• Chord Progressions: Have You Learned The Three Hand Positions For Beginners?

    in Beginners,Chords & Progressions,General Music,Piano,Theory

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    There are three hand positions and I’ll be showing you these hand positions in this lesson.

    In a “1-4-7-3” chord progression in the key of C major:

    1-chord:

    4-chord:

    7-chord:

    3-chord:

    Notice that the hand position will have to change entirely from its position in the 1-chord when the 4-chord is played:

    1-chord:

    4-chord:

    …and it moves to another position when the 7-chord is played:

    7-chord:

    In this lesson, I’ll show you how all the scale tone chords can be played in a single hand position without moving up and down the keyboard.

    Quick Insights On The Concept Of Chord Progressions

    A good way to start out in this segment is to refresh our minds on the concept of chord progression before delving into learning the hand positions.

    A chord progression is basically defined as the movement between chords. In tonal music, chord progressions in a prevalent key are between two chords in the key.

    In the key of C major:

    …there are seven unique scale tones: C, D, E, F, G, A, and B.

    …and each of them can be represented using numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

    The chord from each of the scale tones are distinguished using these numbers. For example, the C major triad:

    …is distinguished as the 1-chord because C is the first tone and associated with the number 1.

    A chord progression between two scale tone chords:

    The C major triad:

    The A minor triad:

    …is described as a 1-6 chord progression because of the chord movement from the chord of the first tone to the chord of the sixth tone.

    “Who Else Is Interested In Learning The Three Hand Positions?”

    For smoother chord progressions, it’s important for hand positions to be understood.

    These hand positions are derived from the three known ways of playing a triad: the root position, the first inversion, and the second inversion.

    Let’s go ahead and explore them in the key of C major.

    Hand Position #1 – The Root Position

    The 1-chord in the key of C major:

    …is the C major triad:

    …which is played in its root position.

    “I’ll Go Ahead And Show You Other Scale Tone Chords In This Hand Position…”

    The 2-chord:

    …in root position.

    The 3-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    The 4-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    The 5-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    The 6-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    The 7-chord:

    …in root position.

    Hand Position #2 – The First Inversion

    Playing the 1-chord in its first inversion produces the C major triad (in its first inversion):

    …and this is another hand position that all the chords can be played in for smoothness.

    “Here Are All Scale Tone Chords Played In The First Inversion Hand Position…”

    The 1-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    The 2-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    The 3-chord:

    …in root position.

    The 4-chord:

    …in root position.

    The 5-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    The 6-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    The 7-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    Hand Position #3 – The Second Inversion

    The last (but not the least) hand position is the position of the second inversion of the 1-chord. Playing the C major triad in second inversion:

    …shows the third hand position in the key of C major.

    All the scale tone chords in the key of C major can also be played in this hand position.

    “Check Them Out…”

    The 1-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    The 2-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    The 3-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    The 4-chord:

    …in first inversion.

    The 5-chord:

    …in root position.

    The 6-chord:

    …in root position.

    The 7-chord:

    …in second inversion.

    Final Words

    In a subsequent lesson, we’ll be learning how to play smooth chord progressions using the hand positions and chords covered in this lesson.

    Meanwhile, the importance of learning these hand positions in other keys cannot be over-emphasized.

    See you in the next lesson.

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    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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