Developing triad chord fluency

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Like language students who have memorized vocabulary but are not yet conversant, pianists who have learned to construct chords may not yet be "chord fluent." So how do we help our students move beyond music theory worksheets to being able to interpret chord symbols and identify underlying harmonies in literature more easily? One approach involves a...
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Expanding your vocabulary of chords

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 Do you think Johann Pachelbel knew how popular his Canon in D would become? When I discovered the same chord progression in a few familiar songs, my search for more examples began. As you play this chord progression are there songs that come to your mind?  This chord progression is often played with a scale in the bass:  The Canon i...
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Learning to play by ear

The purpose of this exercise is to plant a seed of playing by ear in fertile minds, a seed that could germinate and result in life-long learning. A command of basic chords is important, but expanding your vocabulary of chords can become a source of pleasure for you and for your listeners. Hearing the different chords that go with each pitch of the ...
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ii7 - V7 - Imaj7: An essential building block of jazz harmony

from the series: It's Got That Swing: Jazz & Pop Geoffrey Haydon, Editor  There are many benefits to including jazz in a student's curriculum of piano study- not the least of which is an increasing understanding of harmony. Jazz harmony uses the European classical tradition as a point of departure. It builds harmonies using the tradit...
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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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