Under this heading I present a series of short articles on songs and various musical subjects.
You can find all of the diagrams of the chords in all of their positions and inversions in our free ebook of chords and inversions. If you are unsure of how to play different chord positions and inversions, you can find them in our free ebook of chords and inversions which can be downloaded instantly – just enter your name and email address in the right sidebar. When it comes to learning, memory and concentration are two mental skills that we all need to have, and keeping both skills in great shape is something we can all do very easily. Concentration – the ability to focus attention on a certain subject or item for a period of time without being distracted.
From babyhood through adulthood, having good memory and concentration abilities are valuable, life-enhancing assets for just about everyone because the better you are at both disciplines, the better you’ll be at learning things.
In piano lessons and in the field of music in general, being able to remember and concentrate will pay you big dividends because there are many, many things on which you’ll be called to use these skills. It makes no difference whether you’re remembering the shapes and names of the lower 48 states and their capitals, or the names of piano keys and the lines and spaces of the grand staff. Keep learning new things and putting yourself in situations where you need to recall and use what you’ve learned. So, with all of that said, let’s climb in the car and take a mini-trip down three memory lanes and have a little fun while we’re traveling! Before you start, do the following warm-up activity which exercises your mind’s power of focus. Like a painter who uses various colors from a palette and sets to canvas with different brush sizes and strokes to create a picture, a musician creates various musical colors with different symbols and tools from a musical palette and sets to manuscript. This entry was posted in A Rudiments, B Reading, General Info, Piano Lessons on April 30, 2014 by Art Matthews. On the piano keyboard, both notes of a perfect octave share the same letter name and they are 8 major scale steps apart (up or down). The most commonly used accidentals are shown in the lineup just below followed by examples of the most common occurrences of 8ths in the key of C. The most commonly used accidentals are shown in the lineup just below followed by examples of the most common occurrences of 5ths in the key of C.
Clicking the treble staff or keyboard icon opens a respective interval ID page where numeric and quality values are required. This entry was posted in A Rudiments, B Reading, General Info, Piano Lessons on April 1, 2014 by Art Matthews. This post is a round-up and review of the intervals we’ve covered in the series up to this point. Part of the answer to both questions has to do with the overtones and harmonics that only this particular class of intervals produce. Here's an optional verification process you can use to confirm an interval's "perfect" status.

A "purr-fect" interval is affirmed when the upper note of any given interval is also found in the major scale that begins on that interval's lower note, AND, the lower note of that interval is also found in the major scale that begins on that interval's upper note.
If your interval's top note is present in its bottom note's major scale, AND, its bottom note is present in its top note's major scale, voila! This entry was posted in A Rudiments, B Reading, General Info, Piano Lessons on March 25, 2014 by Art Matthews. Sevenths are among the first intervals I bring to the attention of my students who are are interested in studying chord voicings.
Sevenths come directly out of the major scale and although it’s a common practice to think of the major scale as an 8-note scale, the note we think of as 8 is only an octave-repetition of scale step 1. Heptachords are 7-note scales and perhaps the MAJOR heptachord is the most well-known of all heptachords because it actually IS the major scale upon which our music system is based. Major 7th intervals are made by extracting the first and last note of a major heptachord. Just select and extract the 1st and 7th scale steps only and the interval is ready to be deployed.
7ths – These intervals may be identified by their letter names because both letter names are the 1st and 7th letters of an alphabetically sequenced 7-letter string (heptachord). In this free country piano lesson I’m going to teach you how to play a really famous country piano lick. This lick was originally made famous by the great Floyd Cramer but many great piano players have played variations of it since then.
5. You can hear this lick being used by pianists like Page McConnell from Phish, Bruce Hornsby, Norah Jones, Vince Guaraldi, Gabe Dixon, and many others. Since these are pentatonic based notes there really aren’t too many avoid notes so you can change the riff slightly to fit into all kinds of different situations. Not only is a cool riff but it will have an added bonus of helping you learn your major pentatonic scales.
From a technique standpoint make sure you keep your hands close to the keyboard when you do the octave shifts as well.
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The first round of this exercise we will be using certain positions and the second round will be using other chord positions. Your ability to remember and concentrate may be applied to anything and everything about your life.
Doing the exercise at least 4 or 5 times will give you an introductory workout on identifying and matching the intervals in C and other keys.
Your voicing, ear training, transposition, and reading abilities are among the things it enhances.
Having skipped over scale steps 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, select the very next letter in the sequence. You’ll hear this lick being used in thousands of songs so it will definitely be useful for you to learn.

Even though it’s technically a country lick it really can be used in other styles of music such as pop and rock.
The chord progression I play in this country piano lesson (A, G, D) is a I bVII IV (I b7, 4) chord progression. If you just take a look at the notes on each individual chord they come from the major pentatonic scale. I play this lick using straight sixteenth notes but you could easily swing them if the groove of the song you’re playing has more of a swing feel. If you love the pentatonic type sound of this lick I recommend you all check out this lesson on spicing up major piano chords using the 9th. I played this lick over 3 different chords  n this country piano lesson but remember you can always chop of the lick and just play the pattern over 1 chord.
Additionally, if you’re still getting comfortable with your first inversion and root position major chords it will help with that too! Actually applying licks you learn to real songs is a fantastic way to really master a new lick.
Pretty much anything with a major chord could theoretically work but if you need some suggestions here is a very short list. I can play pretty much from a fake book but am struggling with voicings and playing suitable licks and riffs. These intervals are easily identified because both notes share the same letter name.  When written in standard music notation, the upper note will occupy a space if the lower note is on a line and vice versa, notwithstanding any accidentals which may be attached to either note. If there are 2 letters in between, you have a 4th etc.*(All accidentals are excluded In generic intervals. However, since the details that explain overtones and harmonics go far beyond the scope of this post, I'll simply tell you which intervals are "perfect" and I'll mention a distinguishing and affirming "key" characteristic of perfect intervals, ("Key" pun intended).
I just made-up this tongue-in-cheek acronym but many cats have been known to eat non-cat-like foods. The major pentatonic scale is simply a major scale with the 4th and 7th scale degrees moved. I have an ear for picking out melodies but trying to figure out correct chords to go with them. From people’s names to facts about your hobby or profession, the opportunities in life to use your memory and concentration are countless! If you want to learn more about major scale check out this lesson on major scale music theory. When I move my hand up and down the keyboard I’m essentially grabbing these chord shapes and letting my other fingers just naturally surround the other notes of the riff.

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