• Beginners: A Lesson On Right Hand Chords For Chromatic Bass Notes

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    In this lesson, we’ll be learning suitable right hand chords for chromatic bass notes.

    Attention: This lesson is written with beginners in mind. Therefore, if you’re already gone beyond the beginners’ level then you may want to check out these lessons on passing chords.

    So many beginners are not familiar with chromatic bass notes, therefore we’ll start out be defining chromatic bass notes, before proceeding to the right hand chords that can be played over them.

    “What Are Chromatic Bass Notes?”

    There are seven unique notes in every major or minor key.

    In the key of C major:

    …there are seven unique tones:

    C D E F G A and B

    These tones can be used as bass notes to accompany chords in the key. For example, C (which is the first tone of the scale):

    …is used to accompany the C major chord (which is the 1-chord):

    But beyond these seven unique notes, there are other tones like C#:

    …D#:

    F#:

    G#:

    …and A#:

    Although these other tones (C#, D#, F#, G#, A#) are NOT part of the tones that make up the C major scales, they are still considered as bass note options. However, they are classified as chromatic bass notes.

    Chromatic Bass Notes – Defined

    Chromatic bass notes are notes that are foreign to the prevalent key. In the case of the key of C major:

    …where the scale tones are C, D, E, F, G, A, and B, the foreign tones are C#, D#, F#, G#, and A#:

    There are twelve unique notes in an octave:

    Depending on the key you’re in, seven tones will be related to the prevalent key while five will be foreign to the prevalent key.

    In the case of the key of C major:

    …the five chromatic bass notes are:

    C# which is higher than the first scale tone by a half-step (the #1.)

    D# which is higher than the second scale tone by a half-step (the #2.)

    F# which is higher than the fourth scale tone by a half-step (the #4)

    G# which is higher than the fifth scale tone by a half-step (the #5.)

    A# which is higher than the sixth scale tone by a half-step (the #6.)

    So, there are five chromatic bass notes in every key: the #1, #2, #4, #5, and the #6. These chromatic bass notes add up to the seven unique tones in the key to produce the twelve tones in an octave.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The “Official Guide To Piano Playing.” Click here for more information.

    So, What Are The Right Hand Chords Of These Chromatic Bass Notes?”

    Now that we’ve acknowledged and defined chromatic bass notes, one key questions we’re to face is the question of the right hand chords to be played over them

    It’s easy to understand why the 1-chord in the key of C major which is the C major triad:

    …is played over the C bass note:

    For the #1 bass note (which is C#):

    …what is the suitable right hand chord?

    Well, you’ll find out in the next segment.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The “Official Guide To Piano Playing.” Click here for more information.

    Right Hand Chords For Chromatic Bass Notes

    Here are the right hand chords for the chromatic bass notes in the key of C major.

    Right Hand Chord For The #1

    Right Hand Chord For The #2

    Right Hand Chord For The #4

    Right Hand Chord For The #5

    Right Hand Chord For The #6

    Final Words

    Using the right hand chord covered in this lesson, I’m very certain that you’ll be able to play chords over every tone in the chromatic scale: 12 of them!

    Feel free to also check out our lesson on the use of diminished chords as leading note chords.

    Keep up the great work!

    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 the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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