• 1st Day Of Christmas – Right Hand Chords For The C Bass Note

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    Our focus in today’s lesson is on the right hand chords for the C bass note.

    This is the first lesson in our twelve days of Christmas series and we’re getting started with the answer to the question “what is a C bass note?”.

    “What Is A C Bass Note”

    C is considered as a bass note when it is the lowest-sounding note of any given chord. For example, the lowest-sounding note in the chord below:

    …is C:

    Although the C bass note can be used in any key, we’ll be considering the C bass note:

    …in the key of C major:

    C As “The 1” vs C As “The 5-of-4”

    The C bass note has two functions in the key of C major:

    As “the 1”

    As “the 5-of-4”

    Let’s go ahead and learn what C as “the 1” means, and also understand how it differs from C as “the 5-of-4”.

    C As “The 1”

    In the key of C major:

    …C is the first tone and has its place in the number system as “the 1”. When the C bass note is functioning as “the 1”, the right hand chord will be a scale-tone chord: be it a triad, seventh, or extended chord.

    What this means is that chords associated with the C bass note when it’s functioning as “the 1” are chords in the key you’re in and we’ll be covering those chords shortly.

    C As “The 5-of-4”

    The term “5-of-4” literally means the dominant of the fourth and this means that C in used as the dominant chord (or passing chord) that resolves to the 4-chord.

    The fourth tone in the key of C major is F:

    …therefore, C as “the 5-of-4” means that C is resolving to any 4-chord in the key of C major; which includes (but isn’t limited to) any of the following chords:

    The F major triad:

    The F major seventh chord:

    The F major ninth chord:

    So, C bass note as “the 5-of-4” refers to C dominant chord types and we’ll be looking at the right hand chords for the C bass note in subsequent segments.

    Right Hand Chords For C As “The 1”

    Attention: Right hand chords for the C bass note as “the 1” depends on factors like skill level, musical taste, etc. There are situations that an advanced player may want to use basic chords instead of sophisticated chords.

    Basic

    Beginners may want to play any of the following right hand chords for the C bass note:

    C major triad (root position):

    C major triad (first inversion):

    C major triad (second inversion):

    Intermediate

    Intermediate players may want to play right hand chords like:

    The E minor triad (root position):

    The E minor triad (first inversion):

    The E minor triad (second inversion):

    Advanced

    Advanced players may want to play the following upper-structure triads:

    The G major triad (root position):

    The G major triad (first inversion):

    The G major triad (second inversion):

    …or fourth chords like:

    The B 7sus4:

    The E 7sus4:

    The A 7sus4:

    Right Hand Chords For C As “The 5-of-4”

    In this segment, you’ll be learning passing chords to the 4-chord in the key of C major.

    Attention: Right hand chords for the C bass note as “the 5-of-4” depends on factors like skill level, musical taste, etc. There are situations that an advanced player may want to use basic chords instead of sophisticated chords.

    Basic

    Beginners may want to play any of the following right hand chords for the C bass note:

    C dominant seventh chord (root position):

    C dominant seventh chord (first inversion):

    C dominant seventh chord (second inversion):

    C dominant seventh chord (third inversion):

    Intermediate

    Intermediate players may want to play right hand chords like:

    The E half-diminished seventh chord (root position):

    The G minor sixth chord (root position):

    The G diminished seventh chord (root position):

    Advanced

    Advanced players may want to play the following chords:

    The Bb major seventh [b5]:

    The Bb major seventh [b5] (second inversion):

    Final Words

    Using the right hand chords covered in this lesson, I’m sure that you’ve got a right hand chord for the C bass note in the key of C major; irrespective of your skill level.

    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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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 el-c

    if the chord has a C in the bass would it read as Gminor6/C or Edim7/C.thanks for the post ,maybe you could show a chord progression using an example from the lesson.thanks el-c smith

    Reply

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