelling of JOGGING that I could have typed, switching letters, putting fingers in different positions- nothing worked.  Whatever misspelling I had used had been typed in TWICE by me to change the password, without my notice.  How could that be!?

Eventually even I was frustrated and wanting to use the computer again.  I sat down and typed JOGGING as fast I could, without thinking about it.  It worked!  What!?  I slowly replayed what my fingers had just done...J-O-G....G-I-N....A!  My name


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