• VIDEO LESSONS: The SECRET to playing ANY and EVERY chord you want in SECONDS (FREE link to another 14pg report included)…

    in Chords & Progressions,Theory


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    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.




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    { 19 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Annie

    Hey Jermaine, this makes more sense than all the lessons i have encountered.
    Thanks so much.
    Keep the good work up, you will have many stars in your crown, due to the thousands you have help to up lift the name of jesus in music.

    I’m coming to griff now!
    Annie

    Reply

    2 Jacqueline

    Your ministry of teaching has been a God send to me- everything that I needed to learn but never got in years and years of lessons and blind practing. It is particulalry hard to be a woamn playing gospel because there is a level of cut through competition that is better suited to young men. Here’s a potential critisism or, more accurately, explanation of why I don’t use more of the resources.

    I am middle aged woman, have two kids and a demanding career. I play for the joy of it and volunteer at a small church that would otherwise not have a musician. I don’t have a lot of free time. After work, kids, spouse, exercise,etc, I’m lucky to fit in an hour of practice a day. By 10pm I’m tired and I go to bed and get up at 6am and do it all over again. From my perspective, you take a long, long time to explain things. I understand the need to spend a lot of time on the concepts but, by analogy to preaching, the introduction, exposition and background is way more than I need to understand the message. Maybe I’m the exception- if so, forgive me. Otherwise- EDIT!!!

    Reply

    3 GospelSong

    This is a great music blog post! I like your methodology. You have a controlled system of driving the process to clarity. I could understand the relationship and breakdown of “polychords” in their respectful variations. Naming the cords correctly was another by-product of this training session. Thank you for your dedication.

    I missed the BlogTalk Radio show tonight–but you (and the team) deserve a break! :)

    Reply

    4 Demetrius Balkum

    Thank YOU Jermaine, I called myself a producer at the age of 21 using 1 tone melodies on top of sound effect and hip hop beats. I’m not saying I am famouse for anything, but I am now in my 30’s, doing this as a hobby. I have adopted the piano and the theory of music as a craft. From your experience, I have upgraded my skills in producing, and now I am getting rid of the 1 key melodies, and replacing sound effects with harmonies. I enjoy playing the songs you teach to others and myself. I purchased your whole package of gospel keys and jazz 101. I have used other methods, but yours has re-enforced and quickly made since of what I formally read. I have freind’s and family wanting to use my DVD’s. I wont lend them out brcause I might not get them back.

    Thank you,
    STRANGER

    Reply

    5 james

    jermaine,jermaine,jermaine! you are the man! you have a knack for explaining things very very well.iam a “why” person and need to understand the mechanics of how things work myself.i took piano lessons on and off for years and was totally turned off with the overly stretched out and complicated piano lessons they offer just to keep you coming back and paying them.everytime i had questions that appeared that my shorten my learning time it was always redirected with discouraging cliches leading in no direction of encouragement and desire to want to continue learning.think about it! its not very motivating for a 39 yr old man to want to learn “mary had a little lamb” or “london bridge” unless i played it like you jermaine! lol.then i may have stayed in lessons. i learned scales and how to play them from you in an hour,instead of being stretched out over a several week period.thanx my friend and stay honest in this game,

    Reply

    6 Ed. Keifer

    Jermaine Sir,

    I read your May 2004 Newsletter on the 7-3-6-2-5-1-4 progression and I have been practicing the chords you posted there for a few days now and all my thumbs are starting to turn back into fingers so I can appreciate the beauty of their design.

    When it takes 5 minutes between chords, one just can’t appreciate how they go together and complement each other.

    In order to cope I worked out a real simple 736251 progression which I would like to share with you and all who maybe interested.

    Of course it is in the key of C major!!!!!!!!!

    The 7 chord of the key of C is B(1/2 Dim) and has notes B+D+F+A

    I start my progression on the IV chord FMaj7 Right Hand Notes F+A+C+E. Left Hand bass note F.

    I voice Bmin7b5 or B(1/2 dim) Right Hand notes F+A+B+D. Left hand bass note B. To get from F Maj7 to B-1/2 dim just move E to D and C to B

    Actually it may interest some that the Famous Glenn Miller Sound was A Clarinet on the melody note and four saxes, all in the same octave on harmony. Miller used four note chords like FMaj7 and others and simply had the fourth sax play the melody note down one octave. Because E and F are 1/2 step apart and would clash he may have dropped the E to D which should have harmonized or C, I really do not know and I don’t have four saxes here to find out.

    Next I discovered that a 1/2 Dim chord will progress to a fully diminished chord very nicely and to make this 7 chord fully diminished play Right Hand F+Ab+B+D. Just move the finger you have on A down to Ab. Left Hand bass B again.

    Next the three chord Emin7 Right Hand E+G+B+D Left Hand bass E.

    Next the six chord Amin7 Right Hand E+G+A+C. Left Hand Bass A.

    Next the two chord Dmin7 Right Hand D+F+A+C LH bass D.

    Now the dominent five chord G7 RH D+F+G+B. LH bass G.

    The Tonic I chord CMaj7 RH C+E+G+B. LH bass C.

    Now a little something extra. Back in the 1950’s and early 60’s when Rock and Roll was being birthed by such legends as Johnny Cash, Sonny James, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Sam Cook, and a host of others, Sonny James had a smash hit called Young Love. Some of the words go like this::::

    They say for every boy and girl theres just one love in this whole world
    and I, I, I know I, I, I’ve found mine.

    The progression of this song was 1-6-4-5-1 along with hundreds of other songs from the era.

    So why not do a 1,6,4 here today. If it sounded good then it should sound good now!!!!

    Here goes:::: RH A+C+E+G. LH bass A down an octave. This is our old buddy Amin7.

    Of course when Sonny James wrote Young Love he wasn’t very fancy and he just called his progresson C, A minor, F and G7.

    Now go back to the four chord FMaj7. RH F+A+C+E. LH F. From here it just repeats until we go 1-6-4-5-1.

    We must remember to respect those artists from the 50’s and 80’s and use their progressions once in a while.

    Hope you all enjoy!!!

    God Bless,

    Ed.

    Reply

    7 Musical588

    Thank you Jermaine,

    You make this sooooo…… simple like Math. Everything has a basic pattern. I am much more confident and less apprehensive now when I play with other Musicians because even if I’ve never heard the song , I have an idea of where it is going. Wonderful Savior. LOL

    Reply

    8 paul

    with respect. you spend a lot of time on things that are irrelivent to the subject matter,(learning piano) 6.31 and still have learned nothing from this video, it might get better soon,

    Reply

    9 Jermaine

    Paul, be a little patient. It’s one of the best videos I’ve posted. See youtube comments and ratings. With respect, if you can’t sit in your chair for 6 minutes, how can you master something as complex as the piano?

    Reply

    10 Danny (p-rex)

    Paul, I have been intensely studying music and chord theory for over a year, and in my opinion (which I realize you didn’t ask for) Mr. Griggs is the best person online at teaching these concepts. He’s very thorough with the concept at hand yet simple enough for the beginner to easily grasp. Paul, patience is key to learning these things. It is important in laying a good foundation in your knowledge of theory. It’s one thing if you already understand what he is teaching, but if you don’t then it is indeed worth taking the time to learn it well if you are serious about learning piano.

    Just thought I’d throw in my two cents. Sorry for rambling haha. Good post Mr. Griggs.

    Reply

    11 linda

    Hi, Jermaine

    you have helped in so many ways I can’t begin to tell you.
    I just got the concept of numbers, I purchased your 101 lesson about two years ago and by the end of the night I was playing a song. I get the concept of numbers, I’m having a hard time getting the base chords. I can pick out the melody of any song that’s easy, I now need to put the chords with each key will you explain this in the near future. The song is GOD Has Not Giving Us The Spirit Of Fear. It’s is the key of Eb.

    Thank you

    P.S.

    May GOD continually bless your family and the thousands of promising musicans you have help.

    Sincerely Linda

    Reply

    12 john jenkins

    hello jermaine i am so glad that you have come out with this site and helping me to advance my self i would love to get the chance to meet u some day

    Reply

    13 Miriam Tierno

    Hi Paul,

    My name is Miriam Tierno and I feel bad that you felt that one of
    Rev. Jermaine’s video lessons was irrelevant to you. Sometimes when we do not understand something it means that there is a missing link on your end. It is like learning to drive. You do not start driving unless you learn the basics first. Take one step at a time. His lessons and his Monday night question and answer sessions are excellent. I have learned so much from these sessions. I was trained to play the piano the old-fahsion way. I did not understand what I was doing. My teachers could not answer my questions and I became very frustrated. I began to look for new ways of learning to play and started to teach myself with books and videos. I tried different on-line teachers and they were very hard to follow. Rev. Jermaine’s ear training method has opened up a new world for me. I feel like I am finally learning. He explaines every detail, step-by-step. As a school teacher, this is the method I use to teach K-8th grades. Sometimes I get a little carried away giving examples. I love to teach and I always want to make sure that everyone leaves my room understand what I have taught. I believe Rev. Jermaine is much like me. He is a giver and loves to teach. Please be patient. He is a wonderful persona and a great teacher. I know. I studied methods of teaching and he uses excellent methods.

    Sincerely,

    Miriam

    Reply

    14 Miriam Tierno

    Hi Paul,

    Correction on my last comment: The word is “understanding, not “understand.

    I love to teach and I always want to make sure that everyone leaves my room understanding what I have taught.

    Also: “Persona,” is a Latin expression.

    Miriam

    Reply

    15 sinaga

    hi jermine.

    i’m sinaga from kuta – bali ( indonesia ).i wanna play piano in church,because need me.and if could play in good iwanna dedicate it for the church.
    i know about the scale but i don’t knoe how to use it and when i can use the scale in a song.and could you mind to tell me how to play rhytim in piano.

    Reply

    16 ohiorunner6042

    I happened upon your videos on youtube because I was classically trained on piano, now play keyboard in a church, and am desparately struggling to learn my music theory which I completely ignored learning piano because I need to be able to hang with the guitar players and play off of lead sheets/chord charts.. I have paid a lot of money for lessons that did not help with the basic concepts. You nail it on the head when you say that people make it harder than it is. That’s what I’ve been doing….I know my major and minor chords but have been struggling with the bigger chords. Your explanation of how to build them (assembly line) was like a lightbulb that went on in my head. Its so easy and I’ve been making it hard!! I’ve read some of the other comments on this page and yes, the video is a long, but the information covers things for not only the beginner but the very advanced. I do not feel I’ve wasted one minute of my time…you have saved me countless hours of struggling to grasp concepts that you have now helped me learn in seconds. I have often thought to myself that there has to be an easier way to understand it but I am finally starting to grasp it, thanks to you. If you want to be good at something…you need to put in the time. I work a full time job, go to school, have kids and a husband and dogs that demand my time but this is completely worth every second I spent on it. Thank you for this! IT’s been a complete blessing!

    Reply

    17 mymusicttb

    Admiring the time and effort you put into your sitio web and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. Thumbs up!

    Reply

    18 Josefina Heyliger

    Superb post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Thanks!

    Reply

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