HearandPlay.com June 2006  Newsletter
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"I'm going to introduce you to someone very special in this issue!"
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Contents:
I. Welcome
II. Announcements
III. Online Classroom:
       "How to instantly figure out chords to simple melodies"
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Dear Musician,
 
Welcome to my June 2006 newsletter. I'm so excited to be writing this issue NOT because it's the first issue of the upcoming summer season (...I'd normally be excited about the summer coming in).
 
 
...But this summer, I have something extra special to be excited about. It's the birth of my first child. Her name is Jadyn Olivia Griggs, born June 8, 2006 at 8:08 pm.
 
 
Get this. She was 9 pounds, 6 ounces! She has long hair like her mom, nice fingers like her daddy, and is already being prepared to play her favorite nursery rhymes by ear (before the age of 3 or 4)!!!
 
 
And to celebrate her birth, I thought it'd be fun in this issue to teach musicians how to harmonize (or put chords behind) famous nursery rhymes. It's very cool to be able to think of a nursery rhyme or put on a cd from one of those Baby EinsteinTM collections and be able to play it for your son or daughter... right on the spot!
 
 
 
The good news is that the method of playing nursery rhymes by ear (without sheet music) is very easy. In fact, my newly re-produced GospelKeys 101 90-minute dvd course specializes in teaching you how to harmonize melodies. In the past, you may have thought that GospelKeys 101 was just for gospel music.
 
In actuality, GospelKeys 101 teaches a three-step process that can really be applied to not only hymns and congregational songs, but nursery rhymes, folk songs, and even complex tunes with noticeable melodies. In fact, the same chords I use in the GospelKeys 101 90-minute dvd to harmonize "Jesus Loves Me" are the same chords I can use to harmonize "Are you sleeping" or "Mary had a little lamb."
 
 
 
So...
 
In this issue, to celebrate the birth of my newborn daughter, let's take some nursery rhymes and (1) determine the melody of each and (2) harmonize them with full-sounding chords. The third (3) step is to add our left-hand bass accompaniment. You can find this covered in either the GK101 dvd or my 300-pg home study course.
 
All this can be mastered in a matter days, if not hours! Start today!
 
 
 
I hope you enjoy this issue!
 
 

 
 
"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300pg Course - Learn the secrets to playing literally any song on the piano with a few simple, "easy-to-understand" techniques and principles! Join Jermaine Griggs in learning tons of music theory, concepts, and tricks that will help you to learn piano by ear! Thousands of musicians have already taken advantage of this excellent program ... why not you?

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" is full of easy-to-understand tricks, tips, techniques and secrets to playing piano by ear! For this month only, I've also been able to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song on the piano in virtually minutes! You won't regret it!

 
 
GospelKeys 101 Learning System

GospelKeys 101 will teach you everything you need to know to get started playing basic hymns and congregational songs by ear.  If you're a beginner and would like your very own gospel piano teacher on dvd, this course is definitely for you! This dvd course moves at a very comfortable pace and leaves no questions unanswered.

You will be shown, step-by-step, how to harmonize every single tone of the major scale --- AND since songs are based on melodies (and melodies are based on major scales), you'll be able to harmonize MOST songs immediately after learning these concepts. In 90 minutes, you'll learn a variety of chords, inversions, melodies, and will be playing over a half-dozen songs by the end!

Note: This course may not be suitable for "ultra" advanced players. This is a basic "101" course on harmonization and creation of simple hymns and congregational songs (and even nursery rhymes and lullabies).

 Click here to learn more or call 1-877-856-4187

 


Newsletter Archive - Click here or visit http://www.hearandplay.com/newsletters.html

 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Online Classroom:
 
  "How to instantly figure out chords to simple melodies"
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
Note: You might want to print this lesson out for easier reading...
 
 
Before I teach you the secrets to instant harmonization of melodies, check out these 2-minute audio examples I created back in December 2003 before the release of my GospelKeys 101 course. These demonstrations will give you a good understanding of the 3 steps and what you'll be trying to accomplish after reading this newsletter.
 
 
Harmonizing melodies is different than laying chords beneath a melody.
 
You may have heard of fake books and chord charts where you are given chords to play under various melodies. Jazz standards are usually notated this way.
 
For example, the chord chart may display a "Cmaj7" over a particular bar with a melody line beneath it. To some extent, you have to know how to read sheet music (at least to read the melody line).
 
 
 
Harmonizing melodies, to me, is much easier. In fact, I honestly believe it can be mastered in a matter of weeks, if not days, or even hours. Once you know the system, you'll never forget it and you'll be able to apply these same techniques to dozens of songs! This is how hymns and popular music are played.
 
I'll give you a lot more songs when I revisit this topic in future newsletters, but just to demonstrate my point, let's take "Mary had a little lamb" since everyone knows this nursery rhyme (...little Jadyn loves this tune).
 
With this method, if you can sit at your piano and pick out the one-note melody, then you're 30 seconds from playing it as a full-sounding song.
 
Because the chords that harmonize notes hardly ever change --- only the notes themselves.
 
So if there are 8 notes in a major scale (really only 7 unique notes but the octave note makes 8) --- and you know the "matching" chord for each one of those notes, then you have what it takes to play full-sounding chords in place of your one-note melodies.
 
Let me explain...
 
 
Say, after 10 minutes at the piano, you've managed to learn "Mary had a little lamb" (and believe me, it's not that hard to pick out a melody --- small children do it if you leave them at the piano long enough).
 
It's not rocket science.
 
I believe everyone has the ear to sit down and pick out a melody (especially if you know your major scales because most melodies come directly from the scales). So if a major scale has eight notes and most melodies are formed with a combination of passing tones, upper and lower neighboring tones, and chord tones, then it shouldn't take hours to learn melodies of popular songs.
 
Passing tones...? Upper neighboring tones...?
Lower neighboring tones? Chord tones? What?
 
You're probably wondering what these are.
 
I discuss these things in detail in chapter 17 of my 300-pg course, but for now, I'll explain them briefly:
 
 
Passing Tones
 
Melodies include tones that are not a part of the chord used for the harmony. These non-chord tones are called non-harmonic tones. When a melody passes from one chord tone to a different chord tone with a non-harmonic tone (a half or whole step) between, the non-harmonic tone is called a passing tone (pg 252, "The Secrets to Playing Piano by Ear").
 
 
What does this mean?
 
Simply put, if you were playing the beginning of "Mary had a little lamb" (E - D - C - D - E - E - E) over a Cmaj chord, the 'D' notes in this sequence would be passing tones because they are not a part of the C major chord (C + E + G). Notice the 'E' and "C' notes are a part of the C major chord so they are not called passing tones --- they are called chord tones.
 
 
 
 
Neighboring Tones
 
When a melody passes from one chord tone back to the same chord tone with a non-harmonic tone (a half or whole step) between, the non-harmonic tone is called a neighboring tone.
 
 
What does this mean?
 
Basically, passing and neighboring tones function similarly but have one minor difference --- the next note. If the melody is going to a different note and just "passing by" a non-harmonic note (again... simply a note that ISN'T a part of the chord being used with the melody), then it's called a passing tone. As simple as that.
 
 
If the melody is moving from one chord tone to a next door neighbor tone, then immediately back to the original chord tone, the "in-between" tone is called a neighboring tone. If you don't get this, it's better illustrated with pictures. I strongly recommend my course if you think this is interesting and want to learn more.
 
Whether you call them upper or lowering neighboring tones depends on which way the melody is going.
 
It is an upper neighboring tone when it is above the chord tone and a lower neighboring tone when it is below the chord tone.
 
Let's see how well you understand this:
 
________________________________________________________
 
Is this an example of a passing tone or neighboring tone?
 
Chord: C maj (C+E+G)
 
Melody: C D C
 
 
Answer: This is an example of a neighboring tone relationship because the "D" is not a part of the notes of the chord AND because the melody is going from the "D" back to the original "C" chord tone. Whenever the melody uses a note to return back to a previous chord tone, then a neighboring tone relationship exists.
 
The "D" is specifically an upper neighboring tone because it is higher than the original "C" chord tone.
 
_________________________________________________________
 
Is this an example of a passing tone or neighboring tone?
 
Chord: D min (D+F+A)
 
Melody: D E F
 
Answer: This is an example of a passing tone relationship because the E is not a part of the Dmin chord (so it's non-harmonic) AND because the melody is moving forward to a different chord tone ("F"). For example, if the melody was D E D, then a neighboring tone relationship would have been the correct answer. However, since the "E" is used to move forward to "F", another chord tone, this creates a passing tone relationship between the "E" and the other chord tones.
 
 
How does knowing this information help you to determine melodies?
 
For starters, it helps you to understand that melodies aren't just randomly played notes that you have to figure out... they generally use notes that are right next to each other.
 
Let's analyze "Mary had a little lamb" to see what I'm talking about:
 
E D C D E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb)
 
D D D (lit-tle lamb)
 
E G G (lit-tle lamb)
 
E D C D E E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb, her)
 
D D E D C (fleece was white as snow)
 
 
Now... ask yourself a few questions?
 
Are these notes randomly spread out or do you see patterns here?
 
Do you see a bunch of passing and neighboring tones like I do?
 
Are the notes generally right next to each other (and not more than one note a part when there is a jump like from the E to G in the third line)?
 
 
Let's analyze another easy nursery rhyme / lullaby:
 
"Are you sleeping"
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
 
 
So how do I harmonize these melodies ... already?!!!
 
This is where I want to introduce the "harmonization" chart. But first, here are some rules to keep in mind:
 
1. Every note in a major scale has its own harmonizing chord. Usually this chord features the note of the scale as its highest tone (will discuss more below).
 
2. Whenever a note is played, simply replace it with its harmonizing chord.
 
3. When all one-note melodies have been replaced with harmonizing chords, you have a full-sounding basic song.
 
 
Let's take the C major scale (but keep in mind that every major scale has its own harmonizing chords). Try to take my patterns and learn them in the other 11 major keys and you'll do yourself a great service!
 
When melody note is: Simply play this chord:
C E + G + C (played all at the same time)
D F + A + D
E G + C + E
F A + C + F
G C + E + G
A C + F + A
B D + G + B
C E + G + C
 
 
Do you notice anything unique about the harmonizing chords?
 
 
If you noticed that the highest note of the chord always matches the melody note, then you are absolutely correct.
 
In essence, since you are replacing a melody note with a chord, in most cases, you'll still want to preserve the melody (... you'll want to hear the melody clearly) so by playing these particular chords, the highest note of each chord IS ALMOST ALWAYS THE MELODY.
 
(This may all seem strange because I don't have lots of room to explain myself with pictures and illustrations. Of course, some people will grasp on right away).
 
If you're serious about learning harmonization, visit: http://www.hearandplay.com/special?harmonycourse to check out my course.
 
 
So, all you have to do is take the melodies above and replace them with the appropriate chords. I'll copy the melodies to "Mary had a little lamb" and "Are you sleeping" so that you can try it on your own below.
 
I'll also post the answers below to make sure you fully understand this harmonization process.
 
 
 
 
Mary had a little lamb
 
I'll do the first one for you.
 
E D C D E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
G+C+E (Ma)
 
F+A+D (ry)
 
E+G+C (had)
 
F+A+D (a)
 
G+C+E (lit)
 
G+C+E (tle)
 
G+C+E (lamb)
 
Notice that the original melody note is still on top! That's the whole point of using the harmonizing chart I've created for you above. The song still sounds like "Mary had a little lamb", the melody is still obvious, but with the addition of full-sounding harmony!
 
 
Note: You might find it awkward to play a chord for every single melody note, especially if a particular melody note goes by very fast. It is not necessary to always harmonize every single note. Sometimes, you can play a harmonizing chord --- then play the next "single note" of the melody right after it ---- then follow up with the next harmonizing chord.
 
For example, you can play {G+C+E} for the first part of Mary ["Ma"] but only play the single note, "D," for the second half of Mary ["ry"]. Then, of course, you can proceed to the {E+G+C} chord for the melody note that goes with "had." The ultimate secret is to rely on your ear to find out what sounds right. If it sounds right, then it works!
 
Your turn...
 
 
D D D (lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
________ (lit)
 
________ (tle)
 
________ (lamb)
 
 
 
E G G (lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
________ (lit)
 
________ (tle)
 
________ (lamb)
 
 
 
E D C D E E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb, her)
______________________________________
 
________ (Ma)
 
________ (ry)
 
________ (had)
 
________ (a)
 
________ (lit)
 
________ (tle)
 
________ (lamb)
 
________ (her)
 
 
 
D D E D C (fleece was white as snow)
______________________________________
 
________ (fleece)
 
________ (was)
 
________ (white)
 
________ (as)
 
________ (snow)
 
 
If you've chosen the right harmonizing chords, then you should have a nice full-sounding arrangement of Mary had a little lamb above. If not, just try it again until it works.
 
 
Lastly, try taking "Are you sleeping" and do the same thing you did above. This time, I won't provide you with a template. You'll have to do it all on your own:
 
 
"Are you sleeping"
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
 
 
 
 
Answers to both songs:
 
 
 
"Mary had a little lamb"
 
 
 
E D C D E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
G+C+E (Ma)
 
F+A+D (ry)
 
E+G+C (had)
 
F+A+D (a)
 
G+C+E (lit)
 
G+C+E (tle)
 
G+C+E (lamb)
 
 
 
D D D (lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
 F+A+D (lit)
 
 F+A+D (tle)
 
 F+A+D (lamb)
 
 
 
E G G (lit-tle lamb)
_____________________________________
 
 G+C+E (lit)
 
C+E+G (tle)
 
C+E+G (lamb)
 
 
 
E D C D E E E E (Ma-ry had a lit-tle lamb, her)
_____________________________________
 
G+C+E (Ma)
 
F+A+D (ry)
 
E+G+C (had)
 
F+A+D (a)
 
G+C+E (lit)
 
G+C+E (tle)
 
G+C+E (lamb)
 
G+C+E (her)
 
 
 
D D E D C (fleece was white as snow)
______________________________________
 
F+A+D (fleece)
 
F+A+D (was)
 
G+C+E (white)
 
F+A+D (as)
 
E+G+C (snow)
 
 
 
 
"Are you sleeping"
 
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Are)
 
F+A+D (you)
 
G+C+E (sleep)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
C D E C (Are you sleep-ing)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Are)
 
F+A+D (you)
 
G+C+E (sleep)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
______________________________________
 
G+C+E (Bro)
 
A+C+F (ther)
 
C+E+G (John)
 
 
 
 
E F G (Bro-ther John)
______________________________________
 
G+C+E (Bro)
 
A+C+F (ther)
 
C+E+G (John)
 
 
 
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
______________________________________
 
C+E+G (Morn)
 
C+F+A (ing)
 
C+E+G (bells)
 
A+C+F (are)
 
G+C+E (ring)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
G A G F E C (Morn-ing bells are ring-ing)
______________________________________
 
C+E+G (Morn)
 
C+F+A (ing)
 
C+E+G (bells)
 
A+C+F (are)
 
G+C+E (ring)
 
E+G+C (ing)
 
 
 
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Ding)
 
B+D+G (dong) --- use different harmonization type
 
E+G+C (ding)
 
 
C G C (Ding dong ding)
______________________________________
 
E+G+C (Ding)
 
B+D+G (dong) --- use different harmonization type
 
E+G+C (ding)
 
 
 
 
Recap time...
 
You now have a formula:
 
A) Determine a melody to any song
 
B) Replace the melody notes with harmonizing chords making sure to keep the melody note as the highest tone of each chord (see chart above)
 
C) Add bass (or left hand)  --- We'll cover this in another newsletter or you can just get my courses to explore this since I'm running out of space here.
 
 
 
There you have it. I hope you've benefited from this lesson. Let me know on my message board.
 

Explore these chord types to prepare for future newsletters:

 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and I'll be back soon! Take care!


This concludes your Online Classroom Lesson
 
If you were intrigued by the online classroom lesson above,
then you would definitely benefit from my course!
 
 
 

 
Enjoy this edition? Visit our message board and let us know!
http://www.hearandplay.com/board
 
Please Let a friend know about HearandPlay.com! PLEASE FORWARD
THIS NEWSLETTER TO YOUR ENTIRE E-MAIL ADDRESS BOOK.

 
 
Yours Truly,
Jermaine Griggs
www.HearandPlay.com
www.GospelKeys.com
 
 

Further References

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300-pg Course

[5] Chords & Progressions: pgs 65-78, 105-130, 147-165, 182-227.

Do you know what a2-5-1” or "3-6-2-5-1" progression is? Or perhaps the famous 12-bar blues chord progression? In this piano course, you will not only learn how to play gospel, blues, and jazz progressions, but how to recognize them in songs. In addition, you will learn the simple techniques to playing these progressions, hymns, and songs in all 12 major keys! ... Enjoy learning:

The famous "2-5-1" Chord Progression: pgs 114-120, 153-156, 208, 235-236.

I - IV - I - V - I Chord Progressions: pgs 66-70.

I - IV - V - IV - I Chord Progressions: pgs 77-78.

Techniques behind the famous "5-->1" progression: pgs 68-72.

I --> IV,  I --> V Chord Progressions: pgs 74-75.

"Circle of Fifths" Chord Exercises: pg 78.

Major and Minor Chord Progressions: pgs 105-130.

"6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 121-122, 157-159.

"3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 122-123, 160-162.

"7 - 3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 124-125, 190-191.

Gospel Chord Progressions ... ranging from "up-tempo praise" chord Progressions to "worship-oriented" chord progressions: pgs 65-78, 105-130, 147-165, 182-227.

Various Blues Progressions ... 12-bar, seventh chords, diminished chords ... and others: pgs 163-165, 192.

Jazz Chord Progressions ... using dominant ninth, eleventh and thirteenth chords: pgs 193-240

Study the different types of Root Progressions --- closing, opening, circular and other types of progressions: pgs 121-122.

Study how chord tones and scale degrees relate to each other [which chord progressions are most likely to be compatible]: pgs 122-130.

Learn various "turn-around" progressions [used in gospel music]: pg 213-214.

If you don't have the 300-pg Course, click here to read more about it.

 

 
"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300pg Course - Learn the secrets to playing literally any song on the piano with a few simple, "easy-to-understand" techniques and principles! Join Jermaine Griggs in learning tons of music theory, concepts, and tricks that will help you to learn piano by ear! Thousands of musicians have already taken advantage of this excellent program ... why not you?

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" is full of easy-to-understand tricks, tips, techniques and secrets to playing piano by ear! For this month only, I've also been able to throw in a few bonus items (3 additional piano software programs). Click here to learn the secrets to playing absolutely any song on the piano in virtually minutes! You won't regret it!


 

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