• Why The 5-Dominant (V7) Chord Is So Powerful

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    Even when a non-musician hears a dominant seventh chord on the 5th degree of the scale, they immediately begin to expect resolution. Yup, you don’t have to be a musician to know a song or verse is coming to an end. “Hap-py birth-day to——” There it is. Doesn’t “to” give you that feeling of wanting […]

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    Using the Circle of Fifths To Learn Your Primary Chords

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    Every key has primary chords and secondary chords. In fact, without even knowing they are called “primary chords,” you’ve probably realized certain chords appear in certain keys more than others. Yup, those chords are the ones built off the 1st, 4th, and 5th degrees of the scale. Consider the C major scale: If you numbered […]

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    Major and Minor Chords – “If You Know Your Major, You Know Your Minor” (Part 2)

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    To pick up where we left off yesterday, I’d like to talk about the connection between major and minor chords. You now realize that you can form any minor scale by knowing the relative major scale it’s connected to. In other words, you can play the “A minor” scale if you already know the notes of the “C major” scale because they’re related. Here’s how to apply this same understanding to chords…

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    They Analyzed 1,300 Songs & Here’s What They Found

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    I recently came across a site called, HookTheory.com, where they’ve created innovative tools to analyze songs and chord progressions. I really think they’re on to something great there but what really caught my attention is their analysis of over 1,300 songs. What’s more, they’ve organized their findings into a very intuitive, visual format that anyone […]

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    Here’s a Nice Sounding Chord Movement You Can Use Immediately

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    In this post, I want to share a cool way to play a 1-chord. What do I mean by “1-chord?” It’s simple. Every major key has chords associated with each tone of its scale. For example, the C major’s scale is: By simply numbering the scale, you get: C = 1 D = 2 E […]

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    The Art Of Polychords

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    If you’ve ever wondered how master musicians execute and remember large, extended chord voicings, understanding polychords will be especially helpful for you. A polychord is simply a big chord made up of smaller ones. For example, C minor 11 is: By all means, this would be considered a “big” chord. But do you really have to […]

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    The Secret To Smooth Playing

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    If your playing suffers from lack of smoothness or your chords sound choppy or disconnected from one another, here’s one technique you can practice and employ almost immediately to enhance the flow of your playing. The secret is “INVERSIONS.” Granted, you may not always have the liberty to change the inversion of a chord, especially […]

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    The “80/20 Rule” Of Playing Piano By Ear

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    The “80/20 Rule” states that 80% of results or rewards will come from 20% of causes or effort. Put another way, 20% of input creates 80% of output. This especially applies to music, where the same chords and progressions repeat themselves over and over. Think about it — how many times have you played the […]

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    A Quick Follow-Up To “Approach Chords”

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    After writing about Approach Chords the other day, I received a request for more of these types of chords. Recall the definition of approach chords – In music, an approach chord is a chord one half-step higher or lower than the goal (aka – place you’re going to), and especially helpful in turnarounds and chord […]

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    Using Approach Chords To Spice Up Your Sound!

    by Jermaine Griggs
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    In music, an approach chord is a chord one half-step higher or lower than the goal (aka – place you’re going to), and especially helpful in turnarounds and chord progressions that move in fourths.

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