Saturday, April 20, 2019

Root Position Triads Circle of Fifths Exercise

It has been a while since I posted on this site: I've been in the woodshed.

I recommend Dan Haerle's Book for learning jazz chords and harmony: Jazz piano voicing skills: A method for individual or class study

If you're learning your chords and need to work on triads try this exercise: Root Position Triad Chord Circle of Fifth Exercise for Piano or Any Instrument

General and Jazz Piano Practice Ideas:
  • Practice hands separately
  • Practice at painfully slow turtle speed along with a metronome
  • Record yourself
  • Listen to a recording of yourself
  • Sight read easy easy stuff
  • Practice Hanon
  • Work on my chord exercise above
  • Learn tunes out of a fakebook
  • Get a pair of drumsticks, practice pad, Joel Rothman's Basic Drumming, Revised and Expanded Edition or any snare drum method book.
  • Play music with other people
  • check out, for chords and lyrics to just about every song.
  • classical sheet music
  • take lessons
  • learn all twelve major and minor scales with correct fingering

Friday, April 8, 2016

Ideas for Learning and Practicing Modes in Music

Normally the modes are introduced like this:

Playing the different modes with the same starting note illustrates the differences between them more clearly.

 It's also helpful to know what notes are sharped or flatted in any given mode.

Practice with a drone.

Piano players can play an octave in the bass with the left hand on the root or tonic, improvise on a mode with the right hand.

Guitarists, try tuning to "Drop D" and play the various modes using D as a tonic note.

Any instrument, turn on a drone and practice to it. Here's one online:

Try putting weights or wedging business cards in between the keys on your keyboard using a PAD setting to create your own drone.

Or, create your own drone in a recording or other software program or app.

Play around with each mode for a while to get the sound of each into your ears.

Practice modes in different keys.

For more practice like this look into the modes of the melodic minor, harmonic minor, the ten thaats, and if you're really ambitious, the 72 melakartas or parent scales of South India.

Modes of the Melodic Minor:

Ten Thaats

*Note that the first six are the same as the first six modes of the major scale.

Check out Jamey Aebersold's free book for more jazz theory and info:


Drum Coordination Exercise Double Stop Flat Flam

Just came up with this little exercise to streamline my drum practice time. I wanted to work on double-stop "flat flams". I was going to read from Stone's Stick Control but my copy is in storage so I wrote this out.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Piano Lesson: Major Chord Triads in All Inversions and All Keys Video

 Major Chord Triads in All Inversions and All Keys: Building Blocks to Improvisation
The "secret" to opening up the musical possibilities of the piano lies in building a solid harmonic foundation by having the right information presented to you in a way that is easy to understand... oh yeah, and lots of practice!

Sunday, April 28, 2013