• Forget the right hand! Focus on the left…

    in Urban Styles

    jon powell gk600 youtubeI get tons of e-mails everyday and from experience, I find that one of the hardest things for musicians to do is play chords on both hands.

    It takes a lot of getting used to, especially when you’re used to playing chords on the right and single bass notes (or power chords like the “1” and “5” notes) on the left.

    Don’t get me wrong… this is fine if you’re a solo musician and have to hold down the chords and bass.

    But as you get more experienced and start getting invited to play in bands, you’ll have to say goodbye to the left hand bass technique, or the bass player WILL HATE YOU. And your chords won’t sound as full as the musician using two hands to play them.

    So as I was going through our youtube videos (we have hundreds of them there, check it out), I came across a pretty good demonstration of a two-hand groove by our very own Jonathan Powell from the GospelKeys Urban Pro 600 course.

    He goes over this chord progression in depth in the dvd but what I wanted to do was include the notes of the groove and explain a little more of what’s going on for those who don’t have the course.

    Stick with me… you’ll get a lot out of this…

    If you want to check out the video first, be my guest. If not, click on this video after reading what I have to say:

    So here’s what’s going on…

    Jon is in the key of Ab major and he’s playing a 2-6 groove. This is very common in urban and contemporary music. This happens to be a part of a contemporary gospel theme but the truth is that you’ll find this is in R&B, soul, and other genres.

    (For my beginners, it’s called a “2-6” groove because the bass is moving from Bb to F… which are the “2nd” and “6th” tones of the Ab scale, respectively. You won’t find Jon doing this because he’s not playing the bass. He has a bass player on the side so don’t get confused).

    Ok, so the groove is starting on Bb and then moving to F. But it doesn’t stay that simple for long as you’ll find Jon introducing other changes to get you from Bb to F that I’ll cover in a minute (like using the 3 to get to 6… thus a “2-3-6” progression or using the 7 to get to the 3 and the 3 to get to the 6… thus a “2-7-3-6” progression). Don’t worry, I gotch you!

    But let me cover what you don’t get to see in the video (because it’s actually already occurred and this clip starts in the middle).

    Here’s what Jon is playing on Bb:

    Left hand: Ab C Db F
    Right hand: Ab C Eb (but he’s using his pointer finger to play Bb slightly early to create a “grace note sliding” effect).
    Chord name: Bb minor 11

    Here’s what he’s doing on F:

    Left hand: Eb G Ab C
    Right hand: Eb G Bb (using “F” to create the “grace note sliding” effect).
    Chord name: F minor 11

    So these are the two chords you hear in the beginning of their groove. This is the foundation.

    What can you gather from this?

    Any time you want to play a two hand voicing for a minor chord and make it sound real good, you can use this voicing. Notice that the Bb and F chords use the same exact type of voicing. So if you learn all of these, you’ll have your minor chords taken care of.

    To learn em’ all, just move up your notes a half step and write that chord down. Move your bass up as well even though you’re not playing the bass. Whatever bass note you’re at will be the title (or keynote) of the chord. Do this to all keys until you get back to your starting point. Then practice playing them.

    Now, let’s move further.

    He introduces a chord on the “3”… or in this case “C.”

    (Bass player would be playing C)

    Left hand: E Ab Bb Eb
    Right hand: Ab C Eb (using the same “grace note slide” effect with “Bb”)

    You’d put this chord in between the Bb and F chord.

    So altogether, it looks like this:

    Left hand: Ab C Db F
    Right hand: Ab C Eb (but he’s using his pointer finger to play Bb slightly early to create a “grace note sliding” effect).
    Invisible Bass: Bb

    Left hand: E Ab Bb Eb
    Right hand: Ab C Eb (using the same “grace note slide” effect with “Bb)
    Invisible Bass: C

    Left hand: Eb G Ab C
    Right hand: Eb G Bb (using “F” to create the “grace note sliding” effect).
    Invisible Bass: F

    This is called a “2-3-6” progression because the root bass is going from Bb (which is the 2nd tone in the Ab scale) to C (the 3rd tone) to F (the 6th tone).

    But it gets even better than that…

    He wants to lead to the “3” with a chord so he uses the “7” chord in the scale. In this case, that’s a “G” bass.

    Left hand: F B
    Right hand: F Bb Db

    But he does change the “3” chord from before to this:

    Left hand: E Bb
    Right hand: Eb Ab C (using the same “grace note slide” effect with “Bb)

    If you think about it, it’s pretty much the same chord that you used above on “C” but it’s just smaller. Instead of the big ‘E Ab Bb Eb’ chord on the left, it’s just ‘E Bb’ (which is a tritone… another lesson). And the right hand is still an Ab major chord, just in second inversion (Eb Ab C instead of Ab C Eb).

    So altogether, this progression looks like this:

    Left hand: Ab C Db F
    Right hand: Ab C Eb (but he’s using his pointer finger to play Bb slightly early to create a “grace note sliding” effect).
    Invisible Bass: Bb

    Left hand: E Bb
    Right hand: Eb Ab C (using the same “grace note slide” effect with “Bb)
    Invisible Bass: G

    Left hand: F B
    Right hand: F Bb Db
    Invisible Bass: C

    Left hand: Eb G Ab C
    Right hand: Eb G Bb (using “F” to create the “grace note sliding” effect).
    Invisible Bass: F

    At the end of the day, you have 3+ ways to play this same progression. You can keep it simple with just the “2” and “6” chord. You can add the big “3” chord in between them. Or you can add the “7-3” pair between the “2” and “6.”

    Of course Jon does other fancy things on the video that I can’t get into right now because of time but this lesson will get you started jammin’ with this groove!

    I would really like to hear from you all on this one. Did you enjoy this progression? Are you having problems playing it? Are you getting that little “grace note sliding” trick? Let me know!

    I can even get Jon on here to do another demonstration or something if you let me know what you want to learn! :)

    Until next time!

    P.S. – Here are some other video clips in the urban series…

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!

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


    1 Lucy

    Are these clips all part of a series or something? And if possible would they be available to me infinitely? Please let me know. This is an incredible like having a live teacher! Thanks!

    2 corey

    Thanks for breaking these chords down. I actually have the urban 600 course, and it is really a blessing. In the course, he also talks about the 1-4 progression (or Ab to Db in the key of Ab).

    There is a song that is made up of progression alone, and uses the exact chords that Jonathan shows. The song is “Its your Time” by Donald Lawrence and Tri City. The entire is a 4-1-4 progression that just loops over and over. Check it out if you get a chance. It is a great way to practice these chords in a real song.

    But thanks again Jermaine for breaking these chords down.

    3 luchu18

    Wow, thats a really good lesson. Beautiful chords, we would like to see Joh come on here and breakdown some of the extra stuff he does in the video!!!

    4 Ms Thelma

    I love it!

    5 michel thomspon

    how do i subscribe to the blog? i’m not that good on computers.

    6 celine

    thanks alot very helpful!please i would to see another demonstration by jon.
    all the best

    7 Mark A

    Dear Jermaine.

    A while back,I think you offer a hannon series on fingering techinques. Do you have that video? Or? Where can I purchase that DVD?

    Mark A.

    8 Jermaine
    9 jim nelson

    thanks so much for this lesson. i’ll be visinting here daily!!!!!!!

    Jim Nelson

    10 me

    WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! this is hot. it’s being played at my evening service TONIGHT.

    11 Johnathan

    is this a new blog? i like the look

    12 Sammie

    Hey HearandPlay.com,

    Thanks for all your great e-mails. This lesson was nice. When my budget allows, I’m definitely going to invest in this course.

    13 DJ

    Other than dude’s voice, everthing is nice. Talk straight tho dude.


    14 Leticia Asante

    How happy l am,thank so much for letting me have this,l love it.God bless you!
    help me get to know more………………

    15 charles

    teach me music

    16 jim metellus

    thanks i’m all about gosple music, if i can take piano course on line that would be great

    17 Orion Keyz

    Kool, kool, kool! Jamaine, yu r really doing a good job in giving some helpless people hope of actualizing their dreams on the keyz.
    Keep it up!



    19 jay moe

    How can I purchase these dvds without using a credit card

    20 Mike Wade

    Hello Mr. .Griggs just letting you knows you have been a blessing to my playing and thank you for sharing what God has given you.

    21 benjamin

    how can i get this series,it is unbelievably wonderful.i think this is what i need to go to the next level in my playing.

    22 Marcus Offutt

    I’m having touble learning progression and chords.

    23 Jermaine

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for your wonderful comments. Please stay tuned in for daily posts here. Bookmark it or subscribe via RSS (if you’re familiar) or e-mail updates to be notified right away.

    To get this course, visit http://www.hearandplay.com/gkurban.html

    Take care,
    Jermaine Griggs

    24 Jermaine

    Jay Moe,

    You can order offline at:


    25 Jake Johnson

    I hate to be the one to say it, but these progressions seem to have little to do with gospel playing, except in its fairly recent incarnation as a form of easy-listening\smooth r&b. The progressions and the timbre are bland.

    Calling this gospel is like calling Kenny G jazz.

    26 Bryan

    yes …My name is bryan …And I sorry to say this, but I don’t understand a little bit of what this message is for>?? can you pleasee help me understand..thank you soo much…..

    27 Jermaine

    Hi Jake,

    Interesting point.

    When comparing to traditional gospel, I would agree… it’s far from that. However, if you look at some of the newer incarnations of gospel and its neo-soul and contemporary r&b influences, you will find this progression and similar ones all throughout. One of the earlier comments even pointed out that a particular song used the same exact progression (and exact chord voicings) for the entire song.

    Please check out other clips of Jon… there’s less bland stuff in the player above. He’s a monster, to say the least. :)

    Thanks for your feedback,

    28 Jermaine

    Hi Bryan,

    not sure what you’re referring to (the e-mail you originally received or the lesson itself) but if this lesson doesn’t make sense, I would probably go to some of our other foundational lessons in these categories:


    * Check out the piano category and all the sub-categories at the top of this page.


    29 Mike

    I’d like to see him do better. I don’t think this clip is bland, i think it’s hecka tight. This is the epideme of west coast playin in this clip. It’s the nuances like the flicking of the extra notes that make all the difference.

    30 azim

    Hi Jermaine,
    you realy make a splash in training. Thanks for your E-mails and every thing that you have done for us.But the main problem is time to real your mails. I cannot stop them and if I stop them, I cannot get the remains.
    Any how I try to do my best.
    thank you.

    31 Adin

    thanks for the training. I need more theory before I do the practical. Please send me the lessons.

    32 asenso

    how are upper structures applied

    33 Emmanuel

    Hi JG,

    Thanks for the free lessons. Wud love to subscribe so I can get more of them. Let me know how cause they one u sent was a blessing. Cheers.


    34 thirza

    hi jermaine, thanx for posting this..
    u’ve really helped me alot
    it’s amazing to see and hear sumthin like this
    it sounds so full and rich..

    35 Emmanuel

    Ya cool man

    36 Yishaq

    Bless it be the name of the LORD !

    It’s about time the LORD have sent a ” MUSIC WARRIOR” to help us fight our battles, thru teaching the FUll Gospel on Priase and Worship.
    Hazak 1 Hazak !! v’nit Chezak !!!

    37 DeNica

    Great!! Answer to my pressing question! This is much appreciated, thanks so much!!!

    38 Marcie Simspon

    The video was very good, but for those of us that are just learning to play by ear, how helpful it would be if we could get beginners lesson. I dearly love
    gospel. Thank you.

    39 Marcie Simspon

    I would welcome some beginning gospel lessons.

    40 Karl

    This is really great, I’ve finally learned where a tritone can be used in a progression. Very smooth sounding. I’l definately be practising this in every key!

    41 Jermaine

    @Marcie Simpson: There are over 100 articles in the blog already. You’ll find tons of information on beginning gospel lessons. Just go to this category or use the search bar above:



    42 Josh

    I really enjoyed what Jon was showing in this lesson. He broke down in the ways that I can understand them. I just hope that I can do it. But I believe in God and that He has His hands on me and that I know I can do it if I really work hard at it. It sounds like it will be a lot of fun to work with. Once again, thank you.

    43 Jermaine

    @josh: Yes sir, you can do it! I will pass your remarks on to Jon.


    44 Valerie

    I’m learning alot, congrat’s to you for signing on Jon. I’m understanding more about the keys on the piano.

    45 Patrick. South africa

    wow wow wow wow great staff…..

    46 Patrick. South africa

    wow wow wow wow great staff…..

    Would like to play jus like you …god bless. where can i buy your material from in south Africa

    47 wale

    I rely appriciate God for your life.I learnt keyboard in a wrong way, not untill i came across these toturials. it has given me a edge,stand.formaly i was just playing by error i.e not knowing the names of chords and where to apply them.But now it’s better,i and i know it can only get with you.thanks for reaching out to millions of persons like me,who have the zeal,but no body to put them 2ru.

    48 Mayowa

    thanks for these tips. its going to play a great role in my playing in the church choir am playing for.

    49 meshack

    Great chord progressions. These are really worthwhile lessons. I’ll definately purchase some of the lessons soon. Do you have really basic minor chord proressions I mean for begginers?

    50 jacob

    I just want to say thanks. What you all are doing is wonderful!

    51 ngocthuan

    i like here and play!help me very much.

    52 Jermaine

    thanks guys for all your comments! stay tuned for daily posts! ;)

    53 Lakisha

    Hi I want to say thank for sending all the emails and taking that time to do it even though I don’t know how to go on this website and leave comments. I just want to ask you is there any way I can get 300page for $39.95 like you had for the 4 of July special it kind of hard for me to come up with $69.95. I love for this helping me get started now I ready to finish.Lakisha McDonald

    54 temitop

    i’m terribly in love with this idea.jermaine is the best.

    55 Ricardo[Barbados]

    thank for this imformation, it has improve my playing. i have the gospel keys 101 202 300 500 and i am saving to order the mike bereal and urban 600.thank for sharing your God given gift,God Bless You

    56 zac

    Hi Jermaine! I really love your ministry. I have purchased the Gospel Keys 100 and 200 series. I also have the Urban 600. I go back and learn something new every time I watch them again. I am playing at our church by myself with no bass player. I want to do something different in the left hand besides the usual 1 and 5. What can I do besides this? I really would have liked to see more actual progressions on J Powell’s DVDs and songs. I need something I can turn to simply and easily. Should I just not play the 1 and 5 in the right? Give me a little insight. Thank you so much! Zac Taylor

    57 kwande

    im loving this corse but i would like to get the whole thing and not just snipets,but i don’t have a credit card.what can i do?

    58 ernesty

    i luv u all]

    59 Sandeereal

    Waow. Jermaine, you’re an ANGEL. This stuff is great. I love P.I.T.C.H.so much. It’s an amazing little wizard. I’ll make sure i get all the GK DVDs though i don’t have a credit card yet.

    60 Gerald


    I am thankful to God that you have been sucessful in teaching many thousands of Christians to broaden their horizons musically by way of the internet. This is a ministry that is much needed in the Church of God. Please continue what you are doing. I cannot always afford to purchase the courses you offer, but I am thankful for the crumbs (free tips) that fall from the table. May God’s grace, mercy, peace, and other blessings be with you, your family, and staff as you continue to serve Him through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    61 Terry G.

    Hey Jermaine G. I’ve been listening and learning for a couple of years from you and your anointed friends. I play the keyboard and plan on learning the lead guitar from your lessons. But I plan on opening a Mime and arts center in the future and music will be a major part of it. How can I have my center to incorporate Hear and Play as a official class institution or site with the lessons and 300 pg book. I live in Hampton Va.

    62 Jermaine

    Hey Terry, if you contact us at 1-877-856-4187 and give us your information, we can definitely arrange this.


    63 Ana

    Jermaine, You are the answer to my prayer. Only GOd knows how much you have helped me with find the many missing links in piano playing. Your gift as a teacher and musician is indeed heaven-designed. To thank you will never be enough, but thank you forever.

    64 peter

    i fine theis hear and play music as a means that will and have been aprove my skill in playing keyboard. one thing that stand as indrance to my proper improvement is facilities to achieve my musical dream such as keyboard computer for browsing and other.help

    65 goodness

    wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow those are really great .wishing icould see more

    66 Emmanuel

    I wish to start learning the keyboard from the scratch. can you help me with beginner lessons. i know i can learn very fast so, for me, i wont have to stay too long on any lesson. Please, i really need your help. can you help?

    Thanks for being a source of inspiration to millions on the earth. God Bless you.

    67 WAXCO

    You are indeed a music legend and keyboardist with a difference i love you, Thanks.

    68 jimmyron

    i am very impress for what i found here,good job keepit up

    69 Mekiafa (American Samoa)

    Jermaine, may the good Lord continue to bless you for the wonderful work you are doing. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, advice and tips on playing the piano. It has taken my piano playing to a whole new level…I’m the type of guy who only knows how to plays simple triad chords. But now I’m playing at a whole new level thanks to your lessons! I should also mention that my playing sounds a lot better now than before…

    Keep doing the good job, Jermaine…I really appreciate what you are doing for us musicians.

    70 Ntobeko

    This is the easiest way to the top, now ama have sleepless nights tryna be the best

    71 Tiffany

    I LOVE THIS BLOG!, THESE VIDEOS!, AND THE EXPLANATIONS! Ive been playing for a while, self taught through sources like these on the internet. Ive been stagnant in my playing because I couldnt find anything else on the web. Within days of finding this ive learned so much! Love the progression! Thanks for the lessons! :)

    72 mishack

    i enjoy the lessons and soon ill be playing greatly thanks man, can you take me to the next level.

    73 John

    Pls, mr. J. Griggs. I enjoyed ur lessons very much and i hav improved alot 2 d extent dat people ask me how manage and i told them about the wonderful site and the man who owns it. They visited it and they were baffled wit wat dey saw and dey extend their greetings. Plz i have a problem how 2 order the gospel and urban 101, 102, ,,.Etc. Those cards are hard 2 see. And is ur shipping extended to africa. Plz tel me wat 2 do, i need them badly. Im from nigeria. My other details are wit u. Check ur member list.. I hoping to hear from u soon. Thanks. Godbless!

    74 John

    Hello! Mr. J. Griggs. I enjoyed ur lessons very much and i hav improved alot 2 d extent dat people ask me how manage and i told them about the wonderful site and the man who owns it. They visited it and they were baffled wit wat dey saw and dey extend their greetings. Plz i have a problem how 2 order the gospel and urban 101, 102, ,,.Etc. Those cards are hard 2 see. And is ur shipping extended to africa. Plz tel me wat 2 do, i need them badly. Im from nigeria. My other details are wit u. Check ur member list.. I hoping to hear from u soon. Thanks. Godbless!

    75 John

    Plz how can i get that ur 300pg paino course book? Its stil me.

    76 ettiene

    where in south africa can i purchase these lesson or cd’s am from cape town

    77 bill

    I think it would be easier to understand and make more sense if you presented this kind of thing as ii-V7 or II7-V7 of something. These are strings of dominant 7th chords and they don’t fit with scale tone seventh chords (ex. Gm7b5 and Cm ). You should call the “C” chord a V7 of vi, and the “G” chord would be a V7 of iii. This makes a whole lot more sense. Thanks!

    78 custom metal stampings

    Hello, i feel that i noticed you visited my web site thus i got here to “go back the prefer”.I’m attempting to in finding things to improve my website!I suppose its adequate to make use of a few of your concepts!!

    79 David Palmer

    It’s amazing how I never thought about the left hand really since I have always “played with the right”. Thanks for the tips, I think it is awesome and I am learning a lot.

    80 Mothers car wash wax

    I pondered sending this trackback great gadget

    81 Kwaku

    Nice chords. Thanks.

    82 chwilówki kredyty

    Hey There. I discovered your weblog the usage of msn. This is
    a very smartly written article. I will make sure to bookmark it and come back to read extra of your
    useful information. Thank you for the post. I will certainly comeback.

    83 Terrance

    Jermaine I was wondering if you had GK600 in a PDF like you had for GK202 or the GK300…….. No one on the internet is teaching two hand voice and then you have a unique way of simplfying things…. and then puting it all together in a song….. I have the DVD just finding time to watch it is a problem and of course it’s my problem not Hear N Play….. But I gain a lot of knowledge being able to go back to the last page I read whether it be two days later or 3 months later…. You can’t start where you finished from a DVD……. Unless you keep it out reach from the family.

    Thanks for understanding,

    84 Kareem

    Thanks for all you do, Jermaine! Do you have DVDs that individually address each section of the transformation guide or just the column? How are the studies broken up to where students can access a specific section? Or do you advise the whole regardless?

    85 Kareem

    Do you find transcribing until all the vocabulary of the artists you transcribe from becomes automatic in your playing is a way to address all the factors of musician transformation? Is this a longer or shorter way to the goal?

    86 Ekemini

    how can I purchase for this
    do you have it in pdf

    87 king solomon

    hi grigs, u are one of the best music teachers in the world, the world is proud of u, God bless u, ur name is all over the world, keep it up,

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