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I. Welcome
II. Announcements
III. Online Classroom: "Live Musician Conversations"


Dear Subscriber,

Hello there and welcome to a new edition of the "Music Theory" newsletter. This month's newsletter shares a few of my chat conversations with various musicians. With their permission, I have been allowed to publish the transcripts. You might want to read closely as some of your musical questions may be answered within these help sessions. Well, let's get started ...


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Online Classroom: "Live Musician Conversations"
Note: You might want to print this lesson out for easier reading....

>>> We have found the following conversations to be very helpful and thought that we should publish them for all of our students to observe and learn from. Enjoy ... <<<


(CHAT STARTED AT 10:29 am)

Roger: Hello there

ME: Hello, how are you today?

Roger: I'm fine. Thank you

ME: By the way, this is Jermaine. I'm on this live chat this morning to speak with some of my students. If you have any questions, I will be glad to assist you. May I ask your name?

Roger: (we didn't know his name at the time) Ok, this is great. I initially just wanted to see if this live chat thingy worked before I ordered. I had no idea I would be chatting with you. Oh yes, my name is Rooger

Roger: Roger*

ME: Well, as you can see, we're live (but not in color). hehe. Do you have any questions about the course? or about playing gospel / jazz music in general?

Roger: Actually, I've been playing for about 3 years. But I really need to improve my ability to play songs in every key. Do you have something for this?

ME: Sure ... my course actually covers transposition. However, I can show you a few techniques right now...

ME: Say you know how to play a dominant chord. For example, the C7 chord (which is pronounced "C Seventh") consists of 4 notes: C - E - G - Bb. My rule is... "if you know ONE chord, then you know them ALL." Do you know why Roger?

Roger: Uhhh ... well I've only been playing for 3 years and I really haven't gotten into all the theory. But why?

ME: I see. Well, I'm not trying to pressure you. Don't worry if you don't know the answers. That's why you have come to my website right?

Roger: sure...

ME: Well, here's the technique (and its very easy). If you want to play ANY chord (and I mean any chord) and you know ONE chord of its same type, then simply follow these steps:

ME: First, you must know one of the chords. In our example, lets say we know how to form a C7 (C - E - G - Bb). To form an Ab7 (A flat Seventh), we must first count how many half steps separate C and Ab. You can either count these half steps by going up the piano or down (whichever way the notes are closest together). Are you still with me?

Roger: Ok, so you're saying to count how many half steps Ab is from C? I'm not catching you when you say "half" steps.

ME: My fault Roger. I should have explained half steps. A HALF STEP simply means the difference between two keys which are RIGHT NEXT to each other. In other words, B and C are 1 half step apart because there aren't any notes in between them. However, C and D are 2 half steps apart because C# is in between the two notes. Got me?

Roger: Ok, I see. So E and F would be 1 half step apart. But F and G would be two half steps?

ME: Yes, that is correct. Also, another word for saying two half steps is to say 1 whole step. That's because two half steps equal one whole step. But its easier in this case to count half steps because I don't expect you to remember 1.5 whole steps (and all those decimals) when you can simply remember 3 half steps (my course is all about giving you theory in an easy format).

ME: So how many half steps are in between Ab and C?

Roger: Let's see. Is the answer 5?

ME: Ok... Roger. I think you might have miscounted. There's actually two answers depending on which way you chose to count. You could have either started at C and counted down That is, from C to B is 1 half step, from B to Bb is another half step. Or ... you could have started at C and counted up. That is, from C to C#, from C# to D and so on. Which way did you count Roger?

Roger: I went backwards because it was much easier. Let me try again

ME: Ok, no problem

Roger: Ok, is 4 correct?

ME: There you go! Because, from C to B is 1, from C to Bb is 2, from C to A is 3 and from C to Ab is 4.

ME: ... and here's the trick. Just simply subtract the number that you get from 12 and it will give you the opposite end. That is, if you subtract 4 from 12, you'll get 8. This means that if you count up (instead of down), you'll notice that Ab is 8 half steps up from C. These two numbers should always equal 12. Make sense?

Roger: Sure it does. I understand that because I teach math (despite my last error ... lol.)

ME: Ok, we're almost done. Now that you know that Ab is 4 half steps down from C, simply move all of your fingers 4 half steps down. That is, if you have your fingers on C - E - G - Bb, just simply slide each finger down 4 notes.

ME: C would now become Ab (obviously). E would become C, G would become Eb and Bb would become Gb. Tell me if I'm moving to fast...

Roger: I see, so all of my fingers move down the same amount of notes right?

ME: That's correct. You MUST make sure that all of them move the same amount of notes for the Ab7 chord to sound correct.

ME: This technique can be used to learn all chords ... and I mean all chords! Here is a distance chart (relative to C) so that you don't have to do all the counting that you did just now...

C to B (1 half step down; 11 half steps up)
C to Bb (2 half step down; 10 half steps up)
C to A (3 half step down; 9 half steps up)
C to Ab (4 half step down; 8 half steps up)
C to G (5 half step down; 7 half steps up)
C to Gb (6 half step down; 6 half steps up)
C to F (7 half step down; 5 half steps up)
C to E (8 half step down; 4 half steps up)
C to Eb (9 half step down; 3 half steps up)
C to D (10 half step down; 2 half steps up)
C to Db (11 half step down; 1 half steps up)
C to C (12 half step down; 12 half steps up)

Roger: Wow ... today was my lucky day!

ME: Just happy to help. Did you print this out because I know that I can be long-winded at times (hehe)

Roger: Oh, I haven't but I will. I guess I got a huge preview of what your course discusses huh?

ME: Yes, I guess you can say that. But Roger, it is 300-pages so you have a ways to go. But if you comprehended this (and we only used words), you'll definitely understand some of the concepts in the book as you'll have pictures, diagrams, charts, notations and more to guide you.

Roger: Wonderful

ME: And there's also a BONUS CD. It's very simple. Nothing too big and technical but its very helpful. It has three programs. One of them is "SOUND LIBRARY V1.0" which gives you access to over 330 sound examples from the course. The next program is "PIANO PLAYER PLUS V1.0" which allows you to train your ear with over 150 exercises, 500 questions, 20 chapter reviews and a lot more! The third program on the CD is CHORD POWER V1.0 which teaches you 10 additional gospel / jazz chord progressions step by step (with diagrams and sound examples).

Roger: Wow... I'm going to order right away. How do I order?

ME: There are a few ways to order. If you wish to place your order online (this is the fastest way), simply visit:

ME: If you wish to send a check or money order, I have an easy form that you can print out and include with your payment. You can print this form at:

ME: Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-877-856-4187 and mention offer 69B

Roger: I'd just like to say that this chat thing is wonderful. To think, I just wanted to see if it worked (and wasn't a gimmick) and I got to speak with the author himself. I'll make sure to tell all of my buddies.

ME: I'm glad I was able to assist you. You might not get me next time you come on here but whoever it is, they can assist you with any questions that you may have.

Roger: Thanks a multitude!

ME: No problem Roger. Have a nice day and good luck with your piano playing!

(CHAT ENDED AT 10:42 am)

* If you are interested in checking out our 300-pg course, you can follow the same steps Roger did. Just visit:  and it'll be easy from there!

*** The second conversation will be sent to your e-mail box separately. We must do this in order to keep the size of the e-mail minimal ***


As always, I couldn't get as "in-depth" into the material with ROGER as I wanted to as I was limited by space and time with the live chat system. However, I was able to convey one of my favorite techniques to him. Listen ... this technique can be used for just about anything. When I say anything, I mean (1) learning ALL chords in every key, (2) transposing a song into another, (3) modulating into into the next key, and more. If you are like Roger and would really like to improve your piano playing and ear-skills, I really encourage you to read about my 300-pg course & bonus CD ----

With 20 chapters and over 300 pages, the home piano course provides several resources, techniques, tips, principles, and theories to playing the piano by ear. Along with hundreds of chords and scales, you'll also learn how to turn them into gospel, jazz and blues chord progressions and better yet, how to use them to play ABSOLUTELY any song you want ... IN VIRTUALLY MINUTES! Again, don't miss this opportunity. I've even added an additional bonus if you purchase the course this week --- You can read more about the course at:

Enjoy this edition? Visit our guestbook and let us know!


If you are interested in ordering our 300-pg course, visit:  to claim your free bonus items!

Yours Truly,
Jermaine Griggs


More Music Theory Piano Lessons

Major Scales Music Theory
Minor Scales / Blues Scale Theory
Whole Steps, Half Steps & Intervals
Major Chords & Minor Chords
Piano Chord Inversions
Piano Seventh Chords
Blues Piano Chord Progression
Piano Scales & Piano Chords
Piano and Keyboard Ear-Training
Playing in Every Major Piano Key
Common Musician Questions P1
Common Musician Questions P2
"4 Steps to Playing Most Songs"


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