• How To Apply Tritones On The Left Hand

    in Piano

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    If you’re interested in learning how to apply tritones on the left hand, then you arrived at the right page.

    Believe it or not, one of the things that set top players apart from amateurs is their left hand.

    Although there are a variety of important left hand harmonic elements that can take your playing to the next level, we’ll be focusing on the tritone in this lesson.

    Right before we go into that, let’s quickly review the tritone.

    A Short Note On The Tritone

    The tritone is one of the popular intervals in many gospel and jazz music circles and that’s because of its  fascinating sound and overall importance.

    “So, What Is A Tritone?”

    The term tritone literally means three tones:

    Tri means three

    Tone means whole-steps

    From the breakdown of the term tritone, it’s safe to say that the tritone is a product of two tones that are three half-steps apart from each other.

    For example, starting from C and going up three half-steps to F# produces a tritone.

    C:

    …to D (the first whole-step):

    ……to E (the second whole-step):

    …to F# (the third whole-step):

    So, C to  F#:

    …is a tritone — because it encompasses a distance of three whole-steps.

    “Check Out All The Tritones On The Keyboard…”

    C tritone:

    C# tritone:

    D tritone:

    D# tritone:

    E tritone:

    F tritone:

    F# tritone:

    G tritone:

    G# tritone:

    A tritone:

    A# tritone:

    B tritone:

    Application Of The Tritone

    The tritone can easily be applied as the skeleton of dominant chords and we’ll be covering the corresponding tritones for dominant chords formed on the respective tones of the scale.

    All examples would be given in the key of C major:

    “For The First Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the first tone of the C major scale (which is C):

    …is the E tritone:

    …or the Bb tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the C dominant seventh chord:

    …using the E tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    “For The Second Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the second tone of the C major scale (which is D):

    …is the F# tritone:

    …or the C tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the D dominant seventh chord:

    …using the F# tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    “For The Third Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the first tone of the C major scale (which is E):

    …is the G# tritone:

    …or the D tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the E dominant seventh chord:

    …using the G# tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    “For The Fourth Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the first tone of the C major scale (which is F):

    …is the A tritone:

    …or the Eb tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the F dominant seventh chord:

    …using the A tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    “For The Fifth Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the first tone of the C major scale (which is G):

    …is the B tritone:

    …or the F tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the G dominant seventh chord:

    …using the B tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    “For The Sixth Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the first tone of the C major scale (which is A):

    …is the C# tritone:

    …or the G tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the A dominant seventh chord:

    …using the C# tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    “For The Seventh Tone…”

    The corresponding tritone for the first tone of the C major scale (which is B):

    …is the D# tritone:

    …or the A tritone:

    These tritones can be played on the left hand to support upper-structure chords on the right hand.

    Check out the B dominant seventh chord:

    …using the D# tritone:

    …on the left hand.

    Final Words

    Now that we’ve covered how the tritone can be applied on the left hand, we’ll continue in the next lesson by exploring diverse right hand chords that can be played over the tritone.

    See you then!

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 3 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Gene Roberson

    Hi,
    I think you are doing a great job with your teaching program.
    I find it interesting the way you approach the TriTone idea for teaching seventh chords.
    I have been teaching and coaching pro players for many years. We have used the tri tone seventh when teaching pop and theater organ. For the past fifty years we have taught this as Short Sevenths playing the 3rd and the 7th in the left hand and the root in the pedal. I also teach this on piano as the foundation of dominant 7ths, Not sure I want to refer to these as a tri tone chord. But carry on.

    Reply

    2 Massio Keys

    This is amazing sir

    Reply

    3 isreal

    God bless you so much sir.

    Reply

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